Vancouver, Inside and Out

Body: 
A recent trip to Vancouver, B.C. was different and refreshing.  Sponsored by Air Canada, Fairmont Vancouver Airport and Vancouver Airport, this was a different kind of adventure.  We would walk over 9 miles in the Vancouver Airport one day and never fly on a plane.  
 
Our adventure started at LAX Terminal 2 early in the morning with check-in and a visit to the recently expanded Maple Leaf Premium Lounge.   It was very comfortable and we were well attended until our Airbus aircraft left for the approximately 3 hour flight to Vancouver, B.C.
 
Our home for the next two nights was the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel, voted the best airport hotel by several organizations.  It is attached to the main Vancouver Airport Terminal and in every respect is a very high quality hotel offering. It is just a part of Vancouver International Airport.
 
The next day was the heavy lifting, where we were granted a behind-the-scenes tour and special access to the airport and to some of the planes. Eye retina scanning, special badges and miles of restricted hallways and tunnels were amazing to see. It's not what the traveler normally encounters.  Travelers take for granted that airports will work as advertised.  There is a lot of effort to keep that happening and we saw it.
 
A special treat was a late afternoon visit to a massive Air Canada hanger and a B777-300ER which was undergoing maintenance.  We had unlimited access. We crawled over the aircraft from the cockpit all the way back to the usually hidden 8-person crew rest bunk beds.  We walked under the plane and stood next to the huge engines and tires.  The wings were a beauty in metal sculpture.  
 
In the evenings of free time, we took the light rail into Downtown Vancouver for dinner and a few drinks at some local hangouts. We also made time to see Canada 360 at Canada Place. it was a 7-minute aerial adventure in IMAX and 3D of a spectacular country we barely touched.
 
We flew back to LAX with a much better understanding of how much work goes on at our airports to get us on our way smoothly and with as much comfort as possible.