Monkey Does Vancouver (Part Deux)

Nearly 2 years since our salmon fishing adventure, we finally returned to Vancouver for a taste of summer in beautiful British Columbia. We were blessed with some gorgeous weather (apparently it had been a bit gloomy before we arrived) and enjoyed a stroll around Stanley Park and Canada Place, where we experienced FlyOver Canada, this time with lil’ mum in tow. FlyOver was as exhilarating and magnificent as the first time and got me and hub hub all choked up.img_6299img_6305We also added Vancouver Lookout to our itinerary, which concluded all of the touristy stuff we could handle in one visit. One ticket gives you multiple entries to the tower so we were able to get both great day and night views (sadly we don’t have a proper camera at the moment so you’ll have to make do with my iPhone6 pics).

We visited various parks around North and West Vancouver–a little beach action at Ambleside Park and a tree-covered hike and scenic views at Lighthouse Park.

On another day we visited Whistler, BC, so Monkey can finally say he visited Olympic Village. On the drive up we saw rainbows and waterfalls and tried to imagine the area covered in snow (it was so hot and humid we nearly melted). We simply couldn’t get enough of all the natural beauty. Thank you Canada for being so lovely and welcoming as always!

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A Taste of France 

I wish I could say that we just returned from a cheeky holiday in Paris, but when you cannot visit the places you love the second best thing is to bring the colours and flavours of those places to your doorstep. I’m actually not a fan of macarons — the few times I’ve had them from Ladurée they’ve been ‘nice’ but still just too sweet for my liking. That said, I have a penchant for things in pretty packages so I was excited to discover that Ladurée had made its way to Vancouver, BC.

Although I was a bit surprised at the scant selection of sweet treats (other than macarons) available in store I was happy to come away with a beautiful box of chocolate-covered macarons, which have since proven to be worth every moment on the lips. I highly recommend these as gifts since we all know macarons don’t keep for more than a day and the chocolate-covered macarons travel quite well. They’re much less sweet than fresh macarons and the balance between the chocolate shell and filling is just marvelous! Can you tell I’ll be ordering more come Christmas?

Do you have a favourite chocolatier or patisserie? Another go-to for me is La Maison du Chocolat, but I would love to expand my horizons.

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Monkey Does Vancouver

Taro, aka Monkey, made a new friend while we were in Vancouver. His name is Jiro, which means ‘second son’ in Japanese. We spent most of our free time walking around Canada Place and Stanley Park while the weather was nice. On our last day, which happened to be the first rainy day of our trip, we visited Vancouver Aquarium (inside Stanley Park)–it was much smaller than I expected. We also went on a touristy (but worthy of your time and money) flight simulation ride, FlyOver Canada. We don’t normally do touristy things (although I do love tourist tat) but this was by far the best tourist attractions we’ve ever experienced. It was totally unexpected and we’d totally do it again. Every country should have something like this to showcase the best of what they have to offer!

A Taste of Vancouver

It’s official, I’m in love with Canada. Although we’ve only seen glimpses of the country, from the Northwest Territories to British Columbia, each region has it’s own unique expanses of beautiful, unaltered nature to show off to the world. And then there’s the food. Although Yellowknife was limited in what it could offer, the local fish and game more than made up for what it lacked.

Vancouver is heaven for foodies–offering some of the best culinary delights from around the world–especially Chinese cuisine, which some may argue is better than what you can find in Hong Kong or China. We certainly enjoyed our share of Japanese, Chinese, and Canadian cuisine, not to mention boxes and boxes of maple cream biscuits!

First stop: Miku offers amazing aburi sushi, or sear-flamed sushi. We all had the premium sushi lunch and shared a couple of starters. The salmon and saba oshi sushi were my favourite.

Next stop: Kirin Restaurant. A note of caution before selecting anything that is listed as ‘Market Price’ or simply ‘MP’. Ask what it is unless you want your jaw to drop at the end of the meal. We were so excited to try the local geoduck, which they prepared for us two ways (blanched with dipping sauces and geoduck porridge), but were utterly shocked when we received the bill. Try $140CAD just for the geoduck alone!

Last stop: The Flying Pig. Salmon fishing is fun but there’s nothing better than tucking into a lovely tasting of local salmon when you’re not able to catch your own. The Flying Pig offers much more than pork. In fact, it doesn’t actually have that much pork on the menu. Their poutine, aka Canada’s national dish, was also very tasty!