Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 Vacation Park IV - Vancouver + The Sunshine Coast

First things first - thank you for the congratulatory comments on my last post!  I feel so blessed to have so many people in my life that care about me!  I was completely spoiled on Tuesday - from steak sandwiches at lunch to macaroons in the afternoon to flowers from my parents to a flourless chocolate torte at happy hour to dinner with my aunt and uncle!  The day was full of celebration!!  Now I fully intend to enjoy the next 5 months of my life (I'll start studying for level III on December 26th, but I am blocking that out of my mind for now!).

Back to the vacation recap!  When I last left off, we had just finished up brunch in Vancouver, and went our separate ways.  We didn't get much accomplished after brunch as traffic was so bad and it was taking forever to get anywhere, so we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the bridal party.

Amber had made manicure and pedicure appointments for the bridal party.  I rarely get manicures or pedicures, so this was quite a treat.  Plus, she found a place that allowed us to bring in our own alcohol, so we brought a couple of bottles of wine to really aid in the relaxation process. 

I got to sit next to Amber :)  It was incredibly relaxing to sip on wine while someone dealt with my poor feet which are totally beat up thanks to my high arches + marathon training.

After the pampering, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. The brother of Amber's hair dresser is a personal chef in Vancouver and he was gracious enough to host us for dinner on Saturday!

Amber and I on his rooftop patio.  He has the most amazing views of Vancouver. It was a beautiful night, so we ate dinner up on the patio.  It was heavenly!

Dinner was AH-MAZING.  The chef took into account my gluten intolerance so he made me my own special salad (the others had a panzanella salad). That cheese on top of the salad was flown in from Italy (I usually avoid dairy but couldn't skip a specially flown in cheese!)!  He also served tenderloin, salmon, and a corn dish.  The corn dish might have been my favorite part of the meal - it had truffle oil and a hint of jalapeno.  It was to die for!

It was wonderful to watch the sun set over the city of Vancouver.  

I was sad to see my time in Vancouver end, but of course I was excited to head to the Sunshine Coast for Amber's wedding!!  We were up bright and early on Sunday morning.  I went to mass at a beautiful cathedral in downtown Vancouver, and then I met up with Amber and Kelly for coffee before we left Vancouver for the Sunshine Coast!  We had a short drive to the ferry terminal, and then we were off.

The views from the ferry were SO beautiful and were very similar to the views from my ferry ride to Victoria last fall.  This part of the country is simply stunning - I highly recommend it as a vacation destination!!

After a short ferry ride, we arrived on the Sunshine Coast.  We stopped for lunch in a town called Sechelt.

The views from the deck of the restaurant were so beautiful!

After 20 minutes of driving on some winding, curvy roads (which left both Amber and I rather sick to our stomachs) we arrived at the resort.  Which really felt like paradise for me!

This was the view from our room.  Of course the picture does not do it justice.

I had some downtime before the rehearsal, so spent some time reading on the deck. I didn't get much reading done as the beautiful views were too distracting.

We had the rehearsal and welcome dinner that evening, but I was not so great about taking photos so have none to share.  The rehearsal went really, really smoothly, and the dinner was delicious.  Amber and I shared a room that night so I had the honor of spending the last night with her as a single lady!  She was cool, calm, and so excited for the next day - as was I!  Oh how I love wedding weekends!

I'll be back tomorrow with my 5th and final installment of this vacation recap series - Amber's wedding!

Have you ever been on a ferry before?  Besides taking ferries to Victoria and the Sunshine Coast, I also took a ferry between the north and south islands of New Zealand - but that was a HORRIBLE experience.  Unbeknownst to us, that stretch of water is known for being choppy.  So many people got sick on that ferry. I was kind of afraid of them since that experience, but it's a very calm, easy ride on the waters around the BC area (at least in my experience).


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

I've taken a few ferries- the one to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and one in Ireland (Eric and i were going to drive around it and then the person at a Bed and Breakfast was like, save time and take the 10 minute ferry, haha okay!). I also took one to Manly Beach in Australia. I was still nervous about the Vancouver one (I've only brought a car on once before and it was several years ago) so I was happy we also did it in Seattle so Ash could show me what I'm doing haha. I was actually amazed at how easy the process is!

