no one told me it was going to be this good. and if they did? I wouldn’t have believed them.
all images by Ash & James Photography
this ones for the books. we woke at 5:30am to hike towards Vancouver Convention Center where it’s Lululemon SeaWheeze Ground Zero. To stretch, drop our gear bag and get ready for the run. The weather was chilly, 60 some degrees and slightly drizzling. We were playing the game of what do we wear? What layers are needed? Knowing full well 1 mile in, we won’t want extra clothing and won’t stop sweating.
Keep in mind, neither of us trained for this one as a result of planning World’s Best Wedding. A week ago I got turf toe in a yoga class. Brett’s shoulders have been hurting. His hamstring gets tight. Basically, we are a pair of hot messes and just wanted to finish the damn thing without having to drop out. Needless to say, we both finished. We both have smiles on our faces. We both are limping around the city, clearly struggling. Don’t ask how many crosswalks we didn’t “risk it for a biscuit” because the fasterst we could go was a slow walk. 😂 (hint: more than 20)
Some key highlights from the run- on one stretch of the race, across a high bridge over the city, there were a ton of spin bikes in a row with people spinning and cheering us on as we ran past. So much energy! I half wanted to join them! I cannot find a picture of it anywhere. Pretend you took an entire spin class onto a high rise bridge and lined up 20-40 bikes, everyone cycling and cheering with music pumping as we ran past. You get the idea. Excellent!
The race route was great this year, the weather was perfect, the solitude on the SeaWall was glorious. Running for miles along the SeaWall in a fog with a light drizzle, makes me feels as if I’m on the wharfs in some coastal city out east. (Never been, next trip?) 🙂
All around a great race. We died, but it was still great!
After we met at the Digital Orca, we grabbed runner’s brunch (soy yogurt, a waffle with magical jam, cherries, grapes, and a baby quiche)
We applied a layer of Saje Peppermint Halo on every inch of the back of our legs. He gave me a stretch on the ol’ calves. We died, came back to life, and allowed a restart of about ten minutes and then laced up to head out.
As we sloth-walked towards home. We wanted a shower and we were hungry for a real meal. Our first stop was JJ Brew, they gave free drink tickets to the SeaWheeze runners. We both got a cup of java and split a chocolate chip cookie. It was nice to duck out of the chill for a moment, to regroup and try to find wifi.
Every little boutique is adorable, the fonts and marketing so well done. Why don’t we have nearly the amount of awesome hidden gems in Minneapolis!? A few blocks further we pass Nectar Juicery. I’m a sucker for a good juice. Fruit, soy, greens, iced, I don’t care. Love juice. We settled, after much discussion on a bottle of their Sacred. It was refreshing, I’m super excited to make my own juice and use the glass bottle it came it. (3 stars, they were sold out of what we wanted, and this was just so-so).
Down the way is a little spot called, Old Faithful Shop. A cute little boutique with hand picked curiosities. Their shop mascot is a french bulldog, named Pierre, whose outpost is a small doghouse inside one of their bookshelf tables.
And then, B realllllllllly wanted a sandwich. Like now. Well, like yesterday. He loves a well-made sandwich. Love that about him. We had seen a few spots when exploring, and noted to visit later on. Meat & Bread was open for business and busy! A very good sign. (5 stars)
This is his domain, so I let him order. He settled on the Porchetta and the Daily Special. The bread was sliced in front of us. Small wood boards held the sandwiches on top of a slice of parchment paper, with little mountains of condiments. We got ours to-go.
We walked to the grocer next door and loaded up on liquids before heading home.
Showered and ate our sandwiches in the little quaint apartment we’re calling home.
Explored their balcony in the day light.
A slow rise to the 12th-floor gave us a chance to relax, recoup and enjoy the beautiful view.
We took a nap and around evening time, headed to the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. A chance for all the runners to get together, drink some beer, listen to awesome music, test out the trapeze, and have a beautiful evening.
