Tag Archives: Vancouver

last day of Vancouver

legit this day happened August 16, 2015, but a TON has happened since then anddddddd here we are. I need to wrap up this last day so I can move on to everything else that I’ve been meaning to blog about. 2016, you WILL be the year I get my blogging on track. on the regular. as often as I can / want / feel the need to.

VANCOUVER, our Saturday was race day, run around, explore & finish up with a wicked float tank experience. The next morning, we slept in a little, but not too much knowing this was our last day in ‘Couve.

We woke and decided an impromptu photo shoot on the sweet roof of our airbnb was in order.  Somewhat coordinated tops and an hour later playing with the Camera Remote app on our Apple Watch’s produced these gems.

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He snagged me this simple triangle necklace at Pike’s Place back in Seattle.  Love it.

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the watch doesn’t fit well under the sleeves of this Lulu top when the thumbholes are in use… #priorities

We headed to 49th Parallel for a morning experience. I remember coming here the last few times I’ve been in town for the Lululemon Seawheeze weekend.  It’s all sorts of fantastic espresso and Lucky’s Doughnuts. On the weekends is insane. Lines out the door for this joint.  Wish there was one in Minnesota!

Any establishment with a line like that deserves to be experienced.  A garage-style door lifts up where we were sitting, fresh air when the weather wants to cooperate.

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Cool vibe and amazing peanut butter and jelly doughnuts like this one with the peanut crunchies.

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baby espresso / wild mane / wake me up

I purchase a large latte cup & saucer for a souvenir. There’s something about this blueish-teal that strikes me as necessary.

We walk around the city and explore the sights.  We have a photo shoot with the new cup and saucer. For nothing more than to kill time on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Vancouver. Reapplying more Peppermint Halo from Saje – an amazing essential oil + therapeutic shop in downtown Vancouver.

For lunch, we put our name on the list & wait another 45 minutes for a table at Medina Cafe. Now our favorite place for lunch on this side of the planet.  Gold goblets of fresh water and all.

We had the Avocado Toast (duh), Saumon Fumé and a few of their signature Liege-Style Waffles [White Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater + Salted Caramel].

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IMG_2591Everything about this spot was to die for. The bathroom had dimly lit displays nestled into the walls… their matchbox takeaways are square and the exact logo of their sign out front [obsessed, I took 3].

We slowly sauntered our way out of here and set out to explore more of the city. This was our last day, so we really wanted to take it all in!

When more directions are needed, we sit outside one of the many Starbucks available to us on every street corner (thanks!).

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We explore the art installations scattered throughout town. Old world, modern, metal & sky-high.  The sun is shining and we are traveling all over this town.  New sights, fresh air, this is the mantra of a “feeling like a million bucks” pair of Midwesterners.

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We got some Vegan Pudding & Co. from a tiny shop that took up all of 3feetwide street space between storefronts.  Be jammin’ out to your music and you might totally pass it by.  Shame. Keep your eyes open for these gems!

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I cannot remember what flavor we selected but I’ll bet all my Lululemon Vinyasa Scarves that it was the Coconut Milk & Sugar one.

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It was some sort of custardy-flany-syrupy-goodness dish and I wouldn’t hesitate to get another if given the chance. #seawheeze2016

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We get back to the airbnb to have a FaceTime chat about our upcoming wedding with The Adventures Of videography team.  A few hours of creative discussion and we are feeling very excited about our upcoming wedding video (to be delivered next week!).

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We head to Granville Island Public Market via the public bus and walk the aisles, look at art, have some snacks, talk on the river… pet the local dogs waiting for their humans.

 

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Who knows how much time passed.  We switch back to nice clothing and head to a date night.  We wanted a special spot, good food, awesome service, cool location… Yelp led us to Seasons in the Park.

The directions had us on a public transit bus for quite a while, headed somewhere into the suburban surrounding downtown Vancouver.  We got off in a large public park.  We hiked the sidewalks down, around, for what seemed like forever.  We took pictures + took our sweet time, happily enjoying a beautifully warm evening.

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We hiked a small, Mount Kilimanjaro-sized mountain to get to the restaurant.  Breaking a small sweat and feeling the burn in our quads.

