Vancouver, B.C.

Hi there!  Hi! Hi! Hi! :)

I want to start this post off with a little apology.  Majority of the photos that were taken in Vancouver were captured with my iPhone and the quality is horrendous.  I think it’s because my phone was on “portrait mode” which if the subject is not entirely still while the picture is being taken, it’s going to turn out blurry… so there’s that.  Sorry.  BUT, aside from the poor photo quality, goodness gracious!  This was an amazing family trip!

A few months ago, I had a sudden urge to go on a Disney cruise… and not just the easy peasy, catch the boat right here in Florida, go straight to the Caribbean for a few days and come back Disney cruise, because that would just be too convenient… <insert sarcastic voice here>.  No, we decided to be crazy and fly across the country to catch the Disney Wonder out of Vancouver!  We arrived 3 days early so that we could adjust to the time difference, which was actually really smart of us to do.  Then we were on the boat for seven days!

My next post will be all about the crusie but for now, I want to chat about Vancouver and how much I love Canada in general.  I think if I could vacation in Canada every summer I would.  The weather is incredible, the people are SO FREAKING NICE, and there is so much to do and see!  This was my first time in Vancouver.  I had did some research to see what the most family friendly places to see and things to do were and with three days I feel like we didn’t even scratch the surface.
IMG_1401[486]

IMG_1024[462]

IMG_2190[521]

IMG_0827[451]

IMG_0828[452]

 

IMG_1030[902]

IMG_1016[457]

The first thing we did was explore Stanley Park… isn’t that the first stop for everyone who visits Vancouver?

We visited the Vancouver Aquarium which was located right inside the park.  It’s always such a treat for the boys when we go to aquariums because they are so fascinated with all the fish.  To be totally honest, I don’t think it was as good as the Florida Aquarium which is located right here in Tampa where we live, but… that’s just my own personal opinion.  To me, it didn’t seem as clean and it didn’t have enough unique exhibits.  Overall, it was entertaining especially since it rained almost the entire day, so we made the most of it!

Next, we had to ride the train.  Bennett is currently obsessed with trains.  My mom recently found a bunch of vintage Thomas the Tank Engine figurines that I believe at one point belonged to my brother, and Bennett loves them!  He knows all of their names, we watch the Thomas movies, I even invested in a train table from Pottery Barn so that he could build tracks and store all the pieces in some form of organized chaos.  The Stanley Park Train was a hit!  The boys loved riding around through the redwoods and hearing the whistle blow!

After the train, we got some snacks at a close by snack bar, which there are tons of places to stop and eat in the park.  I wish the weather had been a little nicer for us because I hear that renting a bike and riding along the water is a great way to see the city and the entire park.  It rained almost all day while we were there so we were pretty limited on activities.  We did make it to the totem poles and the light house though!

IMG_1293[477]

IMG_1292[476]

IMG_1251[468]

IMG_1237[913]

IMG_1290[474]

IMG_1281

IMG_1295[479]

Facetune_26-08-2018-15-10-47

IMG_1284[470]

IMG_1239[912]

IMG_1241[467]

IMG_1288

IMG_1252

The next day we decided to be crazy and walk across some suspension bridges!

Oh, this was sooooo much fun! Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is AWESOME!  To anyone reading this, please go to Vancouver and go there!  The kids (and us adults!!) had the best time looking out over the canopy of huge redwoods and walking across the scary bridges connecting the treetops.  Truly an experience we will remember forever!

**Travel tip- if you plan to go the Capilano, get there right when they open.  We were like the second family there when they opened and had the entire place to ourselves it felt like!  So cool to see without all the crowds which were building when we were leaving.**

Later that day we drove about an hour north to the Sea to Sky highway all the way to Squamish where you can ride a gondola up the mountain to yet another cool suspension bridge and super fun play ground for kiddos!

You guys, go to Vancouver, B.C. when you have a chance.  It’s incredible!


More Canada Photos… Long overdue…

DSC05815

DSC05822

DSC05736

One of the “must-do’s” on my list for Canada was take a helicopter tour of the Rockies, and it did not disappoint.  We got to see an up close and personal view of the Three Sisters, we landed in a valley with spectacular views of the surrounding Banff National Park, and we got to see a birds eye view of a huge glacier! This experience was amazing.  Just, amazing.

IMG_6831

As we were driving through the Bow Valley Parkway there were lots of fun places to stop and sightsee and take some selfies.  Who am I kidding, the whole trip was so picturesque, I took way more pictures than I could ever put on this blog…

DSC05993.JPG

Another awesome thing we did was hike up to the lookout on Castle Mountain.  This was probably one of the scariest days of my life as after 3 hours of hiking, we were finally making it to the clearing at the top for the incredible view, when we hear the deepest, throatiest (if that’s a word), most “don’t mess with me, I will eat you!!” growl ever!!!  And…. we didn’t take bear spray like the gentleman at the hotel told us to… yes, we FaceTimed our families at the top of that mountain because we thought it was our last moments on earth.  Seriously…

On a less scary note, this moment, on top of this mountain will always be one of the most memorable.  It was stunningly beautiful.  If you are in the Banff area, check this out, you won’t regret it.

 Here’s a video of a stream of melting snow we had to cross to continue up the mountain.  It was by far the toughest hike I have ever done.

Thank you, Canada, for a wonderful anniversary trip!  We cannot wait to visit again soon!


Castle Mountain View

I’m about to blow this blog up with tons of photos from our anniversary trip in Canada (I know… it’s been a hot minute since that trip), so I thought I would tease you guys a little longer with a short clip of the view from the top of Castle Mountain.  Enjoy!


Canada Anniversary Trip :: Day 1

IMG_6856

FullSizeRender

IMG_6871

IMG_6806

DSC06071

IMG_6832

Lake Louise :: Holy moly!  This place was magical!  It was seriously a winter wonderland, something straight out of a disney movie!  Or The Revenant, which was partially filmed in the Rockies… but I will talk about that more in a future post because we actually went hiking in a spot that was in the movie.  For now though, I want to focus on the little slice of heaven from our pics above, Lake Louise.  During the winter everything is covered in beautiful white snow, but I hear (and see from the internet) that during the summer when the ice melts, this lake is the most breathtakingly beautiful blue color, and surrounded by the mountains… oh my!

Driving in on Wednesday night, you really couldn’t see a whole lot.  It was actually quite scary seeing signs warning of Elk crossing, and BEARS!!  The light from the full moon was only highlighting the tips of the mountains which surrounded us on both sides, but that was it, no other light source and really no towns or even gas stations in sight!

We stayed at the Fairmont Chateau (you can see it in the background of one of the pics above) and couldn’t have dreamed of a more wonderful hotel.  Everything was superb, absolute perfection.  I never wanted to leave!  And the view from our room… just look at the first picture on this post.

I can’t wait to show you more from the trip, but with an almost ONE year old getting into everything, it’s going to take me some time, so hang in there and I will post them as soon as I can!