My Vancouver Trip (Summer Edition)

Hey guys! Sorry for being MIA last month. One of the reasons I didn’t post much was that I went back to Vancouver! One of my good friends moved out to Vancouver last year. I went in February to visit her and decided to go back in the summer to see her again. If you haven’t, I highly recommend checking out my first Vancouver trip post because there were so many good food places we went to last time! My last post also includes more of the touristy spots whereas this trip was more relaxed. Let’s get into it!

Day One

The first day was my travel day. Like last time, I did a half day of work and flew out in the early evening. I know that things have been hectic at Pearson and Air Canada lately but I didn’t have too many issues. My flight out was delayed an hour but otherwise, I didn’t have any major issues. I didn’t check a bag so I can’t attest to any baggage issues. I will say they were very strict with the number of liquids I could fly with so I did have to throw out a few things.

My first evening was pretty chill. I just caught up with my friends!

Day Two

If you read any travel blog for Vancouver, you’ll see everywhere all the beautiful hikes you can do in Vancouver. But if you know me personally you’ll know I’m not the biggest hiker. I love being in nature but I had a few bad falls while hiking so I tend to stick to easier trails. My friend said I had to do at least one hike so we did Bowen Lookout at Cypress Mountain.

If you’re a hiker novice like me this one wasn’t too bad. Because it’s located at Cypress Mountain, which is a ski hill, you get to drive up a decent amount. The trail is around 4km and took us about an hour and a half. It’s pretty flat for the majority of the hike. To get to the lookout there is a series of steeper switchbacks. The path is gravel, so while the elevation is steeper at least the trail is not bumpy. Normally at the top, there is a breathtaking view. Unfortunately, it was raining the way we went so all we saw were clouds. But the rainy day gave the whole hike a sort of PNW-Twilight vibe to it.

After the hike my friend and I were hungry so we went to ZUBU Ramen. They had a deal going on where you could get a four-course meal for $30! The food was delicious! The last time I went to Vancouver I went to Jinya Ramen Bar. I would say that the Ramen was better at Jinya, but the whole menu is great at ZUBU Ramen. Either way, we enjoyed our meal at ZUBU.

We finished our Saturday night at The Cider House. I’m so sad this place is in Vancouver because I absolutely loved it. As a big cider drinker, I was in heaven. This place combines the vibe and style of a brewery with a bunch of delicious, local ciders. I got a flight and there wasn’t one bad drink. There are also a bunch of other bars nearby, so this place would be a great way to start the night. This place is right at the top of places I recommend going to in Vancouver.

Day Three

After having quite a few ciders the night before, my friend and I decided to take our Sunday a little slower. It was also a cloudy day with a few showers. We decided to walk from her place in Kitsilano to Jericho Beach Park and Spanish Banks Beach. It’s a nice way, where you can go along the shore or walk along the rich houses of Vancouver. Another fun aspect of this walk is that Jericho Beach has a bunny problem, so there are hundreds of wild bunny rabbits in the park. They are very used to people so you can almost walk right up to them and they won’t run away. Just don’t feed or touch the bunnies because they can carry diseases such as Lyme disease. But it was very cute to see.

For dinner, we decided to try out the infamous Tacofino. Having started as a food truck in Tofino, the brand has expanded and now has restaurants across Victoria and Vancouver. I love a good taco so I was excited to try the place out. It’s a fast-casual restaurant so we got the tacos pretty quick. I was a little disappointed, I won’t lie! Having seen the brand be featured on a bunch of cooking shows, I had high expectations. While the tacos were good, they weren’t as out of this world as I had expected. I think if you went to Tofino it would be cool to go to the original food truck, but I would pass on going to any of the Vancouver Tacofino locations.

We finished off the night by seeing The Lumineers! This was actually the whole reason behind my trip. My friend and I had seen them twice before and knew we wanted to see them again. It wouldn’t out better with our schedules to see them in Vancouver than in Toronto. And I have to say this was probably the best concert I’ve seen by them. It makes sense because the band said during their set that Vancouver has a special place in their heart, having been the first city they ever sold out a concert. If you ever have the chance to see The Lumineers I highly recommend it because they are amazing live.

Day Four

While my friend worked during the day, I did a little shopping around Kitsilano. One of my favourite stores is The Nooks. I mentioned the store in my last post because I bought a necklace there. I decided to continue the tradition and purchase another necklace. For my Ontario gals – they have locations here too! I would recommend checking them out. They are a physical storefront for small, local, Canadian brands!

