Or rather, my Vancouver Anniversary, three months!
Really doesn’t feel like I have been here three months. But then again I have accomplished a fair bit. I got a job, moved once (soon to be twice) and have found some pretty awesome people to surround myself with.
I’ve also travelled around a few places. Which is good as that’s the main reason I moved over here, other than to experience living in a new country that wasn’t Australia or NZ. Which, let’s be honest, are very similar. Funnily enough though, Canada is also very similar.
I’ve been to Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary, Kelowna (x2), Penticton, Portland and Seattle. Two states in Canada and three in USA. So many more to see though!
Whistler is up next weekend. Can’t wait for the first ever Whistler Beer Festival!
Following that I have a trip to Vegas on 17 October. Got tickets to NBA – Yeewwww! Then I want to get to Vancouver Island, Mexico (one of those cheap all inclusive resort deals, hello cocktails on the beach, dancing and hot men), Quebec, Toronto, Montreal, New York (again, yes I love that place), Miami & a cruise (yep, again, can’t beat it) and maybe New Orleans. Prob some other random places thrown in that friends are going to and I get FOMO over. I have huge FOMO. Fear of missing out.
Anyway before I blab on and on about travelling more, back to my Vancouver-iversary. I should really celebrate. But I’m trying to have a quiet weekend. Yup me. Quiet. I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not about to go making any bets that I won’t end up going out. Let’s put it that way.
9 more months left on my visa for Canada, interested to see what’s in store!
I had crazy dreams. Woke up groggy. I hate spiders. There was a fricken gigantic spider on my hand in my dream. Yuck!!
Anyway we headed to Northgate Mall to look for some boots for the girls. I ended up with 2 pairs of boots too. Oops!!! BUT I do need them for winter here. Totally justifiable. 4 days, 4 pairs of shoes. That’s a good holiday.
Next up? We tried to find a store but ended up lost. Found a cute seaside town though so had a pic there, gave up on the store and went in search of Walmart. Which we actually did find! Yay!
I bought some confectionary for my twitter pal @smayjay and a fish tank for me. I’m pretty damn excited about my fish tank!! I haven’t had one for three months. That is three months too long.
Now we are almost back at the border where we will get grilled about what we did and how much shopping was done. Swear I only spent $200 officer. Please don’t tax my items!
Turns out the border guy had a big Samoan tattoo on his arm so I was able to charm him and he let us through no sweat!
The best way to wake up? Swim out to a pontoon in the middle of Okanagan Lake and jump in!
We woke early, headed to a lakeside cafe fror breakfast and then a swim. Hilariously a boat had driven on top of the pier during the night!
Unfortunately it was my last day in Penticton but we did one of my favourite things! Tubing the channel.
$10 gets you a tube hire and bus back. It takes about 2 hours to float down and is completely relaxing. The current is pretty swift, the river is wide and cute ducks come out of the reeds to greet you.
If I went again, I would bring some rope to tie all the tubes together and a bucket of drinks to get the party going on the way down.
Trip home flew by and before we knew it we were back in Vancouver.
We drove up to check out Portland for the long weekend. From Vancouver it’s about a 7hour drive so we left at 2pm on Friday to attempt to beat the traffic to the border crossing. Waits can be atrocious but luckily for us it was only about 45mins.
When we arrived at the border they asked us the usual questions – intentions in Portland, how long are you staying etc. We ended up being slapped with an orange sticker on our windscreen which basically means you have to go park so they can interrogate you more. I swear it was only when he saw Billy’s Aussie passport. Kiwi’s would be fine.
They take your car keys and you head inside where they ask you more questions and check your passport out. We had both recently been in the States so our Visa’s were fine.
The rest of the drive was beautiful, with an amazing sunset and Billy being an over efficient DJ – only the best will do!
Our hotel was great, the Marriott Waterfront. Billy went to park the car while I checked in. Guys should always send their girls in solo to check in. I got free wifi for the both of us for the duration of the stay and a water view. Room was large and the bed had heaps of pillows. Very important. They weren’t the best pillows but you could make a good pile out of them.
Saturday morning we were up early to explore the city. We went all along the waterfront, through the farmers market and into the city, stopping for breakfast.
I dragged Billy shopping – although I would call it purchasing. To save his whining I already knew what I wanted so we were in and out of Clinique & MAC in no time. USA is much cheaper than Canada for most products plus there is no tax. Yeww!
Exhausted from the 35 degree heat and 5 hour walk and some bevvies in the sun at a brewery we headed home for a nap.
Sunday was zoo day! Only $20 for the both of us, we spent half the day wandering around looking at the Tigers and monkeys. Crap food, but I don’t expect much at a zoo.
We made it in time to watch my mate Jimmy play in the Portland AFL grand final. Jimmy kicked a bag and we even joined in for their awards giving at the pub afterwards. He’s been living in Oregon for 7months so it was great to catch up with him!
After a few drinks we went to another brewery around the corner for some beers. We had one each and shared a tasting palette of 6, which was only $8. Love America.
Dinner was at Trader Vicks where we shared a Tiki bowl (by share I think I drank 3/4’s and Billy pretended to drink) and had delicious tapas. Poke and coconut shrimp for me, hummus and calamari for Billy.
Half cut we trudged back to the hotel for an early night before the drive back.
On the way to Portland there was a Starbucks at every stop so we presumed it would be the same on the highway back. Little did we know!
We stopped at McD’s for my breaky, I was hungover and hugely in need of some bacon and eggs. Billy wanted to be ‘healthy’ and was after a coffee so we stopped at the Starbucks. Unfortunately a group of about 20 school kids had just gone in so he abandoned that idea instead thinking to get one at the next exit. But there wasn’t one…. For the next 2 hours! I must admit to being slightly amused at first but he was so grumpy by the end even I was hanging out to find it!
Coffee and ‘healthy’ food down we hit the road only to stop at the premium outlet stores. Billy got lots of stuff, I didn’t buy anything. I nearly bought some fudge but saved by waistline the cm’s. Soo much cheaper in USA. The mall is only 2 hours past the border so lots of Vancouver-ites head there for their shopping sprees. Have to be careful though or they can sting you on the border for tax!
Coming back through the border was easy, a few questions and we were through. Only 40kms from there to Vancouver so we were home by 5.30 to celebrate Canada Day!
I got up early and went snorkelling at Hanuama Bay. Such a beautiful place, and great snorkelling. Unfortunately for us it was a little choppy and I managed to get completely sunburnt but it was awesome.
I met Caity, a really lovely Aussie chick from Canberra. We were each others snorkelling buddies and we spent a few hours chilling on the beach and chatting. I told her about some local food joints I wanted I check out and she was keen to come so the awesome bus driver dropped its off right by them.
Holy wow they’re amazing! I will do a local food blog but Ono’s, Rainbows & the blue hole in the wall are amazing. Plus Leonardo’s for donuts! Yum.
We walked home – was so long and hot! Got changed and spent the afternoon chilling & swimming at Waikiki beach.
Yard House for dinner – they have so many different beers! Largest draft selection in the world. I had lobster garlic noodles with prawns and crab. Didn’t realise lobster and crayfish tasted so different. I definitely prefer crayfish.
Home early to get a decent sleep.
So sad tomorrow is my last day.
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