Here it is! Part two of our adventure in the Pacific Northwest. When we last spoke, A and I were loving life in Seattle and kind of dreading having to leave, even though we were both excited about exploring Vancouver.
I’m not necessarily one to believe in signs from the universe that you should or shouldn’t do something, but if I was, I think I would have called off the Vancouver leg of our trip before we even got there. Our plan was to take a 3-ish hour train ride from Seattle to Vancouver, but that changed rather quickly when we learned that a mudslide had made the tracks impassable. So our alternate transportation was a bus to Everett, WA and then a train onto Vancouver. A bit of a disappointment, but I was all hopped up on cold medicine and ready to go.
Long story (that involves some really annoying train companions) short, we made it to Vancouver and immediately set out to explore the city. Remember when I mentioned that our first day in Seattle was a bit of a bust because poor A was sick? Remember how I followed that up with the promise that I got my revenge later in the trip? This is later in the trip. After walking around the city for a few hours, I was really worn out so we headed back to the hotel for a quick nap before dinner.
I woke up 14 hours later, still in all my clothes and not actually in the bed, but just sort of human burrito-ed in the covers. I missed A showering, changing, leaving to get food, returning, eating said food and watching a movie before he pried some blankets from my grasp and went to bed himself. 14 hours of sleep, y’all. But it’s apparently what I needed because we squeezed every last minute of fun out of our time in Vancouver.
We tried to visit everything: the Vancouver Aquarium, Rogers Arena (where the Canucks play), Stanley Park twice (stumbling across a shoot for Once Upon A Time the second visit), Granville Island, Gastown and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
Favorite spot in Vancouver: This is another hard one. I loved Stanley Park and the Granville Island market, but if I had to pick just one, I would go with Capilano Suspension Bridge. We were there almost right after it opened and had the place practically to ourselves. That plus the misty weather made you feel like you were in another world entirely and not just 15 minutes from a busy city. I’d highly recommend it.
Favorite restaurant: Is it inappropriate to say that Tim Hortons was our favorite restaurant? Because it totally was. Other highlights included Jam Cafe and Hy’s Steakhouse, but we kept coming back to good ol’ Tim Hortons.
Best tourist trap: We (and approximately 200 foreign exchange students) all fell victim to the tourist trap that is FlyOver Canada, a virtual flight ride that takes you through all the most gorgeous spots in Canada. But y’all, it was so fun! It only made me want to come back to Canada a hundred more times to visit all the perfect spots. And eat more Tim Hortons.
Best tip we learned: If your hotel has a concierge, purchase your attraction tickets from them. It saves you money and often lets you skip ahead of most lines. We did this for the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the aquarium, getting in long before the regular ticket lines moved at all.
I don’t think I ever got over the gorgeous mountain views while in Vancouver. Every place we went, I would say something to the effect of “I can’t get over those dang mountains!” I loved Vancouver and my first visit to Canada. We’ll definitely be back.