A Night in Vancouver
My summer lease had ended. My new year lease had not yet started. We had one night where we had nowhere to sleep. Well, why not have a little fun with it? Canada, eh?
How convenient is it that Vancouver is less than 3 hours away from Seattle? Another COUNTRY is only few hours away! Gina (and dad) have an obsession with Canada, they LOVE the place. She had never been to Vancouver, so we planned a very last minute excursion there.
I think it was kind of needed too. Gina had been helping me move and it was taking a toll on our morale. Moving sucks, traveling does not. On the 31st, we finished moving my bed over in the morning, turned in my keys, grabbed some smoothies, and drove north to the land of maple syrup.
After our Washington road trip, the drive felt like a breeze. We've gotten to a point where 3 hours of driving seems like the most doable thing in the world, not sure if it's a good or bad thing...
We stopped in Bellingham for a little look around and to find a snack to munch on. It's a quaint little town I wish we had a little more time to explore.
The border went so quickly, although I got some flack for having Colorado plates if I was from Seattle. We zoomed straight to Vancouver (and of course hit traffic) hitting the major sites before we had to check in to our Airbnb.
It's definitely not easy to navigate without service and Gina was looking at the map on our phones and completely guessing. Somehow, this technique worked and we made our way to the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
I guess I spoke too soon...we managed to get lost in Stanley Park on the way and went on a slew of wrong turns, oops! Our mistake turned into our greatest victory of the day as we passed Lions Gate Bridge and pulled off at a scenic overlook.
The bridge reminded me of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, but the PNW version. The views were incredible! While up there, we grabbed a snack (lol ice cream, you know me) and got a free scoop. Vancouver, you're too good to me.
Right on cue in typical PNW fashion, it began to rain. Bundled up in raincoats, we made our way to the suspension bridges. I didn't really know what to expect. I did however believe that it needed to be semi decent seeing how expensive it was to trapeze across a few bridges.
Canada just does things better. The bridges were incredible! There were multiple (I wasn't sure if there was one or many haha) and they went all through the trees and ground levels. I felt like a little kid running around taking in the nature.
Overall a great place, but I'd really like to go back when they put all of the lights up in the winter! Realizing the time, we rushed over to our Airbnb and got stuck in rush hour.
Of course we ended up getting there early, and killed time by walking around, shopping and exploring the area around us. We were in a prime spot in Yaletown. I couldn't have asked for a better location (way to go Gina).
We relaxed for a bit before venturing out to a lovely evening dinner at L'Antipasto, a traditional Italian restaurant a few blocks away.
To finish up the night, I took Gina to Gastown and showed her where I stayed the last time I was here. Bedtime was welcomed with open arms as we'd been go go go and absolutely pooped at 9:30 pm.
WHAT a restful night sleeps! I haven't slept that well in ages! We woke up pretty early too, ready for the day. In order to maximize our time, we strolled over to Cafe Medina, a breakfast place I tried to eat at last time, at 8 am to beat all of the crowds. Turns out they were closed for the next two days because of a mechanical issue...foiled AGAIN.
No idea what was going on in Vancouver, but our second option was completely packed and we resorted to Chambar. Well, I guess third time is the charm because this restaurant hit brunch out of the park.
Gina feasted on the Paella while I ate the Bon Matin. I highly recommend both.
Our plan was to wander the Vancouver Art Gallery, but we had a little down time before they opened. Since we were in the area, our walk took us through Gastown again, which is much more pleasant during the day.
We also saw that damn steam-clock all of the tourists congregate around.
From Gastown, we headed a few blocks west to Canada Place where many cruise ships and hotels are located. Not to mention, there's a killer view of North Vancouver and the harbor. Canada Place was fine and dandy, but I was devastated we had not heard about the Aritzia Warehouse Sale which was going on. The line snaked all around the pier and would have taken hours (that we didn't have).
I'd have to plan Aritzia for another time. Also on our list to find was the Digital Orca statue by Douglas Coupland which was SOMEWHERE around Canada Place. We searched and searched for the pixelated whale to no avail. To cut our time down, we asked an info booth to point us in the right direction. Well, it turns out we had walked right by it multiple times and wandered for 30 minutes.
Go figure. We found it. Yay. What a struggle that was.
We had planned on arriving at the gallery at 10 am on the dot, but with the whale debacle, we were slightly delayed. No big deal though, we slipped right in (with student discounts!) and checked out the Picasso exhibition currently on display.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is absolutely lovely, although you already know I'm a sucker for a good museum or gallery. The space itself is remarkable, with four different floors of art. My personal favorites were photos by Harry Callahan.
With the day turning into the afternoon, we had to start thinking about heading back to Seattle. We made one last drive through Stanley Park because it had been the best discovery of the trip.
One of Gina's random requests was to see some Totem Poles. I have no idea why.
We continued on through the park, taking in the beautiful nature and gorgeous skyline views.
Thanks for always being rad Canada!
[Side note: This post was particularly hard because I lost most of my pictures :( ]