Where have I been? Vancouver!

Vancouver, British Columbia – it’s on Canada’s western coast. Ever been? It has been on our bucket list for years. So when The Complete Package & I decided to take a trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary, we picked Vancouver. Why? For the mountains and the ocean and the food and the culture and the whales, of course! And it was every bit as beautiful as I thought it would be.


I don’t usually photograph airports, but Vancouver’s is lovely. This gorgeous sculpture greeted us as we stepped off our plane. As far as airports go, Vancouver gets a solid A+ (in case you’re rating airports).

For lodging, we decided to rent an apartment in the Yaletown area of downtown Vancouver. Apartments are plentiful in Vancouver, and this one really stood out. The location was perfect, the apartment was beautiful, the private rooftop terrace was a total bonus, and the views were stunning. I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor when we walked in. Here are the snaps we took once we recovered.

I’ve mentioned HomeAway.com and VRBO.com before, and we used it again for this trip. I can’t say enough about our experiences except that each place we’ve rented has been completely different and each has been spectacular. This rooftop “Skybox” apartment in hip Yaletown was no exception. Everything about it was fabulous. Did I mention the views? Because I just can’t say enough about the views of Vancouver from this apartment.

It wasn’t easy, but we did actually leave the apartment long enough to see some of Vancouver. Here are a few of the places we visited:

The Capilano Suspension Bridge & Treetop Walks

Chinatown & The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden

Historic Gastown

Granville Island & Public Market

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia

Whale Watching along the San Juan Islands

The Vancouver Aquarium

Miscellaneous Sights Around Vancouver

And in case you’re a foodie, there was food. Lots of food.

Recognize that last one? That’s poutine – it’s a Canadian thing. French fries topped with cheese curds, then smothered in gravy. It was on my “must try” list, along with Nanaimo Bars and local wild salmon. If you make it to Vancouver some day, give it a try. Poutine. Remember that name (if you love gravy).

Vancouver was glorious. The friendliest people on earth live there, and I’d be friendly too if I were lucky enough to live in such a wonderful place. They have a temperate climate. They have ocean views and mountains galore. They plant flowers on every corner and hang them from every street light. Vancouver is beautiful; plain & simple. And if it’s not on your bucket list yet, it should be.

Note from NanaBread: this blog post was long on photos but short on text, so if you have any questions please leave me a comment. I’m happy to answer anything I can about our Vancouver trip.

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25 Comments

Filed under Travel Tales

25 responses to “Where have I been? Vancouver!

  1. Your photos are gorgeous! I’m so glad your time in Vancouver was so enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Nice photos! And I do love gravy, so I guess I’ll have to try the poutine.

  3. Welcome back and happy belated anniversary! So delighted to hear your trip was wonderful. Your pictures are gorgeous and make me long for a return trip of my own. What a fantastic apartment! Did you happen to make it to Vancouver Island? If not, that is a good excuse to come back to Canada again soon!

    • Thanks, Liz! We’re having a hard time believing we’ve been married 30 years. We don’t feel that old! The trip was fantastic, and that apartment was AWESOME! I highly recommend it if you make it back to Vancouver. We didn’t make it to Vancouver Island this trip, but we have been to Victoria & Butchart Gardens via a trip to Seattle a few years back. What a beautiful place. I’d love to go back to Vancouver Island and see the Tofino area on the western coast. Have you ever been there? I’d love to hear more about it if you have. Hugs to you & the girls!

  4. stylencritics

    Your pics are beautiful, Vancouver too. This town is in my dream list i wish one day to visit it.
    Happy anniversary!!

  5. What did you think of Nanaimo bars? They are a HUGE favorite of mine to the point that I have my mom ship me custard powder for that sole purpose.
    More importantly, did you have them with coconut or without? My recipe is anti-coconut. Megan told me that’s sacrelig, but since we got the recipe from someone born and raised in the Nanaimo area combined with the fact that Canada isn’t known for its coconut trees, I told her I was right.
    Loved the pics – I haven’t been to Vancouver in eons – now I want to go back! Glad you had a good time!

