Hi again! Where do I even begin? I'm going to talk about our recent trip to Vancouver and Seattle. We had heard so many good things about Vancouver from friends so we were excited about our trip.
Our morning started at the airport where we were then told that Paul needed a special waiver to fly since he was British, and we only had 45 minutes until our flight left. It took Paul nearly 15 minutes to fill out the form on his phone and when we get to the counter they basically told us that they may not have enough time to get it all confirmed before the plane leaves. So, Paul told me to go without him. I didn't want to leave him and travel by myself so I stayed for a few minutes longer. It made more sense for only one of us to buy a ticket to Canada rather than two so in the end I had to leave him at the check in desk… But, he made it! As I was taking my shoes off and going through security, I see him running behind me calling my name. A smile instantly appeared on my face. I ran ahead to get on the plane and to let them know he was right behind me. He was the last person on before they shut the doors. Talk about a sigh of relief!
Dallas to Vancouver was a breeze. We finally arrived in Vancouver and the airport was about 30 minutes outside of the city center. I remember feeling that cool air on my skin for the first time and was so in love. I finally got to wear my new coat and scarves and got to bundle up. First stop was fish and chips for lunch.
The fish at The Fish Counter was insanely good. Highly recommend going if you ever visit Vancouver. From there we hopped on the train into the city center and it worked out perfectly; you don’t realize how good public transport can be for getting around a city that you don’t know. The first stop once we arrived in the city was our airbnb, which was a little studio on the 18th floor of a high rise. We had an amazing view of downtown.
We set our bags down, freshened up, and headed for the streets. We headed to Chinatown to check out a coffee shop, but of course we stopped on the way for pictures.
We wandered over to Crab Park which was right on the water. There weren't many people around and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. That is one of the main reasons we went in February/March, so that the city wasn't full of tourists like ourselves :)
For dinner, we made reservations at a place called Hawksworth. It was fine dining in an upscale restaurant, so we thought it was right up our alley. We decided to do the tasting menu so that we could try a little bit of everything. Out of the 6 plates, I think I enjoyed 3 or 4 of them. In my opinion, it wasn't the best place we ate at and it definitely wasn't worth the money. But you live and you learn, right?
The next morning is what I was most excited for. We stopped off at another coffee shop before adventuring through Stanley Park.
We then headed to “Ask for Luigi” (@askforluigi) for lunch; an Italian spot specializing in fresh handmade pasta. It was absolutely scrumptious and a local favorite, I would recommend it in a heartbeat. We then made our way back to our place, but not without stopping for a donut from @cartemsdonuts first.
We decided to go to Vancouver Urban Winery before dinner, and try some Vancouver wine. We both had flights- I chose the pink flight and Paul did the red. We really enjoyed this place and the atmosphere and would recommend it to anyone visiting. Then we made our way to Bauhaus, a restaurant specializing in German food. SO GOOD. I ordered the wiener schnitzel, cranberry sauce, and I ordered spatzle with it. If you don't know what spatzle is, it’s basically like a German mac n' cheese. I couldn't stop raving about this meal and definitely still think about it to this day. We ended the night at The Diamond, which is a bar on the top floor of an old building, overlooking Maple Tree Square. It was lovely, and recommended by the lovely Amy H (@constellationinspiration).
Our last full day in Vancouver started with another highly recommended place, @beaucoupbakery. We started there and then made our way over to Granville Island Market.
After Granville Island, we walked over to another donut shop called @luckysdoughnuts. Instead of cake donuts like the one I had from Cartems, this one was yeasted. Super tasty! Then just a few blocks down was where we were having lunch. A place called @maenamrestaurant, specializing in Thai Cuisine with a twist, who were voted best restaurant in 2016 in Vancouver. Again, this meal was AMAZING.
We then headed back into the city and stopped at another great coffee shop reccommended to us by Amy @constellationinspiration. Are you noticing a pattern here?!
