Here are some observations about Vancouver after visiting for 4 days:
The coffee is good
Places play a lot of Ed Sheeran and Bon Iver
Servers are either really nice or cold
Everyone has a beard
Every road leads to the beaches or the sea wall
My phone connects to Wifi everywhere
Sushi is A++++++++
Grocery stores are different but I can’t put my hand on why
Maybe it’s their layout
There is kombucha everywhere: at coffee shops, pharmacies, the market, all over
People bike and play guitar
The bus system is easy but doesn’t hit as many places as Toronto
People are more chill here
Everyone focuses on themselves so they care less about you. They don’t care about you at all
I got to Vancouver last night. Cara picked me up from the airport and brought me to her gorgeous apartment. It looks like a Renovation Hardware catalogue and like she never takes shits in it. I’m obsessed with it here. There are trees as far as the eye can see and it’s sunny and no one walks around.
What I did today:
Got brunch with Cara in Gastown at the Birds and the Beets. They had kombucha on tap. We became our egg sandwiches and chatted about our career goals over lattes. Then I split up from Cara and walked the seawall to Spokes Bike Rentals. I rented a bike and biked the seawall and Stanley Park until I got to the end and then I called my friend Bria and caught up with her. I returned the bike and walked to my roommate’s old neighbourhood then walked to the beachy area along the seawall again. I got lost so I chilled in a park for a minute and went on the swings and listened to Elton John. Then I found a ferry dock that was going to Granville Island. I walked around there for a while then had some wine at a cocktail bar by myself. I think I’ll walk a bit more, it’s still early and I’m young.
After the wine at Granville Island, I figured out how to take a bus back to Cara’s apartment. Granville is not really an island, you can walk there from Stanley Park. I was just too dumb to figure it out in the beginning. But the bus system was easier to figure out. I got home and was pretty tired so I took a little nap while Cara worked. We wanted to get dinner and it was getting late so she drove us to Kitsilano which is like fancy houses, stores and restaurants Central. We made it just in time to get sushi before the place closed. We got fried yams and rolls and the guys who worked there gave us this free avocado deal even though we were jerks for coming in so close to the time that they closed. Then we walked along Kitsilano beach and saw one of the top nicest sunsets I’ve ever seen. It was yellow and blue. We walked along the seawall around there for a bit then met up with Cara’s friend who is gorgeous, like Cara. Pretty sure she’s an Instagram model. She grew up in Vancouver and is very stylish. I can tell, even though I have no sense of style. We walked around for a bit and tried to get a drink on a patio somewhere but because of bylaws, they were all closing for the night so we just sat on this one patio and didn’t order anything. I bet the servers loved that. This lady and her friend were sitting across from us. She had a dog and they were drinking rosé (not the dog, he was drinking whiskey sours.) Right before we left, she just asked the server if he was single and when he said “yes”, she just gave him her card. It was bold and I loved it. We got pretty tired and Cara drove us home which was great. We crashed soon after and I watched Kimmy Schmidt and The Keepers.
Cara and I got up slowly and got brunch at this place called the Mezcaleria. I got scrambled eggs with chorizo, coffee, fried beans, guacamole and salsa and it was exactly what I needed. We were planning to meet her friend at Wreck Beach (the nude beach at the University of British Columbia) so we drove there. The campus is great, in a big forest pretty much with big ass trees everywhere. It’s not that walkable but Cara always finds the best parking spots. They’re usually reserved for staff or cost money but she hasn’t gotten a ticket yet.
We walked down a million steps to Wreck Beach and talked about politicians we hate. We got there and there were all these naked old guys playing frisbee. Heaven. I really loved it there. The tide was low and far away so you had to walk through all these small water beds. It was cool, I saw a dead crab in one. We settled on a spot, then Cara’s friend Andy came by and told us there was more room somewhere else so we waited for twenty minutes and tried to find her. Cara’s other friends, these sisters who designed swimsuits and one of their boyfriends showed up. He was fully naked and so comfortable. All their friends were fit and toned. Tan. Their bodies were perfect and their boobs were all small and perky, pointing towards the sun. Of course, they were the sweetest. I went swimming with Andrea and this Polish guy. I think his name was Matthias. He was born the same year as me and he lived in New York and directed music videos. We talked about what we wanted to do with our lives. They gave me good advice that mostly centred around taking it easy, not being too hard on myself and being nice to your life. They suggested I move to Vancouver because they loved it there. It was hard to argue with them while we were lazing around in warm water, tanning our boobs.
We went back to the beach and lounged and dried off. It was gorgeous out all day and everyone was jazzed to be there and be naked. The women’s breasts were all so nice, I bought a margarita freezie from a topless lady. I was refreshed. Cara wanted to leave because it was getting hot and I think she burned her undertit. We had wanted to check out the Museum of Anthropology because the building was huge.
When we got there, we went to this exhibit that was the coolest place I’d ever seen. It was this dark room with white walls and all these Japanese characters were falling from the sky. We sat on the floor in the middle of the room, thinking that was the exhibit, just the floating Japanese characters but we’re idiots. The sign outside said that when the wall catches your shadow on the characters, they explode into what they represent or something related to them. Like snow or thunder or mountains or butterflies. It was so cool. We just played nonstop in this room. We had a ball when these other people came in and saw us waving our arms on these characters and dying when they exploded into gold rain. I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun. It was a great exhibit and then the museum closed so we had to sort of rush out of the other exhibits. We were just so jazzed though and on an art high until we got home. I took an epic shower where I rubbed all the sand off my feet and legs and found the random spots on my body where I missed putting sunscreen on.
