Day 1: City Frolics
Marjie, the awesome friend I stayed with in Vancouver, jokingly told me that Vancouver’s nickname is Raincouver. They’ve been experiencing a longer rainy season this year which left many of the locals lusting for the sun. I arrived unprepared for a rainy weekend in the gloomy Pacific Northwest but I was dang determined to enjoy my weekend…rain or shine!
Since it was my first time in Vancouver, I wanted to explore the many neighborhoods of the city. Luckily, we were able to hop from one place to the next by taking the Sky Train and then resorting to riding the bus when walking was a bit too difficult in the rain. Buying a day pass at the Sky Train station was a lot more cost efficient than paying for a pass every couple of hours.
What really surprised me about Vancouver right from the beginning was the influences of the Asian culture and French language on the city. I noticed that there were loads of Vietnamese restaurants, Japanese restaurants, and even a 24 hour Cambodian noodle joint! All the signs on food packaging, beauty products, busses and trains also had French translations so I felt like I was back in Europe.
Before any sight seeing could take place on that Saturday morning, I needed to go to Revolver for a delicious cup of coffee. Poor Marjie don’t drink coffee but I dragged her along anyway. I did some research weeks before I got to the city to pin point where to get my coffee fix. Revolver had great Yelp ratings and the Yelpers did not let me down!
My darling friend and I started our first morning of exploration in the historic Gastown neighborhood. I fell in love with the cobblestone streets and exposed brick buildings pretty much right away. We went to different souvenir shops and took some photos in front of the first steam clock invented by Raymond Saunders, in 1977.
Chinatown was a quick walk from Gastown. I was intrigued by the beautiful Chinese architecture and wanted to explore the neighborhood a bit further. Marjie suggested that we visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and it was a great idea!
The garden was lush and super green. There were free guided tours included with admissions cost but we arrived too late to catch up with the group.
Our next destination was a trip to Canada Place. Canada Place is located right on the waterfront of the city. This is where you would find the loading docks for cruise ships, big hotels, convention centre, different mode of public transportations, and tourism information. Marjie and I took the SeaBus from Canada Place to visit North Vancouver.
We arrived at the waterfront of North Vancouver and wandered around the Lonsdale Quay Market. This two story market place reminded me of Grand Central Market in DTLA but bigger! The many food and craft vendors were indoor but the live music was outdoor on the waterfront. It was really fun to watch adults and children danced to live Salsa music.
After we spent some time relaxing at North Vancouver, we took the SeaBus back to a hip eatery called Nelson and Seagull in Gastown. I was craving brunch food since all we had for breakfast were sweets. Oops! I loved the freshly baked bread and the simple but tasty menu.
After enjoying lunch at Nelson and Seagull, we headed back home to take a quick nap and get ready for a night out. It was a bit tricky getting dressed for a cold night out since my dress was meant for warm, Summer weather. Told you guys I was unprepared!
I had a restaurant picked out for our girls night. We went to Tuc Craft Kitchen for a fancy dinner + cocktails. Once again, we ended up back at Gastown.
Dinner was super delicious and filling! I had a hard time walking after eating two small entrees all by myself. Marjie and I took a short stroll through the streets of Downtown and decided that we were too tired to keep celebrating. We went back to her apartment and fell asleep almost instantly. My first full day in Vancouver was a delightful one.