On Christmas morning, I literally screamed with joy when I opened my present from Brad. It looked like a Christmas card (because, well, it was), but contained within it were details of a weekend away to Vancouver! The kicker? Tickets to see my favourite hockey team, the Colorado Avalanche, play against the Vancouver Canucks in February. My Brad knows me so well!
When the weekend of our trip finally rolled around, I was bursting with excitement ... and a need for tea, as we had to be up early to catch the morning ferry to Vancouver. This was going to be a trip of firsts. Our first time to Vancouver (now everyone on the West Coast can get off my back about having not been there yet), my first time seeing the Avs play, and Brad's first NHL game. I knew that it was going to be a fantastic trip, and of course it didn't disappoint.
We took the ferry over to the mainland, which was a very wonderful and surprising experience. Getting to see all of the islands en route to Vancouver on such a clear day made for a lovely journey, and it didn't feel like we were on a boat at all. I don't do so well with being "below deck" sometimes, and my own experiences with ferries are limited to the Dartmouth-Halifax ferry in Nova Scotia, the PEI ferry (which I got very seasick on as a child), and the Victoria-Seattle ferry (which I usually pop a couple of Gravol for and just pass out during). The only downside of our trip was that I'd overpacked a little, which meant my bag was terrible to carry. I opted to use the weekender bag that Brad got me for my birthday instead of my roller suitcase, and I paid the price (or, to be more accurate, Brad paid the price because he offered to carry it and I wasn't about to refuse). Lesson learned!
I don't like itineraries when I travel. That's not to say I don't have an idea of things that I want to see or do, but I try to stay away from planning every second. I'm lucky that Brad is the same way. Whenever we travel, we spend a lot of time just walking around, discovering places to get tea and coffee, or stumbling into really neat shops. Thankfully, we only came to Vancouver for two reasons - hockey, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
(If you think I'm joking, I'm absolutely not)
The view from the ferry terminal in Swartz Bay is something else. The beauty of British Columbia never ceases to amaze me.
First stop? The nearest pub to our hotel for a beverage and some lunch. Kingston Taphouse & Grille.
One of the many cool looking buildings in Gastown.
Where there are hipsters, there are hipster bicycles.
The extremely cool art in Revolver, composed entirely of nails.
Of course, Brad got coffee, but they had some lovely tea as well, which I needed a side of peanut butter cookie with. ;)
Hey, we know that place!
The Olympic Cauldron.
Nifty art in front of the library.
The view of BC Place from our hotel room.
One of my favourite spots from our trip, The Templeton. It has an old timey diner feel, mainly because a lot of their furniture and fixtures are from the era of diners!
Some Wonder Woman for our morning reading.
Blueberry banana pancakes with a helping of fruit.
Lunch was gooey nachos at Patron Tacos & Cantina.
An Avs fan in enemy territory ...
.... thank goodness I had some back up!
We had, arguably, some of the best seats in the house, mainly due to Brad's inability to double check things. ;) When buying tickets, he "accidentally" bought club seats - we had our own private entrance to the arena, seat service, comfortable seats, and an excellent view of the game. I don't think I'll be able to settle for anything less from now on!
The Avalanche ended up losing 5-2 to the Canucks, but it was still a spectacular time.
A panorama of our view of the city from Stanley Park.
Our relationship summed up in one picture.
The trees in BC are so tall. After more than two years on this coast, I'm still not used to them.
Back in downton Vancouver, Brad and I took part in reason #2 for our trip to Vancouver - Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Brad was the first to take the plunge.
That is what happiness looks like.
It was everything that I wanted it to be.
While Vancouver isn't my favourite city that I've travelled to (the economic disparity was a bit much at times and really affected me), it was still a marvellous trip, and I'd love to go back some day soon. I do have some family and friends over there that I would love to see. There are also a few museums and galleries that I'd like to check out - we had planned to do that on our last day there, but most things ended up being closed or too expensive. See, this is one of the things that happens when you don't actually have an itinerary! Even still, I don't think that could be the way that I travelled.
Thank goodness we're not that far away. ;)