8 Things I’ll Miss About Vancouver

Photo Credit: Jana Josue

We move to Victoria next week, and I have spent the last couple of months thinking about how excited I am about living in a new city, but also about all the things I love and will miss about Vancouver. (And because of this, there’s a really great giveaway listed at the bottom of this post!)

The Brit has been teasing me that we aren’t moving to Uganda, but he’s saying that as someone who moved away from home for university, moved countries once, and then cities. I was born and raised here and I love my beautiful city. I’m probably going to shed a few tears when the ferry pulls out of the Tsawwassen terminal.

We had a bucket list of things to experience and re-experience before moving, but time has gone by very quickly! So we didn’t get to all of them (although the Scots helped me check off a lot of my own items. That blog post is coming soon!)

When I started drafting this post, the list of things I’ll miss became incredibly long. The obvious things are family and friends – and thanks to technology, that isn’t really an issue. (But wish me luck and patience in the endeavour of teaching my mum to use Skype!) But it’s also places, things, and other relationships that make this city my home. So here is my list.

1. Skytrain and Canada Line

Yep, I’m going to miss rapid transit. I’m weird, I know. But I will genuinely miss being able to get to places that much quicker. Even with occasional delays And no, I’m not buying a car any time soon. So the bus to work it is! (I will also miss getting my daily Star Metro (so I can do my crossword) from the little old man outside the station. He is so polite and it gives me great joy when we say good morning.

 

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2. Sea to Sky Views

If you’re from Vancouver, you know the mountains mean north.* The northern view is beautiful whether snow-capped or green to the top. It was incredibly odd to not be able to see the mountains these past couple of summers due to the forest fires in BC (you can donate to the relief efforts here), but I’ll miss seeing the view on my Skytrain commute. I also love seeing the mountains when I fly home from somewhere. Such a treat for the eyes!

(*True story: I was walking Downtown last week and there was a family of tourists behind me. The mum thought they were walking north (they were walking south), so I politely chimed in and turned them in the right direction. I don’t have the best sense of direction, but I do know my way around my town.)

 

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3. Restaurants

Yes, Victoria has restaurants. Actually, there’s quite the thriving foodie scene that I look forward to diving into. But these are my ultimate Vancity favourites:

  • TWB The Wine Bar – My favourite wine bar in the city. They have a great happy hour menu that they call ‘tappy hour’, and some solid daily specials. The food is perfect for sharing, super tasty, and this place has become where I have my catch-ups with my girlfriends.
  • Nuba – Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, this Lebanese restaurant is for you. They do serve meat dishes, but my absolute favourite dish is the Falafel Plate with half-potatoes/half-brown rice and with spicy sauce. (It’s not spicy at all, it just has a little kick.) Also, the Najib’s Special (roasted cauliflower – SO GOOD). There are three locations, my favourite being the one in Yaletown.
  • The Distillery – One of my favourite spots for brunch! It’s also great for happy hour and dinner. Excellent value for money in a part of Vancouver that can be very pricey. They also make fabulous cocktails, and I was super fortunate to have the opportunity of a cocktail making lesson earlier in the year with their head Bartender, Roman. You can check that out here!
  • MeeT in Yaletown – All your comfort food staples made vegan. The MeeT Burger is fabulous and so are the fries! Another favourite of mine is the Lovely Bowl. They also have locations on Main Street and in Gastown.
  • Shebeen & The Irish Heather – As you may have read in previous posts, this girl loves a dram of whisk(e)y. Shebeen has an amazing selection of said whisk(e)y in their cozy snug pub behind their sister pub, The Irish Heather. I’m a fan of the man who owns these places. And if you’re curious about their whisk(e)y selection, check out my post from when they educated me on the Irish version of ‘the water of life’.
  • Belgard Kitchen – Another of my preferred Vancouver brunch spots (you can find my list here), Belgard Kitchen is also
  • Chambar – This is my favourite dinner restaurant. It’s just such a cool vibe, but isn’t pretentious, which is a big plus. They also do an excellent brunch and have lovely cocktails. The Mussels Congolaise is my dish of choice for dinner.
  • Nook – They also have a couple other locations in the city, but the Denman Nook location in the West End is the best. It seats maybe 30 people, no reservations, and they serve excellent Italian food. The short wine list is solid, and if you can’t handle waiting 20 minutes for a table, go around the corner to their sister restaurant, Tavola (they also take reservations). But Nook is worth the wait. especially if you get the coveted window seat.
  • Blue Water Cafe -One of the best seafood restaurants in the city, Blue Water is my favourite because it’s one of the first fancy restaurants I ever booked a work event in (many moons ago), and the staff is so lovely to work with. The Seafood Tower is a thing of beauty, but I don’t have a favourite dish. It all tastes wonderful and it’s one of the few places that I order something different every time. You have to or you’re missing out!
  • El Santo – This is a New Westminster restaurant, but it’s absolutely worth a 20 minute Skytrain ride. I’m incredibly picky about Mexican food* because I like it to be authentic. El Santo doesn’t disappoint and is everything you want Mexican food to be, but in an upscale form. The margaritas are on point, made on the rocks, and it’s very easy to have a few!

