We were excited when it was time to cross back over to our homeland from Seattle. Vancouver is only about a two hour drive away.
I had been before, and absolutely adored it. I would move to Vancouver in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself. It was Francois' first time and I had a list of things that I wanted to show him!
Part of what's so wonderful about Vancouver is the weather and the lifestyle. People really take the time to enjoy the outdoors. You can access the mountains and the ocean from downtown.
The first day we got there we cycled along the Seawall, the perfect way to see the city along the coast of the Pacific sea. You can stop along the way to swim, or have a bite and drink. There are several places where you can rent affordable bikes in Vancouver. We were staying in Kitsilano so we picked some up there and hit the coast.
We were lucky because Francois' family friends let us stay with them in Kitsilano. They were so helpful and kind, and they saved us money because accommodations are expensive in Vancouver. Kits has a very California vibe to it, great cafes and shops. Take the time to stroll on 4th Avenue and go watch the sunset and have a swim on Kits beach.
After our bike ride along the Seawall we met a friend in Gastown. We ate at a mind-blowing Caribbean restaurant called Calabash. It's awesome because they have live music, so you can eat, drink and dance. We would be there often if we lived in Vancouver.
Calabash is in Gastown but also next to Vancouver's East Hastings, Canada's poorest area. The city's downtown Eastside is incredibly sad and eye opening. Thousands live on the street, several with addiction and mental health issues. It was important for us to see this reality.
We spent our last day at Wreck beach, a clothing optional beach on the campus of UBC. It was a first for both of us and what an experience. It is meditative to swim in the ocean, in the nude, and then let the sun dry your skin in the sand. We almost had the place to ourselves and those who were there were very respectful. We definitely recommend it.