On Saturday morning I got to officially "meet" both Amber and Anais, who like Lisa I have been reading their blogs for over three years and already feel like we are all friends. We ate a delicious brunch at a fun Italian place called Scoozi.
The rest of the day was spent exploring Vancouver, first on bikes in Stanley Park and then all around the city on a open top tourist bus.
The night ended with yet another Italian restaurant called Italian Kitchen with the best possible bruschetta sampler with pesto, chickpea and a traditional bruschetta.
On Sunday I got coffee with Amber and Lisa before they headed up to the Sunshine Coast. Amber recommended doing a hike that she said was a very Vancouver thing to do. It was called Grouse Mountain and it's only 2.9 kilometers up and you take a gondola down the mountain. However that was easily the hardest 2.9 miles I've ever done. It was basically really steep stairs the whole way up and it took almost 2 hours to do. Give me an 11 mile hike any day! About halfway up Eric and I did start to plot exactly what we will make Amber do when she comes to Boston, and it's not going to be easy :) Seriously it was a really cool hike though and I'm glad we did it.
The other cool thing about this hike was that even though it was about an 80 degree day, there was snow on the top of the mountain!
Ever since I studied abroad in Australia, people have been telling me that Vancouver is like Sydney. I was eager to find out if I agreed on this trip and I think in the end I can definitely see the similarities. They are both pretty clean cities, right on the water with cool harbor areas. They also both seem to have an emphasis on outdoor activities like biking, hiking and going to the beach (though Sydney has better beach weather and much more impressive beaches). Canada Place even resembles the opera house in Sydney.
After spending a few days in Canada and also attending Amber's wedding with many Canadians, I would also say that the Canadian culture (at least in BC) reminds me a lot of the casual, laid back atmosphere that exists in Australia. So, of course, I love it!
Stay tuned for my recap of Amber's wedding and the rest of our trip :)
Have you ever been to two cities that remind you of each other?