For my 24th birthday, Jason and I went to Vancouver and experienced our first “long drive” trip as a couple – just us two!!! Here is how it all went down in 4 days!!!
Before anything else, here is a PDF copy of our Vancouver itinerary:
Please note: that we never made it into Phnom Penh and Richmond Night Market – we didn’t have enough time for the long lineups in both places. Phnom Penh did not take reservations and when we got there the expected wait time was about a hour and 45 minutes. Richmond Night Market was just way too crowded and we couldn’t even get our car parked or get close to the location due to heavy traffic, so we gave up on it as well.
For the most part our trip went according to plan and you all already know how well I organize and control vacations… soooooo there ya have it!
DAY 1 (FRIDAY, August 30, 2019)
This day started at 4:30 AM.
As soon as we got up, we were out of the house by 5:00 AM and started on our 10 to 11 hours drive to Vancouver. We arrived at Vancouver around 3:00 PM (Vancouver time).
The drive was pretty easy, as Jason and I took turns driving throughout the trip. The views were amazing and it was nice to just cruise while listening to our favorite songs. The drive itself was smooth, during the start of the morning from 5:00 AM to roughly about 6:30 AM the road was quiet and dark – at points it got scary when there was no visible cars/trucks in front of us other than complete darkness. When the sun came out, the drive got easier too.
While in Vancouver, we stayed at the Sheraton Wall Centre: LINK FOR HOTEL
Jason picked this hotel himself and he did a great job!!! This hotel is so beautiful with all their rooms having floor to ceiling windows. We stayed in a corner room with one king bed, and the view from our room was simply stunning!!!
After checking in at around 3:00 PM, Jason and I stayed in our room the whole afternoon to rest. We also ordered food from our room service menu and had a super late lunch. We ate our lunch in bed and cuddled until we had to go out again for my birthday dinner at Black & Blue.
BLACK & BLUE
My birthday dinner was a little on the boujee side, but it was worth it!!!!
For my 24th birthday, I had wagyu for the very first time at Black & Blue (CLICK FOR LINK HERE). And yes, wagyu as in, that expensive beef from Japan that are known for their beautiful marbling and high fatty content that literally melts like butter in your mouth… yes, I had that. On the other hand, since my meal was a little expensive, Jason just had their salmon dish and we shared the wagyu. I mean, just look at the receipt below to see how freakinn expensive this steak is. But don’t get me wrong, it was WORTH IT.
After dinner, we just headed back to the hotel and wrapped it up for the night.
DAY 2 (SATURDAY, August 31, 2019)
CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
The next day, we drove out to Capilano Suspension Bridge.
This famous tourist spot is known for its nature views and the thrilling suspension bridge that allows you to cross a river from a very very veerrrryy high spot. In my own personal opinion, I think the nature views were beautiful but I found the price for the tickets a little too outrageous. I’m pretty sure they can still make a profit by selling the tickets $10.00 lower than they had (adult ticket was $53.95 CAD) – but hey… that’s just the pricing analyst in me. Yet, it’s the memories that counts right??? So at the end of the day, it was somehow worthwhile.
After Capilano Suspension Bridge, we went straight to Stanley Park and strolled along Seawall Path around the Third Beach area. The stroll was leisurely and nice – we took our time admiring the water views and being surrounded by the curious tourists as well as some locals just trying to enjoy their day at the beach.
After our walk, we went straight to our lunch reservation at The Teahouse (CLICK FOR LINK HERE). I had their waffles with lots of fruits, while Jason had steak and eggs. The food was very good and the ambiance of the restaurant was really lovely too!
After lunch, we headed back to our hotel to drop off our car then walked down to Robson street to do some shopping and a little downtown sight seeing too. The neat thing about our hotel’s location is how close we were to a lot of downtown food and shopping spots. From Sheraton Wall Centre, Robson Street is only a short 10 minute walk at the most!
After our quick shopping spree at Robson street where I got myself a cute pair of Air Force 1 (see picture below), we went back to our hotel room where we took a quick break to rest and then got ready for dinner.
We had dinner at MIKU (CLICK FOR LINK HERE) and it was above and beyond. The sushi in this place was just top notch, high quality, fresh, and delicious. I highly recommend trying their salmon oshi sushi!! Ohhh and let’s not forget about the view from our table which was also amazing (see pictures below). As a matter of fact, I truly believe Jason enjoyed this restaurant the most!
