Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm still playing catch-up (Discovering Vancouver - SeaWheeze part 3)

Yes, yes, I'll be posting about the amazing, tropical, beautiful island of Hawaii soon.  I promise.  However, I did not want to skip over the fantastic day we had on Sunday exploring Vancouver.

First, I need to mention one of the many highlights of my trip to Canada.  Several of you may be aware of my love for the $2 Iowa Lottery bingo cards.  
Yes, that's right.  Canada also has lottery bingo!  They have $2 cards and $3 cards; I just decided to try my luck at one of each.  I guess I'm an international bingo player now =)  Try to control your jealousy please.  Admittedly, this would have been a bigger highlight (and a better story) if I had actually won.  Alas, both these cards were losers.  Five Canadian Dollars down the drain.

Okay, now back to the "Explore Vancouver" Day Re-cap.

After sleeping right through breakfast, we packed our bags and left them with the front desk of our hotel and ventured out into the drizzly rain for some lunch.  There was this really great Asian market next to our hotel that had a food court.  No, not the kind of food court that has Sbarro, Panda Express, etc.  The market had THIS kind of food court:
I waaaaayyyy over-ordered (understatement of the century), but everything looked so good and it was so inexpensive!  I ordered the following: (1) yam tempura (not pictured); (2) avocado roll (left); (2) yam tempura roll (right); (3) dynamite roll (back) (aka shrimp tempura roll); and (4) a can of diet coke.  This feast of sushi, tempura, and diet coke cost a total of $14!!  Can you believe that???  I was shocked and so happy.

By the time I finished my feast (let's be serious, I didn't finish it all), it had stopped raining and the sun was peaking through the clouds!!  With the gift of sunlight, we decided to head over to Granville Island.  According to Wikipedia, Vancouver itself used to be called Granville until it was renamed, but this island eventually got to keep the name.  Before becoming a touristy shopping district, it was an industrial manufacturing area.
I mostly wanted to hit up the Public Market, but the rest of the island was also pretty cool.  The Public Market is basically a giant farmers market.  I.  LOVE.  FARMER'S MARKETS.  
Husband and I started out by getting a treat at this bakery stall.  I got a key lime tart.  I'm not sure where my love of key lime came from all of a sudden, but it is here, and it looks like it is here to stay.  Husband got cheesecake and he says it was some of the best cheesecake he's ever eaten.  I can't verify that because he didn't share...(I didn't share either).  We spent a couple hours on the island.  Most of this time was spent with me drooling over and coveting all the delicious looking fruits that lined the aisles of the public market.  Unfortunately, I couldn't purchase any of it because I had previously gorged myself on sushi and a key lime tart and you can't take produce back into the United States. =(

Okay, now, the magical moment of our exploratory day:
Yep, that's right.  The Lululemon Lab was located a mere 10 minutes from Granville Island!!!!!!!!  It was really neat.  One half of the space was devoted to retail and the other half was full of sewing machines, bolts of fabric, and designers.  It was really neat.  Plus, 99% of the merchandise on the retail side isn't available in any other Lululemon store.  I came home with a super cute pair of navy blue cropped leggings.  Not for running, but they'll be great for casual wear, lounging, or, maybe even yoga.

After we spent 15-20 minutes at The Lab, we had to head back to collect our things and get to the airport.  Husband and I had some planes to catch!!  Specifically, we had a direct flight to Las Vegas, then a four hour wait for our flight to Honolulu, then a three hour wait for our flight from Honolulu to Kona, HI (on the Island of Hawaii).  


However, when we left Vancouver, we were a little over 24 hours away from this:
In Hawaii, these pictures basically take themselves.

Which city (in any country) is your favorite to explore?

If money and travel time were not factors, would you purchase your produce at Whole Foods/Trader Joe's or a Farmer's Market?


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