Vancouver, British Columbia holds pivotal moments for me. Threads in my life today spin back to two trips I took in the 80s. I was young and impressionable and through those visits found that I love international travel (well any travel really), cosmopolitan cities, people, photography, and yes… decadent hotels.
The trips were so different, but together they left an indelible impression on me – one was a week-long international exchange and the other a weekend at the Four Seasons with my aunt. Both were heady experiences. I had just started experimenting with photography on a simple point and shoot. A few of those trips’ sights and sounds are captured on film, but most are just memories – sensory experiences whose images have never faded. The strongest impressions remain…
- Walking into a warm and comforting pool solarium at the Four Seasons Hotel that was surrounded by floor to ceiling windows with views of the city’s twinkling skyline. Swimming in that pool at night was like a dream.
- Discovering a seemingly similar culture that was much more unique than I imagined and whose depth could only be discovered by being there. An experience I’ve since repeated in Japan and Italy.
- The smell of sugar. We visited a raw sugar warehouse where sugar crystals attached to the air’s humidity and swirled around all of us like ethereal cotton candy. We all breathed it in and never wanted to stop.
- The constant buzz of the city – its energy and sophistication created a place on par with a shiny new toy, but with a buzz of activity that was palpable and addictive.
Queen Elizabeth Park – Bloedel Conservatory (love the mid-century modern style of architectural features in this photo)
Queen Elizabeth Park
American and Canadian Exchange Students (including me) playing around on the bus to the aquarium
Aunt Janice and I (at Halloween) – Unfortunately I don’t have any photographs of our trip (check out the old school Nikes I have on my feet)
Like Portland, Vancouver has changed a lot since that decade. I’m just a hop, skip and a jump from getting the chance to discover it all over again. And this time the city’s energy will be through the roof – multiplied by athletes and enthusiasts and journalists from around the world. My heart skips a beat just thinking about being a part of that experience.