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Thursday, February 23, 2012

We Booked Our Trip, Eh!

I'm doing a little jig in my chair today, because we just booked the tickets for our annual trip! These trips are like a shot of Prozac for our's our time to get away from everything and everyone, and just enjoy being together! As soon as we got the grandparent's okay (the babysitters!), we hopped on American Airlines and booked our mileage seats to.....

Vancover, via
Vancouver!! I know it's totally cliche, and probably annoying to Canadians, when people follow a sentence with 'Eh', but we get a kick out of it, eh! Kind of like when Northerners come South and love to hear us say 'Y'all!' Mr. Sugarplum and I got engaged in Canada, so it holds a really special place in our hearts. We fell in love with Banff a few years ago, and can't wait to explore more of British Columbia.

There is so much to see and do, so I'm hoping my amazing Canadian readers (and those familiar with the area) can lend a hand with our itinerary. Here's what we're thinking right now:

Explore Vancouver, including the suspension bridge and biking Stanley Park.

Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, via

Ferry through the Gulf Islands to Victoria, and spend one night near the harbor.

Victoria, via
Drive up the coast of Vancouver Island, and spend three nights in Tofino or Ucluelet.

Tofino, via
Where we can storm-watch while walking the beaches,

Vancouver Island, BC16
Long Beach, Tofino by Andre Berube
Hike Pacific Rim National Park and the Wild Pacific Trail,

Wild Pacific Sunset
Wild Pacific Trail by James Wheeler
And hopefully spot a few whales in their annual migration south (could you die?!?!).

Whale Watching in Tofino, via
Then we'd ferry back to the mainland, and drive the stunning Sea to Sky highway to Whistler.

Sea to Sky Highway, via
Whistler Mountain closes the weekend before we arrive, but we'll stay in Whistler Village and hopefully ski Blackcomb Mountain for two days.

Whistler Village, via
It's definitely a lot of driving and moving around! So what tips, golden nuggets, little gems of information can you share on the area?! Something not to be missed? A favorite hotel, restaurant or shop? We haven't booked anything but our air (for the end of April), so we're still flexible on the locations and routing. Of all our travels, we've found Canadians to be the most open and nicest people. So y'all look out, we're headin' North, eh!


  1. You'll have a great time, so important to get away with the hubby! We just got back from Vancouver this week, had a fantastic time...the family took the train up from Portland and it was a blast. Have fun!! Janell

  2. how fun! I've always wanted to visit Banff! The pictures are amazing - sounds like you have quite the trip planned :) love that you make time to do that with your hubby!

  3. The PanPacific is a beautiful hotel... albeit quite expensive and out of my budget. If the stay is too expensive, I still highly recommend their Sunday brunch! Fraiche restaurant is also great. It is slightly out of the way, but you get the best panoramic views of the city!

  4. Oh it looks amazing! What an exciting trip you have planned. My parents used to take us to Banff/Japser/Lake Louise, and it is absolutely gorgeous. I thnk it's one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  5. so so so jealous! My husband use to live in Seattle when I first met him and we drove across the border to Canada for the day -it was so much fun. He took a trip there once in his college days and went to Butchart Gardens- he said it was A-MAZING.

  6. Awesome! You are going to have a blast! So glad that you get away as a couple! The most important thing, especially with crazy busy lives!

  7. I live north of Seattle and have been to Vancouver and beyond many times. A bit further upbfrom Victoria is Nanaimo where we caught a mailboat. That took us to Ucluelet via the waterway between all the islands. Totally rocked. Granville market in Vancouver also a good time. Feel free to contact me with questions.

  8. That sounds like a lovely trip! I love vacations where you do and see a lot, sitting around is not really for me. My husband and I want to try to travel together annually together as well!

  9. Fun fun! We did downtown Vancouver (stayed at a fabulous hotel on the water, let me know if you need one) and went to Whistler on a day trip. We didn't ski but the Sea to Sky was worth it... simply incredible. More here:

  10. You're in luck, eh? I'm a hometown Vancouver and Island girl. Haven't lived there for a few years but I can help out when it comes to places to stay, day trips, what to see etc. Just shoot me an email :) Enjoy the BC coast, there is no other place in the world like it!

  11. "y'all look out, we're headin' North, eh!" haha, you crack me up, Cassie! You're so right about the y'all thing too, except I think 'y'all' is way cooler than 'eh'. My future sis in law is from Mississippi and I love it when she says y'all... and I find myself using it too when I'm around her!

    Y'all are going to an AMAZING time!! You have some awesome destinations planned and a few that are still on my wishlist!! We're 12 hrs away from Vancouver but we have spent a bit of time there visiting friends. We saw whales on the FERRY ride to the gulf islands, free show!! it was INCREDIBLE. Yay! So excited for you!

