Generally when we travel we don’t stick around in cities long enough to get to know them on a first name basis. It’s more of a brief air kiss on both cheeks and we head straight out of town in search of the wilderness and horses. However, in September last year Buster and I checked out a ride in British Columbia, Canada, and had the unexpected delight of spending a couple of nights in Vancouver. Well hello Vancouver! By the end of our stay we felt very chummy with this city and promised her we would return to explore the relationship further.
It helped that we snagged incredibly good weather (I’ve heard the weather can be completely atrocious). Our first taste of the city starting with ‘V’ was in the taxi to our hotel. It was dusk and the entire city was dusted in a golden light. The Sylvia Hotel came recommended, and sits like a vertical shoebox overlooking English Bay, rashed in a plant creeper it was built in 1912. I loved this hotel with its snail-paced lifts, ground-floor restaurant and bar with chipper wait-staff and spacious rooms where you had the freedom to open your window and let the salty air balloon the curtains.
The hotel was within spitting distance of Stanley Park a 1000 acre public park that is kissed by the Pacific Ocean. I fell in love with the park and every morning I ran along the paths that outstretched like veins through forests of ancient trees. In the early morning I jogged past keen-as-mustard fisherman perched on the sea wall and swooped upon by roller-bladers only to exit in a cloud of lycra. There was also a dedicated bike track for those keen on the pedal power.
Buster and I walked through the park and stumbled across a handful of tennis courts and watched a heated match of doubles.
On our last day we hired a car to drive up to Whistler. When booking the car I happened to mention that we were on our honeymoon (not the case but it felt like it without our toddler shadow – Finn). She promptly upgraded us to a convertible Mustang. Oh yeah! Top down, loud music, I painted some red lipstick on – just because – and we purred along the Sea to Sky Highway to the ski village of Whistler.
Buster quickly found out that maximum speed was 130 km per hour before it cut out. We loved spending the day roaming through the village. In summer the slopes transform into a melting pot of hikers, mountain bikers and climbers. I instantly fell in love with the chocolate-box charm of the boutique shops, the towering peaks, the Canadian hospitality, and the energy it creates.
So… we fell in love with Canada so much we’ve made a pledge with our best-friends to return in 2017 to live for one year. The countdown is on!
photo captions from top to bottom:
English Bay on dusk, the Canadians sure know how to soak up the good weather when its around. I loved the driftwood logs that lined the beach.
My morning run through Stanley Park.
The Fish House, a restaurant cocooned in a grove of trees in Stanley Park. I so wished I dined here. Next time.
The sea wall that fringes the park is a bustling highway of walkers, runners, cyclists, roller bladders and pram pushers.
Sundowner time at English Bay.
Our charming hotel; hot dogs bought on the street without the cheese, its a peculiar thing, they can’t sell cheese or canned cheese due to health & safety regulations if I understood correctly; we walked and walked and walked – best way to get around.
Oh yeah – second honeymoon. Jumping for joy with our spiffy wheels for the day.