I am back after a hiatus and hope to keep up my blogging. I thought a good way to start would be a recap of my Vancouver B.C. trip this past Memorial Day. My BF loves, no, LOVES poutine and suggested a weekend up north. We left on Saturday at 4am so we could get a good start at exploring the city since we only had three days to do it. The drive up there was nice and I had to make a stop at my favorite doughnut shop, Top Pot, on the way. They are around the Seattle area, but I always go to the downtown one on 5th ave. The doughnuts are always fresh and the raspberry chocolate is my favorite. Their coffee is pretty good too.
After our pit stop, we continued on and made it to the border around 9 am. We spent about 45 minutes waiting in line and by 10:30 made it to Vancouver. A 6 1/2 hour drive is not that bad. Our first touristy stop was at the Vancouver Aquarium. One of the main reasons I wanted to come here was to see the beluga whales and they did not disappoint. They are amazing creatures and it was fun to watch them. Also at the aquarium were sea otters, dolphins, penguins, tanks and tanks of different fish and there was an Amazon/jungle exhibit with alligators, plenty of snakes and piranhas.
Overall, the aquarium was fun and there were many interesting things to see. We spent the rest of the day driving around Stanley Park, which was gorgeous. It also was a perfect sunny day and it made the park even more beautiful. There were a lot of people out enjoying the day: biking, taking wedding photos, sitting in the sun, picnicking and even rollerblading. I don’t think I have seen anybody rollerblade in years, but it seemed to be pretty popular.
We made our way back to Richmond, BC to our hotel, the River Rock Casino Resort. This place was only twenty minutes from Vancouver and easy to find. We had a nice one bedroom suite and it included a view of the water. The hotel had a buffet, a nice sized casino and a pool/hot tub area. It was really nice and I would definitely stay here again.
Sunday was poutine adventure day. We had breakfast at the buffet and then made our way to downtown Vancouver. Our first poutine place was the Fritz European Fry House. The owner was nice and we had a laugh thanks to Sam who thought poutine with pop was something other than poutine with a (soda) pop. He got the original poutine with the gravy and cheese curds and I had a hot dog. Both were delicious. I thought their poutine was even better than the stuff from the food carts in Portland.
We walked around Vancouver for a while, bought souvenirs and I made a stop for a nutella/coconut crepe. While in a t-shirt shop, the cashier told us about another poutine place we had to try. He got the notion Sam was into poutine from the shirt that he had bought…. with the poutine design. We made our way to La Belle Patate, our second poutine stop. Sam chose the poutine with ham this time, but there was so much of it he couldn’t finish. I tried this one too, but liked Fritz poutine better.
After downtown we visited Granville Island, the market district of Vancouver. It reminded me of Pike Place market in Seattle, with all the meat, vegetable, dessert and goods stands. We bought almonds, the “world’s best syrup” (which trust me, it is), sausage and pepperoni and sat down to enjoy some gelato. We had dinner at a restaurant on the island and enjoyed some local drinks. We went back to the casino and gambled for a while where i proceeded to be up seventy dollars and then lost it all. It was still fun though.
Our last day was spent driving and having lunch in Seattle. We had a delicious chowder filled meal at Ivar’s, walked around the marketplace and I had to make one last visit to Top Pot. Overall, I had an amazing weekend and would go back to Vancouver. The drive wasn’t bad, the food was good, the resort was comfortable and the city was easy to get around.