So the funny thing about the roads on the way to the resort is that on the way up I didn't think they were bad (but I was in the front seat and you warned me) but the NEXT day when I was hungover and we went to Starbucks I did NOT like those roads one bit haha.

Loved hearing about what you and Amber were up to all weekend :) Can't wait for the wedding recap!

Becky said...

So pretty!!! And this makes me want to go to Vancouver even more now!!!

missris said...

I've taken the ferry across the English Channel from Dover to Calais and back, and sometimes it's been just fine but other times it was super choppy and awful and people were getting sick and unhappy. So I'm like you--a little wary!

Marlys said...

I was on a ferry many years ago when I went on a trip with my parents. We went from somewhere in Michagan to Ontario, where we visited Lucknow, a town where our McDougall relatives lived before coming to homestead in North Dakota. I remember that it was a very enjoyable experience!

Marlys said...

Oops! Forgive the misspelling of Michigan!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I love reading your vacation recap - Vancouver really is beautiful and you clearly made the most of your time there! I've actually been on the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. I've been on a ferry from Seattle to the San Juan Islands. Also, from Cape Cod to Martha's Vinyard and Cape Cod to Nantucket. And, we may go on a ferry from the Jersey Shore to NYC - we'll see.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

i have, but i dont remember it because i was too little. (going to mackinaw insland!) we always talk about taking it over to wisconsin instead of driving.

Unknown said...

My first ferry ride was across the English Channel to Belgium. Don't ask me how long ago that was. I'd have to look up how long an eon is before I could answer.

Carolina John said...

We took a ferry to get out to the Indian Princess camp a few months ago. Bigun loved it. She's a sucker for big boats.

Stephany said...

I've taken a few ferries in my lifetime. I have a stomach of steel, though, so it takes a lot to get me sick. (As seen from my last cruise! Ha.) I'm just really at home on the water or the ocean. I love it. :)

Vancouver is one of those destinations that's quickly making its way on my travel to-do list! The views are incredible.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That looks like so much fun. I rarely get pedicures either; I have had maybe 4 or 5 in my entire life.

I have been on that NZ ferry twice; luckily it wasn't choppy either time. I have also taken ferries in Washington, San Francisco, Sydney, and Baltimore. I think those commuter ferries are a great way to see the area and are so much cheaper than the touristy ones!

Melissa said...

Your pictures are actually to DIE for. I really need to visit Vancouver my Goodness! It's so nice that you and Amber got to spend so much time together before her wedding as well. She looks glowing in all your photos together! And the mani-pedi appointments? Great idea!

I spent about half my vacation in Greece on ferries and it was a mix of good and bad experiences. The views were definitely beautiful and SO worth it- much like yours!

Amber said...

Yayy loved this post! Seeing the pictures of that food again is actually making me salivate a little. Seriously best meal ever!

Alli said...

Man, I should've tried to convince you that you should bring me as your date to this wedding.

Seriously everything looks amazing!

I've bben on quite a few ferries in my time. Most recently, last summer I took a ferry from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard and in a few short weeks I'll be taking a ferry from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia :)

San said...

Love your vacation recap posts - it's so fun to see where you spent your time and what you did and who you were with! :)

Looks like you really had a fantastic time in Vancouver.

I've been on a ferry before but it's been a long time. It's kind of fun! :)

Cherry Blossoms said...

I have been on several ferries and they are a lot of fun! My favorite ferry ride was from Seattle to Widbey Island.

PS: I just read about your tasty celebration treats! It sounds like you had nothing short of a great celebration! I'm glad you are having a great week. You deserve it.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I haven't been to Vancouver since I was a kid, but I really want to go back. Sounds like you had an awesome trip :-)

AndreaClaire said...

I have to say that I've been loving reading everyone's recaps mostly because you all seemed to love my neck of the woods. Have to say, it's not too shabby :)

Living on Vancouver Island, I can't remember not having been on a ferry. The most memorable ferry trip was probably between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. The water was really choppy and someone got sea sick inside, so everyone who could fit was standing on the back deck which really only had space for about 50 people and I counted over 70. On top of all this, they were transporting a coffin back to the mainland and it was sitting out on the same deck. Definitely a different type of trip!

Jeanie said...

I've never been to Vancouver -- it sounds like a perfect spot for a wedding. How wonderful that the chef made you a special salad and took your gluten into account. I can' t imagine what a wonderful time you had -- such a good wedding weekend!