A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vancouver, British Columbia

View on Vancouver on October 1, 2005View on Vancouver on October 1, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          When I was traveling with the World of Fantasy Players theater group, we had some good tour planners and agents who usually seemed to manage to book us on a steady schedule while allowing for some time off in some nice places to be.  I don't know if it was intentional or serendipitous, but it was fine by me and the young people I had touring with me.

            In the summer of 1986 we were doing our annual tour up the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.  This is a beautiful region of lakes surrounded by scenic mountains and popular with tourists.  Our tour of this region always culminated with the city of Prince George which was several hundred miles north.

             This particular year our agent managed to book us in the scenic town of Squamish about 40 miles north of Vancouver, BC.  The trip from Prince George to Squamish was a hair-raising adventure which I won't go in length to tell here other than it involved what I believed to be a short cut that led us through many miles of mountains on gravel roads in a steady downpour.  Thankfully we arrived in Squamish without mishap and in rather good time.

             But I digress for this story about Vancouver.  Actually there's no big story other than in 1986 the World's Fair was taking place in Vancouver and we conveniently had a few days off.  My wife and I and our young daughter spent one day at the fair as did the tour members.  It was raining--I guess it rains a lot in Vancouver.

            The rain actually may have been an advantage as it kept the crowds down which meant lines to the attractions were not very long.   Susan and I had attended the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1982 and it was a much different story there--big crowds and long lines.   That visit had been the day after we had gotten married.  We wanted to see the World's Fair that was so close to my Tennessee home and we knew that this would be our only chance to visit since we were going to be on the road with the show all year.  One day at the World's Fair--two World's Fairs --was all we got, but at least we got to go.

          I  don't remember if it was then or another time that we went to the Historic Gastown District of Vancouver but I remember being there and eating in a restaurant.  In fact I find it a bit amazing that in those years I went to two World's Fairs, several major cities, a number of national parks, and I couldn't tell you how many other attractions and I don't remember much about a lot of them.  And yet I can recall details of some of the most absurd events, certain show venues, and quiet little podunks that most travelers would never bother to go to.

          The memory can be an odd trickster.  I've been to Vancouver, BC,  It seemed like a nice place, but I can't tell you much about it.   Someday I'd like to go to Vancouver and actually remember it.


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15 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Strange how one can go to a place and not really remember it. One place I won't forget is LA. There are many places I visited in Ireland but can't really remember them.

Yvonne.

Wendy said...

So this is why you're a good blogger and I'm not. I would have moved on to a different topic if I couldn't remember anything. Yet you've brought up a universal experience that we all can relate to.

Lynn Proctor said...

i want to remember my stay in biloxi when i visited my sister--i was around 16---i have some wonderful memories but they are not clear--

cestlavie22 said...

Sounds like you had a fun time in those days. I would love to travel there!

Kathy said...

Sounds like what you remember are happy memories. If something really bad happened you would have definitely remembered that! It is a sign of a great writer who can weave a tale out of a little of nothing. Brilliant post.

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne -- I suppose it's a state of mind thing or maybe just sensory overload when one is going many places and doing many things.

Wendy -- I'm glad you said it that way. As I started to write this I was tempted to go to a different topic, but then I just started writing whatever came to my mind.

Lynn -- I remember a few visits to Biloxi, but it was off season and seemed pretty dreary. Probably better for me that way. I guess my forgetfulness is not just me though.

cestlavie -- Maybe too much of too many good times and places. My brain can apparently only hold so many memories.

Kathy -- True, I was having happy times and there was nothing devastating to leave negative impressions. Thank you for the compliment.

Lee

Leslie said...

Has been on my list of places to visit as it is supposedly beautiful
Every place and every time we visit we come away with something different Lee
you were busy on that trip

my V

moonwyndstudio said...

hehe he. Yeah, and it's raining right now also (Vancouver). There's a lot about my town I would rather forget, actually! And some I wish were still around so I could still experience them and not only remember (we've had a lot of building new things here and not so much enhancing, upkeeping the old I'm afraid)!

One of the best World's Fairs I ever attended was the one in 1974 in Spokane. I was in high school band then and we had a gig to play at it. We met some great people and had a super time there! We stayed at Gonzaga University. In fact all of my high school band trips were in the States: Portland University, West Linn in Oregon, Pleasant Hill in California, etc. Those were great times and good friends. Thanks for the memories!
Love MoonWynd
http://moonwyndstudio.wordpress.com/

moonwyndstudio said...

Hi again, Arlee. Yes, your post DID post on my "R". Did you not see the photograph?
Can you see this post of mine now?
(I am true Luddite.)
Cheers, MoonWynd

thea said...

If the internet had been around, you would have blogged about it and would remember lots more ..

Arlee Bird said...

Leslie -- I was busy going a lot of places back then and a lot just blended together.

Moonwynd -- I'd forgotten that there had been a World's Fair in Spokane. I've heard some stories about those band trips in my high school. They had good times.

Thea -- I should have been keeping a journal or something.

Lee

alisonamazed said...

Yup it rains a lot in Vancouver. My brother told me one time when I visited him there that it had been overcast for 3 months! The island where we are is sunnier, with Victoria having many hours of recorded sunshine.

Anita said...

Thanks for your post :)
I had 2 days in Vancouver when I did a fly-drive of the Rockies & thought it was some where I could happily live. Would love to go back!

Arlee Bird said...

Allison --Overcast but not extremely cold might be something I could deal with since I'm not a huge sunshine person, although I do like a nice sunny day when not too hot.

Anita -- I'd love to go back to Vancouver. Can't make a judgement call about living there, but I don't think I'd be dreadfully opposed to it.

Lee

D.G. Hudson said...

Let me know when you're coming to Vancouver, Lee, and we'll show you around. BTW, I went to that 1986 Expo. . .

Hubby grew up here, and I've lived most of my adult life in Vancouver. It does rain (it is called the Northwest Rainforest, you know). When I came here, it felt like home, so I stayed. Attitudes are typically west coast and relaxed here, with exceptions.

Liked your posts on places during the A to Z. There used to be a music circuit (jazz and blues) that went from LA and San Fran up to Vancouver, so lots of musicians and actors have traveled to British Columbia. (One of my daughters does extra work in movies filmed here.)

Nice to see a mention of my adopted home town.