We decided on ten days. Flying across North America called for a little extra – time and sights. We learned several fun facts on our drive across British Columbia. Real-estate is insanely expensive but booming. Mining is the biggest industry. And ninety-percent of Canadians live within one-hundred miles of the U.S. border. While we truly enjoyed the mountains of Part I, truth is, the water will always be our favorite. From rustic to modern. From ski lifts to seaplanes. From Whistler to Vancouver.
Our honeymoon, Part II…
As we pulled up to Fairmont Pacific Rim, I am not sure Brad noticed anything other than the fancy cars. But this hotel is a work of art, literally. Built just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics, one side and seventeen floors of the building feature a passage installation by artist Liam Gillick, “lying on top of a building the clouds looked no nearer than when I was lying on the street.
The architecture was a win and so was our room. Floor to ceiling windows with 180-degree jaw-dropping views. Upstaged by the spa-like bathroom dreams are made of thanks to a Japanese deep soaker Ofuro jetted tub (with light therapy!). Hand me the champagne and chocolates they brought us, and I thought about viewing Vancouver from there for the next four days.
But I didn’t.
We ventured out of the city limits to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The main attraction stretches 450 feet between two enormous (and strong) evergreen trees 230 feet above Capilano River – simply breathtaking.
After crossing, we made our way through the peaceful, living rainforest and took a stroll in the treetops on seven smaller suspension bridges attached to 250-year-old Douglas-firs. Most impressive is the fact that the bridge system has no equipment penetrating the trees, but instead hugging them (see what I did there?). Naturally, I busted out a few tree poses.
We ended our park adventure at the cliffwalk – a series of cantilevered and suspended walkways jetting out from the granite. PSA: This park is not for people with fear of heights.
With our stomach a bit in knots, we refueled with some burgers and traditional Canadian poutine (fries with brown gravy and cheese curds) at the café before heading back to the city.
And of course, we just kept eating...
We were dying for authentic sushi and had met a guy in Whistler who recommended Miku. Conveniently, it was steps away from our hotel. Wanting a little bit of everything, we went with their limited-time tasting menu. One thing I recommend never tasting – raw shrimp. It came head still intact, to which the server said, ‘if you save it, we’ll take the head back to the kitchen and fry it for you.’ NO, no, thank you. Trying to convince myself it was a taco, I closed my eyes and swallowed. In disgust, I looked up at Brad as he confirmed, ‘that was not good.’
Foodie life saved by the stunning plate of fresh Aburi-style sushi that followed. Row three, featuring scallop, lobster and wagyu beef, more than made up for the shrimp incident.
Our friends struck again in Vancouver having gift cards waiting for us at two locations – starting with Hawksworth Restaurant. It has ranked in the top 10 of Canada’s 100 best restaurants for the past three years. The shaved asparagus and ricotta salad was almost too pretty to eat, and the candy cap mushroom ice cream was too weird not to try. The verdict? Delicious.
Blue Water Café (the second gift card location) ended up being our favorite restaurant in Part II of our foodie tour. The cocktails and food were bright and fresh. We enjoyed a mix of oysters from both the East and West Coasts and continued our love affair with sablefish. We wanted so badly to tackle one of their seafood towers, but it seemed excessive, so we ate four desserts instead.
We spent a rainy day exploring the peninsula of Granville Island. It is its own little world of old factories, plants, and sawmills that have been converted to restaurants, shopping, and marinas. But the Public Market is the highlight with fresh produce, meats, cheeses, pastries, flowers, and goodness galore.
My favorite honeymoon “souvenirs” came from Granville – hand-carved textile printing blocks.
My one must-do in Vancouver was a bike ride along the Stanley Park Seawall, which we saved for our last day. Turned out part of the path was closed earlier that morning due to restoration, so we were forced to take a detour (the path is one way). Lesson learned: never wear jeans and rain boots when unexpected mountain biking can occur.
The sweat dripping down our backs was worth it when we reached the peak at Prospect Point and the views of Third Beach on the way back down.
What should have been a relaxing one-hour ride long a mostly flat path, turned into a ten-mile mountain marathon. Our Apple watches were so happy, we were so tired
Lucky for our legs, we only had to make our way down to the hotel restaurant, Botanist, for our final date night. Here I discovered roasted sunchoke soup to which no soup will ever measure up, and lemon polenta cake which ruined it for all the other cakes of life. And on that sweet note, we prepared to go home.
Whistler may have been (surprisingly) our favorite half, but we left Vancouver with a new appreciation for the West Coast and Pacific Rim, plus a few extra pounds after happily eating our way through it.
Fell in love. Got married. Honeymooned hard.