I'd just finished a long red-eye flight from Maui to Vancouver. It was 7 in the morning, I was cold, tired... and just to mix things up a bit, I was also super excited. While the rest of my crew headed to the gate to catch their flight back to Calgary, I'd cancelled my deadhead flight (flying in uniform as a passenger to get me back home) in favour of staying in Vancouver. Even better, I'd booked a ticket for my fiancé Ryan to meet me there. Our flights were landing at almost the exact same time, so after I'd cleared customs I moseyed on down to domestic arrivals to wait for his smiling face to appear at the baggage carousel. There he was! Memories of our last meeting in Vancouver came back to me... if you are a new reader to my blog and a hopeless romantic, you should really read about that story here.
As Ryan waited for his suitcase to arrive (containing items that I'd requested he bring, such as my rather chunky pair of Ugg boots), I went to change out of my uniform to better blend in. We piled into a taxi and headed towards the city. One of my good friends from flight attendant training had been kind enough to offer us her apartment for the weekend. We love you, Shannon! She was far too accommodating, offering us the keys to her apartment and her car. She wasn't even angry that we arrived at a ridiculously early time of day following what had been a late and crazy night for her and her boyfriend Eric. Once we'd stayed for awhile and chatted (it's amazing how much you can have to catch up on after only 2 weeks!) Ryan and I decided to let them get a bit more sleep as we ventured out. We headed straight to Granville Island. I love it there. We walked through the market and I wished that I lived in Vancouver so that I could buy all of my fresh fruits and veggies there each week. Something about markets makes me happy... Perhaps it's being surrounded by such a vast array of foods and the smell of fresh cut flowers. By this point, both Ryan and myself were rather hungry. We chose to go for a breakfast of champions... perogies and sausages drowning in a sea of sour cream and sauerkraut. Oh my goodness, it was perfect.
Needing a sweet treat to balance it out, we ordered Nutella crepes and sat outside savouring each chocolatey bite. I've been to Paris, so they weren't the greatest that I'd ever had... but they were a pretty yummy Saturday morning treat.
Being the romantic fiancé that he is, Ryan bought me a flower to tote around for the day... just as he'd done the last time we were at the Granville Island Market.
We watched as excited children threw birdseed at the dozens of greedy pigeons. Ryan took photos while I hid beneath a covered area, fearing the possibility of bird poop on my head ruining my day. We strolled through the kids market, where my never-growing-up fiancé purchased a foam rocket equipped with an elastic that promised to shoot it 300 feet in the air. Of course, he tried it within minutes of purchasing it, only to have it break. Grumpy, he returned to the store where the employee apologized and refunded his money. He was a sad boy indeed, as he'd been looking forward to his new toy. I was suddenly feeling the effects of being awake since the evening prior, so we decided to return to Shannon's apartment for an afternoon nap. 2 hours later, I felt like a new person and we continued on with our Vancouver adventures. We walked downtown...a rather lengthy trek, but we knew that we could use the exercise. On the way, we grabbed a slice of pizza and commented on the fact that we need more pizza by the slice joints back home.
Using our trusty iPhone apps, we scouted out restaurants with good reviews for dinner. Our search led us to The Mill, where Ryan sipped a beer and I ordered a caesar that I couldn't pronounce, complete with dill and smoked salmon. For our meal, we shared an amazing seafood platter... smoked salmon, perfectly baked salmon, char-grilled tuna, mussels and shrimp. There wasn't a thing on the plate that we didn't love.
After dinner we headed to Starbucks to meet up with my friend Jess, who I hadn't seen in 2 years, on my last visit to Vancouver. We caught up over coffee and it was great to reunite. He took us down the pretty lit streets of Gastown before we parted ways, until next time.
Feeling exhausted from what had been a very long day, Ryan and I walked back to the apartment and called it a night.
We got up the next day, feeling great and loving that switching to daylight savings time overnight had given us an extra hour in Vancouver! We set out for another day of adventures, starting with breakfast at White Spot. It was nothing overly exciting, but breakfast is always great. We wandered the streets until we came to Starbucks on Davie Street and ordered caffeinated treats. We walked down English Bay beach, sipping our coffees and loving life... until Ryan stepped in a pile of dog poo. His good mood turned sour as he sat on rock, scraping his shoes with seashells in a desperate attempt to get them clean. I tried to withhold my laughter over the situation.
Eventually, his shoe was clean and we were on our way yet again. We strolled through Stanley Park, thrilled to come across squirrels, ducks, and racoons!!
We snapped photos and held hands and life was good once again. We set out in search of a good place to take photos of the Lion's Gate bridge. After many detours and off the beaten path routes, we finally found Prospect Point and snapped our photos. Our feet were tired, so we figured it was a great time for lunch. Turning to our iPhones yet again, we found a Japanese restaurant with great deals on sushi. It was far cheaper and far tastier than sushi back home, far from the ocean.
We decided to slowly make our way back towards Shannon's apartment to get ready to head back to the airport. Along the way, we stopped in some stores selling home decor and dream-decorated the home that we don't yet own.
Back at Shannon's, we packed our bags, relaxed for awhile, and then caught a taxi to the airport. It was our first time flying standby together, and from what I'd seen earlier in the day, our odds of getting on the flight were good. Sometime between when I'd last checked and the time that we arrived, another flight had been delayed, causing our to fill up with passengers who didn't want to miss connection flights. There were absolutely no seats left, and things weren't looking good. We did exactly what we'd come to the airport to do... standby. We waited for news of any type, and just before boarding we were handed 2 boarding passes. A window seat for Ryan, thanks to somebody who failed to check in... and a seat in the cockpit for me! It was a beautiful night as the moon lit up the mountains below, and the view landing into Calgary was better than I'd ever seen in the past. I wished that Ryan could be up front with me, sharing the views and checking out all of the controls. We couldn't complain though, at least we'd made it back!
It was a great ending to a great weekend!