Parlez-vous anglais?

I returned last night from a fun weekend in Vegas– details to come in an upcoming update post– and am already counting down to my next trip, which is in a couple of weeks, to Montreal and Quebec City.

Megan and I will be spending a few days in the province of Quebec, and I am so excited for everything that we have planned. I’ve been to other parts of Canada before, but I’ve heard that both of these cities have a lot of charm and fun things to see, and they’re supposed to have a very European feel to them.

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from Pinterest via flickr

I’m hoping to have time to buy a guidebook this week (I still prefer them to any smartphone app or website) and have been pinning pretty sights on Pinterest for a few weeks now. You can see my board by clicking here. I’m imagining there will be a lot of exploring with frequent stops at outdoor cafes, as a lot of the pictures I’ve seen show colorful umbrellas and happy people eating and drinking beneath them. Sounds great to me!

If you have any recommendations or helpful links, please share!

Victoria

On our British Columbia trip we enjoyed a short jaunt over to Victoria. Luke and I both loved it, and wished we had been there for two nights instead of just one. Unfortunately every guide book and website I looked at said that one night was more than enough time to experience Victoria. We really wished we hadn’t listened.

As I detailed in the British Columbia post, we took the ferry over to Victoria, which took 4 hours when all was said and done. Between the bus ride from Vancouver to the ferry port, the ferry ride and then the bus ride from the Vancouver Island ferry port to downtown Vancouver, it is quite a time consuming trip. However, it was neat to be out of the city centers and see how people really live and what the residential communities are like.

I was surprised by how big Victoria is. The tourist maps you get only show the area of the inner harbour, which is where Parliament and the Empress are located, but Victoria is actually much bigger. After checking in to our hotel on Friday, we got ready for dinner and walked around. We finally found a pub, and enjoyed a great meal there. Afterward we walked around the inner harbour, took pictures of Parliament and the Empress lit up at night and then got a drink at the hotel bar in the Empress. It had an African safari theme, and the drinks were delicious. When I’m on vacation I always try to drink the local drinks. At the pub I had a local beer and at the Empress bar I had spiked local apple cider.

The next morning we got up and went for a walk and to get breakfast. While at breakfast we decided to take a seaplane back to Vancouver. We knew the price would be much steeper, but it would give us more time in Victoria and more time in Vancouver when we got back. We also decided to look at it asĀ an activity, in addition to a mode of transportation, since neither of us had been on one. We stopped by the seaplane terminal and made our reservation and got the rate, nearly $170 per person for a 35 minute ride. Yikes!

Back at the hotel we packed up our bags, left them with the porter and embarked on a 25 minute walk to Craigderroach Castle. This also gave us an opportunity to see much of the city, this time by foot. We passed antique stores, a bakery, boutiques and many other shops. The castle was neat, but it was more of a big house than an actual castle. We were still glad we made the trek up there and saw it, though.

On the way back from the castle we grabbed a delicious lunch at a chain restaurant, the Cactus Club Cafe, grabbed our bags from the Empress and went to the seaplane terminal.

Though I was a bit scared at takeoff, the seaplane ended up being each of our favorite things of the entire trip. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and takeoff and landing were very cool experiences. I hope to be able to take another seaplane sometime soon.

Here are some pics from our time in Victoria:

British Columbia

This time last year Luke and I were in Australia for a great 10-day trip. The year before we were in Hawaii for 10 days. It seemed as though we had started a trend of taking our “big” trip in the fall, but this year we decided to mix it up and do a shorter fall trip and perhaps a bigger spring trip. So, we went to British Columbia for 4 days.

We arrived on Wednesday night and spent two nights in Vancouver, then went over to Victoria on Friday and spent one night. We arrived back in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon and spent our final night there.

It was a great trip. We made a list of all of the things we wanted to see in each city, and we were able to get to all but Grouse Mountain, which we would have needed another day to see. The fall weather and rain hindered us a bit and cut our walk through Stanley Park short, but it was nice to be in a place with seasons for once.

Some of our highlights from the trip were the delicious food at Glowbal and Italian Kitchen, Gastown, Robson Street and Yaletown.

Here are some pictures from Vancouver:

 

Beautiful fall colors
Granville Island Public Market
My first public market experience– so many great foods!
Luke and me at 900 West
Gastown
Yaletown

Then we took the ferry over to Victoria, which was a really cool experience, though it took 4 hours one way.

Our ferry boat's twin

 

Luke and I on the ferry

Stay tuned for details and pictures from our time in Victoria!