A Weekend on the Run
Since moving to Whistler in October, we have left the village maybe three times. The odd trip to Squamish (the next biggest town) for a big day out at Walmart or to get fish and chips from the Wigan Pier (real place, pretty decent) and the night skiing at Cypress Mountain. Our daily life consists of leaving our home, twenty minute bus ride to the village where we either work or ski or do anything else that there is to do, twenty minute bus ride home. It’s lovely, but occasionally you do start to feel a little stir-crazy. You miss the potential to go out for Thai food at 1am, not that you ever do that because you’re usually in bed by 10pm, but you miss the potential.
Last weekend we skipped town and headed to the big smoke. The bus down to Vancouver travels via the Sea to Sky highway which takes you past snow capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, and mysterious islands; much like the m25. The sun was shining and I felt excited to be heading to a city with endless streets of shops and cafes rather than just a village stroll to explore. Whistler is an outdoors paradise but I’d been craving shopping, city slicking and the chance to explore new coffee shops (says the barista who spends forty hours a week in a coffee shop). We arrived in Vancouver and while James went off for a few meetings, I wandered the city through downtown to Gastown and east to Main street for independent shops and bars. James met me and we whiled away an afternoon, window shopping and eating, happy to be fuelled by the bustle of a city. The next morning revealed a glorious day and we wandered over the Granville Bridge to Granville Island (makes sense) to explore the markets and snaffle doughnuts. From there you could either walk back, take the bus or take the adorable, tiny False Creek ferry through the harbour. These ferry boats are very much hop on, hop off, probably have about a twelve person capacity and on a sunny day seem like the funnest way to travel. We took the ferry to Yaletown, soaking in the city skyline and passing morning joggers along the sea wall who actually made me want to jog again.
We spent the afternoon at Stanley Park where we rented bicycles, because all exploring is more fun on a bicycle, fact. We meandered our way around the park with Vancouver harbour on one side and English Bay on the other; a beautiful hour loop past fellow cyclists, rollerbladers, joggers and people just enjoying a stroll. You pass a couple of beaches too and with blue skies and the warmest weekend we’ve had so far this year, the summer vibes were strong. The next day we went to Kitsilano to explore the coffee shops of W 4th Avenue (I like coffee shops) and to stroll along Kitsilano beach, a gorgeous area of sand and parks, people playing volleyball, basketball, riding their bikes or just catching some rays. Kitsilano was effortlessly inviting and seemed like the sort of neighbourhood where you could enjoy weekend breakfasts and afternoon strolls.
And that was our weekend in Vancouver. It might sound like a routine weekend to many but when you’ve been living in a small ski resort for the winter, it was surprisingly refreshing to wander a city again. To walk into shops and see different clothes selling, to have countless options when it comes to eating and drinking and to pass people who aren’t all sporting a hilarious goggle tan. Ah variety, some would say it’s the spice of life.