ARITZIA WAREHOUSE SALE
Bumping into this warehouse sale was by pure coincidence and luck. As you can see from our schedule shared above, the Aritzia Warehouse Sale was definitely not part of the plan!!!
As we were trying to find parking around Miku, I kept noticing a lot of girls carrying big Aritzia bags – at first I thought there was a store around the area, and it sparked my curiosity. During dinner, out of my curiosity I asked our server where this “Aritzia store” is located so that we could check it out after our dinner. Then the server told us that Aritzia was having their Warehouse Sale and it was inside the Vancouver Convention Centre nearby. So, I dragged Jason to the convention centre with only 10 minutes to shop – we seriously got there at 8:50 PM and the warehouse sale closed at 9:00 PM. Given the time constraint, I managed to scoop myself 2 items: shorts and a dress!! #worthit
DAY 3 (SUNDAY, September 1, 2019)
On our last day in Vancouver, we started the day by heading to Granville Island where we ate brunch at The Sandbar (CLICK FOR LINK HERE). I had fresh tuna, while Jason had their fish n’ chips. After brunch, we took a cute stroll around the island, took photos and even bought wine for my grandma, Mom Nora. Granville Island is truly a romantic place to stroll around at, there’s so many good food to taste and cute little shops to discover!
I also liked how Granville Island is super close to the water, so you can hear the birds flying from above and watch the people on their kayaks or boats passing by, and on the other side you’ll see a charming yet different perspective of downtown Vancouver.
QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK
After Granville Island, we went straight to Queen Elizabeth Park where we were welcomed by beautiful green plants and blooming roses!!!
The park is perhaps the best free thing to do in Vancouver (NOTE: To go inside Bloedel Conservatory, you will need to pay for admission, but outside of it is all free) The trees, grass, plants, and flowers at Queen Elizabeth Park looked like a scene from a Disney movie, literally like something straight out from a Disney book – it was simply BEAUTIFUL!
After Queen Elizabeth Park, Jason and I went back to the hotel and took a nice nap.
We slept in a little and ended up waking up around 6:00 PM. As soon as we woke up, we headed out to Richmond Night Market. By the time we got there, we were already caught in traffic. Before all that, Jason had a friend who also tried going to the night market the night before we went, and he said there was roughly 300 people in line… which led to him not committing to the wait in the lineup and eventually left. With our friend’s experience from the previous night at the night market, and the traffic we ran into, we decided to turn around and not go to the night market.
We then drove back to Vancouver and made our way to Phnom Penh which was in Vancouver’s Chinatown. That was also a FLOP. By the time we arrived at the restaurant, it was already 8:00 PM, yet there was still a lineup outside the restaurant’s door. After inquiring about the wait time for a table, we were told it will take roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes. Jason being sooo hungry at this point couldn’t wait that long. So, we left and looked for another pho place around the area. The next pho place (I forgot the name) we went to was also a flop… another one hour wait… and our starving stomachs couldn’t wait for that.
We finally agreed to going back to our hotel, and walking down to Robson Street to find a nice place to get some food. This is how we found SalaThai on Burrard Street. SalaThai (CLICK FOR LINK HERE) was pretty delicious in my opinion, but Jason thinks this place wasn’t spicy enough and that their service was slow.
After dinner, we walked back to our hotel room and slept the night away.
DAY 4 (MONDAY, September 2, 2019)
We checked out from our hotel at 10:00 am and started our way back to Calgary.
I started the drive from Vancouver and Jason drove all the way back to Calgary from Sicamous.
At Sicamous, before Jason and I made the switch from passenger to driver, we were terribly caught in traffic. There was an accident that held us back roughly a hour and half!!! Due to this traffic jam, we did not get back home to Calgary until 11:00 PM.
Overall, the trip was amazing and our first “long drive” experience as a couple was sooo fun!!!! We didn’t argue, we didn’t get a ticket from speeding, we didn’t get into an accident, and most importantly, we didn’t get lost!!! I think we make a good pair for “long drive” trips!!!
And just like that, another city has been travelled to and explored by Dez and Jason – where to next?
Mary Dezleigh Teodosio