For the past three years, I’ve somehow found myself in the Vancouver area. Vancouver was never on my list of places to visit and while I stand by my opinion that these Northwestern cities are just freakily quiet, there is something special about Vancouver. It’s cool (in both senses of the word), relaxing, and scenic. I love the mountains and there are so many beautiful places to walk around. Not to mention, I have an obsession with the Museum of Anthropology there.
I started off in Richmond for a few days to attend a conference, and though they do have a really cool Olympic center, I didn’t do much exploring beyond the mall. Later in the week, my mom joined me to go explore Vancouver. She’d never been before, and I’m leaving for Brazil again next week, so we thought it would be a nice way to spend some time together. We stayed at the Opus Hotel which was very boutique-y and in a great spot for public transportation, though we ended up walking nearly everywhere.
On Friday, we (wisely) took a cab over to the Totem Poles in Stanley Park and then walked all the way back to the downtown area searching for food. I satisfied my perpetual bubble tea craving – despite the popularity of tapioca, I cannot get this in Rio – and then we grabbed some lunch at SMAK, which is an entirely gluten-free restaurant. We had a bit of a hard time finding both vegetarian and gluten-free food, though on our first night Amici Miei had some fantastic gluten-free pasta options, as well as desert.
We also made our way to one of my favorite places, the Museum of Anthropology. The entrance is this gigantic, windowed area with a ton of totem poles from indigenous groups in the region. To me, it’s such a beautiful way to honor the area’s history and culture, from the past until today.
We then spent a little more time shopping, walking around, and exploring. Wandering around Kitsilano was gorgeous, and something I hadn’t done on my previous trips. It’s such a cute neighborhood, with so many quaint cafés and bookstores. By the end of the weekend, however, we were ready for the loud sarcasm of the East Coast. Even landing in Newark, families were already fighting with each other, unashamed to raise their voices amidst the crowd to make sure their point was heard. Ah, the sound of home.