I knew, financially, that I shouldn't go, yet traveling and random adventures have always been weaknesses of mine.
So with school bills continuously piling up and not much figured out other than the goal of keeping my budget for the trip as small as possible, I decided it was a fabulous idea to continue on with an unplanned, week long road trip to Whistler, Canada, with my childhood best friend. This is because I believe that if you work hard, you should be able to play just as hard too. Otherwise, what is there really to life if you do not take the time to enjoy it? Experiences are well worth working a little more and a little harder in the long run, therefore, trips and adventures remain a constant motivation for me as I do just that.
With nothing else planned, other than where we were going to sleep at night, we were off.
Our first stop was Vancouver, BC. Every summer growing up, my family and I would take a week long trip to Whistler, Canada. So this wasn't my first time road tripping through the area, but, it was the first time that I got to stay and explore it for more than a couple of hours, and I was stoked. I had heard nothing but "oh that place is beautiful" whenever I mentioned Vancouver to anyone, so I was curious to see what was so beautiful about it.
We arrived at my best friend's cousin's house late at night and I instantly got over my long car ride sluggishness. Not only were we in an adorable little neighborhood, but her house, filled with other University of British Columbia student nomads, smelled of adventure and stories. Getting acquainted with our hosts, I began to chat with one of her roommate's while he was cooking himself dinner in the kitchen. Being the foodie that I am, I eventually asked what he was making himself.
Okay. He's officially so cool, I thought to myself (in all seriousness). I didn't have the guts to ask for a taste, but man was I interested in what else this mini stay in Vancouver was going to bring.
Cousin, best friend and I decided to go out and hit the town. Even though it was already late on a Sunday night, we wanted to make sure that we were taking full advantage of the short time we had in this city. We headed to Gastown and decided to walk around to see what was happening. Our first stop was a random bar that seemed to be poppin'. We later understood that it was a Cambie hostel bar.... so the late Sunday night crowd made more sense.
Traveling side note: Hostel bars are great because they are filled with all kinds of people from all corners of the world, ready to meet new people and go on cool adventures, whenever, wherever. Figures. right?
While at the hostel bar, we met two American guys that were road tripping from Alaska down to California and then all over the rest of the U.S.. Something about traveling turns people into automatic friends, and I love it. For the rest of the evening, the five of us bar hopped around Gastown.
2am hit and it was time to eat. Cousin took us to one of her favorite, late night vegetarian places known as The Naam. This place had a chill, hipster vibe, and our server looked like he came straight out of Aladdin with his care free, billowy outfit. It wasn't busy by any means, but for that late on a Sunday night, it still had quite a few customers.
I shared a Naam burrito wrap (lettuce with green onions, carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, rice, tofu, peanut sauce, and teriyaki sauce) with best friend, along with some of their sesame fries (thick cut potatoes baked with sesame seeds and served with miso sauce) which cousin said we couldn't leave until we tried them. Needless to say, the food hit the spot, and couosin was right. We didn't stop eating the fries until they were gone. I wish we had a Naam here in Oregon.
The next morning, we rolled out of bed, showered real fast, and ate hard boiled eggs and apples (our road trip food) as we drove to downtown again to explore. Traveling is always the best when there aren't any plans, so we dropped cousin off at her lecture class and left to go explore the Monday morning away.
With only a couple of hours, we decided to stay nearby and see what Kits Point was all about.
Where Lululemon nourishes:
Glory Juice Co., Turf, Local, Rain or Shine ice cream, Lucky Taco, Heirloom, Zen Cafe, Wholefoods, Tractor, Be Fresh
Once we arrived, we quickly got lost in some places that are very familiar to best friend and I: Lululemon and Whole Foods. Trying to stick to my budget, I didn't stay long at these two places, and instead, left to wander 4th Avenue by myself for a little. It was filled with cute little trendy thrift stores, open air meat and fruit markets, and friendly people going about their busy days. I loved it.
Where Lululemon connects:
Kits beach, Jericho beach, Wreck beach, Spanish banks, English bay, Pacific Spirit Park, Seawall, Moment Meditaion, Dharma Temple, Platform 7 cafe, Granville Island, Vanier Park
After being convinced that I needed a pair of running shorts from Lululemon (which I now wear all the time - go check them out and get yourself some! They're SO worth it), best friend rejoined me and walked down to the waterfront.
It was an overcast muggy day, but that didn't stop the canadians from enjoying the outdoors. There was people picnicing, playing beach volleyball, working out, walking around, or enojoying lunch at one of the waterfront cafes.
Needless to say, I could have stayed in this part of Vancouver all day.
A pre hike lunch was a must, so El took us on the outwards part of town to one of her very favorite spots. Bandidas Taqueria: a health conscious, environmental friendly, and legit bomb taco shop. I could eat there every day if I could. Everything they serve is bright and colorful (I think they were in on that food trick knowing that people eat with their eyes..) and tastes nothing short of that. My tip for you? Get the Ronny Russell, burrito in a bowl style (roasted yams, guacamole, black beans, salsa verde, purple cabbage and toasted pumpkin seeds). Enough said.
From top left and clockwise: two plates with the Ronny Russel, Wolf & Goat, and Stella tacos, a small house salad, and a Ronny Russel burrito in a bowl style
Fueled with the best food, we were ready for our next adventure of the day.
We knew of two places in the Vancouver area where you can cross some suspension bridges; one is free and one is $40. So you can only guess what one we decided to go on...If you guessed the freebie one, then you win at life.
Lynn Canyon is nothing short of what the pacific northwest is known for best: lots of green things and views of falling water. We hiked for about an hour, exploring the deep pools of waters hiding along the trails and looking in awe at the many waterfalls this canyon held. There was definitely an amount of people on the trails that I felt as though we weren't very far from the city, but the further you got from the parking lot, the more you felt lost. It was great getaway from the city.
The suspension bridge was really definitely my favorite part of the hike, but after crossing and bouncing on it one too many times, I found that I was happiest on the solid ground. We decided it was time to leave after a couple hours when we remembered that we wanted to make it to our final destination before dark: Whistler, British Columbia. So after dropping El off at a bus stop 15 minutes away, we were on our way to another adventure destination in the beautiful northwest.