Monday, April 20, 2015

Vancouver B.C. 2015

Canada is a beautiful country despite only seeing a small fraction of what it truly is.
Vancouver though, was still a great sight to see and just to be.

Planning a trip is easy. Actually going and doing this, well that's another story.
It's hard to know exactly how they're going to go before you leave, but all in all it was a pretty good trip.

Crossing the border the first afternoon was exciting for me since I'd never ventured that far North before. The border patrol lady who asked us questions wasn't rude and we passed on with ease.
The tricky part was after Surrey and getting through the horrible traffic that ensued after that (for whatever reason, it was playoffs weekend for the Canucks and we did not know this).
After sitting in traffic for an extra hour or so, we trekked on!
Driving through Vancouver and it's many parts was nice on first arrival. Obviously we were just glad to be there (late at this point) and we were ready to be out of the car for a bit.

Arriving at our apartment we had to walk down a couple blocks to a KeyCafe to pick up our keys, which was easy enough.
Booking our apartment through Airbnb was an easy task and everything seemed ok, till we realized we didn't understand the apartment ways in which to enter.
A nice French Canadian man came by and helped us though and we made it to our nice 12th floor apartment.

The city was gorgeous up there and we were satisfied with what we had accomplished so far during this trip. Just getting there was a feat in itself at this point.
That night we had our Lord Huron concert to go to at the Vogue Theatre, which we drove down to downtown and found parking with no problems.
By the time we got back to the apartment we rounded up some snacks and we were done, tired.

The next morning, after stopping off at a Tim Hortons for some smoothies and donuts (we had to) we walked to the Vancouver Public Library where we rode up all seven stories of escalators, took some pictures and read some interesting Earth books (mine was about African animals).

From here we drove back through the city and ventured our way out the the Vancouver Aquarium where we had a great time! Walking around and seeing all of the sea creatures, watching the Belugas swimming and giving us a show and all of the other mammals and fish they had there was awesome. A great time was had by all, you could tell by the children crying and the parents laughing after being soaked by a Beluga splash. Too funny.

The Jellyfish were probably one of my favorite to see at the aquarium. With the various species they had in different exhibits, it was cool to see the differences and also the similarities between all of them.

What a great experience to see the colors and the movement.
At one point I thought to myself, it makes you want to touch them (obviously, do not do this).
Just the way they look in the water looks so serene and calm. Their bodies of mostly water (90% actually) looking ethereal and soft.

The otters were another sight to see.
Their exhibit was outside and free for had great views into the enclosure to watch them swim around, float and knock into each other.

This little guy, as he passed his buddy on the way through, pushed him on the head and just kept on going.

They are interesting mammals with their dense, waterproof fur. What a cool thing to see!

The belugas were probably our favorite overall, mostly for the sheer surprise factor they brought to the table at the 2pm show.

It's funny how they had warned us not to sit so close, but in the end that didn't matter at all. Yes, even we got wet and splashed enough during the opening.

The belugas are funny and oh so smart creatures. Their trainers did a great job keeping up with them and showing us what they could do.
Waves, high fives, the use of water, and their sounds. What a sight!

Our afternoon at the aquarium was well spent and as we got in our car to head out, we were glad with the day.
That was until we went the wrong, crossed over the bridge to the North and found ourselves back tracking into more traffic (thankfully for not too long).
We did however get to drive through Stanley Park which is gorgeous, if only we had had more time to be there.
After getting back we decided food was in order and grabbed a bite at the local pub just walking distance from our apartment.
We ordered some beer and cider and a great order of poutine with our main bangers and mash.
The day could not get any better right?

As we winded down, took a nap and just rested, we also slowly got ready for our fancy dinner date up at the Cloud 9 restaurant downtown.
We parked right underneath the building in their parking garage which was perfect (no ones wants to walk in heels for too long) and found our way up to the 42 floor.
The view is 360 degrees and throughout the dinner we were able to see all of Vancouver, it is a revolving restaurant!
The dinner was amazing, salmon and vegetables with mashed potatoes. Yum!
Great date. Great food. Great views.

The next morning, our last day in the city, we decided we had a try out a recommendation one of our friends from work had given us.
Cafe Medina near Granville was highly spoken about and when we got there, we could understand that, since our wait was an hour long to eat brunch.
We walked around town to wait it out, visiting into some shops, getting candy and looking at clothes until we had to go back.
When it was our time to eat (we were pretty hungry at this point in time) we were so glad that we had waited. The food...was amazing! I'm not gonna lie, I would eat here every day if I could, so delicious.
Their little waffles allow could have kept us coming back.
And apparently the flavor of sauce to get (which is a must!) is the raspberry caramel. Just do it, you will thank me.

The main dish for me was called Les Boulettes, which was Moroccan lamb meatballs in a tomato and red pepper stew with poached eggs, raita, and focaccia bread on the side (Forgive me for the blurry picture but oh my gosh, had to capture it somehow).

This is some of the best food I've had on a Sunday afternoon and the wait was worth every single minute. It was also a great way to end our trip to Vancouver.
Driving home we could only imagine going back and what else we would do next time. Maybe take things a little bit slower, but our experience so far has been a great one.

Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a trip over the border.

Safe travels!

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