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This was the first of 53 hills we climbed 🙂

Seasons on the Park has a view of all downtown Vancouver.  We were seated at a huge glass window.  As the sun set on the incredible view, you couldn’t help but feel like you were on another planet, looking at another colony, from a land far, far away. Gorgeous + galactic!

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After dinner (fantastic, not a clue what we ate… but damn was it good!)  We splurged and got espressos.  This happens rarely… who are we kidding, we’ve never gotten them before.  It seemed like a perfect idea for a day that has been one for the record books.

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Vancouver: until next time, you gorgeous city!

ejh

 

Listening to this song because I heard it on Peaky Blinders [watch it!]

 

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what a Saturday!

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.
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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.  Me 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).

  

  
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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.

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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)

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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.

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We walked to the grocer next door and loaded up on liquids before heading home.

We FaceTimed with our other traveler partners, my parents.  We showered and put on compression socks (glorious!). And we ate our sandwiches in the little quaint apartment we’re calling home this weekend.

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Explored their balcony in the day light.

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A slow rise to the 12th-floor gave us a chance to relax, recoup and enjoy the beautiful view.

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those white tent tops is where the Vancouver Convention Center is located!

those white tent tops is where the Vancouver Convention Center is located!

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 generally have a very chill, beautiful evening.  I sported the Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf as there are clearly a million ways to get comfortable in it.  (see below) 😀

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Craving something sweet, we waited in line FOREVER, for Archimallows – artisinal, fire-torched marshmallows (3 stars), not worth the wait but we did it anyway!  Here is a pano of the view before me (the stage, the sea, the trapeze, the mallow tent, and the line (can you spot B?)

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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)

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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.

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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!

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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,

em j

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a Lululemon adventure

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.

   
    
   
   
  We got temporary tattoos and decided to haul our Luloot back to the apartment before we searched for breakfast.  

 
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. My favorite part? Seeing little nuggets like this chillin’ with their mama probably wondering WTF is going on, why people are diggin’ her weave. #precious

   
 Although, this looks like it might be a great time under different circumstances.  i.e. bottomless mimosas beforehand 😂

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 had the patio to ourselves and quickly had a selfie shoot. Using our Apple Watch as a viewfinder for our iPhone, it was easy as can be. 

   
    
   
Sometimes it took a second to perfect, but we got the hang of it!

   
 
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)

   
   
 

world’s best eater! he tries anything!

 
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)

   
   
They won first place in the 2014 Gelato World Tour, I’d be lying if I said I regretted spending my monies here. 😏

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. 

   

Apple Watch, Seawheeze band, one love

    

Reno stood on a table in the middle of about 500 yogis


His voice is my new inner conscious voice.  Listening to him is like watching warm honey drip slow-motion into the ocean on a cool sunny day. He has the calmest demeanor and changes the energy of the room when he speaks. #namaste

We were centered,  we were zen-like.  All is right with the world. Shout out to this guy for wanting to start practicing yoga to improve the quality of his life.

 

we may have fallen asleep, don’t tell

 
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. 

 

the satchel is made of yoga mat material!

 
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.

exhausted, at peace, comtemplative

  

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)

   

  

  

  

top knot in Gastown

  

i could not agree more

We ate on the balcony in the dark after we rode the elevator up to the apartment building. 

   
   
We finally got to sleep at midnight and will promptly regret getting to bed so late, achieving less than five hours of sleep the night before a half marathon. 

Here goes nothing,

em

Listening to 

Sipping on

Thinking about 

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hello again, Seattle

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.

  
Arrive in Seattle, get to the Link Rail and take it down to the International Station to check our bags so we can explore.

  
We head to Pike’s Place Market. Pick up some pluots and admire the beautiful, super cheap bouquets of flowers. Mama, I wish I could send them all back to you! The photo will have to suffice. 

   
 
Panama Jack was craving roasted corn as we passed their stand. Of course we had to get an ear.  Corn is the new black, such a delicious summer treat!

  
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!

   
   
Downtown Seattle has some great people watching, so we spent some time meandering and enjoying the beautiful sunny afternoon.

   
 
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.

