My Mum came to visit and we had the best time. She was here for a total of five full days and six nights. It was short but very sweet. I wanted to pack as much as possible into her stay and I think I achieved it. Our itinerary looked a little like this:
I did my last ever shift at Spokes. It was emotional but I was so excited to see my Mum in a matter of hours. I hadn’t seen her for a whole 495 days. I actually was a little nervous to see her, I guess I just wanted her to love Vancouver as much as I do. I took the skytrain to YVR airport and eagerly awaited her arrival. It seemed like the longest wait in the world and she didn’t recognise me at first. We exchanged a few tears and a big hug. We made our way Downtown to check in at the Executive Vintage Park Hotel. You don’t understand how excited I was to stay in a hotel with a comfy bed and blackout curtains. It certainly did not disappoint. We spent our first night feasting on burritos from Tacofino in Yaletown, followed by a G&T at the Morrissey Pub on Granville Street.
I wanted to show my Mum the best places to eat so I already had written a list of places to go for various meals. Red Umbrella was on my breakfast/brunch list so our first morning was spent here. We actually waited 40 minutes for a table but it was definitely worth it. My Mum couldn’t come to town without riding the seawall around Stanley Park. After working in a bike rental shop for the entire time here I cannot recommend riding the seawall enough. It’s my number one thing to do in Vancouver, apart from eating obvisouly. So we went to Spokes and rented two cruiser bikes for the day. I guided her around Stanley Park and towards False Creek. We stopped at the Cirque Du Soleil tents to enquire about tickets for the same evening. Luckily they had tickets left so we made our way back to Spokes to return the bikes. We got a takeout Donair on our way to the hotel, basically a fancy doner kebab but I knew my Mum would love one and she did. The Kurios show by Cirque Du Soleil was amazing. I didn’t really know what to expect but it blew us away. A lot of talented performers and an initimate circus tent so all seats are close to the stage. I believe it is on till the end of December so you still can go.
We decided to test the breakfast out at the hotel, it wasn’t badly priced for a hotel breakfast and enough choice to fill you up for the day. The waffle station deserves a mention. I loved making my own waffles, topped with banana and syrup. I shared my favourite mode of transport with my Mum, the aquabus. We hopped on this to get to Granville Island. We wandered round the public market and the shops. Unfortunately we were so full from breakfast so no tasty food was consumed, apart from a few strips of candied salmon. Next on the agenda was a quick pit stop at the Swap office. It has played a huge part in my life during my time in Canada so far. They have helped me with so much over the past year and a bit so we popped into the office to say hi. In the afternoon we browsed the tourist shops in Gastown and had sushi. We filled our evening with hot dogs and beer watching the Vancouver Canucks lose against the Detroit Red Wings. Whether they win or lose, it’s always a cool atmosphere at an ice hockey match. My Mum enjoyed her first ice hockey game. The free beer was appreciated, thanks to you who cannot be named in case Rogers Arenas reads this (lol).
You can’t come to Vancouver and not visit Whistler. Whistler is great anytime of year so I didn’t hesitate to arrange a night here with the winter season looming. I hired a car from Enterprise (my go-to car rental company) and we were on our way in a shiny red Kia Soul. We stopped at the Galileo Coffee Company at Britannia Beach for a no whip mocha. The Scandinave Spa has been on my to do list for a long time so I was super excited to finally make a visit here. We hadn’t booked any treatments, just because they are pricey. Instead we opted for the paid entry into their outdoor spa which includes hot tubs, plunge pools, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation lounges. I believe it was $65 each plus a rental fee for a dressing gown. It was a very relaxing afternoon, even though we weren’t allowed to speak to each other. Yes there’s a no talking rule in place. The complimentary herbal tea is a must. Although expect a shot sized paper cup to decant it into. We had a small lunch in their cafe, slightly overpriced but also very tasty. Once all relaxed we made our way into Whistler village to check into the Summit Lodge hotel. The room was lovely, a small studio with your own kitchen and balcony. Of course we had to eat somewhere good for dinner. We got a recommendation off a fellow hotel guest in Vancouver, Pasta Lupino. We were drawn in by the “2 can dine for $40” meal deal. This included 2 courses with a bottle of wine. Our day ended with a stroll through the moonlit village of Whistler, stopping at the liquor store for a bottle of prosecco. If anyone saw my Snapchats from that evening, you will have seen that we were slightly tipsy.
A quick Google search gave me a few options for a cracking brunch in Whistler. We decided to go with closest, conveniently located next to your hotel. Elements Urban Tapas Parlour did not disappoint. Plenty of breakfast options with us both settling on an eggs benedict. It wasn’t just a traditional eggs benedict, it was an English Breakfast stack with tomato, mushroom, duck sausage and double smoked bacon. I’d like that again please. After probably one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in Canada so far, we walked around Whistler in the daylight. We made our way back to Vancouver, with a Tim Hortons pitstop and a scenic stop at Horseshoe Bay. Unfortunately no fish and chips were inhaled but we walked along the water and got some pictures. In the evening we glammed up and went for dinner at Black and Blue. It is a steakhouse with a fancy roof terrace. We had deep fried mac & cheese sticks and calamari to start with. We both had skewers for the main course, mine were steak, lobster and prawn. The meal was to die for, especially the truffle potatoes. To say we have eaten well this holiday would be an understatement.
Our final day called for another delicious brunch. We ventured to Jam Cafe and filled our faces with eggcellent eggs. This was our only day with a bit of rain so we got really lucky with the weather during the week. With that said it didn’t stop us going to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I’ve been before so this was purely for my Mum’s entertainment. The rain and time of year obviously deterred a lot of people so the park was empty. It was a nice change from last time I went in August. We found this time of year is a popular time for construction. A few places were working on upgrades and renovations, including Capilano. However it didn’t ruin our visit. After catching the free shuttle back to downtown we shopped till we dropped. We were out all day and then met Daisy and Rachelle for lebanese food at Nuba. This place is probably one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver. The food is amazing. Mum and I shared La Feast which is a vegetarian mezze sampler. We also shared a halloumi dish. Isn’t halloumi cheese just the best?!
Time was quickly running out. My Mum flew back to the UK mid afternoon so we only had the morning together. We had our last breakfast at the hotel then made our way straight to the airport. It is always sad saying goodbye but I’m so glad I got to share one of my last weeks in Vancouver with my Mummy, showing her where I live, eat, work and sleep. It was action-packed, full of lols and very “interesting” (private joke, sorry).
After reading this back, I am now extremely hungry and salivating at the thought of those delicious meals we had. Thanks Mum for the best time, see you really soon.