As the sun went down, the lights came out, there is an awesome drone that shot footage during the event – the video can be seen here – a quick view of everything that went on this amazing weekend!
We beat the rush and left a bit earlier during the last set. The shuttle took us back to Ground Zero and we walked home. On the way, we grabbed dinner from Tacofino – probably the best place I’ve had a burrito, EVER. B ordered the Spicy Chicken and I ordered the Vegetarian. Mine was ON POINT! (5 stars)
During our trip, we tried to find something to spend our “When In Rome…” fund on, a ‘change and small bill’ jar that we save up in and then splurge on something during our adventures. We decided to book a 1am float at Float House – the late night ones are 2.5 hours… we were excited beyond belief.
The whole interior vibe is very calming. Blue and purple neon lights throughout. There are stacks of salt bags in the hallway that lines the chamber rooms. We each had a room with a shower and our deprivation tank inside, a fluffy white towel, robe, and organic body soap and shampoo for afterwards. They provided ear plugs (both foam and wax!).
After we were both introduced to our chambers, which each held about 850lb. of Epson salt, we said adios and rinsed before entering our tanks. It’s a sort of indescribable experience. I spent about 3 minutes floating on top of the water, getting calm and slowing my breathing… my head tilted back and held in place by the salt water (so dense, you float effortlessly on the surface) – it’s hard to know where the water begins and wear the surface is.
I swear, three minutes go by and the next thing I know, someone is knocking hard on my tank. I slowly open my eyes in the pitch dark chamber and immediately think the Float House concierge is going to open my tank door while I’m on full-nudity display. Turns out in was B. He cracked the door open, I couldn’t hear anything as I had my wax ear plugs in and my eyes tried to adjust in the darkness with this new neon blue light shining in. His voice reminded me of Charle Brown’s teacher, as I couldn’t understand any words with plugged ears.
Apparently I had slept through TWO 6-minute song cycles meant to wake you up. I slept through the computer voice saying, “Your float is now completed, please exit the tank.” The employee asked B, now 30 minutes out of the tank, to check on me and wake me up.
Three hours went by in what seemed like minutes, and yet I was so unbelievably relaxed, I felt like I was floating on earth. Highly recommend this experience!
Needless to say, we walked out of that Float House around 4:15am and felt like we could conquer the world. Instead, we crashed and had the best sleep of our lives.
What an incredible Saturday,
Last night we pulled into the train station in Vancouver and got a taxi to take us to our AirBnB off Cordova St. It was $8 and well worth it to avoid having to walk late at night to an unknown spot that we don’t have cellular capabilities. (Remind me to do a throw back post to the time we traveled across the Dominican Repbulic).
We showered and slept like rocks. Then awoke at 4:45am to get to the Lululemon Seawheeze Expo.
Last year we were one of the first 100 people in line to get our hands on exclusive Lululemon Seawheeze gear. We arrived about twenty minutes later this year, and already 1000 were in line. Holy bananas!
Slowly the sun started to raise above the horizon. But not after another hour of darkness, and some shut eye for Panama Jack.
The line was long, but the event was well organized this year. A new guy-friendly corner helped appeal to the handful of boyfriend and husbands who were perhaps running in support of their ladies. A pool table and barbers giving haircuts, among other details. Of the 10,015 runners, my guess is 75% were female.
The inside of the expo was an insane shopping frenzy. Like wild hyenas grabbing at any and all hangers and carrying piles of exclusive Lululemon to a corner of the floor to commence the deciding between their ‘yes’ and ‘no’ piles.
Ten points for this guy, digging through other peoples ‘no’ piles to find specific items. He treated it like a Supermarket Sweep game and killed it.
The convention center was well decorated in typical Lulu sense. And we enjoyed all of the outdoor patio activities. Complimentary cold brew from 49th Parallel, fresh watermelon juice, Rise Kombucha tastings, and fro-yo. Cool art installations and the race packet pickup were also reasons to stay near the Vancouver Convention Centre and kick it for a few hours.
