In 2003, my brother Andrew and I accompanied my mom to the yearly General Assembly of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in Vancouver. Vancouver was amazing! I had never seen trees or flowers so big, or relatively ‘young’ mountains, and the Grouse Grind was a lot of fun! We took a tour of the liquid mirror telescope too, which was really interesting.
In 2005, I found myself again in Vancouver, this time on my way to Victoria with two other undergrads for a week at the NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA). At the HIA, I interviewed the engineers and programmers working on the Canadian contributions to the Thirty Metre Telescope for a website. I enjoyed all the tours and meeting the scientists and engineers. After I explained to them about my connection to the David Dunlap Observatory (where I would work as a summer research student the following year), they even let me sit in on a night of observing, and drive the ‘scope!