Hana and Helen, Aurora and Qila

It was Super Saturday today, and as members of the Vancouver Aquarium we made sure to be there very early. Believe it or not, we were indeed the very first ones to enter the building at 8:30 am. Luckily for us, the Aquarium stayed open an hour longer than usual during winter hours so that we could spend a whole nine and a half hours at this fascinating place.

As we were among the first visitors to have a look at Hana and Helen, they were curious and looked up to us.

An even more amazing experience awaited us while watching Aurora and Qila in their habitat. After a while Qila started blowing some bubbles and then swam right through them! How stunning is that!

(to be continued…)

Waiting for the sun to set

After having said goodbye to my in-laws, Marcus and I headed towards Stanley Park’s seawall to take some pictures of Lions Gate Bridge in the setting sun.

While waiting for that to happen, we observed several seagulls and a even duck. A bit later a blue heron came by, too, sat on the seawall, and kept us company.

As is became colder and colder, we just kept walking along the seawall, and took some pictures of the girl in a wetsuit statue – with and without the additional seagull on top of it -, and the empress of japan figurehead while watching the sun set. The houses in North Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge had some stunning reflections of the setting sun.

We even waited until it became a bit darker to have an early night picture of Lions Gate Bridge.
I love the bridge day and night, and I try to drive across it whenever possible. It looks especially lovely with its LED lights on.

Anyway, after having spent quite a while at Stanley Park’s seawall, we headed home – via Lions Gate Bridge! – to have a nice hot cup of tea.

Jack, Daisy and Elfin

Having explored Stanley Park for a while, all four of us went to the Vancouver Aquarium to check on some of their animals – and you probably would have guessed correctly: Jack and Daisy were the first ones we went to see.

Jack was busy exploring the hydrophone in his habitat, but after a while he came to the underwater viewing windows and even brought a leaf with him which he proudly presented to us. Such a cutie!

Even Daisy left her favourite corner and swam by to check out our cameras. She is such a pretty porpoise – and always so curious.

Time always flies by much too quickly when spending it with Jack and Daisy, but we will be back very soon!

On our way out, we stopped at Elfin’s habitat to say bye to him, too.

(to be continued…)

Lost Lagoon and Stanley Park

Today, together with Marcus’s parents we had a nice walk along Lost Lagoon – still one of my most favourite places – where we saw lots of wildlife, including some raccoon and squirrels (much to my mother-in-law’s delight).

The weather was really lovely, and so we also went to the probably most famous landmark in Stanley Park – its totem poles. Compared to summer times, the place was exceptionally empty so that we could really enjoy their beauty without having to face the usual crowd there.

And as the Vancouver Aquarium was close by, we simply had to pop in there as well…

(to be continued…)

Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales and harbour porpoises

Together with my in-laws, Marcus and I arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium in time to watch the last dolphin show of the day – and the show was great! Helen and Hana seemed to be in a good mood and performed a lot of jumps.
After the show we stayed a little bit longer at the dolphin habitat to observe both Hana and Helen swimming leisurely in the smaller pool, having a good time.

After that we just made it to the beluga show to see the mother-daughter pair Aurora and Qila who also seemed to have fun interacting with their trainers.

Finally, we made our way to Jack and Daisy, our favourite harbour porpoises – and we were lucky as not only Jack came to the underwater viewing area to say hi but Daisy frequently came down, too! So we spend the remaining minutes with them and had lots of fun!

Fully energized, Marcus and I then attended our second special volunteer training which was really good and inspiring indeed!

Amphibians and harbour porpoises

As we were scheduled to have volunteer training at the Vancouver Aquarium today, we definitely had to have a look at some of their animals before training to get into the right spirit for it…

So we went down some stairs to see and read more about the amphibians, among them tiger salamanders, Amazonian horned frogs and big-eyed treefrogs. We also saw my favourite amphibians, the axolotls, but they were quite hidden and a bit camera-shy.

Although we did not have a lot of time, we had to check on Jack and Daisy. Fortunately for us, both harbour porpoises were actively coming to the underwater viewing area so that we did indeed have much fun with them.

Tomorrow there will be our second special volunteer training session – and this can only mean one thing — we have to come a bit earlier to sneak a peek at our favourite harbour porpoises…

African penguins and harbour porpoises

As this was only a short visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, we were happy to have arrived just in time to watch the last penguin walk of the day. This time it was Lilloeet and Nelson’s turn to waddle along the beluga habitat — and look, it seems as if they were walking hand in hand, erm flipper in flipper…

Then we went to see the harbour porpoises. Jack was busy biting into the hydrophone, and Daisy was in her favourite corner doing what she is usually doing: floating up to get some air and then down again. But after a while both came to the underwater viewing windows, checking out the visitors and their cameras (Daisy).

Once again, we had a great time at the Aquarium, and we will be back for a very short visit before our first gallery educator training session in two days – just to get into the mood…

Off-time at the Vancouver Aquarium

Marcus and I took some time off to show my in-laws the place we love to go to and they have heard a lot about – the Vancouver Aquarium.

As there is so much to see, we had a look at the sea otters (my mother-in-law favourites) first. Elfin seemed to be happily snoozing with one of his toys on his belly, whereas the ladies were busy playing in the water.

We then went to Penguin Point to observe all seven African penguins who were standing on their rocks and preening themselves. Just a few minutes later we had the chance to watch one of the penguin walks near the beluga habitat in which only Lillooet came out of her penguin carrier whereas Nelson preferred to stay inside hers. On her walk, Lillooet seemed to be very curious, both looking into the beluga habitat and towards her audience.

Having found a great spot, we stayed on to watch a beluga show in which Qila and Aurora showed a lot of their behaviours.

Finally, we went to the underwater viewing gallery to spend some time with our favourite harbour porpoises – and both Jack and Daisy came by to say hi. Especially Jack seemed to be happy to see us.

Sadly, our time at the Aquarium was over much too quickly, and after a quick bye to Elfin who was having dinner we went back home to continue working…

A fleeting visit with Jack and Daisy

Before meeting Marcus’s parents at the airport, we went to the Vancouver Aquarium to pick up our new volunteer shirts (yay!) – and to say a quick hi to our favourite harbour porpoises.

Jack and Daisy were in the middle of playing and interacting with their trainers; so we just stood there watching them. After a while, Jack spotted us and brought one of the balls towards the underwater viewing window – to show us?

Anyway, after their training session Jack came down to say hi, but unfortunately, we had to leave shortly afterwards…

We saw Bon Jovi live!

This was my second rock concert, and I could hardly wait for it to begin, especially as we had won tickets for it. Rogers Arena was packed; there was not a single empty seat in the building.

As soon as Bon Jovi went on stage, and Jon Bon Jovi started singing, everyone was on their feet, singing along and enjoying every moment of it! We really did not need our seats at all!
Everybody could see that Jon Bon Jovi had fun on stage, and that he loved interacting with its audience.

The evening just flew by, and before you knew it, this totally amazing concert was over!

Whenever Bon Jovi comes back to Vancouver, I absolutely have to see him play again. And VIP tickets for the special pre-show experience would be perfect. Well, a girl can dream…