And again, it was back to our place before our last dinner in Vancouver. We ate at a place in Chinatown called Bao Bei (@baobei1). It was an upscale Chinese restaurant that had things like potstickers, sticky rice, and pork belly on the menu-all with a little twist. This place was phenomenal. And I wish I had a picture of our food, but I highly recommend it. We then went for drinks afterwards at a bar a few doors down called @thekeeferbar. The bathrooms were super creepy and cool.
After dinner and drinks, we headed back to our place to get some sleep, since we had to be up at about 4:30am to catch the Amtrak to Seattle.
When we woke up the next morning, we made sure that we had plenty of time at the Amtrak station – Trying to learn from our previous airport experience. We arrive about an hour before the train departs. We already have our tickets and are waiting in line. They finally start boarding and we get to the counter and that's when more problems arise… *Backstory: Paul recently renewed his visa and didn't have his new card yet since it was being mailed to him. It said in the letter that his old one will act as his current one until the new one comes so he didn't think anything of it.* The woman working immigration told us he was supposed to have this piece of paper and since we didn't we needed to go to a separate room and get verified before being able to get on the train and go back into the U.S. Luckily, after taking finger prints and pictures, they were able to verify Paul. But seriously, talk about a bunch of stress! We made it on the train and finally made it to Seattle 4 hours later, about 10:45 am.
We then headed to our hotel. We stayed at the Kimpton Palladian Hotel (@palladianhotel) on 2nd Ave. I did my research beforehand so I knew I was going to LOVE this place. It's one of those hotel rooms where you really don't ever want to leave.
We set our bags down and went to explore @pikeplacepublicmarket.
After our walk and a little exploring, we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We ate at a place called @bateauseattle, which specialized in meat. They had a chalkboard of all the cuts they had on hand and as someone ordered a cut, it would get crossed off the list. It was a very good steak and meal, AND it was connected to two amazing places that we would visit the next day: @gpdoughnuts and @barmelusine. After dinner we headed to @thesmithtower for drinks with our friends, Craig and Todd, before heading over to the Museum of Pop Culture. The Smith Tower costs us $10 to get to the top for drinks, but once we were up there, the view was incredible. You can even walk along the edge of the building for pictures and exhilaration.
The next morning, Saturday, we went for a coffee @stumptowncoffee, and then headed over to General Porpoise so that I could grab a donut before we headed to Bar Melusine for Oysters and bubbles. I've never really had a filled donut before that I loved, so this was quite the experience for me. The donut was to die for. I ordered the chocolate marshmallow one and I think I made a good choice.
Saturday was the night of Paul's Pub Quiz (@geekswhodrink), which is the real reason for this trip in the first place. So after Bar Melusine, we walked around Capital Hill (which ended up being our favorite area and would recommend anyone to stay in this area because there is so much to do, see, eat and drink). We went in some shops, Paul bought some new shoes, we went to a wine bar, and then grabbed a burger at @lilwoodys. I got the 'Stranger Things Burger" which consisted of an Eggo waffle bun, maple cream cheese, grass fed beef, bacon, and creamy peanut butter. Did I just blow your mind???
We found some really cool graffiti and wall art in Seattle, which is something that I didn't find in Vancouver. This made me happy :)
Paul headed off to his competition with the boys and I met up with Aaleen and Trinity for drinks. I made it back to the hotel before he finished aka I got to hop into bed and watch crappy TV. The next morning was the day we were leaving, but we were able to squeeze in breakfast and one last stop for coffee at @elmcoffeeroasters.
Overall our trip was filled with tons of food, coffee, drinks, and walking. We had such a great time exploring these new places. I think my first impression of Vancouver wasn't as high as everyone seemed to make it, but once being there, eating the food, and exploring, I grew to love it. The food in Vancouver was by far my favorite. Almost every meal was a 10/10. In Seattle we had good food, but some meals weren't 10/10. I do feel like we didn't have enough time in Seattle to give it a chance, so I wouldn't mind going back ;)
Paul also made a video of our trip! If you haven't seen it already, you should take a look :)
Thanks for reading! Hope to do another post soon; whether that be an adventure, a recipe, or a collaboration. Stay tuned!
-Halee aka The Gingersnap