Thursday, January 18, 2007

Vancouver - Seattle Tour: Days One & Two

Although my son and I had been planning this trip for a few months, we could scarcely believe it when the departure day arrived. I did a fair amount of research on the web and printed up some money saving coupons for attractions in both cities. Being the frugal traveller that I am, I plan to keep a running total of my discounts.
Tuesday, January 16 2007
I took the subway and airport express to Terminal 3 at Pearson and met my son there. Spending $2.10 on a subway token verses approximately $26 for a taxi saved me $24 off the bat. We met at the WestJet counter and checked in without any hassle. Our flight was delayed by a mere 10 minutes. We brought our own headsets for the in flight entertainment - a saving of $6. The discount airlines no longer provide meals during relatively short flights so we brought some snacks and enjoyed free coffee, juice and water. The time passed quickly between watching satellite TV and Jahrell giving me poker playing lessons.
Once we arrived in Vancouver, we opted to take public transit to our hotel. The airport express would have cost $13.50 each. The travel info clerk told us the bus fare would be $3.25 each and that we'd need exact change. We scrounged up $6.50 and waited for the bus. The driver said the the buss es only take coins and we were trying to pay with a five dollar bill so he said, "Just put in the change" . So we got to our hotel on $1.50 instead of $27 a savings of $25.50.
We checked in to the Quality Hotel on Howe Street and after a brief rest we went out for a walk around the neighbourhood. It reminded us of Queen Street West. We grabbed some pizza slices for dinner at Pizza Guys just down the street. Total savings : $55.50

Wednesday January 17, 2007 A quick breakfast at an A & W counter in a shopping mall food court and then to the #19 trolley bus for Stanley Park. We were amazed by how green everything was. Damage to trees done in recent storms was evident. To the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. (Alas no discount coupon for admission which was $18.50 each and well worth it) It's difficult to pick our favourite exhibits so here are a few highlights: seahorses with minuscule babies floating around the tank; life cycle of moon jelly fish tanks; sea otters, belugas and dolphins in outdoor exhibits; the arapaima - the world's largest fresh-water fish. Lunching on delicious freshly made panini, we watch the beluga whale show. I use a 10% discount coupon in the gift shop and save $0.50 on my purchase.
We take the bus to Granville Island and browse the public market & get a bite to eat. Wednesday is two-for-one day at
Vancouver Theatre Sports League- "So You Think You Can Improvise" show we save $17.50 on our tickets. The six competitors were far better than we had imagined. Even the audience members who joined in were great. It made us decide to go out to comedy clubs & events more often back home. Today's savings $18.00 = Total savings $73.50.

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