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Old 08-06-2009, 04:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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TFP Canada: Help me plan a week-long vacation

If all else fails, I'm going to Mexico to hang out with Tully.

Anyway, I will be taking a week off sometime in September or early October to give myself a REAL vacation. I can't afford some of the places I'd like to go (and I'd like to have more time for them, anyway), so I'm sticking to North America.

It's sad, but I've never been further into Canada than to Niagara Falls.

So, train me. Enlighten me. I live in Virginia. I am willing to drive (approximately 9 hours to Toronto) or fly (approximately $400 to Western Canada), but I want to:

a) see some pretty scenery and go hiking
b) eat some yummy foods
c) have a place to relax and watch the sun rise and set
d) hopefully meet some of you Canadian TFP-ers!

I will be traveling alone and I'm up for nearly anything if it's not unreasonably priced.

So, help me pick landmarks and a general destination! I'll have 8-9 days including my driving/flying time, so if you were to take a trip to Canada in that amount of time.. what would you want to see and do?
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not canadian but.. I've been to quite a bit of canada..

I'm sure all the T-dotters will be in here shortly and will brag about their city and the awesomeness that resides there..

but for me.. you can't beat Victoria or Vancouver. The scenery is unmatched..

I think Fresnelly went to Victoria a couple weeks ago.. perhaps he could point you to some attractions.. it's been years since I've been up there so I wouldn't know the eateries and such..
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As much as some of us would like you to come up to Toronto, I must say the west coast is a must-see. Go to Vancouver if you want to do some serious hiking and sightseeing. You will find many food options as well, considering it's a major port handling goods and culture from Asia and other areas of the world. It's generally more relaxed than Toronto as well. (And a bit more open and friendly.) You can keep your costs low by not doing the touristy things. Just go to some of the mountain trails and other natural landmarks around that area.

Be sure to visit Gastown and Stanley Park in the city itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guccilvr
I'm sure all the T-dotters will be in here shortly and will brag about their city and the awesomeness that resides there..
Well, if she asked for awesomeness, I would have served it to her. I am, after all, a short subway ride to the centre of the universe here.
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 08-06-2009 at 04:49 AM..
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Gucci: Thanks for the input

Baraka: How would the west coast work out for me traveling alone? I am not sure where all of you Canadian TFP-ers reside, and I'd prefer not to spend the week totally on my own, though I'm sure I'd be fine if I wanted to be. I'd like to at least meet one or two of you for food and photos and giggles.

I like meeting people from the internets, as long as there are no sharp objects or projectiles involved.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, then, PP, you'll have to decide what is more important to you. The Vancouver area will have some mindblowing vistas and a more outdoor-oriented (read: nature-loving) culture.

If you come to Toronto, I'm sure there will be several opportunities to do something fun. There are ways to do this on the cheap here. We could do music, comedy, or just sit around and chat at a cool pub. (And of course, there's the food. You name it, it's here.) If you've never been to Toronto there is a lot to explore...just realize that it's the opposite of Vancouver in that it is more about being urban. There are many small parks about, but you don't have that easy access to the rugged outdoors as you do in Vancouver.

Are you into the idea of a "big city" adventure?

EDIT: You'll also get a great taste of what good can come out of multiculturalism.
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 08-06-2009 at 05:02 AM..
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There are some West Coasters on TFP.. Ace Of Spades is in Vancouver and Fly is out there as well.. and I'm pretty fucking sure that spending some time with Fly man would be completely and devastatingly awesome.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guccilvr View Post
I'm not canadian but.. I've been to quite a bit of canada..

I'm sure all the T-dotters will be in here shortly and will brag about their city and the awesomeness that resides there..

but for me.. you can't beat Victoria or Vancouver. The scenery is unmatched..

I think Fresnelly went to Victoria a couple weeks ago.. perhaps he could point you to some attractions.. it's been years since I've been up there so I wouldn't know the eateries and such..
Nice as TO is, and don't get me wrong, I love this city, You got to go to the west coast if you have the opportunity.

I just came back from 2 weeks in Vancouver and environs, and it is still my favourite getaway after over 20 years of travelling. Look at it this way, based on where you live, you can always easily drive to southern Ontario or Quebec, or even the Maritimes in the future. A flight to the west coast is a special thing tho, and you should do it.

Guccilvr is right, the scenery is unmatched. I've been to Europe and seen the Alps, I've been to the Carribean, Sri Lanka and Korea and all over the US including Seattle (the nearest comparator). If scenery was food, you would come back from BC morbidly obese.

