So, 5 o'clock is an ungodly hour, I'm telling you. But, I stood up, had a toast, got my bags and left with Andy by 6:10 a.m.
Doro had saved me a seat on the bus, but unfortunately, we were split by schools - KSS and RSS (and I think all those others) on one bus, and Mount Boucherie and OKM (or something similar, don't ask me, I don't know. I only know that Doro was on a different bus than me!) on the other.
At least our bus was more comfortable than theirs!
Ms White (our coordinator) and Ana (Doro's coordinator) were each on one bus, with one hostparent accompanying them each.
The bus drive was long, but I think I even managed to sleep for an hour or so. After two and a half hours we stopped at a mall and went shopping for two hours or so, and I got a few more Christmas presents and ... toothpaste. Mine ran out.
Then we went for two and a half more hours by bus to the Vancouver Aquarium. Doro has pictures, but I fear I won't get them till tomorrow. Well, those of you in Germany will get to see my Scrapbook when school starts again. (Yes, it will take me all of my summer holidays to simply compose it, because it is like a lot. And when I say a lot, I actually mean verdammt viele. Like, something along the lines of 1000? Well, 700. But I only spent a third here, so you can do the maths. And I haven't yet been to San Francisco, so duh.)
The Jelly fish were really ugly, but we watched a dolphin and a Beluga whale show, and even though it was really cold, I enjoyed it.
Afterwards, we checked into our hotel and went to a nearby mall to get dinner and spend some more money (according to rumors, one girl spent more than $500!).
Dorothea and I shared our room with one Brazilian girl, and we went to bed at a halfway decent time.
Second day started with us going to Grouse Mountain for snow shoeing. It was a nice thing, but it's not my favourite - it was kinda boring.
|Entry way to a house; native style|
|View from Grouse Mountain|
|A 'small' Christmas Tree|
|And the Lobby|
Reading this, my mom will probably have the urge to strangle/throttle me, but this lobby is the place I left my wallet at - with more than $300 in cash and my credit card and all my papers...
Since I anyway had the feeling of having forgotten something since we left Kelowna, I patted down my pockets when we were waiting in line to get down from the mountain, I fortunately realized I had forgotten my wallet before I was back on the ground, so I hurried back and - 'lo and behold, it was at the information. All my money and everything was still there, too. Canada is such an honest country!
Afterwards, we visited the "Telus World of Science" and we even watched a movie in the round sphere thingy!
It was pretty cloudy, but at least we were inside. Unfortunately, one boy hadn't wanted to come to the snow shoeing, so by the time we had him convinced to come we were already considerably late (half an hour? A full hour? Something like that), and we were another hour late when we left Grouse Mountain, so we only had time for the movie (About polar bears, it was quite nice) and a bit of looking around - I don't believe we've seen everything there was to see :(
I spent some money at the Souvnir Shop, and after that we drove to Granville Island, which is absolutely boring.
But at least the view was nice!
After that we had 15 minutes at the hotel, and guess what? We went to the mall.
This time, it wasn't just Doro and me, but Doro, Josy (who had joined us the day before already), Jonas (German boy from Doro's school) and me, and Doro and Josy deserted Jonas and me while they were in 'Pink' (and don't laugh, but it's a lingerie shop... and it was called Pink, so I said, Thanks, but no thanks, and while Jonas did look like he would have liked to accompany them [I'm joking, btw. I think], he stayed outside with me. And then they ditched us. Claimed they didn't see us, while in fact we were sitting right in front of the shop.). When it became clear that neither of them was anywhere in the vicinity, Jonas and I went to Qoola - Frozen Yogurt Bar and got a frozen Yogurt each until it was time to leave.
We heard about the news of the Austrian Cab Driver finding 390.000€ while we were sitting in the mall eating - and isn't that funny, because Doro was sitting with her back to the News TV and going like "Have you hear, I don't know whether he was Austrian or German, but there was this Cab driver and ..." so she told us, and I look up, over her shoulder, and on the screen it reads Austria, Cab driver finds €390,000 ($500,000) and returns everything to police. Just at the moment she was telling the story!
Well, sleep didn't come as easily that night, and I am positive I wasn't the only one who couldn't sleep - I could hear girls laughing at midnight!
The next morning, we all got a dressing down; the boys' was way worse than ours. We were only reprimanded for not being in our rooms but in the boys' rooms (one of the chaperones had caught girls leaving the boys' rooms at 2:30 a.m. - seriously, what were they doing up still at that time? Even I was exhausted enough to be asleep!), but the girls had managed to destroy an elevator door, so. Well.
