Week 7 – Turning Over A [Maple] Leaf

It is hard to believe that half of my internship has flown by! During week 7, I scheduled a “midpoint” meeting with my recruiter to discuss my progress and thoughts throughout the internship. So far, everything seems to be on point! I have completed two of my assigned projects weeks ahead of schedule, and I couldn’t be any happier with my accomplishments! People are already counting down the days until school resumes, while I’m trying to hold on to something to slow down time. Since I flew out to Seattle immediately after final exams, there have been times that I wish I could visit Indianapolis and relax with family and hometown friends. At the same time, I’ve found my coterie here in Seattle, and I wouldn’t know what to do without them.

On the first day of my internship, many of the people I met were from Canada. The last time I visited Canada was a family vacation to Toronto, Ontario, when I was around five years old. While I don’t remember much of that trip, I was always curious about the differences between the US and Canada. A group of eight of us took a spontaneous trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, to explore what Canada had to offer.

Contrary to the popular belief that Canadians are always polite, this idea may not always apply to border protection officers.

Home Sweet Hostel

In order to save money for our large group, we booked a hostel for lodging. All of my previous travels involved staying overnight at a hotel, so a hostel was a new concept for me. Turns out that there are plenty of them in Canada, and quite a few in the US (only in larger cities). Each room can fit four people, and if there aren’t enough people to occupy a full room, hostels book solo travelers to fill in empty spaces. Because our group was even, we didn’t have to worry about that luckily. For just $30 per person, we were able to spend the night. The room was about small – about the size of a small double in Cary Quad. We all felt that we were living the “dorm life” for a night!

Poutine On The Ritz

Every Canadian that I have talked to during my internship has suggested for me to try “poutine”, a popular dish up north. It’s french fries dunked in fried cheese curds and gravy. For lunch, I was able to try it for the first time. They weren’t kidding… it was probably the best side dish I’ve ever had (comparing poutine to regular french fries or tater-tots). If only they were part of common American dishes.

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The Suspense Is Killing Me

After checking in, we headed out to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. You can probably guess that the main attraction is a suspension bridge that crosses the Capilano River. The bridge swayed with the wind or with bodily force, which can easily trigger fear in those who are acrophobic. I guess I should also mention that people have to cross 460 feet on a moving bridge that is 230 feet above the river.

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Shrek / Dreamworks Pictures

This park had more than just that; it was an outdoor museum as well. There were exhibits describing pioneer life, and Native American tribes that were settling in the Vancouver area. In addition to the suspension bridge and historical displays, there was a “cliff walk”, and an exhibit called “The Treetop Adventure”. This was a network of mini-suspension bridges that connect people from tree to tree. It gave people a chance to be squirrels and move around off of the ground.

 

Someone Walks Into A Bar

As one of the last people in my class to turn 21, I have no idea what to expect at a bar or tavern. All of my friends back home have been celebrating their 21st birthdays or other events while I’ve made efficient use of my time canning for Riley Hospital outside of bars as a nightlife activity. This was my chance to [legally] experience nightlife. The legal age in Canada was 19, so for once I felt accepted by society. We headed to Blarney Stone in downtown once the sun had gone down. It was probably one of the better, louder “atmospheres” I’ve been around; in college, I feel too old to go to fraternity parties functions, and I’m too young for the bars, so I’m at that awkward age of searching for nightlife activities. However, at the club, I felt that people around me were just my age (and it makes sense since I’m only a year above the legal age in Canada). My evening was spent entirely on the dance floor preparing for my 18-hour dance marathon in November. By preparing, I probably mean something along the lines of moving my feet pretending to play Dance Dance Revolution. After several hours of dancing and socializing, we all headed home for well-needed rest, and prepared to pack for our trip back to the States.

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