7.24.2017

589. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 4 - Seawall and Nook

Vancouver digital orca
Today was my favourite day from the trip so far! In the morning, I went with my aunt and uncle for dim sum breakfast. Then I went exploring on my own. I had about 5-6 hours until I was to meet my aunt again for dinner, so I decided to check out the Seawall. I've mentioned before that I love walking around harbours, ports, coasts, etc so I knew I would love the seawall. I have to say that after visiting it today, I definitely want to move to Vancouver someday! If I lived there I think I'd go to the seawall at least once a week. I would want to live in one of those beautiful condos right beside it. Going back to Toronto and walking around at our harbour is going to be so depressing for me now after this walk lol (& the harbour at Toronto is usually my favourite place in the city) I can't believe that the last time I visited Vancouver before this trip was in 1998!! From now on I think I will want to come every summer.

Today was also the perfect day because the weather was nice and sunny; warm and no humidity. I started my walk at Canada Place then walked all the way to Stanley Park, around the entire park, then out at English Bay Beach. I estimate about 11km? I ended up walking for literally 5 hours but I did stop a lot in between to take pics. Only took 2 quick sitting breaks though to update my Instagram lol. About halfway through I had wished I wore sneakers instead of heels (well they were platform sandals). I am so proud of myself for finishing the entire walk though (and more)..my legs didn't even feel tired though just the soles of my feet hurt a bit because of my shoes. But I definitely want to do the walk again at least one more time before leaving.

Now this is one of the weirdest and craziest coincidences I've ever experienced IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Nearing the end of my Seawall walk, I walked by someone who looked pretty familiar. I just thought in my head "no way that's him" and kept going...then I heard someone call my name...turned around and the guy followed me. It turns out it's a guy I met back in 2009 in Toronto at my hotel (he was visiting from Germany). After that we didn't talk for a year or two then when we did, we met up again when I visited Munich in 2012. Since then we didn't talk or keep in touch at all. & today...after 5 years I run into him at the Seawall all the way here in Vancouver!! I can't really believe it myself..but such a small world. He's here from Germany visiting his uncle too. Hopefully we can meet up again sometime before I leave hahah.

So I took a lot of photos today..had to narrow it down to my favourites:

Vancouver seawall
Vancouver seawall
Siwash Rock Seawall
My favourite stretch of the seawall

Seawall Vancouver
English Bay Beach sculptures
Funny sculptures at English Bay Beach. I forgot the name of the artist but I remember my aunt and uncle in Shanghai had some works by the same artist at their house.

Nook Kitsilano
Then for dinner, my aunt and I went to Nook, a popular Italian restaurant by Kitsilano Beach. This place reminds me of Gusto 101 in Toronto. The food was really good and I especially loved their pizza - it had the thinnest and crispiest crust I've ever eaten.

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7.23.2017

588. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 3 - Granville Island & Aboriginal Restaurant

Granville Island fish market
Today we went to Granville Island for most of the day. It's a pretty popular attraction with a lot of boutiques and a large food market. I bought a few random things and souvenirs to bring home to friends. After that we went to an authentic Aboriginal restaurant (one of the best in Vancouver and all of Canada apparently) called Salmon N' Bannock. My sister actually came to Vancouver a few weeks before I did and really loved this restaurant, so I wanted to try as well. It was really good and I definitely recommend it if you like meat. I don't particularly like meat and I'm usually afraid to try new kinds but today I tried venison and it was really good. I've been in Vancouver for only a couple days and I think I already gained a few extra pounds lol. I've eaten way too much since I got here and besides walking, I haven't done any other exercise yet. At this rate I definitely have to go a diet when I get back home! It's true that Vancouver food is a lot better than Toronto..plus I find it to be quite a lot cheaper here (especially since their tax rate is much lower too). Tomorrow morning we are going for dim sum with my other aunt and uncle. I am full just thinking about it hahah (but excited, since I love dim sum). They also just moved so I think we will see their new house as well.

Granville Island
Granville Island
Granville Island
Granville Island market
Granville Island
The seagulls here in Vancouver are quite large/fat and very vicious. They're not afraid of people at all and would come up and steal food lol. Then they would fight over the food with each other. In this photo there were a few of them standing here staring at a family eating hot dogs..ready to swoop in and take what they can. There were even warning signs posted up at Granville Island about them stealing food right out of your hand. My aunt and I had fun observing them.

street art
Venison
Here is the venison sausage appetizer we ordered..served with sage-blueberry preserve. It was delicious. I expected it to taste more game-y but it was pretty mild..kind of tasted like bratwurst sausages actually.

Salmon and Bannock
All the mains came with a side of bannock which was also really good. I had the Birch Glazed Wild Sockeye Salmon. It was delicious as well..I loved the sauce they used. If you come to Vancouver I would definitely recommend this restaurant and be sure to book in advance because it's very popular. We were pretty lucky to get a table on the day (I had emailed to reserve a few hours in advance). They got back to me really quickly to confirm my reservation though. & the service here was excellent!

Cheesecake Etc
We wanted dessert but my stomach was already bursting by the end of dinner since I was so full..so we decided to walk it off a bit first then go to have cheesecake at Cheesecake Etc. instead of the restaurant. My aunt had also taken my sister here when she visited, and they really loved it. I don't really like cheesecake but decided to go try it because of the reviews, and I loved the atmosphere here. It's a jazz bar and very cozy and romantic as well. Perfect date spot. I had the strawberry one and my aunt had blueberry. I couldn't even finish it because I had then slipped into a food coma hahah. But then after that we took a loooong walk which helped a bit.

Cheesecake Etc Vancouver
A bit of history on this little cheesecake cafe...(dating back to Paris!)

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7.22.2017

587. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 2 - UBC & Canada Place

Bellagio Cafe Canada Place
Today, I went with my aunt to UBC then around the harbourfront area of Vancouver. Then in the evening we went with my other aunt and uncle who live in Vancouver for dinner (along with a few of their friends as well). I wanted to visit the UBC campus as one of my Toronto friends studied here for the last several years and suggested I visit. He's now back in Toronto so my aunt and I went around on his recommendations of where to go and eat.

Poutine
Rose Garden UBC
Roses
Visiting the campus made me think back to all those years ago when I was applying to universities. I had actually wanted to come to UBC before..I applied for a business program and got accepted. But then I ended up staying in Toronto since I also got accepted to the Fashion Communications program at Ryerson and decided to go there instead..I wonder how different my life would've turned out if I did end up going to UBC for business!

Fairmont Pacific Rim
The Vancouver Club
Vancouver Canada Place
Vancouver cruise seaplane
Then we walked around downtown a bit and went for some dessert by the water (first photo). I realized that for all the cities I've visited so far (and even at home in Toronto)...my favourite areas to walk around are by the water/harbour. I really loved it here..will have to come back another day for a longer walk. There were a lot of seaplanes flying around. They're so cute! We actually have one booked next week to fly to Victoria..I didn't realize they were so tiny. Either the cruise ship is huge or the plane is tiny hahah.

Next time I come to Vancouver I definitely want to add on a cruise trip to Alaska as well. I wanted to go this time but unfortunately my dates didn't work out. I really love Vancouver so far and it's only my first full day here.. I already want to come back again in the future!

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