  12. I've only been there once and it was eons ago. I just remember it being really green and beautiful. I'm excited for you. I have to live vicariously through someone since I'm completely house poor;)

  13. You're going to have an amazing time!!! I'm from Canada (Ontario) and my little sister now lives in Vancouver and so of course we get to visit this gorgeous city...and it's amazing!!! We live in Texas now so it's a nice change of scenery for sure (I'm not knocking Texas as we love it here too!). I'll ask her about restaurants and you MUST visit Whistler, and of course Stanley Park is so much fun. Robson Street for shopping! Tidbit: If you're into LuLu Lemon there's an outlet there...amazing sister ships me stuff all the time ; ) I'll get back to you with more!

  14. wow! looks like it will be a wonderful trip! my fiance and i really want to go to a few places in canada eventually! xo

  15. OH I want to go to Vancouver SOOO badly!! My in-laws just got back from Whistler and loved it. You're going to have a blast!

  16. I went to Whistler and Vancouver in January, and while cold (as expected), it was such a beautiful and friendly place. While in Whistler we asked for eating recommendations for Vancouver, and what kept coming up was Rodney's Oyster House (super fresh oysters - I don't eat them but everyone else said they were the best they had) and Vij's (Indian). Both were AMAZING.

  17. Wow, you're definitely packing a LOT of stuff into one trip. How much time are you in Vancouver? I can send you a list of restaurants and hotels to stay at.

  18. Oh I'm so jealous, I love Vancouver! We loved the Queen Elizabeth Park too, beautiful!

  19. Yay! Oh I love Vancouver!!! You are going to have a blast!

  20. I can't wait for the recap! So I can pin it with your wonderful itinerary!

  21. We went to Whistler for our honeymoon a few years ago and just fell in love with it. So quaint and gorgeous! You'll love it too :)

  22. Your pics make me drool, remembering how beautiful it is up there. You will have a ball - especially since you two NEVER waste a minute. We did two days each in Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Whidbey Island and Portland and loved every fun, busy minute. Vancouver: Sylvia Hotel, biking Stanley Park, funky streets behind there - Victoria: Inn at Laurel Point, drinks at the Empress Hotel are my recs. And, I agree - the people were friendly, fun, helpful and very welcoming everywhere we went in the Pac NW.

  23. Oh, I am so jealous!!! I've never been to Canada, eh. It looks gorgeous. I hope you'll share about your trip!

  24. Well this post makes me want to go to Vancover although I am not going to lie that bridge scares me a little bit. I think we need to start taking a vacay every year! love it!

  25. I live in Vancouver but am from Vancouver Island and have lived all over (including Victoria, Tofino and Ucluelet among others). I have done tourism on the ferries there and I ahve to say you have picked all the best stops to visit! I think you'll have an amazing time! Vancouver (Stanley Park, Queen E Park, Granville Island, Capilano Suspension Bridge), Victoria (Inner Harbour, Butchard Gardens, the Empress) and Tofino/Ucluelet (the lighthouse point, whale watching, the beauty of the coast) are all wonderful places to visit! I have heard Whistler is just as wonderful though I have not been there since I was young.

    Have a wonderful trip and if you have any specific questions about these areas feel free to email me (, I love to talk tourism on the coast of BC.

    Oh and I"m a new follower to your blog, I can't remember which blog directed me here but I'm glad I came!

  26. You are going to have the BEST time!!!! We go to BC annually, and just got engaged in Whistler in September! We love mountain biking in the area, its so stunning! Our fave restaurant in Whistler is called Elements. Its a little tapas bar, hidden in the North End of the village. To.Die.For. Get the sticky toffee and pear dessert. Have an amazing trip!!!!

  27. That looks so pretty! I've only been to Toronto but I'd love to explore more of Canada. Have fun!

  28. You'll have a brilliant time! It's my old stomping ground - though too long ago to recommend with certainty. However, whenever I am back, I always get a feed of sushi (I'm now a vegetarian but even the veggie sushi is delicious!!), spend time watching people/boats and relaxing on Jerico Beach, trying a new ethnic/cuisine restaurant, and shopping! The Botanical Gardens at UBC (including the Nitobe Memorial Gardens) are beautiful, Grouse Mountain overlooks Vancouver and is a fabulous view - inquire because there also non-skiing-season activities, East Sooke Park outside of Victoria, or locals-guided tours of Victoria. But like anywhere, just sitting at a cafe and people watching, listening, experiencing is -I think - a wonderful thing to do on holiday. Whatever you do, it'll be great! Enjoy!! Ylan

  29. Love a trip together. It does make you appreciate one another and your kiddos more! Enjoy.

  30. Awesome! You will have a blast. Can't believe I haven't been there and it's 2 hours away from me. Oh idea- you should stop and see me before you go :)

  31. Good for you to take some time together. It's so great for your marriage, and for your kids too. Your itinerary looks lovely!

  32. Ack! I live in Vancouver. Shoot me an email I can give you LOADS of ideas AND if you want to meet local fabulous bloggers like me, well, that can be arranged!


