We’re in the middle of a lot of stuff here at home – K is working very hard on a new business, I am working hard at not working too hard – and I think we’ll be looking back at 2012 as a year of adventure and uncertainty (but mostly adventure!). With all this hard work we’ve been sticking around home a lot more, so late last month we seized the opportunity provided by some raffle-won free plane tickets and headed west to Vancouver and Seattle for a week’s R&R.
Vancouver was new to both of us. We loved it! We thought it rather cosmopolitan but also quite laid back. It was easy to get around – by foot and by public transportation. Also by bike! The food was fantastic (more on that in another post), and the city lived up to the reputation of Canadian friendliness (one example: here the buses tell you on their display that they are “Sorry Out of Service” vs. the more terse non-apologetic American information).
The non-food highlight was definitely our bike ride around and through Stanley Park. We had perfect weather: warm but not hot, with a good breeze to boot. I’m not a bike rider, generally (in fact, I’d call this my annual bike ride…last year’s was in Panama last July!), but I loved the exercise and views that the trails afforded. And it helped that there were several areas where one had to get off their bike and walk – ideal chances to take a break, to stop and look around, and to savor being on the West Coast for a change.
Other fun things in Vancouver – I stopped by Baad Anna’s to check out the local knitting scene and scored a skein of lovely alpaca from a nearby alpaca farm and some buttons from a local potter. The lovely shop attendant encouraged me to buy some Sweet Georgia yarns (also a local-to-Vancouver dyer), but I’ve got some in my stash already and it’s easily available at my local yarn store (Fibre Space is an indie yarn lover’s dream). If you’re ever in Vancouver, and can’t get Sweet Georgia near you, though – head here to get some!
Granville Island – a bustling area full of market stalls and shops selling all sorts of foods, crafts, art and other sundries. We tasted the beer at the brewery (yum!) and enjoyed browsing for an afternoon.
The Gaslight neighborhood – so much fun. Lots of great shops and restaurants, so very walkable, like much of the city.
If you’ve not been to Vancouver, and have been considering a visit – go! You will love it.
Next up – Seattle!