After my friend was done work we decided to have a bit of a bougie night. We started with some happy hour oysters at Chewies. We decided to try all the oysters they had and we both preferred the east coast oysters. 😅 Then we decided to head over to The Keg. I don’t often go to The Keg, mainly because my parents prefer buying steak and cooking it themselves. But I had a gift card and thought going on vacation was the perfect time to use it!

Day Five

Tuesday was my final full day and the nicest weather wise so I was going to use it to my advantage! I spent the majority of the day at Kitsilano Beach since it’s right down the street from my friend’s place. It was so nice to just relax by the beach and read my book. I’m a big beach girl. Just give me a body of water and a book and I’ll be good all day.

We cooked our dinner that night but decided to finish off the day with ice cream. We went to Rain or Shine Ice Cream. The prices are a little bit on the higher end but the flavours are unique and worth the price. I had the Strawberry Earl Grey and it was sooo good. After we grabbed our ice cream we walked down to the beach and were able to watch the end of the sunset.

Day Six

The only bad thing about travelling to Vancouver is that you waste almost a full day travelling back. This time around I booked my flight at 1 PM so I was able to grab some breakfast before heading out. We went to Body Energy Club. They’re a vitamin and supplement store that was a great smoothie bar. We both got a smoothie bowl and it was delicious. It did a good job of keeping me full through all the hassle of going through security and getting on my flight. And just like that my trip was done and over!

If you have any questions about my trip, let me know in the comments! I have the travel bug and now want to go to so many different places! I’m already planning where I want to go next!

xoxo

Lea

My Vancouver & Whistler Trip Itinerary! (10 Days)

Hey guys! I know it’s taken me a while (aka over a month) but I’m here to share with you my Vancouver and Whistler trip details! I’m going to break down all the places I stayed, visited and ate and let you know if it was worth it or not. If you’re more of a visual learner, check out my Vancouver & Whistler vlog! Now let’s get into it.

Day 1

On the first day of my trip, I flew in. I didn’t want to take a full day off work, so instead, I took a 7 PM flight. I just left work a few hours early and then flew from Toronto to Vancouver. I think this is also a great option because I arrived at 9 PM Vancouver time. If you’re a night owl this means you can still go out. If you’re like me and struggle with time zone changes, this is perfect because I got in at a great time to just have a quiet night in but be ready for the next day.

Just wanted to note here that I stayed with my friend so I don’t have any Vancouver accommodation recommendations.

Day 2

I got very lucky weather-wise while I was in Vancouver and only had two days of rain. Unfortunately one of those two days was the first one. Since I was struggling with the time change and it was the beginning of my trip, my friend and I decided to have a lazy morning.

Our first stop idea was to go to Science World. Learn from my mistake and book in advance. We arrived thinking we could get tickets the day of to find out they were sold out.

Since we were downtown, I suggested we checked out the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens since it wasn’t far from Science World. I had read decent reviews online, with everyone saying just go to the free section. Well, we show up and turns out the free section was closed due to COVID-19. We decided to pay the $16 admission and were disappointed. The gardens aren’t very large and the information given during the tour wasn’t very accurate. If the free section opens up again I recommend checking that out, but otherwise, I would skip the Chinese Gardens.

For dinner, we went to Phnom Penh and it was fantastic. They serve Cambodian and Vietnamese food, and everything looked so delicious. Just a tip: we went at 4:00 PM on a Saturday and had to wait over half an hour for a table. So be mindful that the restaurant is busy and I can only assume during peak time there would be a long wait. But it’s worth it!

After dinner, we did a little window shopping and stopped by this store called The Nooks. It’s a space for small businesses to sell their goods. They have a bunch of locations in Ontario and BC, we stopped by the Gastown location. I got an Aries zodiac necklace from the brand Sol & Luna and I’m in love with it. I think it’s great to shop and support small businesses when travelling!

Day 3

On Sunday, we decided to take a stroll over to Granville Island Public Market. We first stopped at A La Mode to get some lunch. I had a croissant sandwich and my friend had one of their pies. We spent some time walking around all the cute little shops. It was a beautiful day so there were some buskers out as well. Before we left we grabbed some coffee at Blue Parrot and some fresh pain au chocolate at A Bread Affair.

We then took a False Creek Ferry across to Aquatic Centre Dock. We were then able to walk over to Sunset Beach, English Bay and then Stanely Park. At the time that I went parts of the Seawall were closed, but we were able to cut through the middle of the park. If you want an easy stroll I would recommend sticking to the Seawall, as the middle of the park does get a little hillier. I also recommend going up to Prospect Point and going under the Lions Gate Bridge. Both offer beautiful views.