   
    
 
An hour and some change later, we are back at the train station and ready to roll.  

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. 

  
Currently riding the Amtrak train, a la Harry Potter, along the coastline up to Vancouver. 

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. 

   
   
See you in a few hours Vancouver!

Feeling incredibly blessed,

em j

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Heading home

Our last morning in Vancouver!  We showered and scrambled to get all of our clothes into our suitcases.  All that Lululemon took up some extra space we weren’t expecting.  Some Sitting on the Lid to Zip took place.  Finally, we were off.  Wheeling our heavy rollers down the streets of Vancouver once more.  It’s nice the train station wasn’t more than a quarter mile from home base.
We boarded and snuggled into our seats.  Part of the trip was giggling, the other part was playing our card game.  It felt like Harry Potter… the train taking us through the green forests of Canada thru the US border.  I hope’d there’d be a candy cart like in the movie series… but no luck.  We found our way to the food car and grabbed breakfast : bagels and coffee
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For whatever reason, I didn’t take a ton of pictures on the train. I did however, capture a First World Problem moment when Carla got a phone call from Bloomingdale’s requesting a payment for her La Mer bill.  (love you!)
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I didn’t take pics when we arrived in Seattle because I was too busy hugging my best girlfriends.  We departed the train and those with flights leaving caught the tram from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac International Airport.  Kates and I had the latest flights out so we spent the afternoon downtown.
First things first, I must explain that we had quite a bit of booze leftover from the weekend.  In fact, peek at Kate’s bag… a little grab bag of everything… ergo, when in Rome.
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We had sparkling water to mix and decided to make a few roadies.  Don’t mind the fact that I did it behind closed doors.  In the handicapped bathroom stall.  At the train station.  #winning
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Downtown Seattle was bustling with activity.  We had a taste testing (i.e. hydrating) stop at DRY Soda whose headquarters are in Seattle.
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There had been a shooting a couple hours early – in typical Em & Kate fashion, we gawked and tried to get murder-scene photos.  This was about as good as it got – I wonder if Time Magazine would want to purchase it… after all, there is an iconic Starbucks logo in view.
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We found a tiny paper store on a corner called de Medici Ming – french for who knows what.
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We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but of course I took one. A wall of wrapping paper, unique cards… we both got a journal and chatted with the little old lady who hand wrote our receipts.
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We watched some music acts at Pike’s Place and sent a SnapChat to the ladies at the airport.  Filling them in on our adventures thus far.
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We grabbed sandwiches and seaweed wrapped rice rolls from Michou before we headed back in the direction of the tram.

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One more selife to complete the adventure.  The last two standing.  Waiting on the tram platform to take us to SeaTac.

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I’m going to miss Vancouver, Seattle, and all of the adventures we had.  Each girl’s trip weekend brings new conversation, memory making, and new culinary discoveries.  I’ll miss observing the mess that is E Hastings Street from a somewhat-safe distance.  Observing the chaos life brings when you dabble in heavy drug use.  This is as close as I will ever get to a drug overdose or anything even remotely along those lines.

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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 and watching coked-out Canadians holler inappropriate commentary at the top of their lungs only semi-fearing for our lives.

Vancouver, it’s been real.
Seattle, you’re beautiful
Until next girl’s trip, two-thousand and fourteen…
xo
Adding to wish list.
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Good Morning Sunday!

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.

Near our apartment, there was quite a bit of construction we had to dodge and weave under.

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I felt like we were a traveling artist group.  For two seconds.  And then realized we don’t sing well… and that dream crumbled – remembering last year in Chicago screaming to Lady Gaga at the top of our lungs… #earmuffs

The cute coffee shop we headed to is called 49th Parallel and we entered it with our stomach’s grumbling.

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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.

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The branding catches my eye within seconds and we don’t leave the shop without a few tshirts, mugs and other 49th Parallel swag.

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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.

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What a glorious time.  I cherish spending these types of moments with my ladies.  It doesn’t matter how much time we spend apart, when we get together for girl’s trip – it’s like we never parted!

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After a few hours at the 49th Parallel, we figured it was time to give up our prime seating to some of the other patrons waiting to nestle in for a few hours.  We began walking on the overcast Vancouver streets towards a spot for brunch.  Believe it or not, 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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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The light overhead was designed with pitchforks (hello, farm life!)

