Friday, July 20, 2012

2012 Vacation Part III - Vancouver

When I last left off, I was in Seattle. I woke up on Friday morning without the aid of an alarm as I was SO excited to start the next leg of the trip (ok, and I was still on CST).  This post is going to be a tad bit long, but bear with me!

After leaving my hotel, I grabbed some Starbucks and headed over to the train station.  Shortly after arriving, I ran into these two!!!

It was my first time meeting Kelly and Eric, but after reading Kelly's blog for YEARS it didn't feel like we were meeting for the first time; it was like seeing an old friend.  You've got to love their matching sweatshirts, right?  :)

I am so glad we did this leg of the trip together.  Luckily we got seated together on the train ride.  We spent the 4+ hours talking pretty much non-stop.  There were absolutely no awkward moments.  I bet the guy who sat with us never would have guessed that we hadn't met in person before that day.

Before we knew it, we had arrived in Vancouver.  We quickly made it through customs (after getting grilled!), and went to our respective hotels.  Amber wasn't arriving until later in the day, so I dropped my stuff off at the hotel and hit the streets of Vancouver.

I started off in the Canada Place area.  I asked someone to take my picture and totally thought of Kyria when I saw the result as we have talked about how strangers usually take crappy pictures... 

I mean, it's not awful, but, well, it's not great.  But I am sure I've taken crappy pictures of others, too.

On my tourist map, I saw that you could rent bikes nearby - I thought that would be the perfect way to get some exercise and cover a decent amount of ground! 

On my bike, with the Vancouver skyline in the background.  The tourist who took this picture did a great job!

Stanley Park is a huge area with lots of biking and walking paths.  I stumbled upon this pond and if I had more time, I would have stopped and sat on a bench and read.  It was such a beautiful, quiet little spot.

After 2 hours of biking, I made my way back to the Canada Place area and met up with Kelly and Eric for some drinks.  After a couple of cocktails, I headed back to meet Amber, and we grabbed dinner and headed to bed early.

On Saturday morning, Amber and I were up bright and early!  She knew I would be training for a marathon, so we had been planning to do a long run together for months.  Our other friend, Anais, and her boyfriend had arrived the night before so they joined us!  I have also read Anais's blog and exchanged many emails with her so it was awesome meeting her and her boyfriend in person!  She is incredibly sweet and is another person that I clicked with right away - AND she is French Canadian so she has a slight accent!  I am hoping to meet up with these girls to run a race in the future!

Amber planned an awesome run along the seawall.  I think we were on the Burrard Bridge at this point of the run.  I had so much fun running with Amber, Anais, and Anais's boyfriend Olle!

After 11.25 miles of running, we had worked up quite an appetite - so we headed to a group brunch at this cute Greek place.  It was like accent-palooza.  For accents we had: Anais's French Canadian accent, her boyfriend Olle's Swedish accent, Eric's Boston accent, and Amber's mom's Canadian accent (which is different from Amber's accent). And the wait staff had Greek accents.  I just love accents so I was in heaven.

The food was great, but the conversations were even better!

After hours of chatting, we went our separate ways, knowing the next time we'd all be together was at Amber's wedding!!!

I have more Vancouver photos/stories to share, but this post is getting too long so I'll close here for now!

Have you ever explored a city on bike?  I did a bike tour of Paris and it's one of the first things I recommend to others who are visiting Paris.  If you visit Vancouver, I highly recommend renting a bike and biking along the seawall.  There is a great bike path and the views are amazing.


abbi said...

Looks like a wonderful trip. That's wonderful that you got to share the travel part with a new in-person friend! :)

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Haha, I'm so glad you posted the matching sweatshirts picture because Caroline wanted to see it and I didn't take any pictures that day until we went to drinks with you! Also I totally agree the "debauchery" guy would not have ever thought that we just "met" that day. It was absurd how long the train ride back was without you!

Now I want to go back to Paris and do a bike tour. Ha.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Ever since biking through Minneapolis last year to get to and from our destinations, I just love it! Last year I wasn't in the best shape and this year I know I am! I don't think so this weekend we will be biking far, but I definitely plan on doing this someday to explore a new city!

Your trip sounds so wonderful and I just love these recaps!

Caroline said...

haha YES the matching sweatshirt picture! that's awesome : ) Sounds like such an awesome trip!

missris said...

Even though we lived there we did several bike tours of Chicago and it was an awesome way to see the city and discover little hidden gems you don't necessary see when whizzing by on a bus or car. By bike or foot is my favorite way to explore a city!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I was visiting with my cousin's wife just the other day. They have been begging us to come visit them in Vancouver for years ... we really need to take them up on the offer!

I took a group bike tour of Barcelona many years ago, but I think it would've been more fun had my friends and I navigated on our own.

Another fun way to see a city? Rent scooters! We did that in Chicago years ago and it was a blast!!

Marlys said...

Great recap, Lisa! I love going on "travels" with you!

Leigh said...

It looks like you had such a great time Lisa! The only city that I have explored a bit by bike is San Francisco. So worth the money to rent them there!

Barb Geier said...

What a fun post! Lucky you! How great you could see the city and stay true to your marathon training.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am so glad you finally got to meet Kelly and Anais! They both look like wonderful girls. I love accents; aren't they fun! When I went to Vancouver we did the hop on hop off bus and we went to Stanley Park. It's HUGE! I wasn't really running a lot then, so I didn't run there, but I will definitely have to go back for some long runs! I love that you guys did a run all together!

Also, funny that my shout out is about bad photos ;) At least you have feet in those photos. And a head. I guess that's all you can really hope for.

pinkflipflops said...

i love seeing your photos and hearing about your adcventures. ;) glad you all got to meet up!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

This was such a great weekend!!! I miss it so much already. We did a bike tour in Amsterdam and I LOVED it. We meant to rent bikes in Tofino but never got a chance to!

Stephany said...

I did a bike tour in Key West and it was really, really awesome. It was a great way to learn about the culture of the city and it's just a fun way to get to know the place! I would totally do one again.

Yay for meeting Kelly & her husband. And their matching sweatshirts! :)

Linda said...

Love that you went to Seattle and Vancouver! I went to Vancouver for the first time last year and loved it so much. I plan on going back in September when I visit Seattle!

Becky said...

Love these photos! And good to know about the bike tour!

Raquelita said...

I love that you went running with the bride! I enjoy cycling, but I have never done a tour of a new city by bike because I'm a bit timid about cycling in traffic. Also because I get lost so easily, it's sometimes better for me to be on foot.

Melissa said...

OMG tourists taking pictures can go so wrong! I remember we asked a woman in Greece to take a photo of the 4 of us with the Santorini skyline and she literally took a photo of the entire sidewalk and barely fit us in the frame. I don't feel like it's so difficult- but anyway! I understand you on that one.

I'm so jealous you got to see Vancouver again. I LIVE in Canada and still haven't made it out there. I really need to change that.

Sounds like the first part of Vancouver was really great though. Yay! So fun that you get to spend time with so many bloggers.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Waking up without an alarm is the best :-) Also, good for you for being so active. I really need to step up my activity level.