VANCOUVER SUMMER & WINTER RECOMMENDATIONS

Hi everyone!

Long time no blog post. But I’m back (temporarily LOL) with a very highly requested post on what to do/eat/etc in one of the best cities in the world… Vancouver!! If you don’t already know, yours truly grew up in Vancouver and therefore knows all the ins and outs to that city (just kidding, I left when I was like 18 – but I do have friends that know the ins and outs to that city…) so together, these are my personal recommendations (and my really good friends Yannis & Eric’s recommendations).

Hopefully this blog post can help you plan your trip if you’re ever planning on visiting or this can help you plan WHEN to go. In general, I recommend going to Vancouver in the summer time (if you can only go one time in the year) because Vancouver rains about 2/3 of the year and most of that will be in the winter. Unless your purpose is to ski/snowboard, summer is definitely a better choice to visit the city itself.  But of course, if you can afford the time and $$$, I would definitely recommend both summer & winter. Either way, I’ve separated this list to Summer and Winter so you can plan your activities and food schedules accordingly.

Without further ado, here goes:

PS: Whatever is in bold is my FAVOURITE and things you should NOT miss!!!!

Vancouver/Nearby Activities

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge
  • Biking along seawall / Stanley Park – This is my FAVOURITE activity by far in the summer!!! This is where you should rent your bike (the other places are really expensive)
  • Fireworks – I love when it’s fireworks time in Vancouver!! I spend the whole day at English Bay (that’s where the fireworks will be) and hog my spot until the fireworks come around. Check around for their dates! This is also completely free (obviously because economics taught us this is a public good)
  • Richmond Night Market – usually on Friday & weekends, go for Asian street food & cheap goods! If you’re from Toronto – this is better than the ones that are being hosted!
  • Granville Island
  • Improve Theatre (never tried but my friend Eric recommends it!)
  • Vancouver Theatre Sports League (recommended by Eric as well!) These are cheap on late nights or Sunday nights

 Outdoor Activities

  • Hiking (hikes below)
  • Paddle boarding (check it out on Groupon for deals!)
  • Jet skiing  (check it out on Groupon for deals!)
  • Cultus Lake Waterpark
    • There’s also a lake there if you want to spend the day
    • You can also go camping in this area!
  • Beaches
    • Rec Beach (by UBC)
    • English Bay (and all the surrounding beaches: 1st beach, 2nd beach…)
  • ATV (Whistler)
  • Moped around the city (only $22 an hour at some places)
    • one of my favourite activities as well! Made me feel like Lizzie McQuire 😉
  • Take a picture at the Steam Clock in Gas Town!

 Over Night Trips (most of these you can also do in just 1 day)

  • Vancouver Island
    • Visit Victoria – the capital of BC!
  • Cultus Lake (for camping)
  • Tofino (very north of Vancouver Island) to go surfing & camping!
    • however, this is REEEEEEEALLLLLYYY far from Vancouver. If you don’t have time/if you’re not a fan of camping/surfing, then this might not be worth it for you.
  • Whistler – just because you’re there in the summer doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do!!!
    • Ziplining – home of the longest zipline in North America – I did it myself and it was one of the most thrilling experiences
    • Bungee Jumping
    • ATV

 Night Life

lol tbh I don’t go out anymore but my 19 year old self gives you the following recommendations:

  • Celebrities on Tuesdays (LOOL this was my favourite place to go when I was 19)
  • All the bars/clubs on Granville Strip including:
    • Venue
    • Republic

Not gonna lie this portion kinda sucks just because it could either be outdated or because I’m just a grandma now =)

Hikes

Some of my favourite must-do hikes for the summer!