While in Vancouver, you would have the opportunity to check out the new facilities for the 2010 winter olympics, and the spectacular peak to peak gondola lift at Whistler/Blackcomb:

Whistler Blackcomb - PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola

you can also explore that amazing, multicultural city, complete with beauty and warts like any other large port city. And it is a port city, this much is apparant when you go down to one of its many many beaches to see the ocean going freighters all stacked up in English bay, and the cruise liners lined up to dock. A big bonus is that the subway link (The Canada Line) from the airport to downtown is opening on Aug 17. Now this is civilized. Imagine taking the transit from the airport to downtown? this is something that Toronto could really use. Maybe the Taxi drivers have formed a lobby to prevent this???

http://www.vancouversun.com/Canada+L...394/story.html



Webcams:

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Jericho Beach Webcam, Vancouver, Canada


Go to Horsehoe Bay or Tswassen to take ferries to the Sunshine coast or Vancouver Island to visit Gibson's or Victoria. go all the way to Tofino on the Island to see Long Beach, and buy crabs.

Discover Tofino BC Canada

Drive up the Fraser Valley and check out the interior. Every where you go, there is something.

I was 5 h rs north of Vancouver last week, and encountered 3 grizzly bears (one on foot, two in the car) You can't get that in Toronto.
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Last edited by Leto; 08-06-2009 at 05:40 AM..
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just outside Vancouver is one of the most relaxing nude beaches I've ever been to -- Wreck Beach. If you enjoy that sort of thing.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I love Toronto, but I've never been anywhere else in Canada.

Our nature pretty much ends at High Park, unless you're going to drive a couple more hours North.

I'd do BC if I could.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It looks like BC is a good destination for me.

Now, the logistics: Flight to where? Do I need to rent a car? I can't feasibly drive across alllll of the US to get there and back in a week, unfortunately.

I'll have to start doing some more research. And Leto, you make a very good point - I CAN easily get to Toronto in the future, so I can always meet up with the TO TFP-ers over a long weekend sometime.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Fly to Vancouver, as it is a good central spot to base yourself.

You should rent a car. Public transit won't take you where you need to go. It doesn't have nearly the same service and coverage as Toronto. Plus you'll need to get out of the city to see a lot of the good stuff.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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yeah Fly to Vancouver.. you can fly to Seattle and drive into BC if you want.. but it's prolly easier to just fly into Vancouver itself.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It looks like it's potentially a LOT cheaper for me to fly into Seattle and drive up.. I'll compare the costs when I get home today.

Further recommendations for places to visit and TFP-ers to meet up with would be very much appreciated!
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: East-central Canada
One of the closer adventures:
Grouse Grind hike at Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver | Vancouver Trails

Not for the weak of heart.

And those other things I mentioned:
Gastown
Stanley Park
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—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

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Old 08-06-2009, 06:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
One of the closer adventures:
Grouse Grind hike at Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver | Vancouver Trails

Not for the weak of heart.
Pfft, 1.5-2 hours? That's not something I would necessarily rate as "difficult."

I'll do it!

Are the most TFP-ers in TO? I'd like to actually have some social interaction on my vacation, not just communion with nature.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:41 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PonyPotato View Post
Pfft, 1.5-2 hours? That's not something I would necessarily rate as "difficult."

I'll do it!
You do know it's a short trail, right? That's a long 2.9km.

Quote:
Are the most TFP-ers in TO? I'd like to actually have some social interaction on my vacation, not just communion with nature.
I think one of the bigger concentrations of Canadian TFPers is in Toronto and vicinity. There are a handful in the Vancouver area too, so just give them time to come and chime in.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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You know, if you go to Calgary and you time it right you could be there for Spruce Meadows. The Masters will be September 9 to 13 (horses and all). From there you could easily get to Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise for some excellent hiking.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Skip Vancouver and go to Vancouver island! Fly to Victoria and rent a car. Check out PacificRim National Park for awesome sunsets over the pacific ocean.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
You know, if you go to Calgary and you time it right you could be there for Spruce Meadows. The Masters will be September 9 to 13 (horses and all). From there you could easily get to Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise for some excellent hiking.
Charlatan, I appreciate the recommendation but it's not necessary for me to be around horses even on vacation (unless it's a scenic trail ride). There are enough large events around here and that I've been to already that I don't find it necessary to take out a day or two to watch show jumping. I will be doing that at the Washington International Horse Show next year.

