Monday, March 18, 2013

Wandering Around Vancouver


I picked a cold, windy day to explore beautiful Vancouver. Figures, huh?

But I still had a blast. So did the wind.


I headed east towards that cool color-changing wall. Did I mention that it was windy?

Holy smokes, was it ever windy.

Even cars were afraid to brave the wind today!

Wind = cold.


My first mission today was to track down a Tim Hortons for some breakfast. I didn’t eat a ton yesterday as I spent my Sunday in, so I was excited to warm up with a delicious hot chocolate and a few donuts!

Without my cell phone to help me with directions, I just wandered until I eventually found one. Luckily, it was only about a mile from my hotel. I took the long way, apparently.


Vancouver is a city on the frontline of innovation, and their crosswalk machinery just proves that. I love all of these signs telling people how to cross the street! That little stick figure looks so peppy as he walks!

I’m going to cross. Hot chocolate awaits!


This giant cement track above me was for a tram that ran from the mall and hotel district to the airport about two miles away. I wanted to take a ride, but it wasn’t free. Wop wop.

Besides, I have Tim Hortons waiting for me. Better things to do, as they say!


Cue the angels’ chorus! It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve been able to experience all the glory that is Tim Hortons.

Please tell me that you’ve been to such a fine establishment. I know that they are even in some parts of the States, too! I squealed in delight when I saw one in Columbus, Ohio a few days later! Who knew?

Tim Hortons is like Canada’s Dunkin Donuts, by the way.


And here it is! Tim Hortons delicious hot chocolate.

What? What a second. That looks like some pretty weak hot chocolate…

If you thought the same thing, then you were right!

I ordered and paid for a hot chocolate, and then I was informed that the hot chocolate machine was broken. Awesome.

She tried to sell me a coffee instead, but I don’t touch that stuff. So I had to do another transaction to return my paid-for hot chocolate.

They were out of orange juice, too. What is this?!

So I got water. Not quite what I had in mind to warm me up after freezing all morning out in the rain, but I had to take what I could get in this situation!


In case you’re wondering…yes, this did make me feel much better.

Croissants just to that for me, you know? How about you?


Oh my. This was worth the walk as well. I sure do love donuts!

Or, at least, I used to love donuts. That’s not really a word that I use in my new healthy vocabulary!


I was still a little bummed when I left Tim Hortons without any hot chocolate.

And then, just a few minutes later, I walked past a McDonald’s. It isn’t a place that I normally frequent, but it donned on me that I saw them advertising their new McCafe drinks. If they have fancy coffee now, wouldn’t they also have fancy hot chocolate?

Victory! Indeed, they did! And it was good. It was very hot and helped to warm me up.


To escape the wind, I popped into a mall. You you remember seeing this in the far distance from my hotel room?

Canadian malls are lots of fun. Most of the ones that I’ve visited are mom-and-pop shops, and this mall was no different. They did have a Best Buy, though.

I found a bench and sat to rest for a few minutes. I was still trying to defrost at this point!

My goodness. Do I live in Arizona or what?! Such a pansy!


My main goal was to watch people for a while, but it seemed that the windy cold kept lots of normal people home today.


And then, in probably the highlight of my Vancouver explorations today, I found the equivalent of Homegoods/TJ Maxx in Canada! It was called Homesense, but the tags were all the same as my favorite store back in the States. I think this is their Canadian cousin.

I had a blast wandering every aisle in the store. This place was amazing!


I’m always magically drawn to clearance sections, but it was for a reason today.


These headboards are just awesome! And I immediately thought of my Mom’s new bedroom, which we will be redecorating this coming summer.


What do you think, Mama? Do you like it? Wouldn’t this be so pretty in your new master suite? Merrill can be glad that I wasn’t leaning towards the pink one…

I love that it looks masculine and could make him happy, but it has that cool button tufting that adds some femininity to it, too!



Since it was mid-February in Canada, it just made sense to me that the garden section was alive and well today. I put my doubts behind me as I walked around, enjoying the view.

Too bad that I have a black thumb and can even kill fake plants, huh? These planters could be stinkin’ awesome at my place!


The entire store was just incredible. I am only now realizing why it felt so big and plentifully-stocked to me…this was only home stuff! No clothes in sight! And the selection was so wonderful.

I wish that this exact store existed a block away from my house.


It’s always startling to me to see new construction. We simply haven’t had that in Phoenix for years! Obviously, Vancouver wasn’t hard-hit during the recession and has managed to hold on to values. And then some.

So it was fun to see a new condo building going up in this district of town.


I felt like I had snacked all day with donuts and hot chocolate. When it came time for a late lunch, I was more thirsty than anything. So I grabbed a watermelon smoothie. Which was so good!

It was purchased in a nice food court of a different mall. And this nice mall was a normal mall and provided endless people-watching entertainment!


On my way out, I stopped at a drugstore in hopes of finding my favorite candy ever. They don’t sell them in the States any more, unfortunately, so I have to indulge when I’m in Canada.

Luckily, at $4.99 a bag, I only indulged in one pouch. Boo. But man…I love these things!

Before eating, I put them in the hotel refrigerator to cool them down a little. So good!

My mouth is watering just thinking about them…


This was my view when I exited the mall…and that is my hotel just a block away! It was such a fun day exploring on-foot. And had the wind stopped, it would have been downright pleasant!

Tomorrow, we head back home, after a quick stop in Seattle to clear Customs.

Vancouver, I already miss you. And you, too, Reese's Bites.

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