Stanley Park
Vancouver, Canada: July 12, 2003

When we had finished seeing the aquarium, we decided to walk through Stanley Park. First, a brief history: From the Vancouver Parks web site:

In 1886 Vancouver's first City Council made a momentous decision by petitioning the Federal Government to lease 1,000 acres of a largely logged peninsula for park and recreation purposes. Following the establishment of the fledgling city's first official "greenspace", Council decided to set-up an autonomous and separately elected committee to govern all park and recreation matters in Vancouver. And so the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation was born, the only elected body of its kind in Canada. The system now includes over 192 parks (1278.41 hectares) but its heart remains in the cool, lush, evergreen oasis of Stanley Park named for Lord Stanley, Governor General of Canada in 1888 when the park was officially opened.
Here's another description from Moon Handbooks: British Columbia by Andrew Hempstead, page 60.
"Beautiful Stanley Park, a lush 405-hectare tree- and garden-carpeted peninsula jutting out into Burrand Inlet, is a sight for sore eyes in any weather - an enormous peaceful oasis sandwiched between the city center's skyscrapers and the North Shore at the other end of Lions Gate bridge. Unlike other famous parks, such as New York's Central Park and London's Royal Park, Stanley Park is a permanent preserve of wilderness in the heart of the city, complete with dense coastal forests and abundant wildlife. It was Alexander Hamilton, land commissioner for the Canadian Pacific Railway, whose proposal to preserve the end of Burrand Peninsula led to the creation of the park, which was later named for Lord Stanley, Canada's governor-general from 1888 to 1893. It is dedicated for "the use and enjoyment of all peoples of all colors, creeds, and customs for all time"."
We did take a short walk, but the rain was finally on its way. As we took a few pictures of the gardens and local wildlife, a light sprinkle of rain turned into a steady downpour.

These ducks were swimming in the pond closest to the Aquarium exit.
Ducks in Stanley Park

Here's another pond we found, further along our walk.
Watefall in Stanley Park

Across the path from that one, we found a family of raccoons emerging from the underbrush.
Racoons in Stanley Park
... until they saw us, and then they darted back to safety.
Racoons in Stanley Park

So, we wandered looking for where we could catch a taxi back to the hotel. Luckily, a nice elderly taxi driver saw us walking along the side of the road the loops around the park. So, he pulled over and waited for us to cross the street. We laughed as he made mention of us enjoying Vancouver's "liquid sunshine".