Eric and I agreed to a laid back celebration for our wedding anniversary a couple weeks ago. Homemade cards and a home cooked meal sounded perfect, we had said. I whipped up a killer meal and we were just about in heaven stuffing ourselves silly.
Eric kept asking me when we could open our cards.
“How about at the end of the night?”
“You don’t want to just open them now…? I can’t wait for you to see my card!!!”
“Really? Mine is nothing to write home about…”
After dinner, and more pestering by Eric, we finally opened the cards.
My card was taped closed and it read: “TOP SECRET! Do not open!!!”
Amused, I carefully pulled off the tape so I could open the card. Eric watched in anticipation. The inside of the card read: “We’re going to British Columbia!!!” along with printed pictures of Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler pasted all over the card. There was a road map with dates and everything all plotted out!
It was just about one of the best surprises I’ve ever had. Tears welled up in my eyes as I lurched across the couch to hug him silly.
We talked about going to B.C. earlier in the summer, but we were both too busy to take time off. I just gave up on the idea and hoped we’d make it next year. Little did I know, Eric was planning this trip for weeks, staying up late at night to plan while I slept. He researched, booked the hotels, read up on restaurants, and planned a few things to do in each city.
“Wait, there’s one condition!! You have to agree to a few things I’ve planned…”
“Zip-lining, cliff walking, and suspension bridges!”
There’s always a catch!
So here we are, two weeks later, enjoying a wonderful time in the beautiful British Columbia. Can you believe it’s my first time in BC? Eric has only been to Vancouver once on a business trip, but didn’t get to explore much at all. We’re staying in Vancouver first, and soon off to Victoria and Whistler. I’ve passed two challenges with flying colours, although I’m quite scared for the 5 zip-lines I’ll be flying down in Whistler!! If I live to tell you about it, you’ll be hearing about it soon!
Here is a short summary of what we’ve been up to in Vancouver:
1. Hotel: Carmana Plaza
– Condo-style. Comes with complete full kitchen. Great if you like making breakfast or lunch in your own room before heading out. We’re on the 29th floor in a premium suite and have a great view (see above pics). Free wi-fi. Cons: The bed isn’t very comfy, it takes a long time for things to be brought up to the room, and parking is expensive and difficult to locate. The location of the hotel is great though and we’re literally steps from all the shopping on Robson. See detailed room pics in album.
2. Capilano suspension bridge and park
A fun, touristy park that features a suspension bridge, cliff walking, treetop walking, and gorgeous scenery. I have a ton of pics from the trip – so be sure to check them out in the album!
3. Granville Island
This is a must-see! There are all kinds of artsy shops, including a large indoor public market. It was absolutely packed when we went on a Friday, off-season, so get there early as parking can be tricky to find.
Our hotel is steps to a lot of great shopping on Robson and surrounding areas.
5. Exploring Gastown, Kitsilano, Yaletown districts. Be warned – navigating the city is tricky for a tourist!!
6. Food highlights include Nuba (a lovely Lebanese restaurant), Naam (a 24 hour vegetarian restaurant with huge portions and line-ups), Samosas at Buddha-Full, smoothies and juices throughout the city. Acorn restaurant is still on the list too.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Photography of cityscapes
Anything we’re missing?
If you’re interested in seeing what we’ve been up to so far in Vancouver, here’s an album I put together below! [Apologies in advance for the uneven formatting – something wonky is going on.]
More to come soon…
Heyyy! You finally made your way to beautiful BC, more specifically Vancouver. 8D I hope you get a chance to check out Aphrodite’s – they offer vegan and GF dining options and have great food. (They’re in Kitsilano!) If you’re up for a challenge, try the Grouse Grind, if you haven’t already. :) I agree with another commenter that mentioned Commercial Drive – there are plenty of good places to eat along that road, and it’s also quite “funky”. Definitely keep with your plan to check out Stanley Park – maybe go around the Seawall at a leisurely pace on a pair of rented bicycles?
Have fun! Vancouver is a lovely city at this time of the year. :)
The Naam is definately a winner! If you didn’t have their gravy and fries the first visit, go back and get some! Their gravy is the best thing ever – and I don’t usually like gravy (or fries)! They also sell it in bottles, but I was thwarted in my stashing due to carry-on restrictions …
A fancier restaurant to try is Vij’s (parent restaurant) or Vij’s Rangoli (second restaurant and market – more casual) (http://www.vijs.ca/). They are owned by Vikram Vij, and are Indian restaurants. Vikram Vij is frequently on the Food Network, has been a judge on Top Chef Canada, and is also a regular columinist with Globe and Mail. The restaruants themselves have been highly praised by Mark Bittman, featured at James Beard galas, and even on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations! His cooking philosophy eschews fusion, trying to keep it as Indian as possible, and aims for sustainable, local ingredients.
Enjoy Vancouver (and area)! The zipline at Whistler will be a lifetime memory – there is nothing like it!
