My New-Found Love for Vancouver

If you read my post from a couple days ago, you’ll recall how Vancouver left a good impression on me — from a hockey perspective. But there’s so much more to the city of Vancouver than just the Canucks. We spent two days there and absolutely, positively enjoyed ourselves despite the rain and sorta chilly temps.

While day 1 in Van was spent prepping for the Blues/Canucks game, day 2 was dedicated purely to playing tourist. We woke up on Friday morning, dressed and ventured out to the west side of town to Coal Harbour, where we grabbed lunch at a cute little place called Blue Tree Cafe.

French cola

After filling our bellies, we headed back out in the misty rain and made our way toward the waterfront to eye the yachts and boats sitting idly in the harbor.

Boats on the water

Sea plane coming in for a landing.

Against the high-rises

Wherever we went, there always seemed to be a backdrop of blues, greens and grays. But it was actually very calming. And since we were visiting in late February, we had no issue with crowds or traffic. It was nice to take a leisurely walk and just be.

Our next stop was Stanley Park, located only a couple minutes away from Coal Harbour by car. Among other things, the park provides great views of the Vancouver skyline, and it looks to be the perfect place to run, walk, bike, rollerblade or whatever your preferred form of exercise may be. We grabbed a park map at the entrance before stopping at a few of the sights within the park.

Trees dotting the Stanley Park shoreline

Skyscrapers in fog

Us against the skyline

The totem was the British Columbia Indians' coat of arms. These aren't the real deal though. They were recreated for the park.

We arrive at Prospect Point. That's the Lion's Gate Bridge.

Gray-blue inlet leads out to the Pacific.

Time to warm my toes by the fire.

Once we had conquered Stanley Park, Katie and I thought it would be fun to drag the boys along for a little shopping adventure on Robson Street. One of the Canucks fans we met at the game the night before mentioned the area had great shops, and she was right. We popped into a few boutiques here and there, passing by a number of good-looking sushi and Thai food restaurants, including a place called Japa-Dog, which just cracks me up. A Japanese take on hot dogs? Of course!

Then it was back to the hotel to figure out our plans for the evening.

Speaking of our hotel, it was in the perfect location. A block away from Granville Street (aka the Neon District) it was accessible to plenty of shops, restaurants and nightlife. If we ever go back to Van, I vote to go back to the Moda Hotel — even though Mikey and Doug might disagree with me because of the small room sizes. But hey, I’m petite to begin with. Makes no difference to me.

Our home for two nights.

Moda Hotel lobby chandelier

Located at the corner of Smithe and Seymour.

Once dinnertime rolled around, we made the short walk over to Granville Street for sushi at a restaurant called ShuRaku. Mikey and I have never been big sushi fans, but since Van is known for great sushi, it felt like a necessary experience. And the experience did not disappoint. The Godfather roll was incredible, and so were the cocktails. Mikey even stepped way outside of his comfort zone and ordered nigiri. And liked it. I was pretty impressed. So now, it’s official. We like sushi.

Neon District

Ready for sushi

We spent the rest of the evening at the Cinema Public House on Granville, laughing the night away over beer, cocktails, hard cider and… Jameson.

A smooch shot was totally necessary.

Cheers!

Uh-oh, the Jame-o.

Cinema Public House the day after. All is calm, compared to the night before.

We woke up the next morning a little reluctant to leave Van. I was thoroughly impressed by the city and how people there were so friendly and trendy — but not too trendy to the point where they’re trying too hard. No one felt the need to dress to the nines when going out at night. And boots seemed to be the 24/7 appropriate foot attire no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing. Which I like and want to start practicing on a year-round basis.

Of course, whenever Mikey and I travel, we ask ourselves if we could ever live in the particular city we’re visiting. The answer for Van was definitely yes. It has so much more of a chill mentality than some of the other big cities we’ve been to. And The Bear would love how pet-friendly everything is. But there’s that whole thing about living in Canuck country that just doesn’t sit right for us die-hard Blues fans. So that pretty much put an end to the conversation.

With that, Vancouver definitely makes it on my “Places to Go Back and Visit” list. Thanks for the memories, Van!

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