My reason for having to pay $5 per year is that I've finally got round to uploading my photos from Vancouver and I needed the extra space. My trip to Vancouver was in October last year! I'm not too quick.
At the time I didn't write up anything about the trip other than mentioning I was going, so I'll write a brief (excessively late) report now. The trip was just after my time SciMon-ing at the LIGO Hanford site in Washington state. As I was up in the Pacific North West, and had never been to Canada before, I thought I do a quick weekend road trip across the border before driving back down to Seattle for my flight home. On finishing my final SciMon shift at 4pm on Saturday 24th October I drove to Pasco Airport to exchange one hire car (paid for by work) with another (paid for by me) for the drive. Then followed an uneventful 6 hour drive up to Vancouver, which surprised me only for the fact that I actually didn't feel too tired during it.
I only had two whole days there, so on the first I decided to just explore the city via a standard bus tour and get my bearings. Unfortunately it pissed down the whole day and I had a stinking cold, but I forced myself to stay out wandering the city and not just retreat back into bed at the hostel I was staying (I'd booked a private room, so that I wouldn't have to share with the more scummy backpackers). Despite the rain the city did seem to have a lot to offer and I tried to walk round as much of the centre as I could. It was a real shame that I was feeling so shit as I think I could have seen and done a lot more.
The next day I decided to head out to Vancouver Island. I was feeling marginally better and the weather had improved a lot. I managed to miss the ferry I was originally intending to get and had to hang around at the ferry port for an extra 2 hours before the next sail. This left me with very little time to see anything. On arriving on the island I got a bus straight to the state capitol Victoria. In the approximately 2 hours I had there I was able to walk round the state government building and see a small bit of the city - many totem poles and Orcas. I also went in a Scottish pub for a drink. I also got to bask in the sun a bit, which was a great treat following the previous days weather.
That was about it for my trip (there was a bit more to the trip, but seeing as this account is so late it's probably not worth recounting in detail). I wish I'd been able to see more of the area and Vancouver's nightlife, especially if I'd had some company there and wasn't ill.