This past Sunday, my girls lacrosse team had a game in Bellingham, about an hour and a half north of Seattle. The whole week I had been debating either carpooling with the other coach, or renting a car and taking a road trip up to Vancouver after the game. I went with option two, and it turned out to be a great decision.
I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to pick up the car as soon as the rental place opened. By 8:30, I was on I-5 North and jamming to the radio. One thing is for sure, the views in the PNW will never get old. That drive was one of the most scenic ones I’ve ever been on. At one point, I had the Olympias to my left, the cascades to my right, Mount Baker straight ahead, and Mount Rainier in my rear-view mirror. Those kinds of sights just make me smile from ear to ear. I had looked at a few potential places to stop on my way up to Bellingham, and had decided that I would take a detour to the west at visit Anacortes. As I was driving around the little village, I noticed signs for a park, so I started steering towards the green hill on my right. Cap Sante Park was nicely nestled, and featured an awesome view. It was a fun rocky area to climb around, and pretty soon I had found the perfect spot to take in the view before me. I looked out east and there was Mount Baker, clear as day. Seeing those snow capped mountains is something I won’t ever forget, and I can’t wait to see again. Soon it was time to hit the road again and continue my trip up to the field.
I arrived at the high school where the field was nice and early, and was ready for a few hours of lacrosse. We ended up losing the game, but the girls scored five unanswered goals to end the game, which is something that I hope they build on moving forward. After the game, I knew I had to head out quickly if I wanted to maximize my time in the Great White North. An hour or so later, and I was in Vancouver.
I’ve never been to Vancouver, and driving to the city was pretty interesting. The highway in runs right next to the sound, so you have the water to your left, and to your right, you have the towering mountains. If you look closely you can see the skyscraper of the city peering over the acres of farmland that separate you from city proper. I had turned off my cell service as soon as I crossed the border, but my google maps could still pinpoint my location, so I was able to guide myself into town, and find a parking garage. First stop in Canada? Harvey’s.
Only two blocks away from where I parked my car, I quickly headed over and ordered the Double Angus. It was a delicious burger, and a great way to start my trip. After lunch, I headed out to Robson Street, the shopping district of Vancouver. I didn’t venture too far away from Robson because a) I didn’t have cell service, b) I knew I wanted to be home by 10pm and it was gonna be a 2.5 hour drive, and c) the Habs game was on. When shopping in Canada, there are two places that you absolutely have to go: Lulu Lemon, and Roots. I went to both. Thanks to the Canadian dollar being weaker, everything ended up being about 20% cheaper than if I had bought it in the states. I stocked up on some yoga equipment, and pure Canadian gear, and kept window shopping. At around 5pm, I knew I wanted to see what the score of the game was, so I found a bar with TVs, ordered a coke, a nervously watched the last 20 minutes of game 6. The Habs held on to their 1-0 lead until .3 seconds left in the game when they scored an empty net goal. That 2-0 win has sent them to round two, and they will face either the Detroit Red Wings or the Tampa Bay Lightning; we’ll soon find out. My last stop on my Canadian tour was Tim Hortons. I walked in and ordered the Fruit Explosion muffin (both mine and my dad’s favorite), and a hot chocolate. By this point, it was finally time to head back to Seattle. The drive home was long, but doable. When you find a good radio station with some solid music, the time passes a lot quicker.
Even though my time in Canada was short, it was well spent. I did everything I wanted to, and enjoyed every minute of it. There’s a lot more I want to do in Vancouver though; I didn’t stop by Granville Island, or the Chinatown district. Both are on my list for the next time I visit. I do also want to go to a Vancouver Canucks game, but that’s going to be for a future season. I know it’s not the last time I visit Vancouver, but like anything that I do out here, I can’t help but wonder when the next time I’ll be able to do something like that will be. Weekends are starting to get busier and more planned out, leaving less time for these extended road trips.
There’s nothing like blasting music and rolling the windows down as you’re driving down a stretch of pavement surrounded by snow capped mountains.
So until next time Canada; thanks for having me.