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Friday, April 6, 2012

i heart vancouver

 Right now, we are in Ottawa for about a month enjoying some time with our families and friends. It's been very nice to be "home", and we have been busy with visits and doing fun "city things"that we don't get to do when we are up in Whitehorse. It's been ,a busy time for us with the two little ones, so I've been finding it hard to find the time to keep up with my posts. To be honest, it's been nice for me to have a bit of  a break from the computer, to be unplugged. I'm liking the space from the internet, it feels good to live in the present. I do love the internet but sometimes I find myself spending way too much time on it. Balance is good.
I wanted to do a little post on the two cites that we visited before we came here to Ottawa, Vancouver and Seattle. This little post will be about Vancouver, one of our favourite cities in Canada and easily one of the most beautiful ones.
We spent just about 3 days in Vancouver this time and stayed in 2 hotels that were right downtown. Our trip was very family oriented and we did mostly family friendly activities. One of our favourite things to do with Noah is to take him to parks and to be in nature, and Vancouver has no shortage of green space. We spent a lot of time in Stanley Park, along the beach and at the Aquarium. Had it been nicer weather (Springtime is rainy season) we would've had some picnics there, but as I mentioned, it was pretty wet while we were there. Stanley Park is a true gem and if you ever get to go there, you'll get a small glimpse into what BC's the old growth forests look like. Gorgeous ancient Douglas Firs, bright green moss, sea scapes, giant driftwood logs...this park truly provides the big city of Vancouver a lovely spot for some much needed respite.
While at Stanley Park, we spent an afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium and very much enjoyed it there. After spending the entire winter up North in Whitehorse, we all felt the need and desire to see some big city things and take in some educational/cultural activities. The Aquarium was fantastic, full of wonderful exhibits, with many things to see and do. Noah loved it and so did we... for the most part. My only complaint is that I wish they would stop keeping whales there. They have beluga whales kept there and to me, it is unnecessary and frankly, cruel. Whales are migrating animals by nature and to keep them in little tanks like that just makes me feel sick to my stomach. I'm sorry, I just had to say it. But aside from that, we really did like it there.
Another favourite place for us to go to while in Vancouver is Granville Island Market. This market is not far from the city centre of Vancouver and is such a fun lace to check out. Along with stalls of gourmet cheeses, teas, and baked goods, the Emily Carr School of Art campus is located here and you can find some pretty cool artisan shops. Art, gifts, food, coffee, harbour views, boats ... you name it, it's here.
A few other things we did....
:: visited with our freinds, Mary Grace and Alvin. While with them, we ate phili cheese steaks at this delicious spot....oh and their fries with herbs and cheese and smoked chipotle sauce... oh ya it was good!
:: met up with our friend Allison and her daughter Clara at Granville Island. Noah and Clara had a blast together, running around and eating cake pops!
:: I ran into a funky thrift shop on Granville St., called The Wildlife Thrift Store. I scored 2 cute Banana Republic skirts for 6 bucks each. Not bad.
:: We visited Daiso, the Japanese dollar store in Richmond BC (close to the Vancouver airport). This dollar store has some really fun kitchen things, bento lunch box items, pretty bowls and cups, as well as other fun things. I went a bit crazy picking up some cute crafty things and well as some bento items. It was fun!
And so that is a little glimpse into our short time in Vancouver. I realize that there are a ton of things to do in this city, but we had 2 small kids with us and we needed to keep everything relatively manageable. This trip was a bit of an eye opener for us. We had done quite a bit of traveling around with Noah, and never seemed to have much trouble with it. Now, things are a bit different. Instead of only having one child to care for, we have two and we had to be a bit more realistic with our hopes and wants on this trip. It was definitely a bit of a more low key trip and to be honest, Winslow and I were really tired (so were the kids) by the end of it. There is something to be said for all inclusives and cottages, that's for sure!
I'll be back soon with more on Seattle.


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