  • Joffre Lake (moderate level) – PS this one is near Whistlerish
    • If I had to pick one hike in Vancouver this would be it
  • The Chief (moderate – more difficult) – this one is before you reach Whistler (in Squamish) but still quite a drive from downtown
  • Quarry Rock (easy) – this one has a great view and it’s situated near Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver so if you’re planning on being in this area I would recommend kayaking this day and visiting those other places as well!
  • Garibaldi (never done this one but heard it was difficult)
  • Grouse Grind (this isn’t really a hike – it’s basically just stairs and a direct route to the top of the mountain but it’s definitely a work out!)

 Breakfast/Brunch

  • Catch 122
  • Medina Café
  • The Oakwood
  • Jam Cafe
  • Yolks
  • Bells & Whistles
  • Water Street Cafe

 

 Happy Hour

  • JOE FORTES – $1 oysters and their lobster roll is to die for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fun fact: the HSM cast loves coming here
    • You better go here. this is the best place in the world
  • Ebisu – $1 oysters, Izakaya-type food, and their sushi is also amazing!
  • Nightingale
  • Steamworks
  • Coast
  • Fanny Bay Oyster

Rooftop Patios

  • Reflections
  • Pier 7
  • The Roof

 Sushi/Japanese

  • Momo sushi (downtown) (affordable & big sashimi pieces!)
  • Sushi California (several locations)
  • Miku (and other sushi restaurants owned by the same parent company). If you’ve been to Miku in Toronto, the Vancouver one is where it was first created. Also try their other sister restaurants such as
    • Minami
    • (that ramen place)
  • Victoria Sushi (far from Vancouver but worth the trek)
  • Green Leaf Sushi
  • Ora Sushi
  • Poke Time
  • Black Rice
  • Gami Sushi

Korean

Thanks Yannis for these recommendations!

  • House of Tofu
  • Big Chicken Town
  • Sura
  • Sooda

Other Asian Food

  • Phom Pen (Cambodian Food) –
    • they have “the best chicken wings in town” (but in my opinon I like this other place way better which is right below)
  • Truong Thanh
    • This 24 hour Viet restaurant is actually one of my favourites in Vancouver – their BBH is amazing and also their chicken wings are better (IMO)
  • Japadog – Japanese hot dog: try their BUTTER FRIES (I’m drooling as I’m thinking about it). Fun fact: there were line ups for at least 6 blocks during the 2010 Olympics)
  • The Asian Heritage Eatery
  • Boiling Point
  • Top Shanghai Cuisine Restaurant
  • Banana Leaf
    • One of my favourite Malaysian restaurants!

Dessert

  • Lucky Donuts
  • Cartem Donuts
  • Passion8 (loooove their mango shaved ice!)
  • Honey & Salt
  • Dragon Ball Tea House
  • Breka Bakery
  • Milk Cow

Other Food

  • Negebuayo
  • The Sand Bar
  • Rhinofish
  • Crab Park Chowdery
  • M Cafe
  • Steveston Pizza Company
    • This is where I got that crazy pizza on my Instagram. I got so many questions about it and this is where it’s from!

 

WINTER RECOMMENDATIONS

Activities

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge (they decorate it with Christmas lights during this time of year!)
  • Light Show (in the past there has been a couple: “Enchanted” and “Glow” – not sure which one, if any, will come back!)
  • Stanley Park (there is usually a light show here as well, really pretty and you can also ride a Christmas train)
  • Christmas Market (last time I went it wasn’t thaaaaaaaaaaaat great – if you’re from Toronto, the one in the Distillery is way better but if you’re running out of things to do or you want to do something Christmas-y, there you go)

 Winter Activities

  • Skiing/snowboarding in Whistler (I assume that’s why youre in Vancouver in the winter??)
  • If you cant make Whistler, go to Cypress or Grouse – they’re closer and will still be better than your mountains!!!!!!!!!

 

I hope this list was helpful!!! I will continue to come back and modify it. If you’re from Vancouver and you think there’s something worth putting on here that I’ve missed please let me know!

