Canada Trip Report: Vancouver

A few weeks ago, my blog celebrated its 13th birthday on January 17th! Happy Birthday Blog!

So I’m finally getting around to finishing up this trip report from our time in Canada last year. Our final stop was Vancouver, which is my favorite travel destination. I just love this city!



We only had a couple of days in the city and luckily the weather was fantastic. I absolutely love this view of the harbour looking towards North Van.



It was a lovely morning to walk along the Coal Harbour Seawall.





We always enjoy watching the seaplanes land and take off in the harbour.

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The Last of 2013: Van City, NYC & Paris

I think this might finally be my last 2013 blog post. LOL. Thanks for bearing with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last year we took a couple of long weekend trips to Vancouver & NYC and also traveled to Paris for a half day at the tail end of our Disneyland Paris trip. I wanted to share a few fun photos before I officially bid adieu to 2013.



We took our annual trip to Vancouver back in May. Fourth year in a row!

One of our very favorite shows, Psych, filmed in Vancouver (*sniff*) so we decided to drive south to the city of White Rock BC, which the show used for many of its location shoots.



The Psych office!!! SQUEE. Ok ok, in real life it’s the White Rock Museum & Archives.



Rob doing a Shawn Spencer impression. LOL.

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last stop: vancouver

Rob & I are heading to Japan in about 3 weeks (OMGSOEXCITED) so I have to finish blogging about our Pacific Northwest trip! Our last stop was Vancouver, which is one of my absolute favorite cities to visit. I adore it.

From Victoria, we took a seaplane over to Vancouver.



It was AWESOME. Seriously one of the BEST experiences of our trip.



Only 12 passengers fit inside and it was a tight squeeze in there. This picture is as far as I could take it. LOL.



This was my view as we were about to take off…



And my GORGEOUS view looking towards the US during the half hour flight. SO AMAZING!



We quickly approached Vancouver…



And before we knew it, we were at the Harbour getting ready to land.



We made it!

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Trip Report: Vancouver Highlights

This past weekend was probably the most productive 3 days I’ve had at home in a long time. Ok, so technically the house isn’t technically clean yet. BUT! We got rid of A LOT of the mess that’s accumulated these past few months, purged the pantry, pulled out weeds in the yard, and did some re-decorating in the office (moved around furniture and started putting up shelves and artwork on the walls). Phew! I feel accomplished. Still so much more work to do, though.

I have a lot of TV to talk about but I’m going through vacation withdrawals so I thought I’d post some pics and write up some thoughts from our recent anniversary trip (click pics for bigger)…

Whistler, September 28 – 29



Driving on the Lion’s Gate Bridge through Vancouver heading towards Whistler. We had FABULOUS weather our entire stay (cool but with the sun shining). And to think I was worried it would rain!

After we reached the halfway point, we decided to stop at Tim Horton’s to pick up coffee and a snack. Weeelll, we decided to use a credit card for payment since we hadn’t picked up the local currency yet. Unfortunately, they only took Mastercard, which OF COURSE, is the only type of card we don’t have. EEEKKK. I think the employees felt sorry for us, though, since we had already ordered and were about to leave to find an ATM with our tails between our legs… and they proceeded to GIVE US our coffee and food FOR FREE. I have never felt so simultaneously embarrassed and grateful all at the same time. SONICEOMG.



Getting closer! You can see the mountains!



Arriving at Whistler Village and being welcomed by the Inukshuk.



Before it got too dark, we took a stroll around the Village and found the Olympics rings. I’m a HUGE Olympics junkie so this was so exciting for me. ๐Ÿ™‚



So I pride myself on doing thorough research when making vacation plans. But I totally messed up in Whistler. The entire reason we made the extra trip there was to take the Peak 2 Peak gondola up to see Whistler & Blackcomb Mountains. I somehow missed the fact that the gondola was closing for the end of the season a mere 3 days before we arrived. ARGH. So yeah. That’s why the above pic is completely empty. We were there and didn’t even get to go up on the mountains. EPIC FAIL. I was so pissed at myself. Oh well. Gives us another reason to go back? I guess?



Instead we did some more wandering around the Village. We went back to Olympic Plaza, tried the coffee at Blenz and admired the mountains from afar.



The views on the Sea to Sky Highway back to Vancouver were so beautiful.

Vancouver, September 29 – October 1



I love walking along Robson Street. It’s so vibrant and has such great energy. It has the feel of a big city without losing its intimacy.