I may also be going to Puerto Rico next year for a horsey competition (my instructor will be riding in the Central Caribbean Games), so that's the only horsey vacation I need in the next few years unless she makes it to the Olympics.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Rest assured, the Toronto TFP contingent will always welcome you and be happy to show you the city. But a BC trip sounds like the right thing to do. If you fly to Seattle first, maybe you could even meetup with Snowy!

And I think BlahBlah and his motorcycle-ridin', muscley back is a lot closer to BC than Toronto.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:16 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fresnelly View Post
Rest assured, the Toronto TFP contingent will always welcome you and be happy to show you the city. But a BC trip sounds like the right thing to do. If you fly to Seattle first, maybe you could even meetup with Snowy!

And I think BlahBlah and his motorcycle-ridin', muscley back is a lot closer to BC than Toronto.
I will definitely plan a trip to TO later this fall.

And, uhh, you're making me blush. Not that I had any idea which end of Canada Blahblah is closer to. Now I do. Thanks a lot, you're going to make me look like a stalker.

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Old 08-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Vancouver is an awesome city.

I've traveled there with various groups of friends, and not once have I felt uncomfortable striking out on my own in that city. I stayed in the hostel on Granville Street, which is in an area going through transition (from sex shops to nightclubs). The hostel offers a lot of opportunities to go on tours and whatnot of Vancouver. One tip I will offer is that the Holiday Inn in that part of Vancouver has a lock-up parking lot that was $10 for 24 hours last time I was there (no doubt it's increased since then). A rental car is nice in some situations, but if you're going to do a lot of exploring of urban Vancouver, it may not be the best choice, as you'll park it and walk/use the SkyTrain/take the SeaBus. And driving up from Seattle may be cheaper, but it also may be more of a headache. Depending on how you hit traffic, the drive that usually takes about 2 hours could turn into 3.

Most Vancouverites are very polite and helpful. The city also attracts a number of Aussies and Kiwis who work in various service industries. Keep your eyes out for cute Kiwis; they're very polite and will buy you drinks. They like American girls. Aussies are fun to drink with too. Most of these people have some great stories about traveling.

There are lots of outdoor opportunities within easy reach of Vancouver. LOTS. Like, I don't even know where to begin. If you drive up from Seattle, a stop by the San Juans or the North Cascades would be a good choice.

One thing I will mention is the weather--the rain moves in at about that time of year. If you catch it just right, it may still be fairly nice. Vancouver is very temperate thanks to its maritime climate. Just don't forget your raincoat.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Pony,

I am taking exactly the same kind of trip you are, and chose Vancouver - already booked my flight, Hotel, rental car. I'll be there Sept 17-23. So if you're in the city in that date range, this might be interesting!

I picked Vancouver partially because there's family in Seattle. I've done the fly into Sea-tac and drive into Vancouver bit and happened to hit a blizzard on that trip. lesson learned, so I booked a ticket straight into Vancouver for this trip.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:28 PM   #24 (permalink)
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amonkie, I'm actually looking to go the 18/19 to the 27th of September. Whoa.

Although Uncle Phil and Tully are doing a pretty good job in chat of talking me into going to Mexico instead..
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PonyPotato View Post
amonkie, I'm actually looking to go the 18/19 to the 27th of September. Whoa.

Although Uncle Phil and Tully are doing a pretty good job in chat of talking me into going to Mexico instead..
That really would be an ideal time to visit Vancouver. September is usually a very pleasant month in the PacNW.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:33 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Non, vous etes incorrectment, IMHO...

I love Vancouver, but you have to love rain. WTF? It rained on me for 30 days straight. think about that for a bit. Yes, it is beautiful when it is sunny!

Calgary is awesome because of the foothills, (like Charlatan stated, Banff and the National Park are incredible. Like walking in a postcard, except it wraps all around)

How come nobody mentioned le belle province? You can go to Europe without that darned ocean thing. I don't think a lot of Yanks understand that Quebec is an untapped jem in tourism. Montreal is better as far as culture goes, and Quebec City is one of the craziest places on the planet.

Hey, make sure to go to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They don't get enough credit because people mis-interpret openness with barren. Some really great scenery there, too.

