LMP Travels: British Columbia in less than a week, with the kids
My kids get a winter and spring break. That's one week off in February and one week off in April. Know what that means? TRAVEL! I'm not sitting around trying to figure out what to do with them...let's see the world!
Since the kids picked up skiing so quickly last year, Adam and I decided to take a family trip to British Columbia. It's hard for me to admit, as a Canadian that I have never been to BC before. I've always wanted to go.
We planned the trip so we could have a couple of days in Vancouver and then spend the rest of our time skiing in Whistler.
Since I've never been to BC before, I chose to work with a travel agent, Tate Escapes. We've worked together a couple of times in the past and I thought it would be helpful to have someone plan out the Vancouver piece of our trip since there is so much to do there and with travel, we really only had ONE day to explore.
So without further adieu, here's how we spent 24 hours in Vancouver:
HOTEL: The Fairmont Pacific Rim - hands down, best hotel EVER. Incredible service, gorgeous rooms, stunning views, great location. WARNING: If you use a travel agent to book your trip - they may spoil you with goodies when you arrive in your room! WOW! Thanks Tate!
When we arrived, it was about 4pm so we had time to explore for a bit before dinner. We hit Gastown and took in a little Canadian shopping, stocking up on PJ's that say things like Bat-Moose and Spider-Bear.
9am pick up by a tour guide:
It was raining at the time of our pick up so we kicked off our morning with a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium - perfect rainy day activity! At many of these types of museums where you see living creatures trapped in a tank, you often feel sad and bummed. However at this aquarium, they use the sea life to educate you on the importance of respecting our oceans and wildlife. It's pretty incredible and super inspiring to take better care of our environment as a whole.
11:30am: We left the aquarium and the sun was shining! Off to Granville Island we went. We walked around the market and each and every one of us chose a different food to eat. We shared and tasted each other's dishes to get a real variety of all the foods that they had to offer.
The best part of this market was the dedicated building for KIDS where adults are only allowed to enter if they are accompanied by a child. This place was literally filled with rides, toy stores, games, candy and a jungle gym. Needless to say, it was a challenge to get the kids to LEAVE!
2pm: We headed over to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Now WOW. This was one of the cooler things I've done in life. It's basically...a hike thousands of feet above the ground BUT...on these crazy shaky bridges that you walk over through trees and rivers. Super cool and absolutely breathtaking.
4pm: La Casa Gelato - you guys, this place had 223 flavors of gelato. I mean...OMG! What a way to end the day. The kids obviously loved this too.
So you may be looking at the itinerary above and thinking...um...how did your kids survive this day? That's what I'm thinking right now at least! Well the key is: SNACKS, bathroom breaks, water and a few treats here and there. They did GREAT. Not one complaint. Literally. They loved every second.
When our tour ended, we went back to the hotel, put on our bathing suits and went to the pool that is outdoors. It was freezing outside but the pool was perfectly toasted. Though I wouldn't know that, I spent the whole time in the hot tub. HA!
For dinner, we went to Tojo's. We heard that BC is famous for their sushi and you had us at sushi.
Sunday, we woke up and had breakfast and took out the hotel bikes for a ride along the water. It was such a cool way to see the city on one side and with the most beautiful views of the mountains on the other side.
That afternoon, we were picked up and taken over to Whistler. It's an insanely gorgeous drive.
We checked into the Fairmont Chateaux which is a ski in, ski out resort. That was the reason I wanted to stay there. That feature was great though I'll tell you that the hotel was incredibly over crowded and the rooms were so old I saw cobwebs in the corners. The service was sub-par and we could never get a seat in the restaurants aside from breakfast - even just for a cocktail. I wasn't impressed however the kids had the best week of their lives skiing their buns off in Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain.
I do have one mad discovery that I made in Whistler...and that was the Scandinave Spa. I had read about it online and had to check it out. So I booked myself a massage there half way through the trip and boy was it ever a spectacular place! Known for their bath rituals, this spa is a NO talking, pure silence, oasis. Their suggestion is to take 10-15 in warmth (hot tub, sauna and/or steam), 5-20 seconds in an ice bath and then 15 minutes of relaxation by their fire pits or in one of their solariums. When I returned from this place and Adam asked me how it went...we decided to go back, together the next night! Brilliant idea.
Overall, great trip. Highly recommend it, especially if you're a ski bunny.