September 14, 2015

Travel Diary - Vancouver

I'm all about East Coast city livin'. Half of this blog is a love letter to New York City, and I also live smack-dab in downtown Toronto.

And yet, I'm obsessed with the West Coast! How it expels fresh air into my lungs, and surrounds my days with lush, green trees. I am seduced by the happy, fit people with rosy cheeks on bikes and roller blades at every corner. I can't comprehend how the mountains and beaches rest right beside each other like brother and sister. I don't know which one is more impressive.

I recently went on a family vacation to Vancouver with my parents and sister. The four of us hadn't been on a vacation all together  since this one (surprisingly also the West Coast). We managed to have the best time in Vancouver, without killing each other or fighting. There was only one meltdown from me, when I saved a work document to the wrong folder, losing it forever, and causing a mini-breakdown before breakfast.

We stayed in Vancouver for four nights, five days. Below are some highlights if you're looking to make a trip. Enjoy!

Stanley Park - As a family of four who hadn't been on bikes all together since the 1990s, we were recommended by multiple people to bike the 1,001 acre Stanley Park. So we rented bikes, and rode the path to perfection. The park is surround by water, parks, mountains, trees, and the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. (It even beat my bike tour in Florence). It was my trip highlight.

Granville Island - Take a ferry, take a boat, and just get there. It's a quaint little island, with boutiques, and a marketplace. Grab lunch, or a snack by the water, or under the Burrard St. Bridge.

Gastown & Yaletown - My favourite evening hang out areas. There are tons of restaurants, bars and twinkly lights. Grab a bite, walk around, fall in love.

Kitsilano Beach - The perfect mix of mountains and the ocean. Toned bods playing volleyball, and logs to lie on if you're tired, or want to read a book. The best weekend escape.

Bella Gelateria - As recommended by my girl Jaimie, a local Vancouver transplant in TO. She told me to go for famous, authentic, delicious gelato, but warned me about the lineups. Both were true!

Grouse Mountain - Cable cars into the Twilight movie forest sky? Hot, plaid-wearing lumberjack men? The view from one of the North Shore Mountains in Vancouver? Just do it.

Squamish - While I thought Grouse Mountain was cool, nothing compared to Squamish. It was by far my favourite part of the trip. It takes about an hour by car from Vancouver city, and then you take the Sea to Sky Gondola to the top. I thought it was the best view yet.

Cable Cars to Grouse Mountain 
Food / Parents / Olympics
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Vancouver's Olympic Cauldron 
The Lumberjack Show - Did I mention it's for kids, NOT adults
Stanley Park lighthouse 
The girls biking Stanley Park 
Kitsilano Beach