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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Come to Canada: Vancouver Vacation

We visited Vancouver, Canada for our pre-wedding photo shoot (details here), so we took the chance to visit my best friend and took a tour of the British Columbia region. Here is a summary of our trip in the beautiful and tranquil city, which is made up of around 60% Asian population and leading a healthy lifestyle is definitely the way to be.

I never myself to fall in love with this city. Truth be knownst, I have never contemplated Canada if not for the fact that the Bestie moved there. The place was neat and good-looking; the people were friendly and we had so much fun there, it was hard to bid goodbye. Let's get the virtual journey rolling...


For privacy's purpose, I am not posting actual house or area of The Bestie's house. This is an extracted photo and photosource is: http://www.remax.ca/bc/port%20coquitlam-real-estate/?redirectCause=delisted

For most of the trip we stayed in my Bestie's lovely big house in the Coquitlam area (suburban area), where we experienced the culture of having a large house with good technology (like sensor taps etc), own garden filled with beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables, as well as the no-lock-door policy we heard so much about.

Lord Stanley Suites on the Park - 1889 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC V6G 3G7, Canada.
We did drive out to the city and stayed a night near the park itself. The accommodation of choice was supposed to face a marina and offered good views of the city. It was an apartment building with good amenities and location; service was efficient as well. We loved sitting in this corner chilling over wine and chatter, watching the sun setting in the background.


Granville Island Public Market - 1661 Duranleau Street, Level 2, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada.
This is the tourist spot to be, for lots of local fresh produce such as seafood and fruits. I loved especially these Candied Salmon and other seafood items which one could buy and eat as they go.

Craft Beer Market - 84 West 1st Avenue, Salt Building, Vancouver, BC V5Y 3KB, Canada.
For beer lovers, or anyone looking for a nice place to chill, this is simply the place to be. It is a brewhouse and one is able to see long pipes running directly from the barrels to the taps where fresh beer flows into our glasses. Whether you want salads, mains, beer pints or beer samplers, they serve it all - alongside with super friendly service.

Rodney's Oyster House - 1228 Hamilton Street, BC V6B 6L2, Canada.
An airy, casual seafood spot for good seafood meals. The main reason we came here is because of the famed "males-only servers" concept, so it was not uncommon to see many female diners sitting in front of the serving counter chatting these hunks up. One of them was so tall - I swear - we were seated upstairs and he could simply stretch his arms up to pass us our plate of oysters!

Watershed Cafe - 41101 Government Road, Squamish, BC V0N 1H0, Canada.
On the way up a mountain, we passed by this lovely bistro / restaurant and decided to lunch here. The place is non-air conditioned generally, so we decided to sit outdoors for the breezes and magnificent views while enjoying some salads and burgers. They served the BEST Poutine here, I swear - utterly crispy, cheesy and delicious!

The Old Spaghetti Factory - 4154 Village Green, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4.
A family-friendly chain eatery featuring traditional Italian meals at very affordable prices amid turn-of-the-century decor. This is a casual dining concept and menu is extensive - portions are gigantic too.

Lupins Cafe - main floor of peak chalet of Grouse Mountains.
The sleek architecture of this self-serving cafe makes for comfortable casual dining, complete with high cedar beams and copper lights. Food includes soups, grilled items, sandwiches, and off-the-rack yogurts, drinks etc.  We thought the food was average, but that those wallet-friendly prices, we weren't expecting alot.

Grouse Grind Coffee Bar - located at Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, Canada.
A casual and relaxed cafe bar concept serving simple snacks such as sandwiches and wraps- the perfect to unwind on the mountain without burning a hole in the pocket.

Cactus Club Coffee - 4219B Lougheed Highway, Burnaby, BC, Vancouver, Canada.
A Vancouver-based cafe chain with relaxed but beautiful, dim settings serving coffee, drinks and food.

Tim Hortons - Vancouver, Canada.
Tim Hortons is a chain fast food restaurant located in Canada. We saw so many outlets, including one at the airport, and it piqued our interest enough to try, so we decided to pop by for brunch one day. I had a Biscuit with Bacon, Cheese and Egg - honestly it wasn't anything very impressive, but made for hearty and good enough typical Western fast-food breakfast.

Foodwares Market - 674 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 3J3, Canada.
Located at the Granville Entrance to the Granville Skytrain is Foodwares Market - you might liken it to our foodcourt, where there are many individual stalls offering different food items for dining in or grab-to-go items. I tried a slice of Blackforest Cake there - quite good.

Boulangerie La Parisienne - 1076 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A9, Canada.
A quaint little cafe along Mainland Street where we had some piping hot coffee to battle the cold weather and waited for our turns at the salons for makeup and hairdo - before the wedding photoshoot.

