Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vancouver and Seattle

a life without travel is a life i can't live. the last four locations i traveled to were Oahu, Kenya, Maui and Cancun. overlook Kenya and do you see a recurring theme here? sand. water. sun. repeat. while i enjoy tropical settings, it was time for a break. i took a random week off in june and decided on Vancouver because 1) i wanted a laid back trip where i could do outdoorsy stuff, 2) it was easily accessible (meaning not too much of a hassle to coordinate and not too costly), and 3) there's great food in Vancouver and you know that was my main concern. really 1,2,3 should have been 3,2,1. 

Ted went up with me for the first few days and then we drove down to Seattle where he flew home and i continued the eating fun. i spent a couple of days visiting with Pat and Jenny and then drove back to Vancouver for a final day of gorging myself on all of the scrumptious eats i'd bookmarked. aside from shoveling food down our throats left and right, we also partook in some zip lining at Whistler, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, hiking Grouse Mountain and cycling around the city and Stanley Park. i'll let the pictures tell the story. this is a "what we did" post. the next post will be a "what we ate" post because that definitely deserves it's own time.

but first, a few observances about Vancouver:
--you know how they say that French people are mean? well when i went to France it was like anywhere else. some people were rude or ignored you but some people were nice and helpful. you can't lump people together and generalize, right? wellllll they say that Canadians are nice and that is the truth! everybody is friendly, helpful and goes above and beyond to make sure you're good. it's pretty refreshing.
--it's super clean everywhere you go. even Chinatown is clean and we all know that Chinatowns are usually pigeon filled and the streets are lined with random corn husks or smashed fruits. 
--speaking of Chinatown, while it's pretty clean, they do have quite a collection of meth addicts and homeless who roam about like zombies. there was one lady who stood at the top of a street staring down without moving for a few minutes which freaked me the f*ck out. i hate anything zombie related so this was not fun, but it was kind of entertaining for a moment (though i obviously don't wish addiction on anybody). 

blurry pic but i still like it. on our way!

Vancouver bound!

29th floor on the 1000 block of Hornby St., just three blocks from the heart of downtown. our view was awesome! and our host had apple tv so we did some heavy Orange is the New Black watching.

Granville Public Market, much like the Quincy Market in Boston or a more rustic version of SF's Ferry Building.

lunch at Edible Canada, across the street from the Public Market

Richmond Night Market. this completely reminds me of evenings on "Girl St." in Hong Kong where there is a ton of outdoor shopping (usually nothing great, just cell phone cases, cheap clothing, trinkets, goldfish in bags, etc.) and loads of street eats. this place is packed with people spending the early night with friends snacking on grilled squid, octopus balls and other asiany snacks.

we got a "rotato," which is a spiral cut potato that's been deep fried and dusted with whatever seasoning you want. it's a cross between fry and chip and is pretty great.

zip lining at Whistler! we did their "thrilling and adventurous" tour also called the Eagle Tour, through five zip lines. two of them were longer than the length of two Eiffel Towers laid down on it's side. 

first time ever!

i've zip lined in China and in Costa Rica but have never been able to flip upside down because of safety conditions in both places. finalllly i got to try and it. was. awesome! this is just before i let my hands go and my arms flailed around those big dancing air things you see outside of car dealerships. fun!

our group was pretty entertaining.

love is in the air? or the symbol for it anyway... <3 p="">

little suspension bridges between zip lines

oh Canada, you're such a beaut!

Capilano Suspension Bridge

not as rickety, scary or swaying as i recalled it being from the time i went in my childhood. 

or is it? jk!

the guy who was taking the picture told us to do this. i can be cheesy but this is a little more than i'm used to.


pretty sure you're not supposed to jump on the suspension bridges but i rebel. this and jay walking are about as rebellious as i get though...

cliff walk

after the suspension bridge we went to Grouse Mountain to climb the Grouse Grind "hike" which really just means an 850m (.5miles) elevation involving about 2800 "stairs" which is made of rock and wood. a bit daunting. they say it should take the average person an hour and a half to climb and an inexperienced hiker two hours to climb.

the start

3/4 of the way up and we're tired! 

cue music from the Rocky soundtrack! we did it! finished in about an hour and fifteen minutes.

view from the top, though most of the view is obstructed by trees.

view from the ride back down on the gondola

Seattle's Post Alley, full of generations of people's DNA and disgustingness. we, of course, followed suit.

sleep standing? open your eyes to this world of color, Ted!

beautiful glass art

all glass errythang!

which one doesn't belong?

peace, from Seattle.

spent the night before and the first half of my day eating with Pat and Jenny. awesome french toast at Geraldine's and sandwiches from Salumi at Kerry Park. happy to have caught up and excited to see your house once it's built, Pattoy!! 

the view from dinner at Canlis, which i recapped here.

cycling around town and around Stanley Park

Beaver Lake, which unfortunately does not house any beavers that i could see.

i guess Canadians don't lay out on the beach? maybe they just hang out on logs? sounds about right.

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