Welcome to Katie's Travel Blog. This is really Jenny-doesn't-get-to-travel blog where I (mom) keep track of Katie's adventures so I can have some vicarious enjoyment! Here's a look at what one globally-aware kid from little Santa Cruz, California gets to do these days if her mom's willing to keep working!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 11, Thursday, July 21: Vancouver, British Columbia

Last night - Pizza in the Park!
Not a peep from Katie yesterday. After reading Lyly's note (below), I see why. They ran the kids ragged with so much fun and activity! I admit, I am starting to get the travel bug. Everything they are doing sounds so darn fun.

Here's Lyly's note:

Today was one of the best days of the entire program!
We woke up early and headed for Wild Play-Tree Go. Upon arrival we were split into two groups and given a demonstration on how to put on a harness. Then the students were led into the forest where an entire obstacle course was built up in the trees. Each station was built approximately 10-12 feet high and once you were on the course, there was no going back down. There was a wooden swing, hanging branches, zip lines, wooden tubes, and nets to climb between each tree station. Out of 45 students, we had a total of 42 complete the entire course. It was so much fun to watch the students flying through the course like a bunch of monkeys. When they had completed the course, most students begged us to go again but unfortunately there was no time. :)
The adults were not allowed on the student obstacle course but were given the option to go bungee jumping. Although petrified of heights, I am happy to say that I managed to conquer my fear and join Chelsea and Celia on the journey to bungee jumping. The jump is completed on a bridge that is 150 feet over a river. I have to admit that it was probably the most terrifying thing I have ever done in my life and I screamed the entire way down. However, I did have to ask the guy working the bridge to push me off the platform. :) It was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. So if you ever get the opportunity to check bungee jumping off your bucket list, do it!
After a dinner of pizza in the park, we headed for whale watching. The boat was very large and had two decks that students were able to maneuver around. We had two biologists, Lars and Jackie, during the ride out to sea that could answer any questions about whales. At the beginning of the boat ride, Jackie had informed the group that we might not see any whales. The boat had been out on two previous rides throughout the day with no success. Keeping this in mind, the students settled in for a fun boat ride.
They got a kick out of scampering around on the decks, getting sprayed with ocean water, and generally just talking and laughing. Imagine our surprise when we got to the lookout point, that we saw an entire pod of Orca whales! The captain informed us that there are 44 whales in this particular pod. The whales were swimming all around our boat and we saw 37 breaches.
Fun Fact: A breach is when a whale jumps up out of the water and flops back down on their side. Thus creating a huge splash of water. It was such an awesome sight to see! However, Murphy's Law dictated that every time I took a picture, the whale had already disappeared down under the water. :)
Needless to say, we got back to the dorm very late after a fun-packed day and everyone was ready for a good night's sleep. 

People to People Itinerary

Embark on an extensive tour of Victoria's Parliament and legislative grounds. Here you will experience the architectural majesty of the Parliament Buildings and learn about Canada's parliamentary process.

At noon, you will enjoy a unique experience at the world-renowned Empress Hotel, indulging in an elegant lunch while attending a traditional Elizabethan Tea. Note: Your People to People polo and khaki's are required attire for your experience at the Empress.

Say farewell to Vancouver Island as you catch the ferry back to the mainland.

Start your exploration of Vancouver in the expansive Stanley Park; Walk along the waterfront, see the Lion's Gate Bridge from Prospect Point and learn about the intricately carved totem poles made by the coastal First Nation tribes. If you're lucky, you may have the chance to catch a cricket match in progress on of the park's pitches.

Travel back in time as you walk down the cobblestone streets of historic Gastown in downtown Vancouver.

This evening, you will check into the University of British Columbia (UBC): the largest university in the province; it is also among the most scenic campuses surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on three sides.

The Parliament Building in Victoria.
The Empress Hotel (for tea!).

The Lion's Gate Bridge from Prospect Point.

 The university from above!

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