Finally, after 29 years on this earth, I visited Canada. I mean, yes, it’s not like Canada is a 20 minute drive from my house but still! I have been to Europe and the Bahamas/Bermuda and even Switzerland before Canada. It was bound to happen one day.
The reason for my trip to Canada? Well Cheryl (with her spiffy job) got invited on a press trip from Lululemon to run the Sea Wheeze Half Marathon and learn more about Lululemon. She jumped at the chance, but also asked if there was any way I could come and run too. I mean we ALWAYS run together. They said sure, as long as Cheryl made it to all the press events. So we packed up our bags and headed up north!
Cheryl went a day before my mom and I. She had a bunch of events on Friday, but I couldn’t really see taking the day off work. My mom and I took Air Canada and I must say FAVORITE airline now. The plane was clean and spacious. The leg room was insane compared to my recent flights overseas.
We didn’t even have to pay for movies! I watched Captain America: Winter Soldier and then Spiderman 2. It was a great flight. Sadly we did get seats in front of the emergency exit row so out seats didn’t recline. Luckily I had free movies to entertain me! My only issue was in the menu they had pretzels and humus, but didn’t have any on the plane. Oh well I tried….
Once we arrived in Vancouver we had to go through customs. It must have been a busy time of day (10:30am) because the line was HUGE!
Finally once we got through customs we decided to get a cab downtown to the hotel. It was pretty expensive, but really the only way to get there. Cheryl was staying at the Fairmont Pacific Rim which was gorgeous.
I checked in at the desk and got a key. Cheryl was in a meeting so I napped and waited for her. When she got back we decided to head over to the expo to check out the merchandise. The expo and convention center was right across the street from our hotel. So convenient.
The entire half marathon was being put on by Lululemon and all the merchandise was made ONLY for Sea Wheeze. We found out people were waiting in line starting at 3am! A lot of the merchandise was gone by the time we got there so I didn’t purchase anything. There was also huge lines where you could get temporary tattoos, a massage or your hair done. Very girl-centric.
Also because the clothes are made only for Sea Wheeze they limit the items you can buy to 15. People get there, buy a lot of stuff, then sell it online as exclusive Lululemon stuff. Crazy!
The expo center is also right where the Olympic Cauldron is from the Vancouver Olympics. So cool!
After we went to the expo Cheryl had to go to more press stuff so my mom and I decided to take a walk around the city. It is so pretty there with the mountains.
I had read about the cobblestone section of Vancouver where the old Steamclock was so we headed in that direction. Along the way we stopped in a few shops and bought a nice supply of maple syrup!
At this point my mom and I were starving! We decided to eat at Steamworks nearby. Best decision ever!
I got a delicious light beer which hit the spot on a warm day. My mom and I also shared poutine (NJ people call it disco fries) with cheese curds on it! I had fish tacos which were amazing (even breaded). I was obsessed with their logo and all the artwork I even bought a t-shirt.
Cheryl met up with us when we were finishing up. We decided to head over to their huge park, Stanley Park. I had read about cool totem poles they collected from all over and I wanted to see them. We decided to walk which would have been fine, but I keep forgetting my mom doesn’t walk as fast as us. The scenery was beautiful though.
We finally made it to the park and discovered a horse carriage tour leaving in a few minutes. We didn’t want to tire our legs out before the run (or our mom) so we took that.
First stop was the totem poles!
There are nine totem poles all together. The collection started at Lumberman’s Arch in the 1920s. The Park Board bought four totems from Vancouver Island’s Alert Bay. Other purchased totems came from Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and the BC central coast Rivers Inlet, to celebrate the 1936 Golden Jubilee. In the mid 1960s, the totem poles were moved to the attractive and accessible Brockton Point.
After we visited the totem poles we kept going through Stanley Park (it was an hour-long tour) and learned about the trees, the animals, the lighthouse, bridges, mermaid statue and rose gardens. Definitely an awesome way to get a tour of the park. I learned so much.
It was also nice to understand the size of the park since a lot of the run would be there.
Our horses were pretty cool too. The white one has been in Once Upon A Time and other movies too!
After we took a cab and dropped Cheryl off for her dinner. Then my mom and I walked back to the hotel. On our way we stopped to get vaseline for the run tomorrow (I always forget something) and I found these AMAZING chips! I actually found Dill Pickle in Wisconsin but these have ACTUAL dill inside. So much better. The roulette ones I have at work. Today I just had a hot one and man…burns!
We decided to just get dinner from the hotel cafe downstairs. I got pasta even though I normally don’t carbo-load before a race. There was so much I could not eat even half, but it was pretty tasty. Finally I set my stuff our for the race and then went to bed.
I was up early because of the time change/jet lag which was good for an early morning run.
Pre-race selfie! I will do a longer post on the run later this week. One thing though was that EVERYONE was wearing something Lululemon. I have never ran such a branded race before.
It was a beautiful course and I didn’t do horrible, but I didn’t do amazing either.
After the race we went back to the room and my mom left a note that she was at the pool. I decided that was an amazing idea so we went up and soaked in the hot tub for about an hour. It was so nice after a run I might have to do it more often! A bunch of other runners showed up with the same idea and we all chatted about the race and where we were from.
After that I showered and my mom and I headed out in search of sushi for lunch. Supposedly Vancouver had AMAZING sushi.
We decided on a place called Miku right by the water. We were not let down.
My mom loves sake so she got a flight and was in heaven. I got a delicious martini. I also got miso soup which was interesting drinking with no spoon.
The restaurant doesn’t recommend you use soy sauce. I started with a plate of aburi sashimi. All fish with different sauces for each. SO GOOD! Then I had the aburi chirashi tart which was like a sushi cake.
It was soooo good! I almost licked the plate clean. Definitely recommend this place if you are ever in Vancouver.
After Cheryl got out of her brunch we jumped in a cab and headed to Granville Island Public Market. I had read it had a huge farmer’s market and a lot of other cool shops.
The farmer’s market was cool. Lots of local stuff for sale and a bunch of crafting stands. Since I had just had lunch I didn’t try any food, but there was a lot of fish too. We also walked around the rest of the shops. At this point how tired I was started to kick in so I was really sluggish. Most of the shops were art shops which were cool to look through, but we didn’t buy anything.
We decided to head back to the hotel and relax a little.
When we got out of the cab I remembered hearing about a famous gelato place called Bella Gelateria down the street. There was a huge line, but we decided to wait anyway and try it out. When in Rome right!?!
It was totally worth the wait. I got green tea and thai coconut milk. Cheryl got chocolate sea salt and cherry and my mom got salted caramel and vanilla. We gobbled those up!
After the gelato we went back to the room and packed. After I took a nap to prepare myself for the Sea Wheeze Sunset Festival that night. I met up with all of the press people Cheryl had been with the past few days. They were all very nice. Then we headed to the festival.
We got there a little late. The yoga had already started, but we found spots and jumped in.
Yoga is great for your body, but not my favorite exercise. I get bored holding moves for a long time and the one where you lay down like you are sleeping (chastnata or something like that) I always get bored and look around and stuff. The yoga was really nice though especially to stretch out after the run.
After that we went and stood in crazy long food and beer lines. The chicken burrito and chips with guacamole were really tasty though and the beers were good too. The raspberry one was my favorite. Then the band Capital Cities started playing. It was kind of hard to hear them, and we had to be up at 3am to get to the airport so we headed back around 10pm.
The whole weekend in Vancouver was a blast. Definitely a cool city to spend time in, but not too touristy. The weather was beautiful. If I was there longer I would have loved to go whale watching!
Have you ever been to Vancouver?