I spent a few days in Vancouver over President’s Day weekend. My exposure to the area ended up being limited by a nasty virus, but I recovered in time to see a bit of the city. And it’s GORGEOUS. It reminds me of home (the San Francisco Bay Area) in a number of ways… the temperate climate, the bay, proximity to mountains, foodie culture with abundant amazing restaurants, friendly locals, great local shops, expensive everything (it’s a bit remote and hard to ship goods in), and the high demand and high price of housing since it’s bounded by one thing or another on all sides- so there’s no where to expand but so many people want to live here…
Hubs has to visit every 6 months or so for work and I’m hoping to be able to accompany him next time too, and see more of the area. We stayed a couple days at the Four Seasons, which was all I’d hoped, but I didn’t get to take full advantage due to illness. Then we spent a couple days at a VRBO, which was not super-fantastic, but I’m sure there’s a range from amazing to disappointing and we just hit the wrong end of the scale this time.
We visited the Vancouver Art Gallery, and wandered into a wonderful guided tour. I especially enjoyed the work of Emily Carr and Charles John Collings. My favorite private gallery was the Howe Street Gallery downtown. They had an eclectic mix of art, and the gentleman working there was so welcoming and lovely. He gave us interesting background about several of the artists, and escorted us to the brand new second floor space they’re just opening.
The Vancouver Aquarium was really nice too. It’s a good size, and the Beluga whales and Sea Otters were my favorite new friends. No surprise there, Beluga smiles melt my knees and I’ve had a thing for Sea Otters since I was a kid… but then who hasn’t, right?
I did some shopping in the Gastown neighborhood, as well as downtown. For obvious reasons, when traveling I tend to avoid chain stores that are common where I live. Le Chateau is a local chain that reminds me of a cross between The Limited and Express, and I picked up a fantastic LBD with great detailing there. I also hit the consignment shops (one of my favorite things to do while out of town) and found an amazing Scottish Cashmere sweater in cream, with a beige and salmon argyle pattern. It’s a large mens and looks great with leggings and boots. It’s downy soft and feels like a big, warm, cozy, grandpa hug… score!
Next time I visit Vancouver (I can’t wait!), the plan is to visit Granville Island, Stanley Park, the Museum of Anthropology, Yaletown, back to Gastown, and whatever else I can fit in. There will definitely be another meal at L’Abattoir, too! It was hands down the best of many fine meals we had while in town.
Have you been to Vancouver? What was your favorite part?