Chat with Deb—The Not-Rain, the Park, and Other Things

Flexibility is the key to a successful vacation

Previously, on Deb and Jack’s Alaska vacation:

Deb and a cruise ship (still not ours, but the correct line, Holland America) with a sentiment we would echo in a few days (all photos by author unless otherwise noted)

DEB: (sitting at breakfast, watching another cruise ship that has appeared on our doorstep since last night) So there are museums in Vancouver, but now the forecast says that there is a reduced chance of rain for today. Maybe we could walk down to Stanley Park?

ME: For a climate where it’s supposed to rain all the time, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job. (Deb gives me a look) Not complaining! Just commenting!

We check out the new cruise ship, the Holland America Line Koningsdam. It’s big.

DEB: What are those things on the big ropes? Sorry, lines, ship ropes are lines.

ME: Those are… oh, wow, I bet those are rat guards! That is so cool!

Rat guards. To discourage vermin from boarding without going through the proper paperwork. First photo has the new style, second photo shows old rat guard being installed by US Navy sailors. (1st photo by author, 2nd public domain)

DEB: Rat guards are cool?

ME: Okay, that sounds odd, but the old rat guards like we used while I was in the Navy were a pain to install and took a long time. These things just drop on the line, take a few minutes to deploy and even less time to remove. Good naval engineering!¹ And they keep the vermin off, which works out well for us, considering.

By the time we’ve walked down to Stanley Park, the sky has gone from mostly cloudy to happy and blue. There are horse-drawn carriages doing park tours.

ME: Care for a ride?

One of the horse-drawn carriages at Stanley Park.
View from the coach. Our driver/guide was new, but she was chipper, enthusiastic, and fun to listen to. And it was a beautiful park on a gorgeous day!

The park is beautiful, as is the day.

View of Vancouver from Stanley Park across the harbour. Note the couple dressed in white on the left side of the photo; turns out there was a wedding later on in the park.
Totem poles in Stanley Park.

DEB: I love all the flowers!

ME: Well, it’s the middle of May, right?

DEB: But I look across the harbour and the mountains have snow on them. It just feels… odd, I guess. But wonderful! Magical, almost.

[1st photo] Mountains just north of the park. Note the snow. [2nd photo] Flowers actually *IN* Stanley Park. Lots more where those came from!

We wandered around the park a bit after the horse-drawn tour. Flowers were everywhere, in full bloom, looking lovely.

I don’t normally shoot photos of restroom signs, but both the men's and women’s say (in small print, but legible) “Gender Diverse People Welcome” because… well, why the hell wouldn’t they?

We head back to our hotel in time to catch the Koningsdam just getting underway.

Pretty ship!

DEB: Ours is coming in tomorrow morning. Is it okay if we get up early to watch it dock?

ME: It’s your vacation, Debster! And what makes you think I would turn down the chance to watch our ship come in? So to speak.

¹Some of us like good naval engineering. What?! Dusty, back me up!



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Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.