We had such a fantastic time biking along the Seawall last year that we did it again. Sadly, Rob injured his foot while biking (he used the wrong part of his foot to pedal) so we had to take it easy the next few days. Regardless, biking the Seawall is probably my #1 favorite thing to do in Vancouver besides eat.



Speaking of eating, our beloved Japadog was closed! Waaahhhh.



But we more than made up for it with nommy meals at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar and Hapa Izakaya among others.



No Joshua Jackson sighting but we did see this notice for Fringe filming as we walked from Chinatown back towards Downtown. So cool!

All in all, we didn’t do much but still had a FANTASTIC trip. It reinforced my love of the city and I can’t wait to go back again. Next time I’d really like to explore the Kitsilano and Granville neighborhoods, possibly visit Victoria, and actually go to Whistler when the gondola is open (d’oh!).

Now I’m finalizing our plans for our next trip to Orlando & Miami, which is just over 6 weeks away. I’m totally counting down the days…

this year’s travel

My friend Sebastian linked to some awesome travel-themed videos on his blog. They’re so great I wanted to share them here too. But for some reason I can’t embed the videos. GRRR. So I’ll have to settle for the links.

My absolute favorite is MOVE. But EAT is a very close second. It also makes me supremely HUNGRY. They’re only a minute each so… no excuses. Watch them!

I LOVE to travel so these videos give me a serious case of wanderlust. Unfortunately, I don’t have the funds or the time to travel often. FAIL. My ultimate dream is to go on a Round the World trip. Someday…

For now, though, Rob and I have 2 trips planned before the end of the year. First off, we’re heading to Vancouver at the end of the month for a belated third year anniversary trip. We loved it so much last year (see my trip report here and here) that we really wanted to spend more time there. And this time we’re going to spend a day in Whistler! Then after Thanksgiving, we’re taking a longer trip to Florida where we’ll spend 10 days at Disney World (with a side trip to Universal Studios for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and 3 days in Miami.

So much to look forward to… CAN’T. WAIT.

Trip Report: Vancouver, Part 2

Saturday, April 24.

Woke up to rain. ๐Ÿ™ But we made the best of it!

After breakfast, we headed to North Vancouver to visit Grouse Mountain.



Crossing Lions Gate Bridge from downtown.



The Skyride that goes up the mountain to the Chalet. LOVED the ride. It’s exhilarating to see the world at your feet.



At the top (not to be confused with the peak – you have to take another chairlift up there, which we didn’t). Unfortunately the visibility was TERRIBLE so we decided just to take a short hike to see the 2 orphaned bears that live on the mountain.



We were walking and I didn’t realize how deep the snow was and I… TOTALLY FELL DOWN. How embarrassing.



After getting lost on the way, we found the bears!



Heading back down the mountain.



It was still raining but we decided to go to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge anyway. (There’s another suspension bridge in North Vancouver that’s supposed to be higher and longer — Capilano — but they charge admission there and we’re cheap!).



So exciting! The bridge is a little narrow but I actually liked being able to just glance to the side and see the creek down below.

We headed back downtown (where it wasn’t raining – go figure!) and set out to see more of the sights, like…



Gastown steam clock.



Love the street lamps here.



A closer view of Canada Place.



The Olympics cauldron! Too bad we had to see it in this state. They’re making it a permanent fixture in this plaza and it was still under construction.

After all that walking, we got settled back at the hotel, watched the Lakers lose to the Thunder (grrr!) and treated ourselves to yummy Indian food from Rangoli.

Sunday, April 25.

Our last day. ๐Ÿ™

Didn’t have anything planned except for brunch at Cafe Medina. We arrived just before opening so we were seated right away. Thank goodness because seats were filled quickly and a long line formed outside (in the rain!).



Blurry pic of the inside.



Brunch was AH-MAY-ZING. We ordered these mini waffles as appetizers and they were SO. GOOD. For entrees, we tried the fricassรฉ (fried eggs with short ribs, potatoes, arugula) and the cassoulet (fried eggs, baked beans, bacon, and andouille sausage).

Seriously, GO HERE. I swear it’s yummers.

And so ends a fantastic trip.

More pics on the Flickr here.

We don’t have any other trips planned this year except for a local trip down to San Diego in July for Comic-Con! Rob and I have passes for all 4 days and YES, I’ve already arranged for the time off. Can’t wait.

Trip Report: Vancouver, Part 1

It’s been over a week since we got back from Vancouver and I still have the vacation blues… so yes, to prolong the memories, here’s the start to yet another vacation trip report. (I’m also going to finish the Australia one if it kills me). ๐Ÿ˜€

Thursday, April 22.