    • Honestly, I couldn’t wait to try them because they always look so dang good. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy them as much as I’d hoped to. I found them way too sweet, but that could be a function of the bakery I bought them from. Loved the chocolate cookie base (mine had peanuts & a little coconut) and the ganache on top was nice, but the white creamy filling was so sweet it made my teeth hurt (figuratively). I would have enjoyed it a lot more if they’d toned it down a notch or five. On the up side, I’ve seen a ton of recipes for these on Pinterest, and I’m thinking of taking a shot at them – with less sugar in the filling, of course. For those who aren’t familiar with Nanaimo Bars, here’s a link so you can see what we’re talking about. http://food-pusher.blogspot.com/2010/08/nanaimo-bars.html#

  6. Nana,
    I loved this post and all of your gorgeous photos! Thanks for the tip about the HomeAway company. We want to take a trip to the NYC area in the near future and I’m going to check into that.

    I’m especially curious of your photo of the laughing boys statues. Do you know if that might be in reference to a children’s book? – MoSop

    • That sculpture grouping is called “A-Maze-ing Laughter” by Chinese artist Yue Minjun. He’s famous for using these laughing men in sculpted pieces and paintings. I don’t believe they’re tied to a children’s book. In articles I’ve seen about it, these are self-portraits. I’m planning to do another short piece about this since I loved them so much. I’ll have more photos and some background information on it so stay tuned! As for HomeAway and VRBO, we’ve had great success but the key is to take the time and do your research. Don’t assume anything is included. Reading the list of amenities carefully and e-mailing the owner with questions can help alleviate anxiety. Also, we only rent places that provide LOTS of photos. :)

  7. Big Sis

    Oh my! Looks like you had a great time. That ‘sky walk in the trees’ must have been a thriller!! Or made you pee your pants, one or the other!! Think I will have to talk the ball-n-chain into heading north some time soon!! :)

  8. Pingback: One Kitchen, Many Hearts — August…errr…September Edition « Comfortably Domestic

  9. Loving your post – Nice way to Check Off Vancouver on Your Bucket List too:) Great Photos – thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Renee! It was a lovely week in a lovely city. And that apartment was frosting on the cupcake. The views! Just breathtaking. Speaking of breathtaking – I’m loving your Yellowstone photos. The Complete Package and I went a while back and loved it. Keep posting so I can live vicariously through your travels! -jeanne

  10. The West Coast of Canada is where I am originally from. I’ve lived in Vancouver, but my family is in Victoria, just across the strait. Though I live in South Florida and love it, the coast still feels like home. I thouroughly enjoy your photos.
    I’m glad you had such a great trip!

    • Hi, Kari! I’m so happy you enjoyed the photos and they helped take you back in spirit. I’m totally jealous of your family in Victoria – what a beautiful place. We love the Pacific Northwest, and I’m so glad we were finally able to visit Vancouver and add it to our ‘loved it!’ list.

  11. S. Isaac

    oh my lonely Canadian heart!! This post had ME weeping and sucking my thumb. Poutine, come to me… And then of course the SCENERY.

    • That’s so cool! Not that I made you weep and suck your thumb, but that it took you home. So very happy you liked the photos. I love western Canada. I’ve been twice now (Vancouver & Calgary) and fell completely in love. Makes we want to see the rest of it now. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  12. Love Vancouver–especially Yaletown, Gastown, and Granville Island. Don’t know if you made it to Vancouver Island, but they have some amazing places to see as well. My favs are Chemanus, Cathedral Grove, and pretty much all of Victoria.

    • We loved Vancouver, too! And we have been to Vancouver Island as a day trip from Seattle once. We went to Butchart Gardens and shopped downtown. What a beautiful place. Truly, I love all of western Canada. Big fan!

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