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Luxury Travel to Vancouver: Fairmont Waterfront (Virtuoso) & Sightseeing

Before I even begin, I need to dedicate this post to Kim Gilbert, the Sales Manager/my Virtuoso contact at the Fairmont Waterfront. Without Kim’s hospitality, this post would not be nearly as interesting, because we wouldn’t have had a clue where to go today. After disembarking the ship, we rolled our luggage (literally) right across the street to the beautiful Fairmont Waterfront.  Kim has already gone above and beyond in setting up our accommodations – we’re in a gorgeous Fairmont Gold level room with a great view of the harbor and access to the club lounge.

Room with a view...and binoculars provided to enjoy the view!

With complimentary internet in our room, this is the perfect resting spot for the next 3 days – just kick back, relax, and – oh no, no relaxing. We are go, go, going while in Vancouver – today was no exception.

After getting ready in our beautiful room, Kim offered to take us around to a couple of Vancouver highlights. First stop: the Capilano Suspension Bridge. When we first entered the park area, I was in awe of the gorgeous scenery.

“Lindsey,” Kim said to me firmly, “this is only the entrance.”  Her sarcasm had us rolling but, really, she had yet to figure out how easily impressed we are by pretty tourist things. Finally, we saw the suspension bridge. “You want us to go on that?” we asked, clearly having no prior concept of what a suspension bridge entails.  After reading the assuring facts that the suspension bridge is as tall as the Statue of Liberty’s armpit yet strong enough to hold 96 elephants, we eagerly hopped on.

The bridge is armpit-level high

The thing swayed left and right and, by the time we ran to the end of it, we realized the objective was to take in the gorgeous scenery, not run across as fast as possible.

View from the top

Oh well, there’s always the way back…it’s just that the Epperly family is one of the most ungraceful families you’ll ever cross. We have a history of breaking the same finger after falling down entire staircases and are notorious for tripping up stairs. So, I guess we’re not that great at climbing stairs in either direction, which leads me to believe we won’t be that great at balancing on a swaying suspension bridge. Here’s a video to prove the point:

Somehow, we made it across, managed to make our way through the treetop adventure, and even crossed the bridge back to where we started – all with little to no injury or death.

Our lovely guide and friend, Kim!

When Kim first mentioned the Capilano Suspension Bridge, she casually noted that there was a new activity she had yet to try – the Cliff Walk. That doesn’t sound promising. Even less promising? When we reach the entrance to the Cliff Walk, a Canadian teen informs us:

“You’re in luck – today’s the first day we’ve opened the cliff walk to the public! It’s been open less than 2 hours, you just have to promise not to post pictures for the next two weeks. We’re letting the press on in at the beginning of June.”

Why, you may ask, would we trust a Cliff Walk that’s been open to the general public for less than 2 hours? Why were they refraining from letting the press walk on this? WHY did we assume it was a good idea to run full-force onto the narrow Cliff Walk after the boy’s speech raised so many red flags?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, probably the same thing that made me swim with sharks in Moorea, a mix of adrenaline and the thought that I’ll never have this opportunity again. Regardless, I’m so glad we did – I’ll post pictures in a couple of weeks, in agreement with the nice people who let us be the Official Cliff Walk Guinea Pigs. I will tell you that this was an extremely narrow pathway, suspended over the open cliff (duh) with nothing but rocks and a river far below (we were approximately at the height of the Statue of Liberty’s armpit). There are several staircases (as noted above, these are always the scariest parts to my family) and glass-floor viewing areas, which Mom refused to walk on (she also will not walk on manhole covers in most situations). Okay, fine, all this talking about it…I’ll post ONE picture. But don’t tell.

Floating!

After this, Kim escorted us to Grouse Mountain, where we took the gondola to the top and ate hamburgers at a restaurant with a million dollar view. To our surprise, it was not that cold in Vancouver, even on the top of Grouse. However, I’m naturally cold natured and kept my giant down puffy jacket on the entire time, which was an easy target for Kim to make fun of.

After lunch, we trekked through piles of snow, higher than I’ve ever seen, in order to check out the rescued Grizzly Bears, Grinder and Coola. I’ve never seen a Grizzly in person and they were much larger than I anticipated. Now I can see why you wouldn’t want to encounter one of these in the wild. I have a feeling that if I grew up in this part of North America I would fear Grizzlies over sharks…However, in their cage, they look so cuddly.

Look at that little man-eating face

Today we’ll be going on my birthday surprise which my parents just recently unveiled: a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer to Whistler! I’m so excited, it should be a great post to look forward to – I’m certainly looking forward to the day!

Lindsey Epperly

My name is Lindsey Epperly and I’m a travel consultant and owner of Epperly Travel, a national affiliate of Century Travel. I’m most passionate about building lifelong relationships with my clients and suppliers, discovering the globe in a way that makes me a better agent, and celebrating with my team when we reach a new milestone. One of our core values at Epperly Travel is to create fun and celebrate constantly – and I’m fortunate to be in a career that allows me to do just that. I’m proud to announce my recent achievements: landing a spot on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List as their Caribbean expert, being nominated for Virtuoso’s Rising Star Award and receiving a place on Jezebel Magazine’s Trailblazing Ten list.

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