I just moved to Vancouver 6 months ago to study holistic nutrition and there are more vegan and gluten-free food options here than anywhere I’ve EVER been! It’s amazing! If you can, you must check out Aphrodite’s Cafe and Pie Shop. http://www.organiccafe.ca/ They have a huge selection of the BEST vegan and g-free pies in the world! A bit pricey, soooo well worth it! All their ingredients are organic and locally sourced where possible. ALSO – Edible Flours is an wonderful little vegan bakery on West Broadway. The gluten free, vegan cinnamon bun rocks my world! http://www.edibleflours.ca/ ENJOY your trip!!! BC is an endless land of beauty, fun, discovery, and over the top of yum food! :)
Welcome! welcome welcome to Vancouver.
What a cute surprise for your anniversary – surprises (especially trips) are always the best.
I would highly recommend walking, running, biking, or rollerblading the seawall (stanley park). It’s always a favourite of mine. You can make some pit stops along the way too. My favourite is the Aquarium in the middle of the park.
Hope you guys have a wonderful time!
Yay BC! Your in my hood Angela, haha! I wanted to go to Acorn this week, please mention how it is in a post if you go there :). Foundation on main st is also very good, lots of hipsters and not fancy by anymeans, but great vegetarian/vegan food!
I live in Victoria and thought I would send some recommendations… I see most have said the same as me but maybe that will make you think they are even more delicious haha! I definitely recommend Cafe Bliss. So delicious! They have great juices and delicious food! Mole is great as well for breakfast/brunch. Rebar is another great option. My sister cooks there so I love to go get my fill of veg food! Sarah’s Place in Market Square is super cute too! She has a bunch of different things in her store. Lotus Pond is another vegan restaurant that we go to occasionally. It is chinese food and has some delicious faux meat options that I have tricked many a non vegan into loving that place! At lunch they have a buffet that is by weight so it’s a nice time to try a little of everything but seriously it’s delicious! Dallas Road, Ogden Point, and the inner harbor are great places to walk around! For hikes you could try Mt Finlayson it’s a little tricky but not too bad! Mt Doug is a nice easy hike and can actually drive up it and get some nice pictures of the whole city. There… I rambled. Enjoy Victoria!
Angela, for a hike, I vote for the Stawamus Chief, just south of Squamish, over the Grouse Grind. The Chief will be less busy and more of a wilderness experience and the views from the top are jaw dropping spectacular. Don’t let the photos of the ladder and chains or the cliffs scare you off. My personal preference is the Centre Summit (2nd peak). I think the views are a bit better than for the 1st peak. If you have plenty of time you could go on to the 3rd peak, but you won’t really be missing anything if you don’t. You’ll need to pack a lunch. Effort:reward ratio is great! The Grind is okay, but be prepared for a major heart pounding sweat-fest.
You have to go to Gorilla Food at Richards and Pender! Amaazzinnggg raw food!
Those pictures of downtown Vancouver are stunning (as well as the rest of them!) and really capture Vancouver’s beauty. I am so glad I live in Seattle and can visit beautiful Vancouver easily. It’s my favorite city after my home.
If you want an awesome burrito, check out this place: http://bandidastaqueria.com/ They have vegan options (such as daiya cheese) and vegan desserts. I went there for my birthday and got the Stella burrito, delicious!
So excited to see you have made it to Vancouver and Victoria and I hope your stay is a wonderful, exciting and romantic one.
This thread is chock full of amazing food ideas and yes NAAM is sooooo good.
Some other activity ideas would be:
The Bloedel Conservatory at QE Park, http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bloedel-conservatory.aspx (Vancouver) gorgeous views
The Museum of Anthropology, http://moa.ubc.ca/ (Vancouver)
Jericho Beach to see the array of wild bunnies (near Kitsilano, Vancouver)
BRACKENDALE EAGLES PROVINCIAL PARK, in Squamish, you can visit the Watershed Grill on the river front and watch the eagles fly around
Have a great time in Whistler and enjoy Ziplining. The air is so pure up there that Lichen actually grows on the trees.
Welcome to Vancouver!
Do the Grouse grind and enjoy the mountain afterwards! Up top they have a cute lumberjack show and Grinder and Coola, the resident grizzly bears, are fun to visit. The gondola ride back down is pretty cool too.
If it’s a hot day when you’re at Lynn Canyon, take a dip in the 30ft pool. It’s mountain run-off water, so it’s like a summer polar bear swim. It feels so good on a really hot day!
Another good hike is the Chief in Squamish, on your way up to Whistler. It’s a lovely mountain hike with breathtaking views at the top, especially if you go all the way to the 3rd peak. http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/stawamus-chief/
I would recommend a stop at the aquarium, too.
Have a wonderful trip!
Happy belated anniversary Angela! That has got to be the most amazing anniversary present ever! Way to go Eric! ;)
I am so glad that while you were in Vancouver you got to NAAM! One of my fave places to eat… and if you make it next time you have to go to Gorilla Food!! Raw Vegan and super delicious food!!! I’m no longer living in BC, can’t complain, I live in Playa del Carmen, Mexico now. But I do miss the Vegan conveniences of back home dining at times. If you ever take a vacation here you must check out a local little place called La Senda…. You will simply love it!!! Thanks for always posting such interesting blogs! :)