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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?  We brought out Cards Against Humanity.  Right there in front of everyone.  The risqué game of unbelievable combinations and inappropriate words.  Nothing phases us!

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My favorite combination of the afternoon?  This one right here:

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(sorry for being scandalous, G-ma!)

I ordered the Farmer’s Muffin [salad, rosti, sausage, scrambled eggs, cheddar and tomato jam].  Divine and delicious.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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It didn’t take as long as we thought – and now had 45 minutes to kill before our massages were scheduled.  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.

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I don’t remember all that much about my cocktail besides the fact that it was strong and served in a tin cup which I thought that was neat-o.  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.

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Our time was up and we headed to Pink Lime.  It seemed the spa had their panties in a bundle because they didn’t seem to have much organization.  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.

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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.  #giggles  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.  Best friends for about 16 years… a little nakedness doesn’t throw us off.

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.

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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.

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Our walk home  along the boardwalk of Olympic Village was gorgeous.  And humbling. We’ll miss this spot and all of our memories of Vancouver.
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Ciao,

xo

 

Listening to.

Dreaming of.

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Rise and shine Saturday!

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!)

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On account of the fact that I didn’t have an arm band (and none of the other girls did) – we all went iPhone-less.  It made for a more focused and intimate experience.  On our walk to the start line we found a coffee shop.  And then the second stop brought us to a Starbucks to get espresso shots and use the restroom one more time (if you know what I mean…).  The entire convention area was filled with runners in the most beautiful of attire.  All Lululemon.  It was chilly, we jumped around to keep warmed up and made jokes about people taking it too seriously… until that morning Molly wasn’t even going to run with us!  I’m so glad all 5 got on the bandwagon.  Threw on some teal crops and some running shoes, downed an espresso shot and took the bull by the horns!
The starting gun went off and into the Vancouver city-life we went.  Tons of people cheering.  Over bridges, up hills into neighborhoods.  A good couple miles were spent running along a cement wall that bordered an inlet of the ocean.  What an unbelievably beautiful run!  We laughed and enjoyed ourselves.  There’s one image of us floating around during the race – mid-run, that someone else took… and I’d rather it stay hidden on account of the fact that we all look drained and depleted of happiness – which wasn’t true!  It was just taken at an unfortunate moment….!
At the finish line, we received a whole bunch of swag goodies.  Some of these items went right up on eBay for the diehard fanatics… SkullCandy EarBuds ($21), a wooden finishers medal ($18), a canvas SeaWheeze tote ($23).

 

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We munched on post-run treats like baby quiche, a warm waffle, and fresh fruit.  Drank some coconut water and stretched out our calves.  The slow walk back to the apartment took place on E. Hastings Street (you know the one…) – so thankfully, we kept our shoes tied and securely on our feet, for fear of stepping on a syringe.
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We showered before we took naps… well, some of us did.  Others just fell right onto the sofa and were fast asleep before it was their turn.  #sweatycushions

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We celebrated with Strongbow Cider and dark chocolate.  Some of us wore compression socks because it’s a guilty pleasure after a long run.  These are from Pro Compression in hot pink and yellow (get on their email list, typically they have 40% off and free shipping on a certain style each month!)

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It’s an interesting thing to be spending a period of time in someone else’s home.  The owner is a doctor and travels all over the world, he might even be a professor.  The bookshelves near the master bed where we all piled in to play games and giggle looked something like this the whole weekend…

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And his freezer looked similar to this…. the beverage of champions.

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We napped, played games, had some drinks and giggled the rest of the afternoon away.  Towards evening, we decided to dress up and head out for the night.  My hair was something similar to The Princess Bride, up and off my neck, braided and wrapped in a loop.

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An elevator shot of the group gives you an idea of how cool my friends are… wannabe Spice Girls anyone??
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We found a little French dining hotspot on OpenTable called Tableau Bar & Bistro.  The menus were beautiful (I’m a font lover), and we ordered drinks all around followed by a small party foul of spillage on the menu.  We cheers to our beautiful day and a great evening of laughter and friends.