Along the way, we walk past Canada Place whose hosting Anirevo : Anime Revolution 2015, an anime and Japanese convention this weekend, cosplay and anime merchandise galore.
Arriving to our apartment is a welcome sight, as we have been pulling in less than 6 hours of sleep recently. Here is the AirBnB in nicer light. A quaint two-bedroom apartment overlooking Gastown.
Perk alert : from the 12th floor of this building, we can see the tops of others. All sorts of beautiful patios to share a bottle of wine on. I counted at least three, each can take advantage of a beautiful Vancouver sunset.
We did a few p extra online things and changed clothes. The natural light of the big bedroom window was perfect, almost like my own little studio. The outfit I chose for the evening has no less than three black and white combos, I refer to it as ‘Couver Lululemon Derelict.
Late brunch was around the corner at Catch122. They serve brunch until 4pm, which I think should be a world law. He got the Dirty Breakfast and I got the Eggs Benedict. (3.5 stars)
We then wandered down by the convention center. 7:30 was Sunset Yoga, and we really wanted to loosen up before tomorrow.
At the morning expo, we found the Saje Natural Wellness booth and they gave us a 20% off coupon. They have the best roll on greatness for headaches and tension. Last year, we learned about Peppermint Halo and now it’s our favorite: as we sipped chamomile tea, we loaded up at their store down the street. (5 stars)
We stopped at Bella Gelateria, because duh. It’s one of our favorite spots to visit in all of Vancouver. He got Whiskey Fudge + Essex Sea Salt, I got Stracciatella + Akbar Mashti (rosewater, saffron, pistachio). (5 stars)
Sunset Yoga was held inside the convention center. We borrowed Lulu mats and calmly waited for the start of the practice. It was led by instructor Reno Munez, the guy who started the first Dharma Yoga studio in Canada.
His voice is my new inner conscious voice.
We were centered, we were zen-like. Shout out to this guy for wanting to start practicing yoga to improve the quality of his life.
A huge ‘thank you‘ to the Saje team for gifting these You’re Awesome Yoga Kits to the yogis in attendance, attempting to achieve equilibrium.
As we returned the mats afterwards, we were handed bottles of Rise Kombucha in Lemongrass.
We wandered down by the Seawall and decided on a rendezvous point after the race tomorrow morning. We settled on the iconic, 25′ tall Digital Orca on the patio near the sea.
Our AirBnB host, J, recommended Peckinpah barbecue in Gastown. We ordered takeout and people watched while we waited for a pulled pork sandwich and collard greens. (3 stars)
We ate on the balcony in the dark after we rode the elevator up to the apartment building.
Here goes nothing,
last year was such a blast at the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon, we decided to do it again. This morning we got on a Southwest flight to first Denver and then Seattle. Southwest lets you stream Apple Music over wifi, for free. Flying In the clouds with access to every song out there, what’s not to love?
We watched Interstellar and munched on Barbara Peanut Butter Puffins cereal. #happybaby
Always traveling with a Lululemon Infinity Scarf, and our Bose noise-canceling. Best headphones I’ve ever bought.
We stopped at a cute, new spot on Jackson Street, called Intrigue Chocolate Co.
A dapper, bearded young fellow was behind the counter. He asked if we had time for a tasting (they do those at chocolate shops?!), to which we happily obliged. The dark chocolate truffles were infused with Basil and Peppercorn, among other things, he poured us each a glass of chamomile tea to cleanse our palate. All were delicious, and we grabbed a few for the road.
We went to michou for a late lunch, incredible sandwiches and salads. We settled on the Sierra turkey and a handful of dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice). Excellent, so fabulous, we wanted a bite of everything!
On our way back to the train station, we stopped at Storyville Coffee for an iced brew latte. That 4:45am rise-time is catching up to us.
I love, love, LOVE adventures with this man. He makes my heart smile. We are just getting started, and I cannot wait to leave a billion footprints all over this earth.
I’m enjoying a watermelon honey stick from Pike’s Place Market while Brett plays DJ as the sun is setting out the train window.
