Tuesday, May 17, 2011


As I hinted in my last post, we went on an overnight getaway to celebrate the start of my 32nd year. My one requirement for commemorating this occasion was to use my passport. Given little time and funds, our options were limited. So we hopped in the car and went to...Vancouver!

B booked us a room downtown at the Listel Hotel. When we arrived he mentioned we were celebrating my birthday—and they upgraded us to a suite! But, before we could start on our weekend adventures we had to eat. I selected a very busy sushi restaurant as my birthday lunch of choice.

The menu was pretty overwhelming. Page after page that looked like this:

But we narrowed it down and I ordered some veggie sushi and a couple pieces of salmon. Have you ever had fried yam and avocado rolls? Yum!

B opted for the Unagi Ramen. It looked exactly like the photo in the menu.

Later when we returned to the hotel room, they had sent up a dessert and a birthday card for me. Classy!

Sustained by sushi, we rented bikes and biked around Stanley Park. This was the best part of the whole weekend.

No, we did not rent this tandem bike. That would be dangerous for all involved, including bystanders.

After biking, we were hungry again (no surprise there) and headed out for my birthday dinner at Cardero's on the Waterfront.

This was hands down the BEST table I have ever had at a restaurant. Sure, we dined outside in the rain, but it was covered and right under a heater so we were toasty warm.  The view, and the company, were perfect.

The food was decent, nothing to compare with the view, and my photos didn't turn out great. But I had spinach and roasted beet salad and fish tacos and B had fish chowder and a salmon sandwich. All followed by a slice of delicious white chocolate cheesecake that (surprise!) had three candles in it.

The next morning, I was further impressed with our hotel when they delivered complimentary fresh French press coffee and cream to our door upon our request.

And when the valet brought the car around he left us a peanut butter cookie surprise for our drive home.

But we weren't ready to go home yet. As if all the fun we had on Saturday wasn't enough, we celebrated more on Sunday. Starting, of course, with brunch. At Milestone's Bar and Grill.

Raspberry Mimosa? Yes please.
California Omelet for Me.

Shrimp Benedict for B.

We walked off brunch in Stanley Park before visiting the Sea Otters, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Belugas, Jelly Fish, and Two-Toed Sloth at the Vancouver Aquarium.

By this point we were exhausted but I really wanted to stop at Granville Island, one of the best public markets in the world (in my honest opinion), to ogle the fruits, vegetables, and head cheese.

Best thing I've ever discovered under a bridge: Granville Island.

Dragon Fruit—I first tasted this seedy deliciousness in Vietnam.
Rambutan—a spiny friend of the Lychee.


This counter was remarkably busy considering their product.
Look at these exquisite chocolates!

Had to have a little snack before hitting the road.

All-in-all, a birthday weekend to go down in history. What is your best birthday memory?