(*I’ve taken cooking lessons in Mexico and if I am making better mole or tortillas than a chef, there’s a problem; also what’s with wheat tortillas??)

 

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4. Craft Breweries

When I met the Brit, he was just starting his home-brewing (he now makes a fab IPA and and a lovely stout!) and we began our explorations of Vancouver’s craft beer scene. If pressed, my favourites of the bunch are Faculty Brewing in Olympic Village and Steel & Oak in New Westminster. East Van Brewing and Brewhouse are my votes for the best new spots, but my list hasn’t really changed since when I posted my favourites here last December. So get your hygge on and check them out!

 

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5. Our Balcony View

No word of a lie, the balcony of our box-filled apartment has the best sunset view. (Photos don’t do it full justice.) Actually, the best view in general – it’s right on the Fraser River and is one of the reasons we took the apartment. Sitting outside to write or eat dinner and watch the sunset with the Brit have been favourite activities and very peaceful, happy ways to spend time.

 

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6. Quiet in the City

Vancouver is an amazing walking city (hello, Seawall!) and despite the hustle and bustle, there are some lovely quiet spots where you can be with your thoughts on your own, or be very present with your significant other. The places I love the most are:

I’m not going to tell you why I love each of them, because I feel that these experiences need to happen organically. But let me know how you feel when you visit them. Some other great walking in the city can be found here.

 

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7. Children’s Wish Foundation

I have volunteered with the Children’s Wish Foundation‘s BC and Yukon chapter since 2013 and they are an organization that has touched my heart. I obviously don’t have kids, but I started volunteering with them at a time when I needed some purpose. My first event with them involved getting to wear my ballet tiara at a tea party and using my nutcracker bow tying skills for the chair sashes. And then I got to see kids and their parents have fun in the endeavour of raising money for fellow children and parents.

Needless to say, being part of wishes working wonders for sick children is a very heart full thing. I have loved being involved with them and hope that I can help them with supporting wish kids in Victoria.

 

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8. My Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it also takes a village to keep the adult that child turns into in one piece. My village is the Brit and my family and friends. But it is also the people I have surrounded myself with and trusted with my overall wellness and in my slow but steady trajectory into entrepreneurship. This is yoga teachers and other wellness practitioners, dance teachers, all of my mentors – both in yoga and in business, and blog collaborators. Also, my favourite tea shop – Teaja. (Thank you for keeping me fueled!) I love you and I am so grateful for you.

Having to establish new relationships like this in another city is a bit daunting, but I look forward to building my community!

Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Because I will miss my village, a lot, and wanted to do something for Children’s Wish, I reached out to a few people for what has turned into a FAB Instagram giveaway featuring local, female-driven Vancouver businesses. For more info on what you can win and how it will help benefit Children’s Wish, click here or on the Intagram image below. Contest closes TONIGHT (Thursday) at 11:59 pm PST.

 

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⭐️ IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME! ⭐️ To distract myself from moving chaos, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga, writing, and putting together turned into a FAB #giveaway bundle (valued at over $500!) – featuring female driven local businesses that I’m proud to support and will miss when I move: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💅 Signature Manicure @kaibeautylounge (feat. @ativoskincare) 📸 30 min photography session with @jjosuephotos 🥘 $50 to Bogart’s @hamptoninnvancouver for a pre-concert/game dinner ☕️ Tea and filter bundle from @teajatea + a sassy @paucreationscanada mug to drink said tea 🎨 15% discount code towards a beautiful print from @KarlieRosin’s website 🧘🏻‍♀️ @sempervivayoga gift card a 2-week unlimited class pass 💆🏻‍♀️ 30 min massage appointment with my RMT, Marina. 🌸 2 x tickets to a future @vancitybusinessbabes networking event 👩‍⚕️ A chiropractic appointment with my chiro @GenieveBurley 👜 To hold it all, my friends at @orbclothing have contributed a Laurel 2-in-1 vegan leather purse – I have one, I love it, you need one too. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ HOW TO ENTER: 1. Follow me @westcoastcitygirl and like this photo. 2. Tag a friend you think would enjoy this bundle of goodies. One tag per entry. Tag all your besties! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ BONUS: I will donate $1 for every tagged entry (up to $200) to my favourite charity, @childrenswishbc. I’ve volunteered with them the last four years and I’ll miss volunteering and them very much! So get tagging! (P.S. Wish wand is included with your prize pack!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A very big THANK YOU to all the businesses that contributed to this giveaway! 😘 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❗️Contest closes at 11:59pm on Sep 27. Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Sep 28. Open only to residents of the Metro Vancouver Area that are 18+. This contest is not affiliated with or endorsed by Instagram. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #VancouverContest #VancouverGiveaway #wishesworkwonders #babessupportingbabes #westcoastcitygirl #wellnessinthecity #citygirlgiveaway

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I will miss you, Vancouver! No, we aren’t moving to Africa, but it will take some getting used to not seeing you every day. Much love. xoxoxoxo

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

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