Cat and Fiddle Sports Bar and Restaurant / Pub - 1979 Brown Street, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 2N4, Canada.
This is a microbrewery and pub famous for its relaxing ambience, good beer and different-flavored chicken wings. It is a favorite spot for the white and blue collars workers to unwind and play catchup with friends.

Robson Street - situated between the Stadium and Stanley Park, Robson Street is to go-to stretch for pubs and clubs in downtown Vancouver, so one could head there for some fun and dancing.


Gastown - Vancouver, Canada.
The oldest neighbourhood in the city with a quirky history, Gastown houses rows of retail shops, cafes and restaurants hence it is no wonder this place is a must-visit spot for tourists. The famous Steam Clock is also a landmark here, and one could still hear the whistles periodically. Gastown is also located next to Robson Street - in between Stanley Park and the Stadium, making for perfect for the perfect shopping spot.

Metropolis at Metrotown - 4720 Kingsway #604 Burnaby, BC V5H 4N2, Canada.
This is a pretty huge mall here with familiar brands such as Victoria's Secrets, Godivas, La Senza etc, and many other cosmetics, skincare, clothes, accessories etc brands, as well as an assortment of eateries within. Needless to say, it was happy shopping here and we spent several hours collecting merchandise.


Lion's Gate Bridge - this linkbridge also known as First Narrows Bridge - a suspended bridge crossing the first narrows of Burrad Inlet and connects the city of Vancouver. This is a bridge with gorgeous views of the sparkling seas and azure skies, so it is not uncommon to find lots of visitors posing or standing around.

Britannia Mine Museum - 1 Forbes Way, Britannia Way, BC V0N 1JO, Canada.
This is an award-winning tourist attraction and a non-profit organisation located along the Britannia Beach. It was converted from an old underground coal mine. We took the guided tour by a short train ride, explored the history of this gold-mining town, how everything worked, the lives of the miners etc. There were also buildings housing lots of artifacts and tools, as well as a small area for gold-panning.

Shannon Falls Provincial Park - the spot where we took a short hike through tranquil settings and watched the beauty of nature unfold in cooling settings. The beautiful falls is composed of a series of cliffs and is lovely for photographs.

Science World at Telus World of Science - 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7, Canada.
The attraction suitable for families and everyone, basically - with its iconic silver globe standing out from afar - located around Granville area.  It is a science centre with lots of programs and exhibits for visitors.

Aldor Acres Pumpkin Patch - 24990, 84 Avenue, Langley, BC V1M, Canada.
We dropped by this huge pumpkins farm to select freshly-grown pumpkins to take home to make pies and carve for upcoming Halloween. I never knew pumpkins came in so many hues - silver, red, yellow, orange.

Chaberton Estate Winery - 1064, 216 Street, Langley,  BC V2Z 1R3, Canada.
Visited the huge wineries here for wine tasting and some purchases to take home - including wine jam, wine-making tools etc.

Township 7 Winery - 21152, 16 Avenue, Langley BC V2Z 1K3, Canada.
Visited another vineyard - here we needed to pay money for tasting. We also made some purchases and visited where the large, juicy, luscious grapes were grown.

Blue Heron Fruit Winery - 18539 Old Dewdney Trunk Road, Pitt Meadows,  BC V3Y 2R9, Canada.
Another beautiful winery where they made wine out of many other types of fruits and not merely grapes.


Stanley Park - Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
A 1,001-acre park that borders the downtown of Vancouver, this beautiful park is the perfect for picnics, taking photographs, hanging out at, or enjoying simple beach activities.  There were many people cycling, jogging, or simply sitting on benches to relax in these serene settings. There is also the famous Hollow Tree here where many people have taken memorable photographs in - there is some history tied to it, and this tree is so huge that it has fitted cars, elephants etc within its hollowed trunk for photography purpose.

WHISTLER MOUNTAIN RESORT - located in the north of Vancouver, Whistler Mountain is a stunning attraction not just for tourists, but many Canadians themselves enjoy taking short vacations up here as well. There are lots of shops and cafes housed within European-styled buildings, and activities are aplenty - Ice Bar,  Scandinavian Spas, bear tours,  and sports such as flying fox or skiing in Winter.   The Olympic Park is also located here at Whistler, with a rich history of glory and gold, having facilitated Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games here in 2010.

Grouse Mountain - 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada.
One of the North Shore mountains located at the North of Vancouver. It is a breathtaking location with plenty of activities such as watching of grizzly bears Cooler and Grinder, skiing in Winter, watching the very entertaining and funny Lumberjack Show, and the Bird Show (including eagles).

Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal -  West Vancouver, Canada.
Yes, there is a ferry terminal all right, but we were there for the photoshoot at the beach and rocks.  It is a breathtaking spot with azure skies, crystal clear waters and an expanse of beauty.

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