Visiting the West Coast has always been a bucket list item for me, and although I still haven't made it to San Francisco or Seattle yet, I'm so excited I finally had the chance to go to Vancouver, Canada! To give you a short backstory as to why I came here, I would have to go back almost a year ago, when I met some of the most incredible people while I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria. So many great memories were reminisced on this trip, and it wasn't until we all sat down together at dinner one night in Canada that I realized just how many special moments I had with each person in those short few months. I've fallen in love with this city, and the major reason is because I got to see some awesome people again. A huge shoutout to my sistas Olivia and Melissa for the best week ever (extra love to Olivia & Ashley for being great hosts!)
From hiking (injuries included) in the rain and eating every kind of Asian food in the city to helping me take blog pics and watching me fangirl about Zac Efron in HSM after The Shallows, it's been real and memorable. Love you guys!!!!
Here are a few highlights from Vancouver; Hope you enjoy!
O' Canada! - Canada Day
Honestly, I was so excited that our dates for this trip allowed us to be here just in time for Canada Day on July 1st! It was cool to see so many families and friends out to celebrate the occasion all over the city, and we were excited to be a part of the festivities. We even got some matching maple leaf bandanas for the occasion :)
Granville Island Market
I love markets, and food markets especially, make me a very happy gal. My favorite one of all time has to be Borough Market in London, but this comes in very close to the top of the list. Hundreds of food stalls serve everything from Vietnamese spring rolls and German bratwurst to sweet treats like freshly-baked pies and maple cookies. We took our food outside and sat by the water to enjoy the fresh air. The island also has a ton of very unique and eclectic shops, so spend the afternoon exploring them! We took a water taxi to get to Granville, but you can also get there by car or by walking.
We really enjoyed our afternoon riding bikes along the seawall and explored Stanley Park over the weekend. Rent a bike for a few hours from any local shop, and join locals and tourists on the winding bike trails for some incredible views of the city.
Richmond Night Market (check out their website for hours and admission details)
I honestly had no idea what to expect at this night market, except the fact that we needed to go on an empty stomach because there was going to be lots and lots of food! We had so much fun trying everything from takoyaki and potato twisters, to poke bowls and watermelon frenzies. There are also many stands selling imported items from Asia, so get your fix of colored contacts, Disney and Obama socks, and and pretty much anything else you may or may not need.
Lake Garibaldi Hike
This hike was mildly strenuous , and took about 5-6 hours to complete. It was a bit foggy and rainy the day we went, but the views are so worth it and the water is icy and unreal. Check it out on a sunnier day, and you'll be rewarded with even more Insta-worthy views.
Peak 2 Peak : Whistler We took an overnight trip to Whistler, which is about an hour and a half drive from downtown Vancouver for a mini getaway during the week. We got passes for Peak 2 Peak (around $55 CAD), and took the Gondola from mountain to mountain. It got significantly colder the higher we went, but we were rewarded with a bear sighting on our way down! Check out their website for more details. Apparently, this is a super popular mini getaway for people who live in and near the city since its just far enough away from home, and is a great 1-2 day retreat for friends and families. I'd love to come back and check out ski season here!
Other Notable Food
Phnom Penh Restaurant This spot is apparently a very popular Cambodian/Asian Fusion restaurant in Chinatown. Must order: Butter beef (left), chicken wings(top right), and luk lak (beef on rice with fries egg on top - bottom right)
This tiny restaurant seriously serves up a delicious bowl of ramen! I chose the classic miso ramen with the medium soup base and the FAT bbq pork! Try riding a bike after this ...
Bella Gelateria This place was voted one of the best gelaterias in the world, and the line to get a scoop totally confirms this. Though each scoop is a bit pricey (around $5 CAD), it was yummy and refreshing on a hot day. I tried the sesame flavor and my friends got the banana bread and vanilla cherry, which they both loved, too.
And that is a wrap for Vancouver! My heart and stomach are so full <3 Thanks for a wonderful adventure guys; I can't wait to see everyone again!