Oh Canada!

I know this blog is meant to be about New York but recently I haven’t had any adventures in the big apple because I am now a broke ass bitch after paying rent and going to Vancouver to visit friends and as you may have guessed from the title, that’s the subject of today’s blog.

For those who don’t know it, I LOVE Canada- it’s the nicer, cleaner and prettier version of America. No disrespect to the U.S.A but Canada wins, hands down. You have Trump and they have Trudeau so yeah- they do everything better. Even the Donuts such as Tim Hortons are superior to Dunkin’ Donuts!

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Just look at that majestic flag blowing in the breeze!

The main reason I went to Canada was to visit my best friends Andrea and Danielle as it’s been forever and a day since I have seen them and it’s also our 20th year anniversary. We’ve been friends since 4 years old so it’s kind of a big deal. They now live in Vancouver which is a really cool city and throughout this blog, I will be highlighting great places to go and things to do.

The first thing we did when we landed was a lovely tour of Vancouver by courtesy of our host, Laura’s mom and luckily, we just missed the worst winter Vancouver has had in like 40 years as well as we fled New York during snow storm Stella. The sun was out and the Huns were out and I mean huns as in me, taking in the breath-taking sights of the green mountains and clear lakes as well as pine trees everywhere.

Andrea lives in Downtown Vancouver so we headed over there for a delicious roast dinner thanks to Andrea’s amazing culinary skills and had a nice catch up while admiring the views of the city from her apartment and the 360 degree view from the rooftop. We then headed to The Morrissey bar near her apartment for drinks and this bar is great because it’s the perfect mis mash of hipster decorating that looked like a medieval saloon bar that the witches from The Craft would frequent. After one drink however, we decided to go to sleep because travelling since 4am does not sit well with me.

The next morning, we went to Robson St in Downtown Vancouver to catch the hop on hop off bus because we might as well have done the touristy stuff too. Vancouver is a small enough city so you can see quite a lot in 2 and a half hours. We drove around Stanley Park, English Bay and Granville Island. We jumped off and went exploring around Granville Island and what has to offer; there’s a really cool shop called Made In Vancouver that has quirky and fun clothes and gifts but it’s kinda pricey so we only went window shopping. The public market section is best however because of all the amazing food such as Lee’s Donuts. I probably gained about half a stone while in Canada due to all the delicious food but sure, I was on holidays. After that and some Crème brûlée, we got the most divine poutine at Edible Canada at the Market.32618923754_0fe89bdc18_o (1)

Poutine is a mouth-watering dish of chips, gravy and curdled cheese and it a delicacy in its own right. After we stuffed our faces, we wandered around the market stalls and looked at the crafts for sale. You can get some really nice home-made and unique stuff like scarfs and Jewelery. Heading back on the tour bus, we took in more sights of Vancouver as we drove along the bay and back to the downtown district and to the Donnelly Pub Group for a happy hour pint. Vancouver bars are pretty great with happy hours however the only last until 6pm in most places and after that, drinks aren’t that expensive in bars anyways. It’s liquor store that are the pricier establishments I found in this city. We had dinner at The Fountainhead Bar and the fish and chips are great to order but the main upside of this bar and like many other bars in Canada- THEY HAVE GROWERS PEACH CIDER!!!!! I have not been able to find this anywhere in New York and it was such a nice treat to drink it again.

The next morning, we arose early to get a spot at the highly popular cat cafe Catfe located in Chinatown. Unfortunately we didn’t realise it was spring break so the cat cafe was not only crawling with furbabies but with actual human babies as well. We booked a slot for later that afternoon and decided to try the local cuisine a.k.a A&W while we waited. They have the best root beer and you can get really cheap poutine too but back to the cats- they were all adorable and particularly Snuggles was my favourite because he reminded me of my old cat at home, Tabby. 17671168_10154667959011919_1982102708_n

This is Snuggles, taking a nap/ignoring me after I tried to get 10 million selfies with him. The best part about the cat despite all the cute kitties running around, it that they are all rescue cats up for adoption and on the wall, they have Polaroids of all their adopted furbabies which is amazing because they’re on 90 cats now so that means minus the 12 cats in the cafe right now, they have rehomed 78 kitties!!! A young family was actually in the cafe at the same time as us getting their new cat readying to come home and it was a lovely sight to see.

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You can see all their pictures behind me petting a lil cutie. The cafe also had a cute coffee menu to order from such as hello kitty macarons, Catpaccinos and Hot Chococats. Check out more of the kitties below

 

They were great kitties; they even had fun playing with the window washer outside the cafe window. After parting with the cats, Danielle met us outside the cafe and we headed first to Tim Hortons for an ice capp and a donut. We then headed for the Commerical drive area to check out a local craft beer bar St. Augustine’s and how I was still standing after an 11.0% cider, I’ll never know followed by more cider then 2 bottles of wine with dinner at Danielle’s and then more drinks in Gastown. I drunkenly stumbled to an A&W at around 1am.

On Thursday, the first spot was a Tim Horton’s naturally and then onto the Vancouver Lookout. It’s cheap enough if you’re a student or bring your expired student card with you and lie, which exactly what I did. Tourist Hack right there for you! You get the elevator up to enjoy a 360 degree view of Vancouver city, North Vancouver and the surrounding mountains  such as Grouse Mountain. Grouse Mountain is meant to be the best spot for skiing and has plenty of resorts and great views as well. We then met Danielle outside the Vancouver pier to get a bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. It a natural outdoor park with bridges connecting over the Capilano river and basically you get a squirrel’s point of view as you walk through the trees over looking the river below.

17758110_10154667959311919_1389735749_nThe views were STUNNING and that is an understatement. The air was also so fresh being surrounded by pine trees, it went good after living in a polluted city and working in a basement…I felt so at peace just being in nature again. It was overwhelmingly uplifting to my mood and attitude. Thanks to Danielle for bringing us there.

 

And Into the wild we went, acting like squirrels and running across the bridges and through the trees was a fun but exhausting way to spend the afternoon and when we got back to downtown; the next order of Business was of course: LUNCH! Vancouver not only has a brilliant selection of food but also a brilliant selection of sushi restaurants and it’s such good fish for an affordable price. A sushi platter of  California rolls, tuna rolls and salmon rolls was only CDN $8.99. It was also quite filling too so eating dinner at Andrea’s apartment later that evening was a struggle but challenge I willingly accepted- if you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating Andrea’s cooking that you’ll understand how amazing it is. We ventured back out to Gastown that evening to Guilt & Co. for some live jazz and it was so much fun! You pay at the door whatever you want for admission and then sit back and enjoy live jazz music and fabulous cocktails however it’s quite popular so booking a table in advance is highly advised- thanks for that too Danielle.

Gastown has a lot of fun bars and restaurants and is a cultural hub of the city as well as being the oldest neighborhood in Vancouver B.C. The vibrant nightlife is something every tourist should experience when they touch down. The last thing I wanna share on this blog to do with food (obviously) as Main St is also a fun area with great restaurants but most importantly, you need to go Burgoo and order the fondue, what a fun rhyme to say!

Last but not least, I did not want to leave Andrea or Danielle or the beautiful country that is Canada behind but alas reality and my theatre internship were calling my name.

Until next time Canada,

Much Love,

Ari

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