This might seem like somewhat a memoir to read, so scroll if you like and use the text as reference! I want this to be able to remember a pretty special 5th year anniversary trip for us! We celebrated Jordan's 28th birthday while there and honestly just had a blast. I think it kind of took us coming home, watching the drone footage we got and pictures we took to realize just how special it was. We're beyond grateful to the people who made this possible (Mimi, Papa, Aunties and uncle who watched Luke!)!!
To begin, here's a little footage of our trip to Vancouver and Victoria, BC! We stayed at the Fairmont in Vancouver, rented a car to drive to Whistler, shopped, biked Stanley Park explored the Market and adventured as much of the Glass City as we could! This is where a lot of the beautiful footage comes from but definitely not all! The last 3 days of our trip we took a seaplane to Victoria and stayed at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort where we hiked, fished, explored downtown and the Parliament building and took a ferry ride. [more details of our travels below!]
Jordan and I had too much fun putting this video together, and the song is one we listened to in the car with the windows down while we had ocean scenic views to our left and mountainous views to our right. When we listened to the lyrics, we both agreed it had to be the soundtrack to a potential video recap.
Our first day in Vancouver
We flew into Vancouver from Seattle and were quite exhausted. The adrenaline was so high that it really didn't put a damper on our travels though! We made it to Vancouver around noontime and met one of the kindest people on the plan who offered to drive us into downtown where we were staying at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Seriously, I think I should have gotten this man's autograph, because after hearing how many houses he has around the world, he seems to have done pretty well for himself!
So we started off rather adventurous by accepting his offer and tour into our hotel. As soon as we were there, Jordan napped and I got a massage at the spa (HEYO). We had plans for High Tea at PM which we had heard was a MUST DO at our hotel (from a lot of people). This is kind of a funny story...many of you may think we're crazy. BUT I had gotten the vibe that "high tea" was this casual thing that hotels offered...like put tea and cupcakes out for you to sample or something. So I thought that's what we were doing! We arrived at 3 PM, were asked what kind of tea we wanted and then shortly after, we were brought several different sandwiches, scones and little desserts. Seemed pretty fancy, pretty neat. In our minds, we're like...this is complimentary of the hotel, yeah? Welllll.... go ahead and shake your heads at us (lololol). $150 later.......
OOPS. Shows what we know...that was an expensive surprise to begin our "nice anniversary dinner night". We walked around downtown after that, shopped, and attempted to walk off our deliciously expensive High Tea (which...was worth it, btw!) and then had our anny dinner at the hotel that night.
Our second day was probably MY FAVORITE (and Jordan's too) of the trip. We rented a car for the day and drove to Whistler. Ah. AMAZE. Can't say enough good things! And we were SO lucky, because it was a sunny day--clear skies so we could enjoy the ocean views on the left and mountainous view on the right. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is about 1.5 hours, and we stopped at SO MANY parks, lakes, overlooks, etc. on the way there AND back, that who knows how long it actually took us!? We took the Sea to Sky Highway and 1) stopped a a mystery lake 2) Shannon Falls (waterfall), 3) Alice Lake 4) town of Squamish 5) Whistler Village 6) went down the Olympic turn off and saw two BEARS!!! 7) Brandywine Falls (waterfall) where we met a couple who told us to go back 10 miles to see the train wreck 8) saw the historic train wreck (took a suspension bridge to it) 8) stopped at Brittania Beach (my most favorite drone footage with sea crashing into mountains/highway). I might have missed some of our stops, but these were all so amazing! We spent the whole day enjoying all the views with our camera and drone out. Whistler was BEAUTIFUL, but the gondola was closed for us to take, as well as most of the summer activities.
Our third day there, we had breakfast at our hotel (these were alll amaaaaaaaaaazing; such a treat) and met up with our tour we'd booked on Viator.com. Hey, tourists--that's us! We toured downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park (amaazing wooded park right next to downtown), went to an actually pretty intense (scary) suspension bridge called Capilano Suspension Bridge, went to the market and Gastown. That night, we rented bikes and biked (halfway) around Stanley Park (which is always my favorite way to tour a new city). We ended the night by finding an Italian restaurant to split a pasta dish in a fun area near downtown called Gastown.
