Saturday, December 19, 2009

VanDusen Gardens

Growing up as an only child means that everybody wants to take you for the Christmas light tour each year! We used to load into the car and do the usual drive to VanDusen, Stanley Park, through the Crescent and then a general jaunt around the neighbourhood.

In the past few years, the full size gingerbread house (somebody decorated their entire house) on West 4th disappeared as well as most of the holiday scenes on the Crescent. Nevertheless, VanDusen is still a must stop. Vancouver had its first snowfall last week and we thought it would be the perfect time to take a stroll through the park. Of course, by the time we got there, the snow had turned into a wet rain / snow mix.

I love roasted chestnuts and often make them at home myself. I was excited to head out to the park and pick up a bag, but they were nowhere to be seen! Is this a thing of the past? Roasting chestnuts over an open fire? They were selling baked potatoes and wiener waffles, because that is what I always think about during the holidays * note sarcasm *.

VanDusen was also always a must stop as I grew up right behind it. When I say right behind, I mean we lived in the townhouses that shared a fence with the gardens (red dot). When I went to bed at night, I could sometimes hear coyotes from the park or teenagers that trespassed into the park. No, we never jumped over the fence and explored the gardens free of charge. As close as it looks on the image above, the gardens are huge and there is a lot of empty space between the houses and the gardens where VanDusen kept their supplies and garden machinery.

The Festival of Lights is on until January 3, 2010 except for Christmas Day from 4:30pm to 9:00pm. For more information and a listing of highlights, please visit their website and remember to bundle up! (I seriously wore 3 shirts, heavy winter jacket, gloves, scarf, knee socks, boots and two pairs of pants.)

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