There are lots of new, exciting things happening here at Stilettos & Statutes but until we are up and running, I wanted to keep you posted on some of my recent adventures.

As you know, any excuse to travel will do just fine, thank you very much. So when my boyfriend’s youngest sister announced she was getting married in Vancouver, I was totally pumped to not only meet his whole family (eek) but also visit Vancouver (and finally make it to Canada… don’t judge).

We spent four days in Vancouver before heading south to Seattle to see my little sister for a couple of days… making the most of our West Coast tour de sisters. Scroll down for all of the details of what we did, where we stayed and most important, what we ate.

Views from the apartment in Vancouver on our first full day in the city

Our first day was full of personal admin – some wedding prep (like buying shoes for him), some passport details (appointments with Nexus for Canadian Global Entry), and exploring the downtown shopping district… where I almost gave in to a strong, strong desire to purchase another fabulous bag (but got carried out by the bf/financial advisor before I could throw down the Amex). It was in Canadian dollars, so basically free… ugh. Still managed to check out the Sugarfina pop-up, which is the most adorable gummy/candy brand – they even have champagne and rosé gummies!

Exploring the Sugarfina pop-up downtown Vancouver

We made it down to Sunset Beach, just across from Governors Island, where we met up with the rest of the family to witness the craziness of the 420 festivities happening there that day. It was a gorgeous, sunny day – perfect for taking the Aquabus back to the apartment to get ready for a fancy family dinner.

Taking the Aquabus from Granville Island to Science World
Blonde on a boat
Views of the mountains and Science World
Surprise birthday dinner for the family at Bacchus
He loves parties and balloons (insert eye roll here)
Bride-to-be and the newest member of the family
Little ham helping blow out the candles (this happened at least three times)

The next day we went to Gastown, the historical center of Vancouver. We hit up all the tourist shops for pictures and magnets for the collection.

Getting my Canadian on in Gastown
Stud Puffin boxers (oh the regret I have for not purchasing these)
We shouldn’t be allowed in touristy shops

As per usual practice, brunch was a serious requirement. I did extensive brunch research (my specialty) and decided on Jam Cafe. We had to wait about 40 minutes in line outside of this place on a Friday at 12pm, so I can’t even begin to imagine the wait times for a table on the weekend.

We had the most fantastic Caesars (with clamato instead of just tomato juice) and mine had bourbon and maple-glazed bacon as a garnish – so so so good. Our neighbors had the largest stack of red velvet pancakes on the planet that I thought it was a full-on cake for a hot second.  We got the brunch bowl – full-size with ham for him and half-size with avocado for her… I got through about 1/3 of mine and he got through 3/4 of his – I have never seen him not finish a meal so may that be your indication of the size of these bowls (filled with hashbrowns, cheese, biscuits, chicken sausage gravy). So delicious!

Caesars (the Canadian equivalent of a Bloody Mary – made with Clamato juice) at Jam Cafe
Brunch at Jam Cafe – Brunch bowl
Our neighbors’ red velvet pancakes… or just cake.
Abacus in Chinatown
Flower in my hair, cars in the air
Making friends with local wildlife
Vancouver at night
Views of downtown

The big day snuck up on us and all of a sudden it was time to party! My man was a stunning bridesmaid (teehee) and master of ceremonies at the reception.

Wedding day prep for my favorite bridesmaid

The bride was ever-so-gorgeous and the groom ever-so-dapper. A short and sweet ceremony was followed by fantastic food, fabulous guests, excellent music and dancing all night. So glad I was there to celebrate with the whole family.

Bride, her parents and her groom
The wedding at Brix & Mortar
Husband and wife <3
Bridesman (gah so cute) and the two most adorable flower girls ever
Baby blue with my boy

And before I knew it, it was time to go…

This may have been my first trip to Canada… but it definitely won’t be my last.

We are already planning summer trips to Toronto and Montreal…so stay tuned for more Canada recommendations.

As for Vancouver – here are all the deets:

Where we stayed:

  • Sheraton Wall Center – the fabulous bride booked out a whole load of rooms at this hotel for her family and guests – it was divine… Starbucks in the lobby (hello, caffeine addicts) and a nice hotel bar for a night cap or two. We spent most of our time staying at a family apartment, but this was a great hotel (and perfect to wake up in with a serious post-wedding festivities hangovers).

Where we ate and drank (and ate… and drank…. oh and we ate some more….):

  • Brix & Mortar – This is where the wedding reception is and if you (or anyone you know) is thinking of getting hitched in Vancouver… this is seriously divine. Ivy-covered interior courtyard, chandeliers all over the place, amazing lighting and excellent food – everything you could ever hope for in a wedding (or restaurant for that matter)!
  • Craft Beer Market – I would happily describe this place as “casual Canadian” – low key, tons of beer (local and beyond), great selection of food and a chill place to watch the hockey playoffs (if you are into that sort of thing). Although – word of warning to the experienced poutine fans – apparently the poutine at this place is not up to standards… according to my favorite Canadian. The fancy grilled cheese, however, is amazing.
  • Nook Restaurant  – There are two of these in Vancouver, we went to the one at the West End location for dinner on Friday night. Be prepared for a wait as they don’t take reservations and there are only a handful of tables in the restaurants. Everything we tried, from the fresh ricotta tartines to the handmade pizzas, was really good and totally worth the wait.
  • Jam Cafe – Another restaurant worth the wait and then some. Details above – so so so good.
  • Bacchus – This restaurant is located in a Relais & Chateau hotel (The Wedgewood) and as a result, is really goregous, dimly lit, and very well staffed. We had the private dining room for a big family dinner (including three kids) so having our own space where the girls could run around was ideal. The food was fantastic, the service excellent and the company – priceless. If you don’t come here for a meal, there is a great lounge/piano bar where you can have a drink while sitting on comfy leather couches.
  • JOEY Burrard – Lounge-y restaurant downtown near all of the shopping. Great place for any time of day – we popped in for a late lunch on our first day for easy/quick food. Fish tacos were just adequate so if you go, try something else!
  • Cactus Club – We had appetizers and drinks here after the rehearsal on our first day in Vancouver – the bride and groom had reserved a section of the restaurant and they served up a wide variety of appetizers to our whole group. Great drinks, good food.
  • Earl’s Test Kitchen – Another hit on our Brunch Tour 2017 – gah I love brunch. This one was for the family on the morning after the wedding. So, as you can imagine… people were feeling a little rough around the edges… and by people, I mean me… so hair of the dog and all – kicked things off with a Caesar (loving them!) and some avocado toast (I am a creature of habit). Excellent food and the restaurant was able to accommodate about 25 people without a reservation on Sunday just as they were opening! This restaurant is also within walking distance of the Sheraton Wall Center, if you’re thinking two birds, one stone.

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