Our fourth day there was the day we TOOK A SEAPLANE from Vancouver to Victoria. It was Jordan's birthday, and I honestly never got anxious! Ask me how...I do NOT KNOW. I think I saw it as a tour over Canada, because it was BEAUTIFUL. Like, the Lord and his creation is just awe-inspiring. Seeing the mix of ocean and mountains with boats and such a different culture than what I'm used to was just so neat for me. Meanwhile, Jordan is geeking out at being so close to the pilot in the 12-passenger seaplane that he can see the altitude and speed of the plane. Guys, like, the copilot seat literally had a PASSENGER sitting in it who got directions from the pilot on what not to touch and do while in flight. SO SAFE! Bahaha. But really, this was definitely highlight.
See Vancouver pics...Victoria recap and pictures at the bottom!!
We stayed at the Westin Bear Mountain Inn and Resort the last 3 days of our trip, and we absolutely loved it. However, I didn't quite realize that it was a good 30 minute drive from downtown to the resort, and I didn't quite realize that we wouldn't be in the relax-y resort-y feel. Guys, we were like GO, GO, GO/what can we see?!
With that being said, we SHOULD HAVE rented a car the time we landed from the sea plane, because it would've saved us expensive taxi and shuttle rides. And honestly, this was the one downer of our trip (and it wasn't huge), BUT we discovered that the main car rentals in Victoria won't rent a car to you if you don't have a credit card (which we don't). In the US, a debit/credit card will work, but not in Victoria! It TOTALLY worked for us when we rented a car in Vancouver, so this was a slap in the face!
We argued a second. Jordan was calm, figured everything out. Meanwhile, I cried, maybe pouted, as we waited for the bus to take us up the mountain to the resort. Looking back, it's really kind of funny. And we probably saw the prettiest pink crepe myrtles (is that what they are) while we were waiting at one of the bus stops--I calmed down myself and realized it's all about your perspective. Something beautiful came out of something I felt so upset about.
And then we made it back home and had a better game plan for the next day--a little more planning involved, but it worked, and we made it to our fishing trip and up the mountain to another waterfall location we heard about!
Aside from this drama, Victoria was BEAUTIFUL!
We'd say that it felt like it had a slower pace compared to Vancouver, which was a fun difference to feel. You can't find an unfriendly person around, and all the flowers everywhere are really incredible.
Our first day in Victoria
We flew in by sea plane (HBD Jordan!), took a taxi to the resort, ate lunch and set forth on a hike that was right next to our resort--SO BEAUTIFUL. It was just the right amount of burn and cardio to the summit with an amazing overlook of the mountains, city and sea. We got some amazing drone footage here!
Our second day there, we shuttled into town and explored all day. We toured the Parliament building--WHICH IS GORGEOUS, and got Starbucks (someone in the airport told me a Breve vanilla chai was amazing & it WAS) while we strolled around, figuring out what to do next. We saw cute little taxi boats that were taking people places, so we bought a ticket to tour the habor and take us to Fisherman's Warf where we at at food boats (like food trucks but BOATS), looked at boats and just relaxed. We taxi-ed back to the main harbor, strolled some shops and wrapped up our stay downtown by enjoying a nice happy hour overlooking the sea and boats riiiiiight before we went back to the car rental place to find out we actually couldn't rent the car we had reserved. HA!
Our last day there, we went fishing and came home with a nice-sized 20" ish salmon! I tried my hardest not to throw up so that Jordan could catch at least one fish, and Jordan tried his hardest to catch at least one fish before I threw up. Hehe. We succeeded! I sat still with my eyes closed for a good 3-4 hours and Jordan carried on conversation with our guide (womp womp). There would be more pictures from the boat if it hadn't been so unfortunate for me! But it was totally worth it--again, HBD Jordan! We ended our fishing day by exploring Goldstream Provential Park near our resort that had a really beautiful waterfall that you had to get to by walking under a highway--little sketch but SO WORTH IT. Again, some awesome drone footage!