Day 4

I was there on Family Day, which meant that my friend had the Monday off! To start the day we went to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. This was easily one of my favourite things I did while I was there. The main attraction is the suspension bridge but they have all these walking paths along with treehouses that you can walk around. If you don’t like heights you might not enjoy the park, but I loved it! During big holidays (such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day) they will have light installations you can visit at night. I would recommend going during the day to see all the nature. Another tip is that there is a free shuttle that will take you from downtown to the park!

One of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon is to go to high tea so I knew I wanted to go to one in Vancouver. We went to Adonia Tea House and it was divine. We picked Adonia because it offered a mini afternoon tea, which allowed us to sample the quality of the place. But the food was so good that I would recommend getting the full afternoon tea. Their tea selection was amazing. It happened to be sunny when we went, but this would be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon since we were there for around two hours.

We finished off the day by walking down to Kitsilano Beach at sunset, which was gorgeous. The views of the ocean and city at sunset are breathtaking.

Day 5

On Tuesday my friend worked so I had a lazy day. After she was done, we headed over to the Vancouver Art Gallery. On Tuesdays admission is by donation, so we didn’t have to pay full price! I’m glad we didn’t pay full price because one of the floors was closed and the other had a huge line, so we only saw two out of the four installations. If you’re looking for a rainy day activity I would recommend stopping by.

For dinner, we were joined by my friend’s housemates at Trattoria Kitsilano. On Tuesdays, they do $16 plates of pasta and omg their pasta was amazing. We all sampled everyone’s food and there wasn’t one bad dish. If you’re looking for good Italian food in Vancouver I would recommend it.

Day 6

My friend was working again so I had another lazy morning. I did stop by a little coffee shop called Their There. I had their chai tea latte and it was delicious. The coffee shop has a gift shop section and just has some great vibes – a very Instagrammable place (if that’s important to you).

In the evening we took a bus up to Whistler. We used two different bus companies because we couldn’t get the times we wanted at one company. We used Epic Rides and Skylynx and I would say that both bus companies were comparable.

We had decided to book an Airbnb for our stay. We were silly and didn’t realize we had booked a studio but it served the purpose for us as a place to sleep. It was on the more affordable side, especially considering it had a hot tub and pool. But it was located in Creekside, so we had to get a taxi (no Uber in Whistler) every time we wanted to go to the Whistler Village.

Honestly, I would consider getting a hotel next time I go to Whistler. It would be easier to just get an included breakfast instead of trying to cook our own. Plus we had to pay for locker storage which usually comes free with hotels. And I think we probably would have paid the same amount for a hotel compared to our Airbnb, so just something to consider if you’re looking to stay in Whistler.

For dinner that night we went to Beacon Pub & Eatery in Whistler. We had issues getting seated at a few places so we settled for Beacon and it was alright. They have a great patio so it would be great for apres ski but not the best dinner menu.

Day 7

Thursday was our full day at Whistler. I had decided to rent my skis instead of flying with them. There are a ton of different options to rent skis but I went with Whistler Blackcomb’s ski rentals. They have many locations and I was able to pick mine up right at the Creekside location. The customer service was great as well. My boots were too small on the first day so I went back and I was to exchange them for a new pair with no problem. They might not be the cheapest but the convenience and customer service are worth the higher price tag.

On the first day, we skied Blackcomb which I preferred over Whistler. Just based on my skiing ability and the conditions at the time, I found Blackcomb to be better. But if you’re going for more than one day I recommend skiing on both hills.

In the evening we went to Mongolie Grill. This place was delicious. It’s a build-your-own stirfry restaurant where you select your proteins, vegetables and sauce and they cook it in front of you. Pro-tip: rice comes for free, so skip the noodles since they weigh more and will increase your bill. We did have to wait a while for a table but it was worth it!

Day 8

Friday was our second day of skiing. We did Whistler, which I mentioned above I didn’t like as much. We checked out of our Airbnb and took the bus back.

For dinner, we got takeout sushi from Sushi Flamingo. It’s in a weird location but the sushi is incredible. It’s some of the freshest sushi I’ve ever had. It’s also super affordable. I’m unsure if sushi is just more expensive in Ontario or this place is cheap but either way, I was very impressed. A great casual sushi place.

Day 9

For my final full day, my friend and I decided to get our second ear lobe piercings! I won’t be tagging the place because I felt it was very overpriced and therefore wouldn’t recommend the studio. But it was something I had been wanting to get for a while so I’m glad I got it done. Side note, I’m planning on doing a piercing and tattoo Q+A soon since I also got a new tattoo recently, so stay tuned for that.