Most importantly… enjoy your trip!!!! ❤

Love,
Lisa

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Andrews’ Scenic Acres

To celebrate my 5 year friendaversary with Kristina, we decided to actually do something for the day rather than our usual pig out & drink out #IMadeThatUp #ImSoProud. I stumbled upon pictures of the flower field at Andrews’ Scenic Acres and decided that would be the perfect place to have our Sunday Funday. Anyway, after last week’s failed trip to a lavender farm and going to Scarborough Bluffs instead, I learned my lesson and decided to call ahead of time JUST TO MAKE SURE they’re opened and the flowers were still there. Unlike lavenders, these flowers are thankfully still in season (honestly how does anybody except some plant expert know what is in season and what is not?! LOL #NotMe) and the sun’s still holding up so I decided to drive us ALLLLLL THE WAY TO MILTON (reminds me of driving to Western which I should have done this weekend to go to HOCO… sigh…)

The farm also has a corn field which means you also have the option of picking corn. I wanted to do this SOOO BADLY (FYI I love corn I don’t know if you wanted to know that but I’m telling you anyway) but when we got there a lot of the corn were dead. You can tell that it’s been cooked by the sun :'(. I was also planning to buy it but it was soooo expensive like $1 each like honey, I usually buy mine for like 4 for $1 at Kingsfarm in Vancouver. Anyway, wow, this is turning into a corn rant. We didn’t walk out empty handed though because we took pictures instead 😉 #SeeWhatIDidThere.

After finishing up at the corn farm we walked back to the flower field to take pictures. We really wanted someone to take one of the two of us so (NO SHAME) we walked ALL THE WAY across the field literally hunting someone down just for a picture.

my beautiful bestie ❤

Hope you all had a nice weekend! Definitely check this farm out when you get the chance… it’s the perfect summer-fall transition activity 🙂

Love,
Lisa

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MUST DO – SURFING IN PORTUGAL

Got a couple of questions after posting about surfing on Instagram so I thought I’d make a post! Granted, I was definitely not the person who discovered this (thank you Alex, Emily W, Emily C, and Callie for the suggestion and Monisha for booking for us!!!) so I’m just here to relay the message so that all humans on earth can enjoy approximately $20CAN (it’s actually 15 euros) worth of 2 hours of surf rentals and lessons!!! (If you know something better and you’re hiding it from the world – I hate you.)

PS. Surfing in Tofino (Canada) is about $100 for the exact same thing so yes, this is a big deal.

HOW AND WHERE TO BOOK

Click here to Cascais Surf School & Camp’s website to see their rates and follow their instructions (in other words simply send them an email and see when they’re available!). I also realized after visiting the page that we got our rates even cheaper because we were students on exchange (#Erasmus LOL) but it’s cheap nonetheless!!

Not to boost their ego but they also have a 5 star rating on tripadvisor so…

WHERE IT IS…

The beach itself is not in Lisbon exactly – you have to train your ass to the beach. I’ve even left a few instructions:

#1 – Get from wherever you are (Airbnb, Hostel, Hotel, the street, the bush, etc) to the station: Cais do Sodré 

tip: I would Uber there because Ubers in Lisbon are dirt cheap especially if you split with people. If not, WALK. It’s a nice scenery (not that I would know with all the Ubers but from what I’ve seen around and heard from other people…) and plus the city is not that big!

#2 – Buy a round-trip train ticket to Carcavelos (unless they’ve changed the destination, but this is where we were told to go)

From there, the beach is about a 5 minute walk!

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

Instructors were absolutely amazing (as you can see from their trip advisor review). They were extremely helpful and they don’t give up on you – EVEN IF YOU’RE GIVING UP ON YOURSELF LOL. They also learn your name within the first 5 minutes and they say it with their cute Portuguese accents (Liiiizaaaa!!!!). Which also means that if you screw up they yell your name in the middle of the ocean #NoLie #ButInACuteAndFunnyWay.

eg. *me trying to hop on my surfboard*
“NOOOO LIZZZAAAAAAA, THERE ARE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU”

It was really fun (how basic can that statement be) – definitely lots of work but so worth it! 1000/1000 would recommend to friend. And non-friends.

post surfing sangria!! ❤
“Gourmet burger” with out the bread and an egg?? #portugesestyle LOL

FAQ (that I made up by myself so who knows)

ISN’T IT COLD?

