Sean was asked to sit on a panel for a legal conference in Vancouver awhile back. I have always wanted to go to Canada, so I decided to tag along. My mom came down from Idaho to watch our kids, so it was a real vacation!
Our hotel was right on the water and had an amazing view.
We loved watching the pontoon planes taking off and leaving right outside our window all day. I didn't realize Vancouver is a major cruise ship port also. We saw several cruise ships arrive and depart for Alaksa.
After checking in our hotel, we decided to head to Stanley Park. We had fun walking around the park (which is huge) and it was nice to stretch our legs after being on a plane.
We joked that we were actually in Vancouver for our annual yacht club meeting ;)
Vancouver was further ahead in the autumn season than at home in Utah, and it felt so nice! The colors were beautiful.
View of my favorite bridge:
We decided to cut through the middle of the park and it was crazy because all of the sudden we were in this lush green forrest and felt way outside the city limits.
Sean had conference stuff in the evening, and while he was gone, I heard a knock at the door and was presented with this little box as a gift from the conference organizers.
Inside were all of these chocolates and truffles and they were SO good. That is my kind of gift!
While Sean was in his conference the next morning, I treated myself to room service (it was a vacation after all).
We spent that afternoon exploring Granville Island.
Granville Island was such an interesting and fun place. Lots of cute little shops on pretty streets with an eclectic vibe mixed in. My favorite part of Granville was definitely the Public Market. It was so cool!
It was huge and full of amazing things. All sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, and countless yummy things to eat.
Sean and I laughed when we saw this "puffball" mushroom in back for sale for $34.
My strawberry tart did not disappoint-- nor did anything else I ate while I was there. In fact, I had the best jelly doughnut I've ever eaten that day!
We also tried these "golden berries" and loved them. We had never seen or heard of them before.
We both got lunch from food vendors inside (pizza for me, Thai for Sean) and ate it outside.
After a little bit of shopping, we headed back to the hotel for a conference dinner. I usually feel a bit out of my element at fancy dinners where I don't know anyone, but we met some really cool people and our dinner was amazing. I even ate the fish appetizer they gave me, and enjoyed it! Anyone who knows me well knows this is nothing short of miraculous! They had a guest speaker who was a pretty influential author from Canada and both Sean and I really loved her speech. She spoke about the concept of time and how we use it. She said, "find out a way to become partners with time instead of victims of time." I thought it was really profound. I find myself hating the thought that my kids won't be little forever and almost mourn the passing of time, but her speech made me re-think things a bit. It was unexpected. I wouldn't have thought to gain this type of insight at a legal conference dinner. :)
The next morning we headed to Whistler and made a pit stop at Shannon Falls on our way. It was a much needed stop because we had been stuck in some ridiculous traffic due to a bike race that was taking place that day.
The falls were beautiful! On our way down, Sean was pretty excited when he spotted this cool bird:
Our next stop was Squamish, where we stopped for lunch. We came across a little farmer's market and decided to walk around.
I am so glad we stopped because Sean and I found this painting we both really love and decided to buy it for our boys' room.
You can see the painting for sale in the back right of this picture I took!
After Squamish, we finally made it to Whistler. We decided to ride the gondola to the top of Whistler Peak and then take the Peak 2 Peak gondola that then takes you to the summit of Blackcomb Mountain.
The ride up to Whistler Peak was beautiful. I am used to riding gondolas and rode them growing up at Big Sky with my family, and I don't usually have a fear of heights, but the Peak 2 Peak gondola that takes you over to Blackcomb was definitely not for the faint of heart. It is hard to tell in this picture how far away the stopping point is and how far you are suspended in the middle (with no supports), but trust me, it is far.
We rode in a glass-bottomed gondola on the way over and you can see how far down the tops of the trees were.
View from Blackcomb Mountain:
Sean and I took a little hike when we got back to the top of Whistler Peak because we missed the last chairlift of the day. We didn't have to hike too far, but it was steep! The views were worth it though.
Headed back down to Whistler Village
Before our flight out the next afternoon, we spent the morning driving around Vancouver. We had fun checking out the different parts of the city and driving through the rich part of town and checking out the houses. We did a little window shopping before heading to the airport and flying home.
It was a great trip and so fun to get away for a few days. I am happy I can say I have finally been to Canada and would love to return someday!