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The appetizer we started with was some special avocado asparagus egg roll thing – divine.  I ordered the Pappardelle & Mushroom Pastra – also divine.
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For dessert we decided to walk our fullness off towards the gelato spot I remembered from last year’s SeaWheeze.  We passed the Fairmont and had a moment of silence once more (that’s what you would do, right mama??)

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Bella Gelateria always has a line out front.  We’re 20 people back from the front door and it’s moving ssllooowwwwwwwww…. but that’s okay!  A good 40 minutes later, we’re in the front door, placing our orders with mouthes watering.  This gorgeous gentleman didn’t speak much English, and that’s okay… all I needed him to do was scoop the Salted Chocolate Gelato onto that cone and give me a smirk to make my lady parts quiver.

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To die for.  Unbelievably delicious.  And expensive, but well worth it.  We cheers’ed (again) to a beautiful run in a beautiful city.  Our walk back to the apartment was met with a skyline to suit the Gods.

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Until tomorrow,
xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lululemon is queen

20130811-075931.jpgMirror shot of the whole fam! Our plan of attack was to wake up super early and get to the race expo. Expo includes packet pickup, race chip registration, and the showcase store where exclusive Lululemon clothes only for the Seawheeze are sold.

I knew it was going to be a good day because the first thing Carley told me was that I had Disney Princess hair. Normally, I have too plain of hairstyles for her liking, so the was a compliment of the highest level!

We woke at 5am, throw on some workout clothes (duh!) and head towards the Vancouver Convention Center. A quick coffee stop along the way ensured a clearheaded shopping conscious. Ha! Chai lattes and iced Americans. Cheers to early morning experiences!

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We thought we were being proactive in rising before the sun – everyone else had the same thought process. We arrived at the convention center and joined the end of the line. We people watched, laughed, and drank our coffees. 20130811-080149.jpg

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As rounded the center, there was a giant orca whale statue and some Lululemon marketing telling us to “get our hair did”. I love it. This company and their marketing, their fabulous fabric yoga pants, the bright colors – I’m obsessed.

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Inside the center is a beautiful big circus tent where packet pickup takes place.

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We line up for the expo store area and are in within minutes. The race expo store is filled with the exclusive Seawheeze clothing only found at the race store. We are giddy with excitement and people are freaking insane. It’s a clothing feeding frenzy and there are hangers with $42 tank tops flying left and right. We can’t get our hands on enough stuff… and there’s a 15 item limit per person. At one point, we have to pull up a spot in the corner and play the “do I need this?” Game. Which helps, but we still leave with quite a bit of loot.

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In case you are curious, this right here is what $1,700 will get you at Lululemon. #oops

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The convention center is kiddie corner from the Fairmont Pacific Rim, the location of a very sad tragedy. Finn from Glee died here weeks ago. I shed a few tears of agony out front (JK mom!)

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When we walk to and from our apartment to the expo, we never trust any splatters, avoiding all liquids and questionable things laying on the sidewalk. E Hastings Street is a circus, always filled with the weirdest of characters. On our morning hike today, a gentleman dressed in shabby black clothing and trench coat crossed the street to get in front of us, turned around and told us to come see the “magic show premiere” as he shuffled a few cards in the air. He didn’t even pause for a reaction from us, just turned and walked back across the street where he came from, literally missing a speeding car by 3 inches. Insane.

Anyway, the rest of the expo was filled with getting free hairstyles, henna tattoos, and a local chiropractic clinic gave us all pre-race massages. Divine.

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We got bands with our race number and name on them in lieu of race bibs – so much cooler!!

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We got fresh mango Popsicles and shot a mantra pic they displayed on the wall of runner mantras. Cool idea! Our mantra was “live life to the fullest and never stop drinking mimosas with your best friends”. So corny! We felt obligated to put something up there! Ha!

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We signed our names on a large Seawheeze banner to hopefully be hung in the hall of fame somewhere. #killingitsince2006 and at that point we were done with the expo.

Hard cider was calling our name, so we headed back to the apartment and lounged. Tried on some super bright lipstick we decided looked terrible on all of us and Carley took it upon herself to slyly rearrange all of the art hung on the walls.