Yes m’dear. The water is cold especially if you’re not going in the middle of summer in 30 degree weather. But have no fear, wet suits are here!! No lie, these wet suits will keep you so warm that you won’t even notice the coldness of the water.

ISN’T IT TIRING?

Also a yes. The three of us were sore for two days afterwards. One of us was sore all over, one of us was sore upper body, and the other one was sore just in the shoulders (not pointing at who is who ;D). So it really depends on who you are but don’t underestimate the work out that this gives you!

WHAT TO WEAR/BRING

Wear your bathing suit underneath already. Do not think to change into your bathing suit because the minute you get to that parking lot they already have wet suits and surfboards ready for you.

Bring:

  • flip flops
  • towel
  • SUNSCREEN
  • Hair tie (I was originally going to say for girls but with all the man-buns these days who knows)
  • GREAT ATTITUDE 😀 (I sound like a mother)

That’s about it, folks!

Hope y’all have a great time surfing in Portugal like we did!!!!

Love,

Lisa

Annabelle

HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN!!! 🙂

… not like I have anything to be excited about because I have an exam on Nov. 1. First of all, who in the world makes an exam on a Saturday?! Second of all, why would you make it during (mini) reading break?! And lastly, DO YOU NOT CARE ABOUT HALLOWEEN?! CANDY?! COSTUMES THAT BARELY COVER ANYTHING?!??!!?! LIFE?!?!?!?!??!?!?! So thanks to my exam, I probably won’t go out… #WhoAmIKidding #IHaveToGoGetFreeCandy #FreeDrinks #LetsSeeHowMuchIGetDone

#DOUBLEYOUTEEEFF

Speaking of Halloween, I got dragged to watch Annabelle the other day. I wanted to watch Gone Girl but noooooooooooo, since my friend’s seen it already, we just had to watch Annabelle. More like I “watched” Annabelle because the entire time I was like the girl on the left:

The movie was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life besides my own face in the morning when I don’t get enough sleep #DramaQueenHour. And I didn’t even watch most of it. But the part I did watch scared the crap out of me to the point that I didn’t want to leave my bedroom in the middle of the night to pee because I was scared Annabelle was waiting for me outside #YouNeverKnow. I swear I’ve been hearing music playing (and my roommate’s been hearing humming which is even scarier #WTF) outside randomly in the last couple of days and I promise you that it’s Annabelle. Despite losing sleep and looking over my shoulders every few seconds, I thought it was pretty worth it watching in the theatres. I think there’s just something about watching a scary movie with a bunch of other people that makes it a bit more bearable. At one point I legit thought I had to leave because I couldn’t take it anymore but people started to laugh at how ugly Annabelle is so it made it ten times better to continue watching the hideous beast haunt everyone.

(I wanted to insert a picture of Annabelle but I don’t want that image haunting this blog so you’re just gonna have to google it on your own #OrWatchTheMovie #AndLoseSleep)

ANYWAY, on a much more positive note, ever since torturing myself by watching Annabelle, I’ve been trying to stay happy by watching funny videos/reading funny posts. Before I share the funniest thing I’ve come across this week, I just gotta say that my roommate Michelle advised me not to share this on my blog because she thinks that I’m gonna lose friends readers… but… … (you know what I’m gonna say… ) #YOLO (and there it is). Without further ado (btw it’s ado nawt adieu #GrammarLessonOfTheDay #LisasPetPeeveOfTheDay)… I present to you the post (more like the comment) that made my entire week life.

okay wait I know I said without further ado but I’m getting a bit self-conscious sharing this now because half the people I showed already didn’t think it was that funny but if you also thought it was also very funny please let me know so we can be friends (or even better friends).

