Ventures to Vancouver

Guess what? It’s time for part two of my west coast adventure: Vancouver! A little tip before we get rolling: never wait too long to order your passport, because then you’ll have to pay extra to get it in time. It was only a day of scenic of driving to Vancouver from Seattle, and when we arrived, I was totally blown away. To put it simply, Vancouver looks like a city from the future. The skyscrapers are all modern and cohesive in design, there’s an incredible amount of greenery everywhere you look, and the whole place is right on the bay. It’s a beautiful city that I had no idea I would be so taken with, and I can’t begin to express my regret at not ordering my camera before this trip, because I would have taken SO many more photos. I still have plenty though, so let’s dig in!

After our day of driving from Seattle, we settled into our hotel and took in the view before heading to the waterfront for an amazing dinner. I noticed prawn is kind of a big deal in the northwest, so I finally gave it at try, and WOW. It’s like shrimp, but on steroids.

We only spent full two days in Vancouver, so we had to fit in quite a bit in those days. Our first adventure was a bike ride around Stanley Park, Vancouver’s giant public park right on the bay. The ride around the park is seven miles of pure beauty, especially in the perfect weather we were blessed with! I was a little nervous, to be honest; I actually hadn’t ridden a bike in at least a year before this, so I was really relieved to find out that I still knew how! There were lots of cool things to see along the trail, including some pretty incredible totem poles and a sculpture known as “Girl in a Wetsuit.” The neat thing about it is that during low tide, the sculpture is on a rock on the sand. But during high tide, she’s completely surrounded by water!

 

I’m proud to share with you guys that I didn’t fall off my bike even once! I guess it’s true that you never forget. Our outdoor adventures didn’t stop there – after a quick dinner at an Italian restaurant with mediocre wine (shoutout to British Columbia’s legal drinking age of nineteen!),  we drove back to get a look at Prospect Point, a beautiful overlook in the park! The sunset was beautiful over the bay, and I actually got to blow on a dandelion in person, so that was pretty neat.

Our first day was over in the blink of an eye, but to be honest, all that biking had me pretty tired! After a good night’s sleep and a breakfast at the nearest Starbucks, we set out the next day to the Vancouver Aquarium. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, but aquariums are one of my favorite places to visit! I could never pass up an opportunity to look at the coolest animal ever: sharks!

The Vancouver Aquarium is a great example of “quality over quantity.” It’s definitely not a big aquarium, but it’s very nice and well-maintained! I got to see two rescued dolphins interacting with their trainers, which is always an incredible experience, as well as otters, seals, sea lions, and sharks! The marine mammals at the facility have been rehabilitated from injuries and can’t return to the wild, so observing them doesn’t come with the guilt that I usually associate with Sea World and the like (but kudos to you, Sea World, for listening to your guests and phasing out captive killer whales!). If you’re ever looking to kill about two hours in Vancouver, I highly recommend this place!

After a few hours, we had seen all there was to see at the Vancouver Aquarium, so we drove back to our hotel for a quick break and then headed out to our next destination: the Capilano Suspension Bridge! This incredibly long (and incredibly high up – yikes!) suspension bridge is only a short drive out of the city, and it was a really cool experience! Besides the famous Capilano Bridge, they also have a treetop walkway and a cliff walkway. I was afraid this was going to be a little too touristy for my taste, but fortunately, I didn’t get that vibe at all. It was really cool to be surrounded by nature just off of the road, and the height of those Douglas-fir trees is insane!

Vancouver was a stunning city – I’ve never seen such an incredible mix of city-life with nature before, and I would really recommend to anyone considering it to visit! There’s so much to see and do, and I think I probably could have spent a few more days there easily. I highly recommend every single activity I wrote about in this post! If you have any questions about traveling to Vancouver (or Seattle), feel free to leave a comment- I’d love to talk to you guys about your trips!

Right now, I don’t have another trip scheduled, but hopefully that will change soon! I’m already exited to bring my new camera with me wherever I end up traveling next, and from now on you can expect my posts to be filled with photos! Until next time, I hope you have a magical week!