Natasha's Pick of the Week: Vancouver

This past weekend was a first for our little family. It was the first time Natural Urban Dad and I have escaped from left both our kids and the first time they had a sleep over at NaiNai and YeYe's house.  We headed off for a nice romantic getaway to the lovely city of Vancouver and they set up their sleeping bags in the family room at my in-laws place and had a camp out with their grandfather. To be completely honest, I thought that leaving them for the weekend would have been harder on me, but it really wasn't. They gave me enthusiastic hugs and kisses goodbye and then went back to jumping around on their new sleeping bags. The dog cried more the day before when I left her with my sister!

Vancouver was the perfect spot for us to go to for our first little getaway by ourselves. For one thing, we did not pay a thing for our flights or hotel thanks to all our unused air miles points (SCORE!), and we did not need a car thanks to the lovely Canada Line Skytrain system that runs from the YVR airport all the way downtown to the Waterfront Station and Canada Place. We stayed at the Delta Vancouver Suites hotel, a decent place smack dab in the middle of downtown and well within walking distance to everywhere we wanted to go.

Natural Urban Dad did his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia and so Vancouver holds a very special place in his heart. He has told me over and over that every time he is there he feels the pull of this city and its metropolitan essence.  Maybe it is the tides??

I do know what he means though, we are both Capricorns. We love the water and the mountains and were else (in Canada at least) do you get the majesty and tranquility of both?

We spent most of our time in the happening downtown neighborhoods of Gastown and Yaletown.  Good eats, good shopping and some pretty cool architecture as well. On Friday night we had dinner at Chill Winston, a restaurant and lounge/bar in Gastown that has a lot going for it. Great location, great food, cute servers and a super fun atmosphere with a very eclectic and diverse clientele. We walked around after dinner, checked out the view into the harbour and then found a nice little organic cafe and had some tea and very yummy key-lime cheesecake.

Saturday we SLEPT IN!! It was lovely! When we finally got out of bed and ready for the day we headed out to Howe Street upon the recommendations from the hotel staff and had breakfast at a great mom & pop restaurant called Scoozis. It was so good and quaint and just what we wanted and I am not exaggerating--THE BEST HAM I have ever tasted!! Check it out next time you are there.

We then headed off down Granville Street and ended up doing some shoe shopping at the Fluevog store. It was a nice score, because it just happened to be the weekend of the World Famous Fluevog Sample Sale. Natural Urban Dad choose some very dapper blue suede shoes (yes, he picked them all by himself) and I scored these babies!!

Next we had an awesome sushi lunch at ShuRaku. You have to go to this place, the food was amazing, the very boisterous welcome you get when you walk in the door, in Japanese of course, was a very nice touch AND the Chef made me my favourite maki roll even though it was not on the main lunch menu! After lunch we toodled around some more and browsed the many furniture and design houses we passed, always on the look out for great signature pieces for our eventual new house!

We did a loop back to Gastown and hit the main Fluevog Shop and to my utter surprise, Natural Urban Dad bought me another pair of shoes!! Seriously people, LOOK at how awesome they are!! CHERRY RED Mary Janes and the Fluevog name for them is "The Benatar". I HAD to have them!

We went back to the hotel for a quick change and 'nap' and then headed out again, this time to Yaletown, where we had reservations for dinner. We strolled down the streets in Yaletown and passed many a small shop specializing in various forms of personal grooming. There is the Bombay Brow Bar, the blo Blow Dry Bar, Frilly Lilly for all your waxing needs, NOIR Lash Lounge and so many others, offering every kind of grooming you can imagine, including the "manzilian" for the very brave boys out there! I guess in Yaletown, you must be rather hairless (except for the lashes) to be a hipster!

We found a great store on Hamilton Street called Bernstein & Gold and stuck up a conversation with the owner, also a father of 2 who has never been away from his kids. He has a very eclectic shop, selling everything from imported (and very cool) bicycles, to Italian glass chandeliers and bamboo tables. He ships worldwide too!

Now I do love me a good hat and could not resist heading into the Goorin Bros hat shop. I found a great modern cloche hat that will be perfect for summer and we also discovered that Natural Urban Dad is really not a hat guy.

Dinner was the highlight of our Saturday! We ate at the amazing Blue Water Cafe. I can't say enough good things about this fine dining establishment. For one thing we had an absolutely amazing server. She suggested the yummiest cocktail for me, the Jacob's Ladder, our first ever raw oyster tasting (not icky at all!) and an absolutely delicious white wine to accompany my halibut meal (The Noble Blend from JoieFarm Wines). The food was delicious, the atmosphere relaxed (we were in one of the private dining rooms, so it was a lot quieter than in the main dining room), the backgorund music perfect and the company rather sexy. It was the perfect date night and one that we really needed to have!

After dinner we headed back to Chill Winston because I really wanted to have their Banana Split feature dessert (hello coconut ice cream and salted caramel sauce!!). And see, it really hit the spot!

We walked back to our hotel arm in arm, I got a lovely foot massage, we watched Kill Bill Volume 1 on Tv (yeah, yeah, not that romantic I know) and went to bed a very happy couple ;).

Sorry for the super long post, but it really was a great weekend and I highly recommend getting away, even for just a night if you can. It does a marriage good!!

Thank you Vancouver! <3