Crossover to Vancouver (attraversiamo)

Thursday, November 27, 2014


While we were having our early morning breakfast at Tim’s in the airport, an old man just suddenly approached our table and asked me randomly, “does he still love you?” Much to our surprise, my friend and I just looked at each other and laughed. He then repeated the question demanding an answer. Then it got me thinking, 'I don’t even know if he did'. So I just said to the old man, “I wish!” And I smiled. Oh well, what are the odds?!


November was my least favorite month this year. Well, that’s what I thought before going off for the 2 recent trips I had. I guess you can say I am running away from something here in Toronto. Haha! Yes, you could be right. I was. But now, I feel like I have regained all my zest and hope for a handful of life’s surprises ahead. Woot!

Back in August, a good friend chatted with me. She asked me to accompany her to Vancouver. I was glad to be doing her a favor. It turned out that after the trip, she was the one who actually did me a favor. Just felt grateful I was able to experience a few more of my firsts with her.

She arranged for our 4-days-3-nights stay at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel, which is at West Georgia Street - really a wise choice as it is right at the center of the shopping, entertainment and food districts.

We anticipated a rainy weather for this trip but we’re just lucky to have our first 2 days with the sun shining. For our first day, we walked towards the harbor near Canada place. On the way, we saw this Japadog food truck. I like their Butter and Shoyu french-fries.


We took a stroll going to Stanley Park where we rented a bike. Khine and I both agreed that renting a bike was the best decision we’ve ever made in this trip. We would not have completed the 10 kilometer trail by sunset had we just walked. The glorious sunset was really worth the long cycling. 





Lion's Gate bridge




We thought of going back to the hotel to freshen up before we head to a proper dinner. For our first dinner in town, we chose this Korean restaurant I forgot the name (forgetful me!) which offered authentic Korean dishes to my delight! Their Korean barbeque is like the one I tried in Seoul last year.  And one thing I realized about Vancouver is that it has a feel of Seoul to me. So really, if you’re craving for authentic Korean dishes, Vancouver will not fail you. 


I suggested we look around and check their pubs along Granville Street. We ended up taking 1 glass of drinks each – oh well, lemme correct that, I only took a few sips and ended up drunk right away. Sorry Khine for being a pain!




On our second day, we took a walk to find a nice place to have our breakfast. And boy oh boy! I am so glad we found Café Crepe along Robson road. I just love their crepes and the Lavazza coffee. We actually had to go back there on our 3rd day. At first dine, I ordered the plain crepe with maple syrup and the 3 poached eggs. The second time, I ordered the South American omelet, which got me interested because of the chorizo. Then we got the crepe with Nutella and banana for dessert. Ok, I am now craving for it as I write! 

Then we proceeded to the Grouse Mountain. It is so Christmassy up there. I felt like I wanted to do skiing but I don’t know how yet. Unfortunately too, we didn’t get to ride the sky limo, which we wanted to try so I ended up doing the zip line. Woohoo! It was an awesome experience overlooking a mountain covered with snow – all white.  Too bad due to my phone malfunctioning the video got deleted. Issshh.. 






Anyway, we went down to Capilano Bridge later that day. The place felt so twilight-ish – tall trees, flowing water, all green – yeah and for a moment there I imagined Edward and Bella jumping from one tree to another. It was a nice time to appreciate nature.




At night, we decided to visit the Vancouver Christmas market right at the Queen Victoria plaza. I learned that Germany started all these Christmas markets. They sell all these intricate handcrafted thingamajigs, which are pricey for me. There was something so lovely that night – I could see families happily feasting on their meals together and couples dancing and kissing everywhere. Not to forget, I saw a number of good-looking lads too. I guess this made it all the more appealing to me. Haha! 


3rd day was a rainy day. And we took it slow that day. Waking up a bit late, we prepped for Granville Public market. We took the Aquabus to the market and had our brunch overlooking the creek. We ordered the famous fresh-from-the-sea fish and chips and I had an organic coffee to go with it. There were a few good finds there. It would have been nicer if the weather cooperated. 




At night, I suggested we have fine dining. Apparently, I wasn’t ready for it! Haha! We dolled up for the night. Khine taught me how to do my smokey eyes make-up and ended up looking like a raccoon! Hilarious! 



Anyway, we opted for one of the highly rated restaurants in Vancouver known for its fine, great dishes - Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar ! True enough, to say that the dishes are fine is an understatement – they are par excellence! We had the fresh oysters for starters followed by the Seafood Tasting for Two (dungeness crab and baby shrimps, scallop ceviche, albacore tuna tartare, smoked sockeye salmon terrine). Each of us had our individual main course – I had the Sable Fish and my friend had the Wagyu beef. The fish was cooked to perfection – the sweetness of the sauce was just right with the quinoa and edamame. The truffle fries were also delish! Reminded me of P.S. Café in Singapore. Lastly, we indulged in this sinfully delicious Warm Dark Cuban Chocolate Cake. That by far is the most sumptuous meal I ever had so far.  I give it 5 stars! 



On our last day, we opted to try the breakfast at Templeton as I read good reviews about it. It was a few blocks away from our hotel. And the walk going there on a rainy morning paid off. The place had a 50’s style diner with jukeboxes on each table. I love the fact that they serve organic food. I ordered the Hakai omelet, which came with rosemary potato on the side.  Happy tummy!


We then headed to Gastown to do some last-minute shopping for pasalubong then to the shopping district along Robson street later that day. And oh by the way, my craving for Carl’s Jr.’s Portobello Mushroom just got served! I could never finish any other humongous burger like that!



Ok, so 3 things I realized from this trip:

1.     I love eating. I had stopped wanting to eat a good portion of food since I became too health and body conscious. But yes, whenever I am on travel – forget it – I am going to have a short-term affair with my food.

2.     Traveling soothes my heart. Haha! Well, I guess traveling is my most expensive therapy. And I hope I don’t get any more heart-aches as they could cost me all my savings! But yeah, on a serious note, ultimately, traveling helps me become a better person after each time regardless of the state of my heart. Haha!


3.     After this trip, I could be discerning for Single-blessedness. Or I may just be enjoying my time alone experiencing new things every time.  Or maybe, I just want to keep running away and shielding myself. Well, they too often tell me to enjoy my solitude during this season of waiting. If I am really waiting, that is.


Thank you Khine for tagging me along and for putting up with my every-minute taking of photos. Haha! 

Merci Vancouver! I will come back in a summer time. For sure!

onto our next adventure



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