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The master bedroom is huge and the bed holds us all. So we played our favorite – Cards Against Humanity and just about peed ourselves many times. This game never ceases to amaze me with its terribly inappropriate combinations!

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I love, LOVE lounging and laughing with my girls. It seems every girls trip we always do a lot of this and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For lunch we went to a little spot in Gastown called the Lamplighter Pub.

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Right below that image of the pub sign, there is an entrance to a building that had the strangest cracked out characters come and go. We questioned the waiter and he said it was a free public house where those on drugs, off drugs, homeless, whatever – could live free of charge. He said about a year ago they were having issues with tenants living on higher levels whose windows were directly above the restaurant patio, as they regularly threw used syringes out the window… my expression was this…

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We ate our meals in semi-nervousness. All of the food served on wooden cutting boards, very cool!

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We spent the rest of the evening drinking hard cider and toasting to our half marathon adventure in the morning.

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Our sunset view looked like this…

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See you bright and early!
xo

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hello, Vancouver!

Good mornnnnnnnnning, Vietnam!!!!!!!!! I mean, Vancouver! What an early morning. This apartment has many rooms and 90% of them are lined with windows that show off our spectacular view on the 16th floor of this building.

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We look over the ocean inlet of the Science World and BC Place, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Both monuments light up like Christmas trees at night – beautiful!

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We found that the large mirrors in the foyer turn out to be great group photo tools. And we all know I love photos.

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We searched for a solid breakfast joint and we absolutely found it. Well, it took a little bit of adventure on E Hastings Street where literally, all of the heroin addicts of this providence are located.. Slightly nerve-racking, more about that later.

Breakfast takes place at a coffee + waffle spot called Cafe Medina. It’s a spot where there’s a wait, always, and well worth it. There’s fresh waffles in the entryway window. We ordered coffees (lavender latte for me) and enjoyed the fresh air out front while we waited. Foam heart etched into mine. #lucky

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Half hour wait and then we’re in! The place seemed to have 15-20 tables and every single plate brought out from the kitchen looked fabulous. We perused the menu and decided on cocktails to start. It doesn’t matter that it’s 10am when you order your first cocktail when you’re on vacation. Moll had a Moroccan Mimosa while the rest of us ordered Medina Lemonades: sparkling water, lavender, gin and mint.

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For $4.15 you could order a single homemade waffle and unique topping. We ordered the waffle + white chocolate pistachio rosewater. And another waffle + fig orange marmalade. The rosewater pistachio was stupid good. Like, are you kidding? What is this stuff? Heaven??

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For an entree, Kate’s and I split the Saumon Fume: open faced ciabatta sandwich- fried egg, smoked salmon, caper cream cheese, sliced avocado, arugula, peppadew and artichoke salad. Yum.

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The rest of the afternoon, we wandered round Gastown and peeked in different boutiques. One called Meadow. Cute little gifts and baby things. This mug called my name – the quote speaks true to my life – always on the go.

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And there was a small white shelf of little stuffed handmade animals. I knew my mama woulda bought them all, cause she’s cute like that. They made me want a child immediately. Then I remembered said child needs diaper changes every 90 minutes and has screaming tantrums on the daily and I decided a photo would suffice…

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We grabbed java at Smart Mouth Cafe – cute presentation and the creamiest chai teas.

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I kept seeing my new Brooks running shoes in a new light and falling in love with them all over again. No buyers remorse here.

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Different boutiques had necklaces, pictures, glassware, throw pillows. Everything was lit with shadows and modern lines. I found a horse print I wanted to buy my mama but thought $1,500 was a tad pricey. Sorry mama…

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A clothing boutique had a circular book stack for their dressing room. Really?? What a cool touch!

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After we thoroughly explored Gastown, we kept hiking and out front of Nelson the Seagull I realized I had to pee right NOW! In exchange for a bathroom visit, I bought a chocolate croissant.

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Apparently on Wednesdays they have free yoga in the middle of their cafe and afterwards, everyone has a big family dinner. How awesome? They make their own bread and the emptied tables looked as though the patrons had been there for hours and talked about the deepest of secrets together. What a great spot.