Feeling incredibly blessed,
celebrating love with a backyard soirée
A syncing of photos from the iPhone to the Air reminded me I had a story I wanted to post. Over Christmas holiday, I was reunited with my five close girlfriends from high school. Most of them attend our annual girl’s trip. We had a 2-hour time span where our schedules would overlap and we could spend some time connecting. It was decided, a midweek brunch at The Kenwood. Fresh snow had fallen and we stomped our way into this beautifully-decorated dining spot.
Plaid wall paper, horse hooks for your coat and mismatched framed art with vintage lamps.
In true Minnesotan form, we wore “your-car-might-get-stuck-in-the-snow-and-you-have-to-walk” boots of all kinds. A staple in any Midwestern girl’s wardrobe.
The great part about this group is, we can be literally ANYWHERE and fully appreciate the time we spend together. We will laugh on the side of the street in Vancouver. Bundle up in white bathrobes and be morally supportive of the tallest girl singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” to a half-empty room on a cruise ship. Enjoy a day drinking shopping spree in downtown Chicago. We can be anywhere, at any time, and enjoy every moment of it.
In true fashion, brunch was spectacular. We dined on a handful of delicious plates, I had an Omelette Florentine and we all toasted to friendship and forward momentum.
And what happens after we dine + cheers? We laugh and pass around Carla’s beautiful wedding ring (does AJ know this is a tradition?) as we talk about the future and everything we are looking forward to.
These ladies make me whole again. Cheers to a new year and another year of being blessed with these girlfriends.
Carla (Florida), Molls (Minn), Meg (Colorado), Rach (Georgia), Kates (Arizona), and me
So incredibly happy,
Other creative outlets have consumed me… but I’m back to blogging. Let’s talk about NYC for a minute. What a beautiful place! We made 72 hours an adventure, chasing the subway, laughing, doing it all.
a few of my favorite images.
Fresh off a 6am American Airlines flight and feeling like a pair of travel ninjas.
A brief pause at Starbucks.. we felt it was appropriate considering the locals had one gripped in their right hand at all times. #caramelmacchiato
Walking around at night is a whirlwind, people everywhere & buildings as tall as the stars.
95% of the time we walked the streets, everywhere, these boots aren’t half as comfortable as my purple New Balance kicks.
The entire underground subway system was amazing, efficient, and the only way we’d travel.
SuperDry is a brand we love – smack dab in the middle of Times Square it sits. #shoppingspree
NYC was our first adventure using airbnb – which rocks. We stayed in a highrise apt and shared the space with a woman from France, a couple from England and a younger gal from Vancouver. We had our own bedroom, shared everything else – what a perfect central spot to be able to affordably stay while in and out at all hours. The host is a middle aged man : extremely personable and ended up buying us drinks at a little place he DJ’s… The Crooked Knife. NYC, we’ll be back, many times!
High five to Amacci for proving himself worthy with this song. (more about him later)
One more selife to complete the adventure. The last two standing. Waiting on the tram platform to take us to SeaTac.
I’m going to miss getting coffee-to-go and dancing in the streets. Giggling and taking the sights in. Dayshopping in Gastown and sampling pastries at Nelson the Seagull. Dining at The Lamplighter … Vancouver, it’s been real.
We slept like queens. A deep restless sleep that only broke when the sun started to shine through the curtains. We didn’t have much of a plan for Sunday besides enjoying our last full day in Vancouver. A massage, food, and laughing. That’s about as far as we got with our planning our day, typical girl’s trip.
A little research showed that a mile or so away was a great coffee shop, so we headed in that direction. Wanting to stretch out our legs a little and get some fresh air, we decided to walk. It was a bit brisk and somewhat overcast.
The cute coffee shop we headed to is called 49th Parallel
They share space with Lucky’s Doughnuts – and why wouldn’t that be the case? Good coffee and good doughnuts belong within whispering distance of one another.
The branding catches my eye within seconds and we don’t leave the shop without a few tshirts, mugs and other 49th Parallel swag.
