Some background on why I am going to Canada. A few years back my mom (Trish 74), told me that there were places in the world she had always wanted to see but she probably would go to her grave never seeing them. That lit a match under my butt and I was off and running.
I called her one week later and told her that her 1st bucket list trip was to Hawaii and when did she want to leave. She huffed and puffed and tried to destroy my plan at first, then she realized that life is short and we have never looked back. We had an amazing time and it was expensive, but mom and I look back on that trip as one of the best times of our lives. If we had bought “stuff” with that money, we probably would not even remember what we got. We now do one bucket list trip every year.
Last year she decided Vancouver Island was next. I went into planning mode (Expedia). We each paid about $2000 for airfare (Alaska Air-new airline for us) and hotel for a week at the Hotel Grand Pacific. I am so glad I paid that last year since I have been saving for spending money ever since. Traveling is not cheap, but when you stretch it out, it can be done.
I have so much to do it is ridiculous. Mom wants me to figure out our agenda ahead of time, but I find that hitting the concierge up when we arrive tends to give the best results. It may be a bit more expensive then buying in advance, but they know what people want. It’s their job. There are a few things I plan to do ahead of time.
- Hop-on-hop-off bus. These are great. You can buy them with a Groupon and use them whenever you like. The set up is basically a one or two-day pass for a tour bus with headphones or a guide that point out places of interest. You can get on and off the bus at any point and see what there is to see at that point. Buses run all day. We did this in Hawaii and it was great for the first day to help you get your bearings on how the city is laid out and where things are that you wan to go back and explore.
- Groupon Coupons for food: I try to buy Groupons for food that looks good and is close to the area we are staying. This lets me save some money and points us in a direction to explore. If I already paid for it, we are going to use it!
- Research some activities. We definitely want to do a whale watching excursion and possible take a day cruise up the fjord (weirdest word ever). Castle sight-seeing is on the agenda and I need to find at least one high-end restaurant to eat at.
- Hotel transportation research: I am not sure how we are getting from the airport to the hotel. i guess I should work on that.
- The candy store: Supposedly there is a big candy market on Vancouver Island. What is it?…Where is it?…What are they known for?…How much will fit in my luggage?
- The famous gardens: What is the appropriate amount of time to look at flowers? I’m thinking 30 minutes.
- Money: Save more ASAP.
Must be off…I will let you know what I find out!