Thursday, 30 May 2013

North Van Is Where It's At! Lynn Valley & Deep Cove

I realised during Mom and Mara's visit just how much we LOVE North Van! In fact we pretty much ended up there every day! We drove across the bridge one night to Lonsdale Quay to pick up some flowers at the market there, and I took them up the lookout tower to get this incredible view! 

It was pretty windy up there, being so high up! but oh those views! 

Byron also took Mom and Mara to check out Lynn Valley one day while I was at work...

to see those larger than life trees!

and to take a walk over the suspension bridge!

and generally take in the greenery all around!

A few nights later we drove up to Cypress Provincial Park, which has the best lookout point in the city in my opinion! and we caught another amazing sunset.  

We nearly didn't because it said it was closed for filming! but we asked one of the security guards if we could snap a few pics quick and he kindly obliged.  It turns out they were filming the new Godzilla movie up there! 

So when it comes out at the cinema and you see scenery that is meant to make you think you're in California, just know it was actually shot in Vancouver! They had even changed the provincial park sign on the way in to say 'San Francisco Bay Park'! Pretty funny! I hope they weren't hoping for rainy and cloudy weather, because it was beautiful blue skies during the time they were filming! 

On an amazingly sunny Friday afternoon we headed to Deep Cove, because after everywhere we've been it's still my very favourite place around! and my mom also declared it her favourite part of the trip! 

The little cove is so cute, and the backdrop is just the icing on the cake!

Byron and Mara decided to try out paddle boarding, I was kind of exhausted from my day at work and so I gave it a miss this time but I definitely want to do it before we leave! 

because look how tranquil that looks!

They picked it up pretty quick and luckily there was no falling in! Despite the sunny weather and blue skies, the water was still super chilly! 

Mom and I sat on that little wall watching them and just taking in the view!

There were tons of other people around enjoying the gorgeous weather, but somehow I managed not to capture them in any of my pics!

Even their street signs are pretty here!

They were actually filming out on that pier to the right, for a little T.V show they're making called Cedar Cove! So watch out for some paddle boarders if you ever see it and it could just be Byron and Mara!

The little street in Deep Cove is also super cute, 

and filled with little independent shops like this one that I just love! It has the best most stylish greeting cards and unique home furnishings and gifts.  

and La La's gifts are apparently so good that they've been 'saving marriage since 1996'! haha

As the sun started to go down, we headed back to watch the paddle boarders come back in.  

How fun does this look! The water is so calm out there!

We headed back into town for some refreshment!

Ice cream for the paddle boarders...

and a shaved ice bigger than my head for me! I'd seen a group of girls walking down the street sharing one so I thought they'd asked for x-large size or something so we all thought it was pretty hilarious when I came out the shop holding it just for me! The lady asked me how many spoons I wanted, so I said 2 just to appear less greedy! It was my first time trying a shaved ice, and it definitely wasn't the last! I got coconut and lime flavour which was just oh so tasty! 

I stopped to admire the cherry blossom on the way back to the car! 

and to pose with my shaved ice, which was going down surprisingly quick! 

We asked a nice guy to take this picture for us, which I think is the only pic we got of the four of us the whole trip! It is a great memory to have of one of the most idyllic evenings we've had in Vancouver! 

Deep Cove - how are we ever going to leave you?!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Eating Our Way Around Van City!

We got back late on Saturday night from our trip to the Island so the next morning was church.  The very first thing we did after church was go check out some cherry blossoms! I had been promising them that the streets of Vancouver were lined with more cherry blossoms than they could imagine and so it was time to deliver on that! 

They didn't disappoint! and they arrived just in time to see the last of the blossoms falling! A few days later and they were all gone! On Sunday evening Byron got back from his week long field course to join in on the fun!

It had been his birthday while he was away and so on Monday night we took him out for a birthday meal, his pick.  Of course he chose Peckinpah because that boy loves BBQ more than anyone I know! 

and since the Jones girls love root beer floats, it was a perfect pairing! 

Since we were in the cool and hip area of Gastown, we took a stroll after dinner to show the tourists the sights!