Since it was raining we decided to do an early dinner and went to Jinya Ramen Bar. Man, it was some of the best ramen I’ve ever had. We went there at 4 PM and the place was packed. My friend had the Tonkotsu Black Ramen. There was a special when I was there so I was able to get a Chicken Karaage Ramen. My friend had been to quite a few ramen places in Vancouver and she said this was her favourite.

Day 10

I spent my final day travelling. My flight was at noon so I had some time in the morning to finish packing and get breakfast before heading to the airport. I landed around 7 PM in Toronto. I probably could have gotten a later flight but I wanted some time to decompress and see my family before having to go back to work the next week. Honestly, I kind of wish I had taken one more day off or at least a half-day because the jet lag was awful the next day. Something I will consider next time I travel.

And that was my trip to Vancouver and Whistler! If you have any questions about my trip please let me know in the comments. I’m planning to go back in the summer, so if you have more recommendations let me know in the comments!

xoxo

Lea

What I Packed In My Travel Makeup Bag!

Hey guys! Today I wanted to share what I packed in my travel makeup bag when I went to Vancouver. I thought this would be great to share because it’s not trip-specific. This is what I would pack makeup-wise if I were going anywhere for more than a weekend. I tried to really restrain myself since I was flying so I was limited in space. I also put my makeup in my checked bag so I didn’t have to worry about liquids. Let’s get into it!

Before we get into the makeup I wanted to link my makeup case. I got this makeup case for when I went to Europe since I wanted something sturdy enough to fly and lug around for two weeks. There are some pros and cons to this case. The pros are that it fits a lot of stuff and it does a really good job of keeping everything safe. I was able to fit my makeup and skincare in this case when I went to Vancouver. I even put a glass bottle in the case and I didn’t break. The con is that all the extra protection comes with extra weight. If you’re a heavy packer like me and worry about weight in your bag, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one. But I own it so I use it. Now for the makeup.

My thought process, while I was selecting my makeup, is that I wanted a few options but the options had to be small and not fragile. I decided to bring two foundations. I wanted a lighter coverage foundation so I brought the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint. Then for my fuller coverage foundation, I brought the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation. Both of these foundations are longer-wearing and come in plastic packaging so I won’t have to worry about it breaking in my bag. For primer, I brought the Dr. Brant Pores No More Luminizer Primer. This primer works with both foundations and is so luminizing that on lighter makeup days I could skip highlight. I brought one concealer, my tried and true Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. For powder, I brought the Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Powder. Not only is this powder great but the square packaging means it fits nicely in the case.

For the face, I wanted to bring both powders and creams to give myself the options but wanted to keep things as compact as possible. For powders, I brought the Cover FX Perfector Face Palette (which is discontinued). I like this palette because it has blush, bronzer and highlights all in one palette. The shades match my skin tone well. What I also like is that it’s a hard case so the powders are protected. It also has a huge mirror so I can use it to do my makeup. I decided to bring my ELF Putty Cream Blush and Putty Bronzer. The containers are small so they were easy to pack. Then for cream highlight, I brought the Grande Cosmetics GrandeGLOW Plumping Liquid Highlight. The main reason I brought this one is that it’s the only liquid highlight I have that isn’t in a glass bottle. Then for setting spray, I brought my favourite Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray – it’s also the only setting spray I have in a travel size.

For the eyes I brought my eyeshadow primer – the Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Eyeshadow Primer. I kept my eyeshadow very minimal with just the Dose of Colours Baked Browns palette and a Colourpop Supershock Shadow. The nice thing about bringing a powder face palette is that I can use those powders on my eyes as well. For mascara, I brought my Maybelline Sky High Mascara. Call me extra but I did bring a pair of false lashes, the Colourpop Queenie Faux Lashes and my favourite Duo Lash Glue.

I kept my brow game very simple. I brought my ABH Brow Wiz since it’s my shortest pencil and therefore fits the best in the case. For brow gel, I brought the Glossier Boy Brow. It’s not my favourite but it is my smallest brow gel which is why I packed it.

For lips, I *tried* to keep it paired down. I ended up adding a few more things than pictured haha. But it to one of each category. So for lip liner, I brought the Steve Laurant Chic Lip Liner. For lipstick, I brought the MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy. The lip gloss I picked is my Maybelline Lifter Gloss in Moon. Then for lip balm, I brought my mini Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.

Finally, I brought all my brushes! It’s a little hard to tell, but on the top of the case is a flap that protects the brushes. And that’s what I packed in my makeup bag! Let me know if you guys have any questions about my travel bag and let me know what one product you always travel with no matter what. My next post should be my Vancouver trip recap so stay tuned for that!

xoxo

Lea