Bad Habits Die Hard

 

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Vancouver as seen from Granville Island
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Coal Harbour

I can’t seem to quit Vancouver! My first visit to Vancouver British Columbia was almost 4 years ago. I  received a text from a friend on a regular old Monday asking me if I had plans over the weekend. My response was something like “nothing that I can’t get out of if you’ve got a better offer”. She replied with “Is your passport current? Let’s go to Vancouver!” 4 days later, we were in Canada! People in California don’t realize what a cheap and convenient getaway Vancouver  is for us.  They think Vancouver is so far, but it’s only a 2.5 hour flight. It’s the perfect international getaway!

My first visit to Vancouver was during the month of October . We stayed at the Georgian Court Hotel near Yaletown across from the stadium where the Canucks play . The weather was perfect we walked all around the West End, experienced Chinatown, bike through Stanley Park and along the seawall, visited Granville Island and had Izakaya for dinner at Guu in Gastown. I fell in love with Vancouver! A few months after returning I found out that there was going to be a Real Housewives of Vancouver, but my excitement and curiosity were quickly shattered when I found out it wouldn’t be aired stateside.

When discussing what to do for our one year wedding anniversary, my husband and I were originally considering Las Vegas. We took days off work, he booked a hotel and I made dinner reservations, but as the trip approached it didn’t seem exciting or memorable enough and I asked him if he would be up for going to Vancouver. I’ll admit it. I was itching to go to Vancouver again and I believed that if he got to see the city he would fall in love with it as much as I had and maybe my lifelong dream of moving to Canada could maybe become a reality! Needles to say that he agreed to ditch the Las Vegas plans because he’s only been listening to me gush about how great Vancouver is for 4 years!

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The Loden Hotel’s complimentary shuttle

We flew WestJet which turned out to be a really outstanding airline. We stayed at The Loden Hotel. I highly recommend both the airline and the hotel. I can’t find one negative thing to say about either. Our first night there we asked the hotel staff to make us reservations at the Cactus Club Cafe in Coal Harbor because it was within walking distance. Our random pick serendipitously ended up being perfect! We had a couple of their fantastic signature martinis in the bar and enjoyed the people watching and the music the DJ was spinning then we were shown to our quiet table near the window. The views and our meal were impeccable.

Being in Vancouver again reminded me about the Real Housewives of Vancouver. Right after my last trip I heard that it was being shot. I found a preview clip online but that was all I could get. I googled the show again and learned that there had been 2 seasons but the show is currently in a state of limbo. Needless to say I began streaming season 1  on www. slice.ca while I was there and got through 6 episodes during our trip. I’m hooked. Unfortunately it’s not as easy to stream episodes now that I’m back, but you can find anything on the internet if you’re resourceful. I’m trying to slowly savor the remaining episodes by watching one a week to make it last. I even found a blog site which is keeping me up to date on all the gossip related to the characters. I’m not proud of myself for being a viewer of any of these Real Housewife shows. I was able to quit Georgia, Miami & New York and never watched DC, but I do still keep up with the Kardashians Orange County, Beverly Hills & New Jersey. (New Jersey seems to be on it’s way out without Jaclyn, Caroline and Kathy) What I like about the Vancouver series is seeing all the beautiful shots of Vancouver. It was fun being there and watching an episode, seeing them at a restaurant then realizing a few hours later that I was walking right past it! I really wish I wasn’t so inot these awful shows, but I am.

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I tried as much as I could to recreate some of the fun stuff I had done during my last visit to give my husband the full experience and make him see why I liked this city so much, but unfortunately our visit happened to be during the Labour Day weekend which meant the entire Vancouver area was overrun with tourists. We took a seabus to Granville Island to check out the Public Market, but it was very crowded, luckily we stumbled upon The Liberty Distillery where we were able to enjoy some libations and escape the chaos of the  market. Like most hotels in Vancouver our hotel had free bikes we reserved to ride through Stanley Park and the seawall, but the bike paths were very crowded. We made the best of it and it was great exercise. Vancouver is a foodie paradise. Just walking around we bumped into the elusive Mr. Shawarma Truck which we loved and we are Shawarma connoisseurs. We even sought out some traditional poutine at La Belle Patate. We even went to Guu again because it had been my favorite spot on my last visit, but the experience wasn’t the same.

I enjoyed a London Fog (a drink I discovered during my last trip) and my husband had a yummy maple latte at BLENZ. I really wish we had this chain here in the states. We even tried the coffee at Tim Horton’s because we hadn’t gotten around to trying it in Seattle. I was skeptical becasue I don’t like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or McDonald’s coffees, but the Tim Hortons coffee was goooood.

Looking up inside BLENZ on Georgia & Thurlow

One thing we learned during this trip was that my husband doesn’t like cities. He doesn’t want to vacation in cities. I knew he dislikes New York and that he preferred exploring Silicon Valley to San Francisco, but for some reason I thought Vancouver would be the one city that changed his mind. Sadly, it didn’t so I guess we’ll be vacationing in the deserts, mountains and on islands from now on. I still think I’ll return to Vancouver with girlfriends for short weekend trysts.

Was Vancouver as great this time around as my first time? No, but do I still love the City? Yes! I’m not ready to call it quits and breakup with Vancouver just yet. I’m drawn to this City.

 

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