Sunday, July 28, 2013

vancouver part 2: gardens botanical, bridges suspended.

on thursday sweet benjamin & i hit up the university of british columbia's botanical garden & suspension bridges. all beautiful & fascinating things. we just cannot get over how lush & green & gorgeous vancouver is. i just want to soak up all this breezy summer weather as long as i can in a place where heat does not make one want to kill oneself (i'm looking at you, so-humid-i-could-drown nyc [& much of the east coast in general, just kidding i love you, but seriously]). in related news, staying right near salty ocean also does wonders for one's skin & hair, which is nice. 

anyway, at the botanical garden - stay with me here - this whole time we've been in beautiful b.c. we've had a fun time envisioning what it all must have looked like hundreds of years ago, the land all raw & untouched & stuffs...& let's just say this botanical garden helps us envision all that a little easier. minus the suspension bridges, of course, although it would be pretty cool if they DID have suspension bridges in the way olden days. my thinking is, if the ewoks could build that sort of thing & they're only, what, two feet tall or so, anyone could do it...? 

but i digress. botany!:

this weepy guy greeted us first thing:

benny boy loves his maps :)

funny sign #1: any guesses as to why a trail would be called this? (if so, let us know, because we still have no idea).

funny sign #2: asian wayyyyyy!

greenery & other plant-y stuffs at eye level or below:

& majestic, towering trees above our heads (more on trees in a second):

i mean, it's like, this picture, i can hardly even look at it, it just squeezes my heart too tight (very similar to, if not exactly the same as, THIS):

after wandering & browsing for a while we stepped up our game (literally?) by climbing into the treetops. the park has a winding system of suspension bridges & offers pretty great guided tours, mostly full of the park staff helping us tour-ees identify the different kinds of trees by bark color & texture, leaf & needle color, etc. (the tour guide started out by asking us, "how much do you know about trees?" which is a really funny question to me, for some reason. things ventured into weird territory when a guy  on our tour (with a large hoop in one ear, i feel i should say) kept quizzing our guide on the latin names of the trees. he'd innocently be all, "so do you know the latin name of the douglas fir...?" & we thought he was asking because he was genuinely curious & also because he himself did NOT know, & she'd reply, "i don't know, actually!" & we thought that was that, but then the guy would be like, "it's expecto patronum." (or whatever the latin name is), all weirdly triumphant, & there would be some awkwardness because he had been, you know, testing her the whole time. this happened at least four times on the tour. be-earring'd homeboy was from baltimore, which is another bit i feel i should add, although i don't know why. i should have stepped in & PULLED A TOM HAVERFORD, is what i should have done). 

our view from the ground, before climbing up to the bridges (although it doesn't quite look as high as it was...ah well. details!):

when we able to look the trees in the eyes:

the bridges were very wobbly already, when just one person walksed across; get four or five people in a row walking across at once & those bridges were a-bopping & a-dancing & a-shimmying all over the place, which sometimes felt kinda scary. but it was awesome to just be enveloped on all sides by the surroundings; in the picture below you'll notice leaves just reaching their long branches out, practically touching our cheeks as we walked by (or wobbled by, as the case may be).

an intricate system of pulleys & knots kept the bridges up, it was this whole bit the tour guide explained to us (& then one-earring'd guy was all, "but do you know the LATIN NAME for the word 'pulley????'" i kid.):

resting at one of the platforms in between bridges:

coming down the final stretch! (be-earring'd baltimorean behind me in the brown, i repeat, BE-EARRING'D BALTIMOREAN BEHIND ME IN THE BROWN):

see our shadows there? ben is on the right & me on la left:

ah, nature! you have yet to disappoint us.

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