Exploring Vancouver

I think I'm in love with the West Coast! After a breathtaking drive through the mountains, Roger and I had the pleasure of staying in downtown Vancouver, BC for four nights and three whole days. On our first night--a Tuesday--Roger treated me to a fancy dinner at West Restaurant. From the gluten-free bread to the peanut-free truffles, the menu effortlessly catered to my many allergies and their signature cocktails were delicious. Our first course was preceded by a palette cleanser and consisted of fries with a truffle aioli mayo. For our entrees, Roger had Duo of Fraser Valley Pork with Okanagan Cherry Jus and I had Organic Chicken with maitake mushrooms, roasted potatoes, and nettles. We were fully satisfied by the quality of the food and our waiter's attentiveness. 5 stars! The gourmet strawberry and dark chocolate truffles were my favourite. In hindsight, I should have bought a box. IMG_5003IMG_5007IMG_5011 We walked back to our hotel room via the Granville Street Bridge and caught our first glimpse of the city skyline and the Granville Island Market. I'm terrified of heights and even though we were only 27 metres above the ground, I made sure Roger held my hand for the entirety of the jaunt. Little did I know that I should have saved my scaredy-cat antics for later on in the week when we took on more legitimately harrowing heights. IMG_5013 If I lived in Vancouver I would visit the Granville Island Market every Saturday to buy fresh produce and artisan cheeses. It has absolutely everything you need to craft a local-inspired smorgasbord of delectable eats. We made the rookie mistake of having a big lunch downtown before perusing the market selection; we would have much rather eaten on the island. Instead we watched the street performers and went in and out of little shoppes. I fell in love with a papery that sold speciality wrapping paper, greeting cards, books, and the like. Roger was apparently not the first, nor even the hundredth customer to make a joke about Quidditch when we stepped into the Granville Island Broom Company. Did you know that it's good luck for the bride and groom to jump over a broom at their wedding? We should have bought a broom! There were just too many to choose from. IMG_9635 Getting a photo of Roger in front of the Rogers' Chocolates store was not up for debate. IMG_5038 After the market, we did some more exploring around Robson street and Yaletown. I sunk into a state of girlie bliss at Sweet Bake Shop where everything is pink and absolutely wonderful. From the chairs at street-side to the stand-mixers inside, nothing was short of perfection. So pretty! Unfortunately only the cookies were gluten-free and I was still full from lunch. If their baking was even half as amazing as their decor, I would be thoroughly impressed. IMG_5020 Champagne and cake for breakfast... yes please! IMG_5022 IMG_5021 IMG_5018 Roger was finally able to pull me out of my element before I bought every item in the place. The next day, we embarked on a bicycle adventure through Stanley Park and looked like ultra-tourists in our matching Old Navy sweaters, which we were forced to purchase for the impromptu summer rain. We biked the perimeter of the park and worked up quite the appetite for Japadogs--Japanese hotdogs. I don't fancy hotdogs, but these ones were interesting and gourmet. IMG_5049 IMG_5051 IMG_5053 IMG_5057 IMG_6074 IMG_3531 Our commune with nature did not simply end that afternoon. I faced my fears (reluctantly) and thanks to Roger's encouragement, took what felt like a thirty minute gondola ride up Grouse Mountain (really it was six, tops.) There we made friends with two grizzly bears and enjoyed dinner atop the peak of Vancouver. IMG_5075 IMG_5101 IMG_5082 IMG_5092 photo-476 IMG_5085 IMG_5110 Moments before our descent a thick cloud rolled in and quite literally enveloped the mountain. Luckily for me, it made the downwards gondola ride less scary--we could not see a thing! IMG_5107 I feel like our time in Vancouver was perfectly split between exploring the city, dining at restaurants, shopping, and enjoying the landscape. Stay posted for my final Vancouver blog post. I'm going to be sharing pictures from our day trip to beautiful Victoria Island!

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