Apparently we weren't the only tourists in the city that night, there was about 10 others set up with their cameras and even their tripods to catch the old steam clock in action!

Mom was a little bit in love with this colour changing building!

We headed down to the waterfront, and saw the olympic cauldron.

Vancouver is such a funny city! Downtown it certainly has the busy city feel packed out with skyscrapers, restaurants and apartments yet most evenings when we're out we don't pass a single person! Look how quiet it was! I don't think there would be any night of the week at around only 9pm in London when the waterfront would be empty! Depending on what areas you include, London is between 5-10 times the size of Vancouver in population so I guess it's understandable! but it's also the biggest city in British Columbia and British Columbia is 8 times bigger in area than the size of the whole of England so when you put it in perspective it's a little crazy! 

The float plane dock looked pretty cool all lit up! 

Start as you mean to go on...the rest of our days spent in Vancouver itself revolved mostly around food! because after all I just had to introduce my family to the best doughnuts in town...

An old fashioned chocolate doughnut accompanied by root beer...

and an apple bacon fritter topped with a maple glaze because in Canada everything tastes better with bacon and maple syrup! 

Lucky's, how will I ever leave you! 

I also took them to my favourite Baking supply shop in East Van, Gourmet Warehouse,

with sprinkles and gourmet callebaut and valrhona chocolate as far as the eye can see!

Plus, of course TONS of maple syrup! and sweet potato syrup too! 

A pit stop at Casa Gelato is a must, because I've never been to an ice cream shop before that offers 218 flavours! 

including curry! Yeah, you can ask for a sample of all the flavours but I decided to pass on the curry flavour! 

Mara was much more adventurous but according to the face above, seaweed was not a hit!

After a good 10 minutes of sampling! I stuck with my mint oreo brownie fave! 

I'm insanely jealous of the next food stop, because I was working the day they tried out Meat & Bread. I have been wanting to try this gourmet roasted meat sandwich stop ever since we arrived! 

Mom and By went with their famous porchetta and pesto sandwich, whilst Mara tried their special of the day which she kindly saved some of for me when I met them later that day! and it was a completely delicious combo of mole chicken and pineapple salsa.  I hope we have time to go back before we leave! 

Mara insisted on posing with these rather large feet on Cambie St! 

On another day when I was at work, By played tourguide and took them to Steveston - one of our fave little spots! 

Of course, I insisted they stop by Bell's! 

and sample some of the best doughnuts in Greater Van!

They also picked up some amazing mini doughnuts too in the best variety of flavours! 

and had lunch at the crab king! Every tourist came away with their own souvenir hammer!

There was a bit of a breeze on the water, hence the blanket Mar is holding and there they are sitting out on the patio.

Clearly, a pit stop for row row row the boat was in order too!

and they even discovered the old time houses down by the docks where the first nations used to live, we'd never even stumbled across them before! Aren't they cute! 

The sun continued to shine for the whole week they were here! 

and not only did the sun shine, it was hot enough for shorts! 

Here's Mara cooling down with a root beer in Stanley Park! 

and Mom being a loner in the middle of the rose gardens! 

They were pretty confused about all this rain I had been telling them about since there was none in sight for their whole trip! 

and Vancouver sure comes alive in the sun! 

and sunshine and blue skies is perfect weather for walking around the seawall! 

This picture just screams Vancouver to me! Snow capped mountains in the background, city skyline in the foreground and that little floatplane perfectly positioned above it all! 

Mara continued her love of totem poles! 

and they were both rather amused by this sign! 

Another after work pick up led to a treat stop off at Butter Baked Goods, my favourite B.C bakery.  

There was too much to choose from so we got a little of everything! 

Here we are with our stash!

and we got a whole bag of day old cookies for cheap too! that still tasted as fresh as the day they'd been baked! 

Lemon and coconut bars, coconut brownies, coney island bar with toasted coconut (can you tell we Jones' love coconut?!) and a giant peanut butter cookie sandwich for Byron! It's such a good thing this bakery is so far from my house, I would be going there every day otherwise! 

We finished off our eating overload with 3 different kinds of root beer!

and some of the best dogs in town! 

courtesy of Dougie

Up next: The sights of North Van!