Wednesday, February 22, 2017

vancouver weekend

hello! we are back from a wonderful weekend in vancouver, bc. if you've read my blog for a few years, you'll remember thatcher and i traveled there in 2012 (part 1 and part 2) when i had a work conference. i fell so hard for this city, it's unbelievably beautiful. we live just a 2.5 hour drive from it now, so i can't believe it has taken us this long to go back! before i get to this weekend's trip (and a bajillion pictures), here is a little flashback to 2012. azalea had just turned one and she stayed with thatcher's parents for 4 days. it was my first time away from her over night. we didn't know about my dad's cancer yet and we never dreamed we would actually move across the country. it's crazy how much change can happen in 5 years. 


we hit the road saturday morning. this was our first road trip with our newly purchased tablet and portable dvd player for the car. we've done many (short) road trips with the kids sans electronics and some of them have been...less than pleasant, so we decided it was time to take the plunge. and i'm so glad we did! it kept them much happier, which in turn was much more enjoyable for every one :) i even got to read a book - what a treat! 



we ended up having to wait about an hour to cross the border. if you are wondering, thatcher and i needed passports (or passport cards), but the kids only needed birth certificates because we were traveling by car. if you fly to canada, i believe kids need passports now. 


once we arrived in vancouver, we drove over to broadway to look for a place for lunch. we ended up at a nerdy pub (think super heroes, lord of the rings decor, etc). it was a fun place and the food was good, even though there was no kid's menu. 



next we headed to north vancouver to the capilano suspension bridge park. it was incredible. every detail of the park - the walkways, the railings, the signage was all so well designed. and the air smelled so incredibly fresh. the main attraction of the park is of course the suspension bridge and it was so cool! i'm not the hugest fan of heights, but it didn't really bother me. 



you can see the catwalk from the bridge.

the kids thought it was so cool how it bounced as we walked across it. 




there are also smaller suspension bridges, catwalks, and treehouses that make up the park. everything was so well-done, it was truly impressive.







 it's a little expensive, but i highly recommend coming here if you are ever in vancouver. 

next we headed towards downtown to check into our hotel. we stayed at the pinnacle hotel, which was one block away from the water. our room had a harbor view and it was beautiful! 

 by night 

we relaxed for a bit before heading out for a late dinner. we probably should have planned a bit better and not waited until 7pm because after wandering around for 30 minutes...we ended up at chipotle because it was the most kid-friendly option. ha oh well. we are always up for chipotle, even in a foreign country ;) we retired back to the hotel after and lights were out by 9:15. 

sunday morning we woke up to more (light) rain. 



the kids were so excited to go in the hotel pool that we got there by 7:30am!
after swimming, we got ready for the day then walked to a quick casual restaurant called smak that had thatcher-friendly breakfast options. gluten and dairy free! woo hoo!


photo by azalea :)


  after breakfast, we walked to the ferry terminal and took a ferry over to north vancouver. there is an indoor public market there, so we walked around for a bit and got a smoothie and some cookies for a snack. we took the ferry back as well.



next we took a train over to yaletown and walked around a bit.



from yaletown we took an aqua bus to granville island. the aqua bus was much smaller and a shorter ride than the ferry.


 it was super busy there because of an event going on and the rain was picking up. we took shelter in another public market, and ultimately decided to go to a restaurant called cats socialhouse for lunch because it was less crowded. it was pretty kid-friendly and had good food! 

 the view from granville island


we took a longer trip back on the aqua bus, all the way to the 2010 olympic village which has been turned into a little neighborhood of apartments and businesses. 



he thought this was hilarious every time i did it.

we took the train back to the hotel to rest for a bit, then went out in search of some dinner. we decided to keep it simple and get some ready-made stuff from the grocery store a block away. they had a little "eat in" area that we took advantage of. they even had wine, that i happily ordered. fancy right?! as the joy of sharing a hotel room with little ones goes, we were all in bed by 8:30 that night :)

monday was our last day and to our delight, the sun actually came out! vancouver is beautiful in any weather, but on a clear day it's the tops! 


after some tim horton's donuts for breakfast (as one does in canada), we went back to the hotel for one more swim. 


 then we got ready for the day and thatcher took the kids to a playground nearby while i packed everything up and read my book for a little bit! so nice!


we checked out of the hotel, then walked along the path by the harbor. i feel like our pictures do not do the beauty justice. 


  

we got in the car and drove to the kitsilano area for lunch. we went to a place called nelly's grill. it was sort of a diner and very kid-friendly. win-win! after that, we were ready to start our journey home. the border was slightly quicker this time (about 45 minutes), but it was raining cats and dogs for most of the drive through washington, so that was a bit nerve-wracking. but we made it home safely. 

so that was the glossy recap of the trip. i left out all of the whining, tantrums, and general unpleasantness along the way. the kids are getting easier to travel with these days, but they have their moments. heck, i have my moments too. ;) ashford is still a bit young to remember these experiences when he gets older, but it's cool to think we are actively filling up azalea's memory bank now. i hope my kids have a strong appreciation for travel when they leave home. both thatcher and i grew up in families that traveled a lot and we both love exploring new places and sharing them with the kids. 

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