Ms White just said something along the lines of "We trusted you, but you abused the trust, so we will enforce the curfew rule stricter this night ..." Not that she did. I could hear girls running around at around eleven o'clock on our floor, and if I could hear them, Ms White could, too, because her room was directly opposite ours.
But, well. I think that at least all the girls stayed on the fourth floor, so maybe that was why she didn't say anything.
That day ... God, what did we do? Right, we visited the Capilano Suspension bridge, and drove by the Canucks stadium. Too bad the NHL is on lock-out (labor talks. And they're not getting anywhere, so the season might well be cancelled.). I mean, they would have been playing in Columbus on Friday anyway, so they wouldn't have been in town, but ... gah.
|All their players decorated the walls|
|and their banners were hanging off the building.|
Sorry for the bad pictures, they were taken out of the driving bus! :) And this is also where Canada beat the USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics, claiming the gold medal for the second time in 8 years. Hockey is a Canadian Sport, after all.
At Capilano, Doro played tourguide (she crashed my English video as I was "showing my parents around", saying "Und ich ruiniere jetzt hier das schöne Englische Video, indem ich Deutsch rede..." - And I'll ruin this beautiful English video by talking in German... and then proceeded to give my parents the tour, and my mom thought it was HILARIOUS, so, duh.) and we spent some more money in the tourist shop, and it was really nice. I even got a "I made it" certificate, allowing me bragging rights for the next two years.
|There was a lot of tribal stuff|
|And the bridge itself|
|Looking down from the bridge|
Well, that definitely was fun, although it was raining like hell - oh, no, hell is dry and hot. It was cold and wet, and I was wearing my skiing jacket and freezing!
But it still was on this side of zero, while it has been snowing in Kelowna for the last few days (maybe my wish of White Christmas will come true?).
After the Bridge, we went to the Olympic cauldron.
|View from Burrard Inlet Waterfront|
|The waterfront mall|
|Canada Place! That's where the winter Olympics took place!|
|wouldn't it be awesome to be living in that black box?|
|And here is the Olympic Cauldron!|
The next stop was Stanley Park, where I already was with my old host family, but we were in a different spot this time.
It was still really foggy and damp, but well.
After that, we visited the UBC, University of British Columbia, but we actually only had a pee break.
But it's basically it's own village, looking awesome and ... omg, I seriously could imagine studying there, because it's just that amazing!
A friend of mine (I don't really know whether I can call her that, but well, acquaintance sounds so weird...) from my Journalism class was accepted there, and I guess it's not the worst choice.
That evening, we ... didn't (surprise! I know it's shocking, I'm sorry!) go to the mall, because we saw a play in a theatre called "Hotel Bethlehem".
And we were all like "Oh, no, it's gonna be so boring!" but it wasn't. They took all the Christmas/Bethlehem/Nativity-Tropes and turned them around, and it was really funny.
That evening, sleeping was even worse, and as I have mentioned, nobody obeyed the room-rule.
Yesterday, we went Ice Skating in the morning, and I guess I wasn't so bad for maybe having been on skates a whole four times, yesterday included. The only problem I have is slowing down. And then I watched some Hockey and realized how little I actually can do.
We boarded the bus again, Dorothea was bleeding (she cut herself on her blades, and I have to admit, she was one of the better skaters, easily in the top ten, maybe even in the top five - I didn't pay that much attention to others.) and one German girl who is a figure skater had shown us all up (she's really good, and she even showed me a few moves to slow down) and we went to ... the mall! (how'd you guess?) One girl forgot her wallet at the Frozen Yogurt place, but luckily she recovered it - the people behind the counter found it, discovered the red emergency card, called the emergency hotline, told them there was a wallet found, the emergency person called Ms White, Ms White told the girl and the girl run. Otherwise she wouldn't even have noticed it until we arrived in Chiliwack (which is pronounced "Chilwack" and not "Chili-wack", as I was told), but she got lucky.
In Chilwack, which is two and a half hours outside of Vancouver, we had a twenty minute break, which managed to become 50, because some people (I don't know who, seriously) simply can't manage to be on time, and then we had another 3 hours till we were in Kelowna again.
And I'm still tired. I couldn't sleep on the bus and had trouble falling asleep yesterday; I went to bed at 8:30 p.m., but deep sleep only came by ... 10:30? and then I woke for the first time at 5 a.m. and then 7 and finally gave up on sleep at 8, but I didn't actually leave bed until... something closer to 9?
Well, I actually had planned on doing my Christmas presents today, but between writing this and catching up with everything, I simply couldn't find the time!
And since people are always asking: The best thing about this trip? The total absence of homesickness. Like, literally, there was no homesickness at all. It was really nice!
Well, have a good rest weekend, guys, I'm leaving with the girls now!