It was an early morning. I think I woke up around 6 am. I DON’T WAKE UP THIS EARLY ON WEEKDAYS.

When we arrived at LAX, we found out our 9:30 am United flight was delayed. Typical, I thought. Our last 4 United flights were all delayed so what’s new. Luckily it was only delayed about 15 minutes. That’s nothing compared to our past delays! Maybe United likes me again.

After a quick 3 hour flight, we arrived in Vancouver! We picked up our rental car, got lost on the way to the freeway, but still managed to get to our hotel downtown within half an hour.



It was a gorgeous day so we decided to walk through Yaletown towards False Creek and take the Aquabus to…



Granville Island where we checked out the Public Market, indulged in a nutella crepe, did some window shopping and found these little guys…



The Vancouver Olympics mascots. I love them! My favorite is Mukmuk on the very left. Isn’t he cute?

We headed back across the creek for a walk along the seawall and I was so excited to see…



BC Place! Home of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.



The Olympic Village! Which housed the athletes. YAY. I’m such an Olympics junkie.

Aaaannnndddd… that’s pretty much it for our first day. LOL. Except for watching the Lakers lose to OKC in game 3 but let’s not think about that.

Friday, April 23.

We woke up to a dark, overcast day. But it wasn’t raining (yet)! So after picking up coffee and donut holes (breakfast of champions!) from the Tim Hortons next door, we drove to Stanley Park to…



… rent bikes and bike along the seawall (I think it’s around 5 miles?)!



The start of our bike ride.



I was treated to my first and only sight of blooming cherry blossoms while in Vancouver. LOVE.



There was some sort of filming going on at the Vancouver Rowing Club (couldn’t help but hear the director barking out “Action!”). But we didn’t stick around long enough to figure out what it was.



The view of downtown Vancouver across Coal Harbour.



Totem poles.



Canada Place! The main press/broadcast center for the Olympics.



Lions Gate Bridge — connecting downtown with North Vancouver across the Burrard Inlet.



A beautiful garden area.



And finally, Lost Lagoon marked the end of our bike ride. SO FUN!

We finished just in time for lunch (mmm, Japanese ramen) and after freshening up at our hotel, we decided to spend the rest of our afternoon walking around downtown along Georgia and Robson Streets. In the rain!

Just a few blocks away from our hotel was the Vancouver Art Gallery.



We didn’t go inside but instead admired the beautiful hand-painted mural by Michael Lin hanging on the exterior facade.

I was also excited to see that the…



Olympics Countdown Clock was still there!

We headed down Robson Street for shopping (Roots!) and also to find the Japadog stand. ๐Ÿ˜€ You see, when I was planning our trip, I happened to watch the episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain is in Vancouver and he has a Japadog. So I wanted one too. Of course.



The menu. It’s basically different types of hot dogs (beef, bratwurst, etc) that are topped with various Japanese toppings. I ordered the basic Terimayo dog, which had Japanese mayo, seaweed, onions, and teriyaki sauce. I know, I know. It sounds totally weird but it’s YUMMERS! Really.



Luckily there was no line. Awesome! We ran back to our hotel to enjoy our Japadogs, rest our tired feet, and get out of the rain.

We ended the day with even MORE Japanese food for dinner at Guu with Garlic, an izakaya in the West End. SO GOOD!

UGH. I WANT TO GO BACK.

confessions

HAPPY MAY.

Confessions.

I have been too busy indulging in the following guilty pleasures to blog…

1. Listening to Justin Bieber. Gah. I hated this guy on principle when I first heard him sing the opening notes of the We Are the World remake. BUT THEN. He hooked me with that song Baby. Damn Ludacris. Yes, I know. I’m like a freaking 16-year old stuck in a 30-year old’s body.

2. Reading Lisa Kleypas romance novels. I’ve always enjoyed a romance novel here and there but rarely read books consistently in the genre. Mostly because there are SO MANY books to choose from and it’s hard to wade through all of the titles to figure out what’s good and what’s a bust. Thanks to the influence of Sarah and Ceci, I found Lisa Kleypas and totally devoured her 3 contemporaries in the past week. It’s times like these when I wish I had an e-reader so I could just download another book to read instead of ordering them online or going to the bookstore. But I love the feeling of a real book in my hands. So torn.

ANYWAY.

Rob and I went to Vancouver last weekend and had SO MUCH FUN. Also ATE TOO MUCH.

Quick pic…



Can I be an honorary Canadian? More later.