Going from Seattle to Vancouver was surprisingly easy. All you have to do is take a 4- hour train ride on the Cascade Amtrak, and you are dropped off just outside the city.
From our AirBnB it was a 7 minute Lyft ride to King Street Station (Love the Harry Potter sounding name). We had to be there 2 hours before the train departed, which in our case was 6am. There was a very friendly, quirky conductor that had everyone line up, checked our tickets and passports, then let us on the train.
The train itself was very comfortable with large seats that reclined 5x as much compared to an airplane. There were also tray tables, overhead storage, and a food/beverage cart. A very enjoyable, comfortable ride if I do say so myself. I image the route was beautiful too, following the coast up, but it was so foggy the whole time we really couldn’t see anything besides some amazing homes here and there.
Once we arrived to Canada, we had to go through customs at the train station. This was a breeze. How long are you staying? What is the purpose of your trip? Do you have any marijuana products on you?
That was literally it. Once thought “customs” we hopped into a taxi and laughed at how close the new AirBnB was. We definitely could have walked, but we didn’t know.
The house we stayed at was cute, a lower level lock-off from the owners home, with a separate entrance, a mini kitchen, bathroom and a bed. Perfect size. The street the house was on had large maple trees lining the streets, sprinkling fat red and yellow leaves on the ground. A postcard of Autumn.
Once we settled and checked out our space, I was so hungry that I thought I would vomit You know that feeling? About 3 blocks down was Vietnamese restaurant called The Union where I had the best Banh Mi (sandwich) since I lived in San Francisco. The Boulder area has pathetic excuses for the sandwich, so finding this place so easy was a sign. My mom got a ramen bowl, and we paired each with a nice cold beer.
Once we were done eating it was already 3pm, so we decided to walk off our bloated bellies to the famous Stanley Park which was over a mile away from the restaurant through the heart of the city. The street we went down was not very nice, showing the bad, dirty almost scary side of Vancouver, but nothing-less we made it to the enormous park. We walked along the side until we found a coffee shop and some totem poles, and sat down for another break. At this point we were exhausted and just wanted to go back to the house.
On the way back we chose another street to avoid the last, and found a really nice strip of shops, an outdoor mall. We stopped into a couple small boutiques, got some free samples from Sephora, then eventually made it home just as it was getting dark. We were thinking of having meat, cheese, and wine for dinner, so I went out again in search of a grocery store. I was very disappointed to find that every single one was closed, and the closest store that was open (whole foods) was over a mile away. Defeated I went back to the house to tell my mom the bad news. Of course this wasn’t the end, there is delivery in Canada too 😛
After much debate about what to order and who to order from we finally placed an order with one delivery service for a bottle of wine, and another for pizza and tapas. Hour later we were both in our PJs in bed, drinking the wine, eating pizza, and watching a chick-flick.
The next day we slept in till 10! Couldn’t believe it. Since we did all the touristy stuff in Seattle, we decided to call it a shopping day. First we went to breakfast at (?) which was an Austrian restaurant in the middle of china town, and our server was so cute that I couldn’t stop blushing. The building itself was not the pretties to look at, but the eggs Benedict we got made all of that not matter. So amazing I still am craving the potatoes and hollandaise that came with it, (the server too.)
Finished eating we walked the rest of the way through China Town and then back over to where we found shopping the day before. Since we needed to get my mom a new phone plan, we ended up at an actual shopping mall. Two floors with tons of shops that we dinked around in, went to Sephora again to get more samples, then got a coffee. I got the most delicious caramel macchiato, a real one, Starbucks was put to shame.
Once we had enough of the indoor mall we walked to the outdoor mall where I instantly fell in love with a shop called Roots. Like a Canadian north face. I ended up buying myself a puffy jacket and my mom bought me a beautiful gray sweater. I am so in love with both, I will probably wear them out by the end of the winter. We of course stopped at Sephora one more time for free samples, totally loaded up for a while haha. Eventually we killed enough time shopping that we stopped for a late lunch. A brewery called Timber. We each got a flight and some bar food of french fries and cheese curds everything quite tasty. Bill paid, and a bit tipsy we walked to a small Whole Foods, buying treats to eat at home, a true charcuterie board.
We walked about half-way back to the house, and gratefully decided to grab a taxi the rest of the way. It was an awesome vacation, walking miles and miles, seeing so much, but by this time on my last day we were happy to just have an easy going movie night.
Once home we prepped our dinner board, found a movie to watch, and finished the bottle of wine.
Monday was my last day, flying back to CO at 1pm, so we
went searching for a good breakfast. We walked a distance to a place called Jam Cafe, and found out upon arrival that the restaurant is a hip Instagram worthy restaurant, resulting in an hour wait with a large line out the door. Not really wanting to wait or risk rushing to my flight, we rounded the corner and stopped at another brunch spot. Sitting down I realized that I wanted nothing on the menu and opted we go to the coffee shop we saw walking a block back. Agreeing, we left and popped into the cafe. The coffee and food was subpar, but time spent with my mom made it worthwhile. Taking our time we walked back home, gathered my things, then got a taxi to the airport.
I wish I had more time to explore more of Vancouver/surround areas, it seemed beautiful and interesting, but the vacation in whole was amazing. A wonderful 5-day trip, seeing and tasting so many things, it will never be forgotten.
Until the next travel adventure!
Have you been to Vancouver?