Vancouver, BC, Canada

April 24, 2017

It was almost one year ago that a dear friend and I took a girl’s trip to this amazing city in Canada. We talk nonstop about how much we want to go back!

fresh seafood & becoming besties with a celeb

A relatively easy and inexpensive flight from Austin, we flew Delta through MSP airport on a very early Wednesday morning. 6ish hours later, we had arrived just in time for lunch. We asked a couple of locals to point us in the direction of good seafood. After a short jaunt down the street from our hotel, we were seated at the picturesque waterfront Cardero’s Restaurant in Coal Harbour. As we dug in to steaming bowls of creamy clam chowder, brown sugar cedar plank salmon, and lemon caper grilled scallops dripping in butter, our very friendly waiter came to check in. He asked if we were visiting Vancouver, an astute observation since we had numerous maps and travel brochures spread out all over the table. We said “yes!” and he immediately sat down with us with his pen to mark up our map with all of his recommendations.

Cardero’s in Coal Harbour

View from Coal Harbour

“After all, I am kind of a foodie,” he mentioned casually, “and I did place 3rd on Top Chef Canada,”

“WHAT?! Really?” we cried, and he nodded as he continued circling destinations all over our map.

We had just arrived in Canada and met a real, live, Canadian cooking show reality star…this made him more than qualified to recommend some amazing food spots…and of course to take a selfie with us.

the best dessert:

And recommend he did…the number one place he told us we absolutely HAD to visit was Bella Gelateria for award- winning gelato. This place was so great that we actually went there every single night for dessert. The menu was always slightly tweaked upon each visit, but among our favorite orders was a giant handmade waffle cone piled high with enormous scoops of Chocolate Maldon Sea Salt gelato and Salted Caramel gelato (yes – you can get double…and triple flavor scoops!)

Menu inside Bella Gelateria
Green Tea Matcha, Black Sesame, and Lavender
Salted Caramel and Chocolate Maldon Sea Salt

around the city

The next day we did a city tour that showed us around all kinds of city hotspots, including the colorful totems at Stanley Park, the vast, windy, swaying, Capilano Suspension Bridge & Treetops Park, and the fabulous shops at Granville Island Market. While on this tour, my friend and I befriended a lovely woman traveling alone from Toronto. She became our designated photographer, helping us take pictures at every destination – even getting in on a few herself. She took a lot of these pictures on her own camera, and promised to email them as soon as she returned home. We exchanged email addresses and anxiously awaited all of the surplus pictures she was to send – only to be ghosted. We never again heard from her or received any photos, and we didn’t catch her name. Did she even exist? We ask ourselves this all the time. If this story sounds familiar to you and you think you might be that woman, please get in touch so we can see those pics! ๐Ÿ™‚

Totems at Stanley Park
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Capilano Treetops Park

sushi suspicion

That night, we opted for sushi at Miku, another one of our celebrity-chef-turned-friend’s recommendations. This place boasted delicious sushi with a smoky flavor (chef’s specialty), comfy outdoor seating that was like sitting on a friend’s patio, and extremely handsome waiters (ladies, you are welcome). While eating massive amounts of salmon aburi sushi, I took a Snapchat of our table. Our waiter was standing in the background of the photo, and, because I am 12, I drew a heart around him using Snapchat’s drawing feature. Of course, as I was decorating this suspicious snap, he chose that moment to circle back to our table behind me, and to my horror, saw the picture. Oh well, what can ya do…when in Canada, right?

Salmon Aburi Sushi

go to timmy’s

Speaking of “When in Canada”, let’s talk about one of the greatest coffee and donut chains ever implemented…of course I am talking about Tim Horton’s! Seriously, can more of these come to the U.S.? I’m not ashamed to admit that we ate more meals here than at any other restaurant while we were in Vancouver.

Meal #1: A Cream-Filled Maple Frosted Donut and Ice Water Disguised as Coffee
Meal #…who knows at this point…

the remainder of the trip

During the rest of our time in Vancouver, we went to Grouse Mountainย where we rode the Gondola to the summit, walked around in snowshoes, and saw the grizzly bear habitat (read: we saw the actual habitat, but no bears – they were hibernating). From there weย re-visited Stanley Park for an 8 mile walk that involved horses, geese, a lighthouse, and a (supposedly) haunted rowing clubhouse. We also did a lot of shopping in the city’s area called Gastown, and visited the Vancouver Art Gallery.

I HIGHLY recommend that you visit this beautiful city at least once in your life.ย The public transportation in this city is awesome and it’s pretty easy to get around. There is a metro, busses, and even a sea bus to help you get around town. You will not need to rent a car when visiting.ย The food is absolutely amazing, views are to-die-for, and the people are some of the nicest you will ever meet.

Have you been to Vancouver? Never been but want to go? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts!

Grouse Mountain Gondola
At the top of Grouse Mountain

 

The Bear Den – the grizzlies were asleep inside
A snowman we made
Visiting Stanley Park for a second time
Horses in Stanley Park
The haunted rowing club at Stanley Park. I am trying to make a scared, “I just saw a ghost” face, and am failing.
Famous Gastown Steam Clock
Vancouver Art Gallery

 

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