If you are looking for it, you'll find it North of '49.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:33 PM   #27 (permalink)
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i was going to mention the rain... but the fall in Vancouver is usually dry (er). This summer in fact has been the driest on record, ever. So you may be okay.Rain starts in earnest after Thanksgiving and can be quite the downer as it last for long periods.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:07 PM   #28 (permalink)
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i'm not around from the 10th to the 20th but monkie and i are tryin' to hook at least one day up..........why don't you two dial it in amongst yourselves,and i'll try and fit it in.........

would like to meet up with you guys............let's see what happens.


and did i mention.............i have horses
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:01 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I go to Vancouver for 1-2 weeks each year, for the last 6 or so, and I have only seen rain there once!! And it was a light sprinkle. I think I just have amazing luck.

If you go to the West Coast spend more time on Vancouver Island, the most beautiful place I have ever been! I took a road trip across it once and can not wait to do it again! I like BC in August... but maybe thats because I enjoy the heat and I have always been in university or working in Septembers.

I vote for Mexico though, but maybe I am just saying that because the West Coast is only a short drive (well relatively short) for me and I go all the time. Never been to Mexico but its gotta be a good time!

*edit* BigBen Sask and Manitoba?!? Gag!!! I moved to Sask for work a little over a year ago and it gets the big ol' boo from me! But maybe thats because I feel more at home in the mountains. I like my green trees, mountains and lakes. In fact this is going to be the first weekend of the summer I have spend in Saskatchewan so far this year! All my others have been in the mountains/BC. If you want some A+ pictures of Sask though check out some of the pictures I have posted in the photo section. Some nice aerial shots!

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Old 08-08-2009, 05:56 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Blahblah - I may have to hit you up for some of your favorite spots since I'll be in Vancouver myself in a month.

But since I couldn't convince Pony to do Canada... now all of the sudden I'm wishing I had a clone, so I could be both places at once!
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:33 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Blahblah - I may have to hit you up for some of your favorite spots since I'll be in Vancouver myself in a month.

But since I couldn't convince Pony to do Canada... now all of the sudden I'm wishing I had a clone, so I could be both places at once!
Hey! You're the one who told me to go to Mexico. Geeez!

I'm getting mixed signals from everyone. Mexico guarantees me someone to hang out with (sorry, Tully!), Canada does not. Or at least not yet.

Idontknowwhattodoooo
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:21 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I'm having a hard time getting over the rejection..... waaaahhhh!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:01 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PonyPotato View Post
Hey! You're the one who told me to go to Mexico. Geeez!

I'm getting mixed signals from everyone. Mexico guarantees me someone to hang out with (sorry, Tully!), Canada does not. Or at least not yet.

Idontknowwhattodoooo
i vote for mexico...
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:20 PM   #34 (permalink)
 
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Non, vous etes incorrectment, IMHO...

I love Vancouver, but you have to love rain. WTF? It rained on me for 30 days straight. think about that for a bit. Yes, it is beautiful when it is sunny!

Calgary is awesome because of the foothills, (like Charlatan stated, Banff and the National Park are incredible. Like walking in a postcard, except it wraps all around)

How come nobody mentioned le belle province? You can go to Europe without that darned ocean thing. I don't think a lot of Yanks understand that Quebec is an untapped jem in tourism. Montreal is better as far as culture goes, and Quebec City is one of the craziest places on the planet.

Hey, make sure to go to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They don't get enough credit because people mis-interpret openness with barren. Some really great scenery there, too.

If you are looking for it, you'll find it North of '49.
Montreal is best in the summer with all the festivals but always a good place to visit.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:22 AM   #35 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
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Location: EH!?!?
Hey, just saw this thread. I say Western Canada, but I'm insanely biased because I've lived here my whole life. If you swing into town, we will have to do a big meet. I think we were trying to organize for the 22nd of Sept. Fly, does that work for you?
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:36 AM   #36 (permalink)
Soaring
 
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Location: Ohio!
I believe I am going to Mexico Oct 3-11, Ace. Sorry! I had to change my travel dates anyway thanks to a good friend's wedding (Sept 26), and now I can't really afford the extra cost of Canada thanks to some big vet bills recently.

I wish I could do both!
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:55 PM   #37 (permalink)
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see the links to my music?
 
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Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace_O_Spades View Post
Hey, just saw this thread. I say Western Canada, but I'm insanely biased because I've lived here my whole life. If you swing into town, we will have to do a big meet. I think we were trying to organize for the 22nd of Sept. Fly, does that work for you?

workin' on it bro........i'll keep yappin' with monkie......you back down here now Ace?
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:18 AM   #38 (permalink)
The Death Card
 
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Location: EH!?!?
I've lived down here since fall 2003, barrin 8 months back in Kamloops. I'm down here pretty steady now. Living in Burnaby.
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