Vancouv-her | The Tale of a City Girl in Vancouver: Part 1
Vancouver is just like any other city, except it’s really not. For years my boyfriend, the Vancouver native, would go on and on about how amazing and beautiful his city was, to the point that I expected unicorns to prance down Main Street. So finally, after four years of imagining unicorns walking along the beach, we planned a trip to Vancouver together so I could really understand his love for this city.
The trip started on a bit of a rough foot (or wing), since we were majorly delayed flying out of Pearson Airport due to a tornado warning. But after five hours in the airport, two hours delayed, and one hour sitting on the plane waiting, we were finally off to Vancouver. But I was not mentally prepared for how accurate my boyfriend’s description of the city would be, or just how much walking was in store for me.
DAY ONE: 20,371 STEPS
My first full day in Vancouver was a nice relaxing day. My boyfriend took me for a walk along Kitsilano Beach. On our way to the beach is when I declared that Vancouver was just like any other city, but by the time we had finished our walk along the beach I had completely changed my mind. Seeing so many people sitting on the beach, or playing volleyball, people having birthday picnics, or out for a stroll with the whole family. The atmosphere is completely different than the hustle and bustle rush of Toronto.
While my boyfriend was napping to recover from his jet lag, I sat out on the front porch with his mom. Sitting out there you could almost forget that you were in the city because it’s so quiet and you’re hidden by tons of trees. It’s almost like being at the cottage but you’re still only ten minutes away from anything you could possibly want or need. We spent hours just sitting out on the porch sipping our tea and talking about everything under the sun.
No day in Vancouver would be complete without a little (or a lot) of sushi! My boyfriend was very excited to ruin my taste of Toronto sushi with the sushi in Vancouver, and he was pretty successful when we went to a place called The Eatery for dinner. The décor was a little unusual, with Chinese lanterns, large stuffed fish, and papier-mâché whales and the like hanging from every surface available. It was certainly an eclectic design choice, but the sushi was amazing. A large platter filled with sushi was devoured in less than ten minutes!
DAY TWO: 21,315 STEPS
Another lazy and relaxing start to day two of the trip, spent writing on the front porch while sipping my morning cup of coffee. By this point I had found my favourite spot in the house, sitting on the rocking love seat on the front porch. Perfectly fluffed cushions for ultimate comfort, shaded from the sun so it doesn’t get too hot, all while enjoying a cool breeze blowing through all the trees that surround the porch – my little slice of peace in the city.
In the afternoon my boyfriend and I went for an adventure at UBC with his mom. We started with a canopy tour at the UBC botanical garden, which is the perfect way to experience Vancouver’s rainforest. The tour takes place on platforms and suspended bridges between 100-year-old Douglas firs, cedars, and grand firs almost 20m above the forest floor. At the middle of the tour there is a large viewing platform that takes you 23m above the forest floor, which give you an amazing bird’s eye perspective of this amazing forest. I’m sure glad I’m getting over that pesky fear of heights though, or this may have been a little more frightening than planned.
After exploring the UBC botanical gardens further, my boyfriend decided to show me around the place that he spent four years of his life. My first impression – UBC is basically a city within a city, making my little artsy college feel very small. We completed the day with round two of sushi dinner, and a little exploration of downtown Vancouver, including the Olympic cauldron and Canadian Place that showcased a giant Orca whale that looked as though it was made of giant Lego pieces.
DAY THREE: 16,642 STEPS & 270 FLOORS CLIMBED
I had no idea what waited for me when I woke up this morning. Today was the day that I would climb Grouse Mountain. My boyfriend kept assuring me that I would be “just fine” climbing this mountain, even though I don’t exactly consider myself very physically fit. His confidence started to sink into my brain, and I started to think it wouldn’t be so bad after all. That was until we actually got there, and standing in the parking lot he points to this monstrous mountain and says, “that’s what you’re climbing”. I’m pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head a little, and I may have gone white (it’s that’s even possible with my pale complexion) as I stared up at the 1,127m high mountain.
It was go time! Over the next two hours – stopping frequently – I climbed the beast of a mountain. But once I made it to the top, the spectacular view made that grueling hike totally worth it, with breathtaking views of the mountains in every direction that you looked. Taking a moment to sit on the deck of the chalet to sip some cider and enjoy the view, and of course to allow my legs to rest and recover from all the stairs. But that view wasn’t the only thing that I got to experience and enjoy once I made it to the top of Grouse Mountain. With more walking around, there’s even more to explore. From Grizzly bears, to bee hives, to bird shows, to wind mill rides, to zip lining, and so many other outdoor activities. After taking my obligatory “I made it!” photos, we took the gondola back down to the base of the mountain and it was time to go home for some well-deserved R&R.