We picked a few doughnuts to share- it was hard to choose – I wanted one of everything! We found a circle booth and spent the morning laughing, gossiping, and reliving past memories. Sipping on our iced lattes, hot coffee, and chai teas.
What a nice morning.
After a few hours at the 49th Parallel, we leave, walking on the overcast Vancouver streets towards a spot for brunch. We had spent a few hours at the coffee shop. We walked to our apartment, changed clothes, and headed in the direction of a spot we wanted to explore for brunch. When Miss Molly’s in the group, we WILL be finding a brunch spot on Sunday. She’s a brunch-hunting queen!
This took place at a small, but incredibly busy restaurant called Fable. This is one of your traditional fable to table hot spots (which I LOVE!) – whose marketing and design is also one for the record books.
Talk about not judging a book by it’s cover. That seems to be all I do. A menu, a price sheet, art on the wall… it gets me every time!
Inside Fable it was packed to the brim with patrons. An entire wall was a chalkboard filled with doodles and designs. There were backlit images of farm life.
The light overhead was designed with pitchforks (hello, farm life!)
And you know what we did at Fable? While we sipped on our brunch beverages (mimosas and caesar’s [i.e. bloody mary])? While we enjoyed a Sunday morning with wholesome individuals eating farm-fresh food.
My favorite combination of the afternoon? This one right here:
I ordered the Farmer’s Muffin [salad, rosti, sausage, scrambled eggs, cheddar and tomato jam]. Divine and delicious.
After Fable we started our trek towards the direction of a beach. We didn’t have a lot planned, but knew we wanted to see some water, some mountains, lay in the sun, and get massages at some point. The sun was shining and we were toasty warm. Towards the beach we headed, and found our own little spot in the sand to curl up and sun-worship for a few moments.
Halfway through our lounging. We had to split up – half had massages at one time, the other half later on. Meg & Moll took the first appointments. Carla, Kates and I giggled on the beach for another half hour.
We weren’t sure how long it would take to get to the spa we booked appointments at – so we gathered our tennis shoes and walked back to the main road to hail a taxi. It drove the three of us to a little downtown shopping spot where Pink Lime Salon & Spa was located.
It didn’t take as long as we thought, we had time to kill before our massages. We meandered down the strip of restaurants and bars, searching for a little watering hole to grab a drink at. The Distillery looked inviting, and we sidled up to the bar for a quick one.
Our bartender was dressed from the prohibition error and held a conversation well while we picked his brains about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. As you can see, we had the place to our selves and as always, enjoyed our time there.
Our time was up and we headed to Pink Lime. We had three massage appointments and two masseuses available. Unless Vancouver-masseuses had some magical technique where they could massage two people at once, it just didn’t add up. Carla decided to sit this one out and headed to explore the other shops with Meg and Molls while Kates and I got some knots loosened.
As you can see, the plush robes were nice. I enjoyed them. Kates and I hung out in the waiting lounge until the rooms were ready. Our masseuses walked up and introduced themselves and led us both into the same room. There were two tables there and candles lit. Cue the romantic spa music. When the masseuses instructed us to unrobe before they left the room to let us do so… we lost it. Apparently we’re getting a couple’s massage. We shrugged and said, “whatever!” as we threw off our robes and hung them up behind the door.
Sixty minutes later, we gathered our clothes and settled our bill at the front desk. The other girls were found noshing at a restaurant down the way. They settled their tab and left. We jumped on the underground subway in hopes we were heading in the direction of our apartment. Only slightly turned around, we ended up walking quite aways. Now the time is about 7:00pm and we are, surprise surprise, hungry.
That little spot located near our home base, Tap & Barrel, seemed as good a place as any to grab one last little dining experience.
The sun was setting, the mood was positive. We played another round of CAH while we sat on the rooftop and the day slowly turned to night.
We woke up at the crack of dawn (read: 5:20am) because our apartment we rented out this weekend is a small marathon-distance to the start of the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon (oops!)