I got changed and put my hair up and went to meet my old coworker, Dennis, and some of his friends in a park. We caught up and chatted and went to sushi with Cara. I always feel a bit like worlds collide when friends meet but it was nice for them to see each other. Dennis is so soft-spoken and smart. We had some good sushi with tuna belly and prawn tempura and I had a beer and it filled me up. We said goodbye and Cara and I went to the grocery store and bought chocolate for dessert. We tried to watch War Machine before bed but I was tired and I fell asleep right away. I got into the spare room bed and crashed.
This morning, we got up slowly again and Cara wanted to do some chores so I came here to Prado on Commercial Drive and got an iced latte and a breakfast ham, cheese and egg sandwich. I’m such a bitch when it comes to breakfast sandwiches. I always expect them to suck and they never suck. They’re always delicious. I think I’m learning a lesson about breakfast sandwiches here. I’m really happy I got to come to Vancouver. My roommate was right about me liking everywhere I've been.
I left Prado after I finished the latte and bought a pain au chocolat then I walked along Commercial Drive for a while until I decided to go back to Cara’s. She had some errands to run so we drove to the nail salon store and saw all these gel manicure dryers. Then she went to the bank and I walked along the water. I met back up with her and we drove to North Vancouver. It looked pretty industrial up there but we were only in one area for that bit. We shared a huge vegetable sandwich and some blueberry and raspberry pie from this sweet little pie spot. It was Cara’s idea. And this cool boutique that I read about online, Kiss and Makeup, was right next door so we went in there and looked at all the natural makeup and sunscreen. I bought Emma this Gastown candle.
The stuff there was fancy and nice. Perfect for the people who live in north Vancouver, who I heard were pretty wealthy. Cara and I drove to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and walked over it. I was scared of that because it moved when you stepped on it and there were people all over but once you got to the other side, there was this cool rainforest walk that was less densely populated and more calm. It smelled like trees and rain and fresh air in there. Everything was dark green. I think that’s my favourite colour. We did a treetop walk along these smaller bridges in the trees and then a cliff walk along this huge wall of granite. It scared me.
Then we decided to climb Grouse Mountain (the Grouse Grind!!!) against the wishes of the park signs saying it was closed because of snow and rocks falling. Cara insisted we do the climb anyway and I was put off because she told me not to bring my purse and just to have my phone, credit card and water bottle on me. It was fucking brutal. Cara charged ahead early on (even with a bum ankle) and I was breathing very heavily for the first quarter of it. It was marked in quarters and also out of 40 checkpoints. So I knew I was screwed when I got to 10/40 and definitely thought I was going to pass out or die. A couple of fast old guys passed me. They were sweating and said “It only gets worse from here.” Thanks, old guys. I bet life’s like that too.
I made it up slowly but tried to stay consistent, mostly because the old guys behind me were making me feel like I was betraying my youth by being so slow. I was behind these two foreign guys and their Canadian sounding friend. One of the foreign guys was super slow and I loved him. The other guy looked like Josh Lucas and smiled encouragingly at me, which helped. We eventually made it to the top where the steps were covered in melted snow so you’d be climbing and splashing around in ice water. When I passed this waterfall, the overspray hit me and was so cold and refreshing and it smelled like clean snow. It was beautiful. Getting to the top was great too. Cara had been waiting a while but we bought our tickets down (thank God) and had mojitos and watched the foreign guys eat these massive burgers and half chickens. We stayed for a bit and took some pics but my phone died on the way up so I couldn’t see my epic step count that day. It doesn’t matter, I know it was monumentally huge.
We took the gondola down, saw some sweet views and eagles flying around like they were surveying their land. We went over the bridge to Main street where we got vegetarian tacos from Banditas. I got a hibiscus flavoured margarita. We were exhausted. We drove back to Cara’s place (she was so sweet to drive me literally all over Vancouver and let me live with her for four days.) I met her roommate who is an IT consultant and chatted about his job for a while. Then I crashed in her room. I woke myself up a couple times from farting in my sleep and Cara, very sweetly, ignored that.
I woke up today a bit sad that I was leaving. It was raining too, so like the rest of the weekend, the weather matched my mood. It’s always hard to leave vacay but this time was especially hard. I feel like I missed my calling except for with jobs, it’s for a place. They really seem to have a lot of their shit sorted in Vancouver. They seem happier, less judgmental and more likely to experiment with drugs. They’re like your cooler, more experienced, younger cousin who is more chill than you.
After trying to get a cab this morning, Cara just drove me to the Skytrain station in Olympic Village. I bought a ticket and it took me straight to the airport. I lost myself a bit in International flights and couldn’t find the Air Transat counter but I got through that pretty quickly.
I checked my bag and went through security in no time. Even their security is more chill there. I walked around and got Carl’s Jr for the first time (cheeseburger at 10am was a good choice.) I waited at the boarding gate and watched Kimmy Schmidt. I got on the plane and am writing this now after a pretty great and easy flight. I love those little chalky mints Air Transat gives you right before descending. We’re almost there now. I’m excited to get my luggage and go home.