We had an appointment in Richmond, British Columbia last Monday (not health related, a good appointment) and, since Monday was also our 41st wedding anniversary, we decided to spend a few nights there.
I grew up in Richmond and hubby also lived there as a child so our original intention was to take our bikes and ride around our old neighbourhood’s, but the weather put an end to that 😦
Richmond, BC is on Lulu Island, which means either crossing a bridge or using the George Massey tunnel. I still refer to the tunnel as the Deas Island Tunnel, which was it’s name from it’s opening in 1959 to 1967 when it was renamed after George Massey, a former MLA who had passed away.
When we were little my sister and I would hold our breath when we were driving through the tunnel, I don’t even attempt it anymore!
When we first started dating hubby took me to see what the tunnel looked like from above, and it kinda freaked me out! In my mind the top of the tunnel was at water level so if anything happened we could get to the top and be out of the water. Nope that wasn’t the case, the tunnel is deep … deep enough that large freighters can go over it.
Located at the mouth of the Fraser River, Richmond is a suburb of Vancouver and encompasses Sea Island, which is home to Vancouver International Airport. Around the time hubby and I moved to Kelowna, 42 years ago, Richmond became a popular home for immigrants and with a population of almost 200,000 60% are immigrants, the highest proportion of immigrants in Canada. While that does make for interesting cultural experiences it sure does change the Richmond I once lived in.
Once we had settled into our Airbnb Sunday afternoon we headed out for dinner and a visit to the Richmond Night Market. The market opened at 7:00 p.m. and we arrived just a few minutes before to find an extremely long line to get in. We got in line and waited about fifteen minutes without really moving much, I’m guessing it would take at least an hour to get through the gate. As we were discussing whether or not we wanted to stay a fellow offered us his Zoom Pass, which had four stamps left on it and would get us in immediately and without paying the $4.75 admission … sounded good to us! Two young women behind us asked if they could join us so off the four of us went, I felt bad for all those we left waiting in line 😳
Honestly we were glad we didn’t wait in line because it would not have been worth it. Many of the booths were closed and those that were open were selling cheap tourist stuff, which didn’t interest us. There was a small amusement area, again of no interest to us, and then a lot of food booths, none of which appealed to us.
We came, we saw, we quickly left!
After our appointment Monday morning we headed to Steveston, a fishing village in Richmond along the Fraser River.
When we were kids my sister, my cousin, and I use to ride our bikes along the dyke to Steveston to buy penny candy from the drugstore. Oops I’m really aging myself, when was candy last sold for a penny!
Steveston remains an active fishing port but has developed a heritage character and it’s waterfront attracts tourists from all over the world. It is often used for filming movies and TV shows.
I remember my dad taking us to Steveston on Sunday’s to buy lawnmower gas from the marine pumps. We would drive right down onto the piers … you can’t do that anymore.
We enjoyed a nice lunch of fish and chips, I had cod and hubby had halibut so that we could do a taste comparison and as we suspected the halibut was much better!
We ate inside the restaurant on the right, it was to damp to sit outside.
After lunch we wandered around the area reliving childhood memories 🙂
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery was a big employer back in the day.
There is lots of new growth in Steveston but it is nice to see they are making it fit into the existing area.
We also made a stop at the Steveston Hotel where my parents would often go for a date night. The hotel was built in the late 1800’s and I’m sure it has a lot of salty stories to tell 😯 Up until I was in my late teens the hotel still had two separate doors, one for men and one for ladies and escorts. I always thought that was strange until my parents explained to me that women were not allowed in the bar until the 1960’s when they could then go in if a man escorted them and they had to use the Ladies & Escort door. Today there are still two entrance doors to the bar area but the signs are no longer there.
After our time in Steveston we drove and walked around my old neighbourhood. The house we lived in when I was born in is no longer there but the house we moved to when I was six is still there. It had just been built when we moved in but it is now an old house surrounded by many new, modern, and much larger homes … I’m sure it is not long for this world 😦
My dad put this light post in shortly after they bought the house and he would paint it twice a year to keep it looking nice, it doesn’t look so good now 🙂 Back when we lived here the address was 844, when I was in my late teens they added a zero to house numbers in Richmond.
We drove by my house first and then parked at the end of Blundell Road and walked along the path between my Aunt and Uncle’s house and the Quilchena Golf and Country Club. My cousin, my sister and I were very close and always played and went to school together (I was the oldest, my cousin was a year younger, and my sister a year younger than her), so as kids we spent a lot of time at their house. Our family moved to Lac La Hache, BC the summer before I entered grade nine but when I graduated high school I moved back to Richmond and lived with my Aunt and Uncle (who lived around the corner from my childhood home) for a few years.
When we were growing up this path had ditches with steep banks on either side and all three of us fell in more than once while crossing a plank to get over to the path.
At the end of the path sits the Blundell pump house but it is much fancier now.
Our house was separated from the dyke by a wide ditch as well and we used to spend our summers floating down the ditch on a raft that dad had built us. Now the ditch is all but gone and what’s left is mostly overgrown, and the dyke itself is now a nice wide walking and biking path.
This use to be a much narrower path.
We had a great view of the Pacific Ocean from our back deck and would often see freighters and large ships heading toward the port in Vancouver.
Looking south toward Steveston
Looking north toward Vancouver
Looking west towards Vancouver Island. In the fall the tide would bring the water up to the dyke and my sister and I would go out, fully clothed, and float on driftwood logs for hours. We would come back cold, but so very happy 🙂
Well after all that walking and our trip down memory lane we decided it was time for dinner. I had heard about a pub on the Fraser River where float planes land so we headed there. We had a nice table by the window with great views of the goings on along the river.
Just as we finished dinner the float plane that landed in the above picture moved over to the edge of the river in preparation for a move across the road into it’s hanger for the night … that was an interesting thing to watch!
Up on the shore of the river.
The funny truck coming across the road to pull the plane out.
All hooked up
There is a stop light and barricade arms that come down and close off the road for this process
And with that, and a wave to the sunset, we headed back to our Airbnb for a good nights sleep.
Definitely not the best sunset we have ever seen.
Thanks for joining me during my trip down memory lane 😀
Until next time …