594. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 9 - Victoria Seaplane & Whale Watching

Harbour Air Victoria
I missed yesterday's post since we got back extremely late (much later than expected) from Victoria, so I was too exhausted and had no time to blog. So for the time being..I am a day behind with the posts. Currently in Whistler as I type this.
Yesterday we went to Victoria. We had booked a Harbour Air seaplane to fly there (~30min flight)..I really enjoyed it. The first few min of takeoff were so exhilarating. The views were amazing..& it was an experience I've never had before. I couldn't stop taking pictures and videos.

Harbour Air Pilot
Seaplane to Victoria
Victoria BC
Victoria Old Town
Then we went straight for lunch then a quick walk around the old town. It's so beautiful there. The weather was amazing (as it is every day here - thankfully) and there were a lot of beautiful flowers everywhere, and everything was so colourful.

Victoria port
Victoria Old Town
Victoria Old Town
Victoria Old Town
Prince of Whales whale watching
Afterwards, we went whale watching!! I was super excited for this even before we came on the trip..I love whales. I had never gone whale watching before. I wasn't too impressed with the experience though. It was nice but I wasn't amazed..unfortunately we didn't see any orcas but we did see one humpback whale as it came up and down a few times for air. I tried to take as many photos as possible but didn't get any good or clear ones really. These were the best I shot. The boat ride was pretty uncomfortable as it was EXTREMELY windy. & freezing. We were all wrapped up in blankets, and some with wool hats and gloves too. At one point, the waves were big and as the boat rocked, I got splashed and soaked with water. Took awhile to dry and warm back up lol.

Prince of Whales humpback whale
Prince of Whales whale watching
Prince of Whales whale watching
Then to see the sea lions, sunbathing on rocks.

BC lighthouse
Vancouver Island sunset



593. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 8 - Cactus & Miku

leftbanked seawall
This morning, we took a loooong walk along the Seawall again (for me it was the 2nd time and for my friends it was their first). We walked all the way to English Bay for lunch then the rest of the day we proceeded to eat and drink through the day. Definitely indulging ourselves a bit too much lol. This trip has been really fun so far. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's adventures..

Cactus Club English Bay Sangria
I'm going to miss all this beautiful weather, patios for every meal and sipping on cocktails beside the ocean when I leave. Even if we were not out on a patio, we still had a beautiful view of the water for every meal.

Cactus Club prawn spaghattini
Cactus Club cocktails
After the Cactus Club on English Bay, we started walking back to the hotel when we passed by another Cactus Club and couldn't resist going in for another drink. I had the bellini (my favourite)..Anouk and Dan had the Frose. This pic looks like a Mickey Mouse head lol. This Cactus Club was on Robson Street and we all agreed the other ones we visited were a lot better. The servers here gave us the wrong receipt twice..plus the atmosphere in there wasn't as great.

Bella Gelateria
Then we went again to Bella Gelateria (Awarded best gelato in the world - literally. They've won the competition held in Florence) There's always a HUGE lineup here. Once again I got the matcha green tea one. So delicious. I was so full by that time and slipped into a food coma..but didn't feel as bad about it due to all the walking we did today (21km).

Miku smoked salmon
Then we went back to the hotel to rest (well, I had to work) for a couple of hours before heading back out to dinner at Miku. I was recommended this place by a few people so I was curious to try. The restaurant is beautiful and everything is so nicely presented. We had a table right beside the water again. I really enjoyed it. Will have to try Toronto's Miku when I get back.

Miku Vancouver
Miku matcha dessert



592. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 7 - Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, Top of Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge Treetops
Today we visited Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Grouse Mountain and then had dinner at Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. Before the trip, I was most looking forward to going on the Capilano Suspension Bridge..it looked so impressive in photos. But when we arrived, the bridge wasn't as high as I thought it'd be. It was still nice though. It was a lot shakier than I had expected so I didn't take a lot of photos in case I dropped my phone or camera. Then we did the treetops walk and also the Cliffwalk which I liked the most. Here are some photos from the day..

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Cliffwalk Capilano
Capilano Suspension Bridge Cliffwalk
Grouse Mountain terrace restaurant
Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain bears
green tea gelato
Vancouver Canada
Top of Vancouver sunset



591. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 6 - Cactus Club & Uninterrupted

Tap and Barrel Vancouver
Today Anouk and Dan came over from Luxembourg to officially begin the roadtrip! During the day when I was waiting for them, I went for lunch at Tap and Barrel beside the water. I had a sangria and delicious chicken salad. I had the best table with the best view..could've sat here for hours. Then when Anouk arrived we went to Cactus Club at Coal Harbour for dinner.

Cactus Club Bellini
Cactus Club Coal Harbour
Harbourair Vancouver
Uninterrupted Vancouver
Uninterrupted Vancouver
Then when Dan arrived, we went to watch Uninterrupted which was pretty cool. After that we went to a Cactus Club across the street from our hotel for another round of drinks before coming back and calling it a night.



590. Rockies Roadtrip | Day 5 - Botanist

Botanist heirloom tomatoes salad
Today I went for lunch at Botanist with my friend Samantha (who lives in Vancouver!). I loved it! It's a fairly new restaurant that opened in April at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. Everything was really well presented and tasted fresh and delicious. It kind of reminded me of Canoe in Toronto (aka my favourite restaurant). I would definitely go back if I could. For my first course, I got an heirloom tomatoes salad with burrata, plums and hibiscus vinagirette.

Botanist salmon
Then Spring Salmon with corn, leeks and morel mushrooms

Botanist beetroot cake
Then Beetroot cake with hazelnut, vanilla, gew├╝rztraminer gel, elderflower frozen foam. So pretty.

Laduree Vancouver
Laduree Macaron marshmallow
After lunch, we went to Laduree for a couple hours before Samantha went home. I had such a fun time and hopefully we will meet again soon..maybe in Toronto?! ;) Then I just wandered around downtown by myself, bought yet another Stellasport outfit (I have an excuse this time..I'm on a 3-week vacation and realized I didn't bring enough clothes!) then went back to my favourite area again to walk around in search of food.

Harbour Air Vancouver
Cute little harbour air seaplanes. Can't wait to go on one!!

Mahony and Sons
Sat down for dinner while tackling the huge pile of emails I accumulated today. Yes I'm actually still "working full time" while here..

Canada 150 Vancouver
My friends from Luxembourg arrive tomorrow and we will be in Vancouver for a few more days before we officially begin the roadtrip! Can't wait!!



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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