A WEEK IN VANCOUVER

Hello, and wow. It has been a while! Admittedly I had been in a creative rut or not really knowing when to blog again, but a trip back home was all I needed.

It had been a solid 6 months since I left Alberta, 7 months since I had been home properly and not through a connecting flight to/from Hawaii in February.

This was the first road trip we had done together and given it being summer, we took advantage of the situation we are in to drive to Vancouver and back so I’m excited to recap our trip.

DAY 1

We drove to Vancouver in just about 11 hours with minimal stops, a quick lunch bite at the Blondies Cafe and continued driving. We rewarded ourselves with a beautiful sunset dinner at The Vancouver Fish Company on Granville Island. Since we had arrived just after 6pm, we weren’t able to visit the market but all good- we saved it for another day!

DAY 2

A bit of a family day. Checked out the A Seat at the Table exhibit that features photos and videos of Chinese-Canadians across the generations. There was also VR features that we checked out. It’s an exhibit that will be travelling within BC. It’s interactive, engaging and for those who know Vancouver well will recognize some of the businesses that were featured in it.

We hit up our favourite restaurant for katsu: Saku. It’s a must-go every time we come back. Delicious and light fried katsu that doesn’t leave you feeling bloated like American-style fried chicken.

After running some errands and shopping at Muji, we went to Kissa Tanto for dinner. This was a highlight of our trip in terms of new restaurants we tried. Everything was delicious, filled with flavour, and is great to come with a group of 4 at least to be able to try everything on their menu. Now we ordered quite a bit, having there been 3 guys and myself. Highly recommend.

DAY 3

I brought the boyfriend to Cafe Medina since he’s never been and it’s a staple to have at least been once if you’ve ever travelled to Vancouver, right? After a delicious brunch we hit the road to go up to Whistler.

We loved Whistler last year when we did a one night stay at the Four Seasons so we decided to go up again and it was just perfect. We arrived around noon and it was busier than we thought. The Four Seasons team was gracious as usual and after checking in they had our picnic ready to go!

A week before we had arrived the boyfriend had arranged through the concierge for a picnic and bike rentals (aww!). It was sunny that day and it made for a perfect picnic and bike ride day. Four Seasons had set up a picnic within a backpack and drove us to the Whistler Eco Tours to get our bikes. From there we biked to Rainbow Park to have our picnic. After our picnic we biked further and we biked almost the entire Whistler Valley Trail! Beautiful views after a healthy, delicious picnic. Couldn’t ask for more. It was a perfect way to spend our Monday afternoon.

DAY 4

The next morning we had breakfast in our room before we left to the Sea to Sky Gondola. It wasn’t busy and made it easy for physical distancing. The views were incredible, totally get why people would have their wedding up there! It was a great way to show the boyfriend what us west coasters have in our backyard 😉

When we got back into downtown we checked into the JW. I must say out of the hotels we’ve stayed at, the Marriott group has done a great job of ensuring safety protocols are followed. We loved the JW at the Parq- modern, clean, luxury, and conveniently located. We didn’t order room service or dined at Honey Salt this time as we wanted to hit up other restaurants while we were there (but next time!).

For dinner we went to Nightingale. For those of you who watched ‘Always Be My Maybe’ will recognize this restaurant! It was an amazing dinner overall – delicious flavours, interesting takes on some dishes that make you wanting more. Definitely a restaurant to go to for special occasions, and it was a perfect treat to ourselves for a nice dinner.

DAY 5

We started our morning with some coffee and pastry from Small Victory Bakery before hitting the bike.

After a much needed workout on the bike we went to Sushi California for lunch. IYKYK. Sushi California has such good value and at the price points they have deluxe sashimi and rolls, it can give you an avocado roll or california roll at best in Calgary (lol… sad).

Little did the boyfriend knew how much energy he needed… when we hit up the Grouse Grind. After 2830 steps uphill on a mountain, it’s worth. it. when you get to see the view. I grew up skiing on this hill almost every weekend during the winter seasons so it was very nostalgic to be back up there.

2 workouts later, we were hooped. But it was perfect for our delicious dinner where we ordered almost everything on the menu at The Lunch Lady.

The Lunch Lady is originally from Saigon, Vietnam and was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’. It was sooo delicious and we would go there often if we could. The food brings you the delicious tastes of Vietnam food. The atmosphere makes you feel like you’re eating in Vietnam.

DAY 6

I wanted to bring the boyfriend to a new coffee shop I hadn’t been to either, so we went to Iktsuarpok Coffee Stand. You may recognize this name from seeing it in news articles, or having been yourself (for my Vancouver friends). There’s no sit-in, it’s a grab-and-go concept. Who would’ve thought this concept would be so handy and prevalent in 2020! G would say it’s one of the top 3 cups of coffee he’s ever had, after travelling to SF and PDX last year. The couple is oh so so sweet and it was just the perfect start to our day.

For brunch we went to New Town Bakery to get some of our favourite classics at HK style cafes before going around town shopping and bringing the boyfriend to the Vancouver Aquarium for his first visit.

Come dinner time we met up with my newly married sister-from-another-mister at Potluck. We got there right before the Hawker Hour ended where they had some specials but we also ordered some of their regular dishes. It’s OK- wouldn’t say it was as good as our other dinners but was good to have a mix of Asian food. cute decor for sure, but food wasn’t as good as we had hoped.

DAY 7

Our last day in town and we were in love with Iktsuarpok Coffee Stand so we went there again and hit up Maxim’s for another morning of classic HK style breakfast. As our last day we wanted just take our time strolling around downtown, run a couple errands, and just soak up the last day we got in town. By dinner time, we went to ZUBU Ramen in Kerrisdale. Close to our place in Vancouver, this spot is quite new and was drawn to their DIY temaki set. Luckily we all love our brussel sprouts so we got to try their brussel sprouts tempura and it was perfect. A visit in Kerrisdale isn’t complete without going to Nana’s. (Let’s just say we had a bit of a surprise as we walked right next door to Kerrisdale… anyone else ever run into their ex, when you’re with your sister and current boyfriend? because that happened and my close friends would know how crazy awkward that is!) Anyways I got my usual parfait because I’ve been deprived of this for half a year. Cravings satisfied.

& that is a week home for us. Filled with delicious food, got to see some beautiful faces of my favourite people, and be immersed back in the best of the west coast lifestyle.

until our next trip,

J