Vancouver: Vancouver, marks the first time in my memory that I left the country. Looking back, I think my mom wanted to go there just to say she went to Canada...go figure. I remember her getting a small condo there so we could make our own food and do groceries. This is just my mom's style of traveling cheaply - something that I alternately do and don't do. I was 9 years old when we went on this trip so being that that is now 16 years ago my memories aren't perfect about the trip. In addition, this right before my little brother Samuel comes into play so it would be our last trio trip for awhile. However, there would be many more times when the three of us would travel alone as he hates travel. I have theories on why he hates it but that's a theory for another post.
I would say one of the highlights of our time in Vancouver was riding the rail. Mind you, being a San Diegan, public transportation isn't a huge thing, so seeing the elevated rail and the seabus were amusing. The amount of Native American influence was also strong in the city in the totem poles, music - my Dad still plays that blasted flute CD consistently - the Native American museum that I can highly recommend as being spectacular, and even the Aquarium, which does have killer whales; a high source of debate right now thanks to Blackfish.
Some other highlights included our bus tour to Victoria Island, which had great gardens and a miniature world - with things like Custer's Last Stand in minis; serves that fool right. There was also a children's museum with an amazing kinetic works tower in the front, a fun water playground, and a public library known for its unique design.
During this time, I had not fully responded or reflected on the people and culture of other countries so unfortunately I cannot speak on that. Overall, Vancouver is a nice city - fairly American, but an easy city for West Coast people to say they actually left the country for.