I apologize for letting my blogging drop off for a while! I was in Vancouver and too busy to blog. But here is a recap of what I did!
I went to Vancouver with my best friend, to visit her sister, brother-in-law, and teenage nieces. They live in North Vancouver, a SeaBus ride across the water. I love it when ferries are part of the public transportation system! I also love it when you can walk out of the airport terminal (amazing airport!) and right onto a metro train that takes you straight to aforementioned SeaBus.
Nature Around Us
The lure of Vancouver is of course the amazing scenery. You barely have to leave the city to find it, too. Within walking distance from where we were staying in North Vancouver was not only Lynn Valley town center with coffee shops, the library, a bike shop and restaurants, but a canyon with a small non-touristy suspension bridge. Either direction took us through some gorgeous wooded paths, too. Vancouver apparently had been suffering from lack of rain, so the water levels were low, but it was still cool and amazingly clear. One evening after dinner we drove somewhere and walked along the waterfront. The beach is that rocky, full-of-driftwood sort of northwestern beach that I grew up with, and the setting sun made the colors stunning. Stanley Park was packed full of people when we drove to the Vancouver Aquarium, many of them on bikes.
Mountain Bike City
I spent most of the trip trying to arrange a visit with Chris and Melissa Bruntlett of Modacity, as well as get to Sidesaddle Bikes (the recently opened women-focused bike shop), but alas, neither happened. The drawback to not being on your own trip. But I did go into my first mountain bike-only bike shop, Lynn Valley Bikes, and pop into another North Vancouver bike shop, Obsession Bikes (they had the cutest sleeves there that I almost bought and somewhat regret not buying). I didn’t get to bike but of course eyed the bike infrastructure wherever we went. I was impressed at the number of green lanes and separated lanes. Everyone was either on a mountain bike or had a stack of them on the back of their cars, and those who were not on mountain bikes were on city/urban bikes. I spotted very few road bikes. I guess that’s just the culture there, and with so many opportunities nearby, why wouldn’t you grow up mountain biking?!
Where We Went
Again, this was a family trip, so most of our time was spent with them. The first full day we were there was the youngest niece’s 16th birthday, so to celebrate, we all got pedicures then spent about 6 hours in the area’s largest mall. I bought a cute kimono-style blazer from Zara, visited the Roots store, and tried to check out anything else that wasn’t available in the US.
We also went to Granville Island one day. I could have spent more time there because we barely scratched the surface. We had lunch at Edible Canada, a restaurant that focuses on Canadian products and produce. Then we checked out the vendors’ shops. I love the First Nations artwork of the area and couldn’t see enough of it. We also went to the Vancouver Aquarium. It was helpful to see all the local exhibits, to get a sense of what the waters are around the area. The Sea Monsters exhibit was cool, too. And randomly, we realized at one point that we were standing next to David Duchovny and his teenage children. This was funny for my best friend and me because when she was doing her undergrad work in Seattle in the mid-90s, we drove up to Vancouver for a weekend and randomly happened to be staying in a motel where an episode of X-Files had been filmed. I guess David Duchovny and Vancouver are now synonymous to me! No photos of him, however.
What I Wore and Bought
I took my Levi’s Commuter Jeans, my new asymmetrical reflective floral top, my ShadowplayNYC scarf, and my reflective bomber jacket, my faux leather skirt, my reflective Cole Haan shoes and my latest Danskos (among other things). I’m so glad I took the jacket – this trip cemented it’s everyday status in my mind. It looks look on and off the bike.
I bought the Zara blazer and a beautiful necklace by local artist Corrine Hunt. I didn’t pick the necklace because she had also designed the 2010 Olympic medals, but that’s definitely a plus! It’s a lovely blend of modern and First Nations designs and I’m sure I’ll get plenty of wear out of it. And somehow, it goes really well with the Zara blazer!
We found a really cool sequin dress that I might have bought if I could think of a reason to have one – the sequins were matte white on one side and gold on the other, so if you ran your hands across it, it would move the sequins around and create an abstract look. I really love this idea. We also had to go to the Fluevog store in Gastown. Fluevog originates in Vancouver, and I love that they always have a full-page ad in Momentum Magazine. The shoes are so wonderful, but just out of my current budget, so I didn’t buy anything but my friend and her sister did – matching shoes! Luckily they don’t live near each other, haha! What We Ate and Drank
I think I ate more sashimi over five days than I have in years. I don’t eat meat anymore but my weakness is seafood, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when surrounded by so much fresh fish. We had a chef tasting at Brown’s Socialhouse in North Vancouver, amazing sashimi in Sushi Town tucked next to a McDonald’s, inventive sushi and sashimi at Guu Izakaya in Gastown, Canadian foods at Edible Canada, and lots and lots of local beer. Oh, and Tim Horton’s.