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Our host had a special treat in store -- one that's not even in the tourist handbook -- the Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C. (this is where monks go to get schooled.)

Our host had a special treat in store — one that’s not even in the tourist handbook — the Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C. (this is where monks get schooled.)

Dazzling colors fill the huge prayer hall -- each minute provides a new light combination.

Dazzling colors fill the huge prayer hall — each minute provides a new light combination.

Outside the hall the grounds are filled with flowers and pathways -- this one leads to an overlook with a 'view to die for.' (That's Mariko and my host Leslie.)

Outside the hall, the grounds are filled with flowers and pathways — this one leads to an overlook with a view of the valley ‘to die for.’ (That’s Mariko and my host Leslie.)

We were so happy to get this 'killer view' at a table inside the Nordstrom restaurant (downtown Vancouver).

We were so happy to get this ‘killer view’ at a table inside the Nordstrom restaurant (downtown Vancouver).

Mariko's kale and apple salad was just beautiful -- and she said it tasted yummy. (Nordstrom restaurant.)

Mariko’s kale and apple salad was just beautiful — and she said it tasted yummy. (Nordstrom’s Bistro Verde restaurant.)

This is Vancouver's public library. Killer architecture, eh??

This is Vancouver’s public library. Killer architecture, eh??

This is on the walk from the public library to China Town.

This is on the walk from the public library to China Town.

Cool old building in China Town.

Cool old building in China Town.