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the link will take you here

That. Comment. Was. Gold.

It made me laugh so hard to the point that Michelle thought I stopped laughing but really I was just gasping for air. Shoutout to the 75 other people who thought this was hilarious (we can all be friends). Honestly, one of the most underrated comments in the history of humans #DramaQueenHour.

If you also thought that was the best thing you’ve ever seen in your life don’t forget to let me know so I can rub it in Michelle’s face 😉 #Thanks

Love,
Lisa

PS. Shoutout to Kevin who really motivated me to post ASAP no matter how random my topics can get 🙂

Hello, 2nd/3rd Year!

HI!!!!

I’m back! #YAY #ForSome. My blog is probably the closest thing I’ve come to love in the past 1/2 year so the fact that I didn’t write in it for the past month(s?) feels almost like abandoning my only boyfriend #DramaQueenHour #NotLikeIWouldHave2BoyfriendsAtOnce #ButStill #LetsWorryAboutGettingJustOnePlease.

Since it’s been so long since I’ve posted and the trees are turning colour now, please forgive me if I’m a little rusty #WhoGotThat. The reason why I stopped posting in the first place was because my family and I went on a few getaWEIS to Florida and the Caribbean before my brother and I headed back to school. Since the internet on the cruise costs the equivalent of a brand new iPhone 6 (not even an understatement…), I decided to postpone blogging.

(preview of what the next #FBF post would be 😉 #StayTuned)

After weeks of pigging out and tanning in Saint Martin’s, I headed back to London where I was welcomed by school work and a new job. I feel like those two things alone basically explain why I’ve been so MIA lately – working 15 hours on top of a full course load ain’t easy (for me, anyway. I don’t know how some of the girls at work do it #WonderWomen #AndThenTheresMe).

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying 2nd/3rd year so far! #HopefullyIDidntJustCurseMyself – Side note: I never know how to respond when people ask me what year I’m in because I don’t even know myself… I mean, technically this is my third year in university but this is actually only my second year here… #Awks. What I’ve actually been doing is asking them what year THEY’RE in and whatever is closest I say that.

eg.

Me: Oh cool! What year are you in?
Him/Her: Second
Me: OMG SAMEEEEEEEEE!!!

or

Me: What year are you in?
Him/Her: 4th, what about you?
Me: 3rd!!! 🙂

Maybe I shouldn’t have posted that on my blog because now I’ve exposed all my secrets… #OhWell

The past month has been quite eventful to say the least:

1. ATTENDED MY FIRST BLOCK PARTY

Hello again, Martin Garrix!

2. DYED MY HAIR – THANKS CINDY

While most of us spent our childhoods watching Disney movies, my girl Cindy spent most of her childhood watching YouTube tutorials on how to do hair. I guess it pays off because LOOK AT MY HAIR THAT WAS DONE BY HER – #HairGenius

(PS. I’m totally going to force her to watch HSM and all her Disney movies from now – obviously #WhatDidYouExpect #ItsForHerOwnGood)

3. WENT TO MY FIRST HOMECOMING

… even though I left early to go to work #Why

4. REUNITED WITH MY CAISA FAMILY

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🙂

Annual “first CAISA Bar Night” Picture:

2013:

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2014:

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5. ADOPTED TWO BABIES

This year, CAISA’s Media & Marketing adopted two new babies!!!!

BEFORE:

Got our adoption papers ready

AFTER:

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY ❤

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Meet Josh & Jason – the addition to our super lovely family

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I’m sorry that I suck at flip cup

That’s all from me for now!

Talk to you all soon – (“soon”)  #JK #CantAbandonMyOnlyBoyfriendThatIsntEvenHumanButABlog

Love,
Lisa