Just a little more than a year ago, Julio and I were getting ready for our first trip to Vancouver together. Thinking back on lockdowns, vaccines, public health restrictions and everything that happened in between then and now, it feels like it’s been five or six years. As we inch our way towards our sixth wedding anniversary, I’m excited to share that we will be headed back to the west coast of Canada. Instead of a list of places and things to do, I thought I’d give you a heartfelt blog post about why the west coast is so special and even share the real reason why we go to Vancouver to celebrate whenever we can.
Have I spiked your curiosity yet?
For those of you curious about what we got up to the last time, you can check out that post here.
I guess I should preface this all with saying that there is still a list – in fact, if you’re asking me, it’s a pretty epic list for how I would encourage most of you to enjoy a few days in Vancouver. But it’s the reasons for why we go and why I want this to become a tradition with my husband and one day with my children. So what are we getting up to this time around? Let me tell you!
First and above all else, find the right hotel and book it early. I’ll be honest with you all, we got a really good deal on our airfare so knowing that I can splurge a bit for that added romance isn’t a bad thing. We deserve some pampering too after all!
Vancouver is a gorgeous destination and has some of the most beautiful properties in the country in my opinion. Years ago I took the image below while on a press trip with a client at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver. During our time in Vancouver in a few weeks, Julio and I will be immersing ourselves in the hotel and it’s iconic experiences to spoil ourselves for our anniversary like only the Shangri-La team can. Plus, by now we all know what a sucker I am for a glass of wine and a soak in the tub.
Located in the heart of Vancouver, #ShangriLaVan is the perfect getaway for a romantic stay that is steps away from anything you could ask for. Whether it’s packing a knapsack and enjoying the sunny disposition Vancouver can have in December or staying in with room service and a spa treatment at Chi, The Spa – this is luxury and this is exactly what I need with my husband after everything 2021 had in store for us. I’ve also been told that there is also something very special is just about to open at the hotel that we will be sharing in real time when we arrive, and though I can’t share the secret just yet, think one-a-kind culinary experiences.
Feeling the itch to get away, get pampered, and get the most out of your trip to Vancouver? Click here to make your reservation at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver now. I promise you won’t regret it!
Speaking of food – I am STILL talking about some of the meals we enjoyed last year during our trip. This year, in anticipation of keeping Julio fed and happy at all times like I do so well, here are the restaurants we’ve made reservations for and why we are excited to eat at them all, with some notable mentions to hotspots we just won’t have time to see but you absolutely should!
Published on Main – 3593 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3N4
Already obsessed with the menu concept, this newly opened hot spot is very on brand for my Vancouver culinary experiences to date. Plus, I’m a sucker for a gorgeous man in the kitchen and from the socials above there seems to be a few of those. I am very much looking forward to this meal!
L’Abattoir – 217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2
French cuisine has always held a special place in my heart. While I am a fan of trying new and inventive cuisine, there is something to be said about classic recipes and dishes. Controversial at the best of times, French Cuisine can at times be polarizing, but oh so deliciously decadent when enjoyed in the right setting. Marrying this style with west coast vibes means that we are in for quite a treat and I can’t wait to tell you all about my favourite dishes.
Alimentaria Mexicana – 1596 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
We all know that Mexican Food is at the top of my food lists, each and every time. My travels in Mexico have fed my soul in a way that no other country has and the food brings back all those inspiring sensations. I’ve heard such amazing things about this spot and I cannot encourage you more to get out and try it for yourselves!
“Alimentaria Mexicana offers an experiential and immersive journey into the heart of Mexico — its cuisine, its culture and those who sustain and nurture it to this day. Alimentaria shares the story of Mexico and its traditions through a licensed cantina, educational space and mercado offering high-quality, locally and internationally sourced artisanal products and provisions.”
Do Chay Vietnamese – 392 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5V 3E4
I need you all to understand that any Asian inspired cuisine is the way to Julio’s heart. And if there’s some form of noodle and or soup involved? He’s in love. When someone sent me the Do Chay instagram account handle I knew immediately that it would have to be on our to do list. With two locations in the city, we’ve got options to enjoy depending on where we are exploring during the day, but I can assure you this will be one of Julio’s favourite meals for sure.
Giovane Bacaro – 1029 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9
It’s easy to get stuck in a seafood only diet on the west coast – which no one would blame you for – but there is such a huge culinary scene inspired by destinations all over the globe. This hotspot is all about delicious Italian cuisine and nothing is quite as satisfying as shareable dishes, good company and a glass of wine or five. Located in another luxury hotel in Vancouver, you can tell that I’m all about enjoying ourselves in every way possible during our trip to one of my favourite Canadian destinations, and here you can do the exact same.
So you’ve got your hotel, you’ve got your meals all lined up, now what are you going to do with yourself in the city? Easy. These things are on my to-do list with Julio this time and I couldn’t be more excited!
Here’s a list of some things I’ve been brainstorming over with Julio to enjoy and get the most out of our trip
- Guided tour of the Vancouver Aquarium
- Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (staying for Canyon Lights)
- Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain
And of course, when it doubt, the city’s tourism website is always the perfect place for activity ideas and to get in the know. Destination Vancouver‘s website is set up for tourists of any interest, and with fun social media accounts, you truly can get the #VeryVancouver experience above and beyond my recommendations above.
Let’s also acknowledge that after Vancouver, we are headed to Whistler this year as well. Click here to read what that’s going to be like on Julio’s first trip into the mountains.
Here’s what this all comes down to…
Vancouver offers something new for Julio and I. I know that may seem a bit cryptic, but there have been both magical and horrible moments for us in Toronto and Ottawa. Things that I have learned from, things that we have overcome together and are stronger for, but that can still sting a lot. Vancouver is a city with only good memories and so much potential.
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure this won’t be the last time, but I could see us moving to Vancouver to raise our family one day. Not saying it’s in the plan, because we never really know what life has in store for us asides from today, but it’s definitely a city I could call home.
For the time being, I’ll continue to enjoy these trips together and making memories that are #VeryVancouver together. I hope that you follow along with us both in real time when we land and explore all these incredible experiences together.
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Photos: Daniel Reyes Cocka & All Social Media accounts listed above
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