We jumped to a highly recommended place called Rodney’s for bloody Mary’s. I mean, Caesars… they use clamato juice and therefore their bloodies are called something different. We spent a good two hours there, quizzing the oyster boys and enjoying ourselves at the bar. Our bartender, Joel, even shredded fresh horseradish for us – divine!

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Megan texted and said she’s finally made it so we paid our bills and hightailed it out of there. We hiked back to the apartment, found Megan, and lounged for awhile at home. Dinner took place around 9:30pm at Tap & Barrel. I was too full from the day, but everything the girls had looked amazing and made me promise I would experience the spot at some point.

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I love love love these girls. And I love our memories.

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Tomorrow is Friday. A new day in ‘Couve
Xo

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a slower pace in Seattle

Molly landed next. Then Katie. And the three of us jumped on the Light Link Rail and rode the tram all the way to International District/Chinatown. The Amtrak station is located there and would hold our bags for a measly $4 while we explored downtown Seattle. The weather is stunning, sun shines and a cool breeze blows.

The first order of business was a drink. And soon. We asked a passerby where a good local watering hole is located and they recommended FX McRorys around the corner. We hightailed it there and found a spot at a high top. The bar was insanely impressive. I tried to take a pano but there was just too much. Any liquor you could ever want, in every flavor and infusion. There was a ladder to reach the top shelf bottles. A round of Long Islands were in order and truly appreciated.

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We anxiously awaited Carley’s arrival and when she showed up, we were that much closer to a full crew. Giggles, drinks, and a few too-garlicky apps were consumed before we blew that pop stand. There may have been a desperate q-tip session in there prior to departure. Sometimes it’s a seriously necessary action, even when smack dab in the middle of a Seattle bar.

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Off we went, walking blocks and blocks to Pikes Place Market. Fresh flowers, produce, and amazing pastries everywhere! We were on stimulation overload and slightly tipsy.

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There was a little ice cream place called Shy Giant Frozen Yogurt. The flavors were ridiculous. I settled for Honey Lavender and Pistachio. Both if which were divine. Totally worth the $6 price tag.

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A spot I stopped last year for cherries was still there, although no cherries this year. He did have some sort of plum grape hybrid that tasted a bit like coconut and greatness.

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We shopped more, people watched even more, and surprise surprise, ended up at Von’s Gustrobistro for mimosas and my randomly chosen vodka martini.

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Megan was due to get in any minute now. As we were paying our tab, she called and told us the airline lost her luggage. That is the worst case scenario for the situation we had since timing was crucial. She ended up spending the night in Seattle with some friends and waited for her luggage. In the morning she’ll jump on the bus and meet us in Couve’.

The time was getting closer to train departure so we headed towards Kings Street Station. Due to the fact we’ve all been traveling nonstop, we grabbed a little caffeine pick me up at Zeitgeist Coffee. Cutest condiment bar ever.

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The Amtrak Station was packed. The train was sold out. Not a seat left. We were late to the party (surprised?) and very near the back of the line. We waited our turn and by the time we got on the train, there was no chance in hell we would find four seats together. We split up and hoped to rearrange once the dust settled.

Half hour into the journey of a 4.25 hour train trek, we finagled seats near each other. We munched on farmers market finds, tried to sit comfortably, and giggled for a large part of our journey. Sometimes louder than our train car mates were happy with. Towards hour 3.5, I was so tired my eyes wouldn’t stay open. So while Molly and I tried to snooze, K and C were the responsible ones. They filled out (and forged) our Declaration Forms and signatures. (thanks mamas!)

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Arrival into Vancouver was as disorganized as ever, luggage stacked outside the train cars, wheelchairs everywhere, people moving like a giant mass towards border patrol and the special people with the stamps that make our passports look more like scrapbooks. We made it through, no strip searches this time. Our apartment was a five-minute walk from the station.

A property manager let us in, at midnight, and showed us up to our apartment on the 16 floor. Walking like zombies, we peeked at the rooms, divvied up the bedrooms and called it a night. The dark sky didn’t show us much of the view but there were shadows, and a cool breeze, and you could hear water, so we were optimistic….

Goodnight from ‘Couve!
xo

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