  33. Oh you will have a blast! I've lived in all those places so I'm pretty much your best tour guide ever. Tofino ... Stay at pacific sands if you want something affordable, but right on the beach where there's surf and you're close drive to the town. Don't forget to ask the front desk how to get to sunset point...and hike all the way up to the top! (you'll have to climb up some rocks through some light bushy area, sooooworth it though!) have dinner in town at the shelter. Amazing food and fun atmosphere!!!

    Ok so whistler as a lot of great stuff but nothing compares to the smokies and poutine stand in the middle of the village! Also sit out on the patio and have a beer at the longhorn for a real whistler experience ! The new peak to peak gondola is also quite a sight to see.

    Vancouver... I see someone already suggested Rodney's. Even if You don't eat oysters you should check it out for their Caesars ...they also may have the cutest male servers in Vancouver! Check out some live music while you're here! Just look up or to see who's playing. It's my favorite thing to do...except going to a Canucks game of course!!

    Have fun. Feel free to email if you have any questions :)


  34. It sounds like you will have a fabulous trip. I live in Victoria and recommend walking the beaches, feeding the ducks at Beacon Hill Park , taking pictures at Ogden point at dusk, Hiking through Gold Stream provincial park to the waterfall, Exploring Craigdarroch Castle, going to the museum , eating at Smokin' Bones on Douglas St. (great ribs, meat and sides), In Nanaimo a bit further up Vancouver Island there are some nice seafood restaurants near the ferry and departure Bay is a pretty beach to explore.

  35. I'm live in Calgary so I understand your love of Banff. But I also love Vancouver and it sounds like you have a perfect trip lined up to see everything. The sea-sky highway is a must (stop into one of the little coastal villages along the way for some great views). And make sure to go to Granville market in Vancouver.

    Love your site, I just came over from Living Savvy and will continue to follow!

  36. Love Love Love Vancouver, BC! Have a wonderful time and have a Beaver Tail at the Quay!

  37. You are going to have an amazing time. I was born and raised in a suburb of Vancouver and love this city! I also went to nursing school in Victoria so it holds a special place in my heart.

    I ditto the suggestion for Rodney's Oyster House in Yaletown. It gets VERY busy so make a reso if you can ( should allow resos for there). Brunch at the Boathouse in English Bay.

    Grand Pacific and the Delta in Victoria are great places to stay, and right at the harbor. Probably a bit on the expensive side but there are tons of great hotels more affordable nearby as well (TripAdvisor is your friend!).
    But chart Gardens should be well into blooming late April so check it out on your way into Victoria!
    Take a detour to Coombs on your way to Tofino to check out the goats on the roof at the market! The market is great to browse in.
    Tofino is heaven. Take surfing lessons!!!! With a wetsuit you will be fine in the water and its so much fun!
    On your way back ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay (don't drive all the way back to Swartz Bay). Reserve the ferries if you have an idea of your times and are going over the weekend.
    Whistler - if you can afford it or find a deal, the Four Seasons is SO worth it. Best hotel I have ever stayed at. At least go to the restaurant and have the dinner with the wine pairings. And if you are lucky, the mountain will still be open for spring skiing (it stays open to may frequently, and considering its still snowing now, you stand a good chance). There is great shopping in Whistler Village, as well as Robson St, West 4th, South Granville & Metrotown (all within greater Vancouver).

    Fun place to go out at night in Vancouver is Lamplighter in gastown. Hit up any bar on Granville St if there is a Canucks game on (it's playoff season!). Canucks fans are crazy!

  38. Oh and rent bikes to go around Stanley Park (lots of rental places near the entrance off West Georgia & Denman area).... And Granville Island is a must! You can catch the little harbor boats across from the downtown core/Yaletown to Granville Island. Do a Granville Island Brewery tour. And the Cap Suspension Bridge is so-so. It's a bit far from downtown. I'd suggest doing it on your way up to Whistler, as it wont take that long and is on the road to the Sea-to-Sky.
    Any questions, let me know!

  39. We visited Vancouver and Whistler last summer and had an awesome time. I highly recommend zipling in Whistler with Ziptrek Eco Tours. You zip back and forth between the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. It's AMAZING!!! Had a tasty crepe at Crepe Montagne in Whistler Village. The view along the Sea-to-Sky is gorgeous, and seeing all the waterfalls is great.

    In Vancouver, rather than staying at a hotel, we rented a condo in Kitsilano via VRBO. Neat neighborhood, and we got to walk to Granville Island and great restaurants in Kits.

    Enjoyed walking around Gastown one evening, and watching the steam clock. Rather than the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is expensive and way commercialized, we went to Lynn Canyon and went hiking and walked across the suspension bridge there. Wonderful hiking (walking)and views, and it's all free! The bridge is shorter and not as high as the Cap Bridge, but it is narrower and moves around more when people walk on it.

    My favorite part of our whole trip was kayaking in the San Juan Islands, with orca whales playing nearby. Simply awe-inspiring!

    Enjoy your trip ... you'll love it!

  40. As a Canadian, I'm so thrilled to read of the excitement over traveling to my gorgeous country. I dig it, eh? I'm from Toronto, but also want to go to BC. Have a fantastic trip!


Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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