— A Day in Vancouver, Canada —

We arrived in Vancouver via train after spending a wonderful week on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

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We only had a few hours to explore this beautiful city, as we’d be leaving for our week aboard the Island Princess heading to Alaska the next morning.

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Much like a lot of things in Canada, accommodations did not come cheap. We coughed up a decent amount of money to stay at a lovely 4-star hotel just 3 blocks from the cruise terminal. (It wasn’t much cheaper to stay in a lower-ranked hotel, so we decided to splurge a little bit.)

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The Metropolitan offered a touch of a luxury for a fairly affordable price (given the other nearby options in its class).

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We had no complaints about our room and even got to stay on the top floor, as requested!

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I had done a little bit of research prior to our visit and I knew of one location in Vancouver that I just HAD to visit!

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Those who know me, know I LOVE cheese, so we were on a hunt for Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck! Fortunately it wasn’t parked but a block or so from our hotel!

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Sam was able to indulge with me, as they offer customers gluten-free bread as an option!

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Absolute perfection!

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I even tried their famous spicy gaspacho, which is a flavorful tomato soup served chilled with a pickled green bean.

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I guess this city landmark is worth mentioning, although as a self-proclaimed germaphobe, I found it to be rather gross. The “Gumhead” statue was on display in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for a limited time and we just happened to visit during its debut!

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We made our way to the Gastown region of the city, which is said to be the city’s oldest neighborhood.

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It’s also home to the world’s oldest, still-functioning steam powered clock.

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After wandering the streets and perusing the shops of Gastown, we felt it fitting to stop by and enjoy a quick bite and a brew at Steamworks Brewery & Restaurant.

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Steamworks has a fun atmosphere, good food, and their own hand-crafted beer!

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Vancouver wins points in our book, as they appear to be very gluten-free friendly! On the menu at Steamworks you will find the option to order your pizza with a gluten-free crust!

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Ok, so now we’ve had grilled cheese and pizza today… time for a nice long walk!

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Heading down to the waterfront is the perfect way to exercise and see the city’s beautiful skyline! Ideally, you would walk the 1.5 miles to Stanley Park, Vancouver’s 1,000-acre public park, but we simply did not have the time.

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We first stopped by the cruise terminal (pictured below), so we knew where to go the following morning to catch our cruise!

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As I mentioned, we didn’t make it very far along the waterfront walk, as the sun was starting to set and we didn’t want to go too far in the dark.

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LOVE the way this city lights up at night.

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Now, I must warn you, as I had no idea and nearly peed my pants, when the 9 o’clock gun went off! I thought a bomb had detonated nearby and wondered why no one else seemed too worried! After some quick research I found out that this cannon goes off from Stanley Park every night at 9 pm, as it has for the past 107 years! You’ve now been warned!

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The following morning, we ate breakfast at Bel Cafe, located a block from our hotel.

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Before long, we were checked out of our hotel and aboard the Island Princess, ready to set sail on a week-long Alaskan cruise!

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Sail-aways on a cruise are always so much fun!

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We watched the skyline fade into the distance…

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… as we passed Stanley Park (which we will certainly go back and visit someday),

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… and had an incredible view of the North Shore Mountains in the background.

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As we left Vancouver Harbor behind in our gentle wake, we knew that it would be a place we’d want to one day come back and visit. We typically don’t like big cities, but Vancouver had a unique appeal to us. It felt clean and welcoming and there is certainly a lot left for us to explore!


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