After weeks of talking about how much we want to/need to get out of town, Shane and I finally pulled a plan together and headed to Vancouver, BC for the weekend.  A very uneventful drive and border crossing brought us into the city around 11 am yesterday.  The weather was fantastic, and so we headed straight to Stanley Park to soak up some rays and bask in beauty of all these wonderful shades of green.  The size of the park can be a little overwhelming at first, and so we just picked a destination on the park map and headed in that direction, sure that we would enjoy whatever trails we ended up on.  Our destination was Beaver Lake, which turned out to be more of a marsh than a lake, but it turns out that a sea of lily pads can be just as pretty as a sea of water.

After our nature-dose, we went over to Yaletown for lunch.  We stumbled upon a Thai restaurant with an all-you-can-eat lunch special and a patio in the sun, and so we grabbed a table and started ordering away.  Spring rolls, yellow curry, cashew chicken, garlic pork, rice pudding…  I am always a little uncertain about what kind of quality to expect from anything that is all-you-can-eat, but the food was actually quite good.  We practiced restraint as best as we could and left feeling satisfied, but not over-stuffed, and ready for more sight-seeing.

We checked into our hotel downtown and spent a couple of hours wandering around the downtown core.  Strolled down Robson Street, but again, in the name of restraint, I did not go into any stores.  The sidewalks felt a little crowded in this part of town, and so we decided to head over to the Seawall and enjoy walking along the water.  Vancouver has so many great places to sit on a bench and take in the scenery, which is just what we did for the first part of our evening.

Once our Thai lunch was fully digested (which took several hours), we walked over to Gastown to grab some beer and food.  Found a great little bar/pub with a small terrace area and spent a couple of hours drinking, eating, chatting.  Shane and I hadn’t realized how long it had been since we’d spent an entire evening just focusing on each other.  It was good to catch up.

After dinner, we spent awhile strolling around Gastown.  This neighborhood is somewhat reminiscent of Seattle’s Pioneer Square, but it’s a little more touristy and a little more “rough around the edges”.  I love the character of Gastown’s old brick buildings, but in between those beautiful old buildings are some super-sketchy alleyways…  The recommendation of a trusted friend led us down one of those sketchy alleys and into this amazing little tucked-away wine and cheese bar called The Salt Tasting Room.  Our time here was probably the highlight of the weekend.  Clean, simple decor, dim lighting, and a chalkboard wall filled with listings of their current meat and cheese selections.  Not being cheese connoisseurs by any stretch, we asked out waitress to surprise us with a sample platter of her recommendations, paired with whatever wines she thought best.  I have always liked cheese, but after last night, I have found that I actually loooove cheese.  She brought us a creamy blue cheese, which we drizzled with honey, an aged cheddar, and a Compte that made me go “mmmmmmm…” every time I took a bite.  The wines were fantastic as well.  My only wish is that we would have had room in our stomachs to sample some of the meats.  Next time, I guess (and there WILL be a next time at this place).

Our room had a great view and the perfect end to a perfect day was laying in bed and looking out the window at this.  Not bad…

We spent this morning at Granville Island, wandering through the huge public market and checking out a few of the local shops and art galleries.  I could have spent an entire day at the market, indulging my senses.  Granville has this great little water park right next to the market, where kids can romp around the fountains while parents lounge on the nearby grass, and though we are neither kids nor parents, we still enjoyed spending awhile here, just checking out the scene from our shady bench.  This part of town is definitely another thing on our “revisit” list.

It was a hard to leave after getting just the smallest taste of all this city has to offer.  The question now is: when can we go back?

One Comment

  1. jack says:

    one of the greatest cities ever… any time you guys want to go, you know we’re game! glad you enjoyed your trip… and you’re right, you’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg. go back. soon. with us.