Good morning, Vancouver! After a nice rest, we were up and ready to start our full day in Vancouver. The Abercorn Inn included a continental breakfast which included pretty much the standard continental breakfast fare short of a Belgian waffle maker. Irregardless, it was enough to get the day started.
As planned, we walked across the street to rope drop Costco.
I stupidly started the day out in shorts. In the short 5 minute walk to the entrance, I had one thing on my mind. PANTS. I found some great convertible pants – the legs zip off and they become shorts.
Sure, I had some pants and jeans back in the room, but my Dad has always told me about these pants and how great they are for when they travel.
Part of the reason we wanted to stop in at Costco was to check out the wine selection before we moved to a new hotel downtown. It just so happens that this Costco location does not sell wine. However, the reports we heard are indeed true, Costco has Poutine. I was really bummed we missed out on this the previous night and if I didn’t just have breakfast, I may have placed an order.
Well, if you are planning a trip to Costco before an Alaskan cruise let it be known that Costco (at least the Richmond location) does not take US Visa Debit cards, only MasterCard & the Costco credit card. Take one guess, which one we had. I missed a poutine dinner, the location didn’t sell wine, and I was unable to buy those pants. This is certainly the beginning of my master class on the sure fire way to avoid spending money at Costco. I never considered checking Costco’s payment methods for the Canadian locations. 100% my fault, and a lesson learned.
While checking out of the Abercorn Inn around 10 o’clock, the front desk put a call in for a taxi. About 5 minutes later, we were loaded in the car and on our way downtown to our next stop, the Pan Pacific Hotel at Canada Place. From the Abercorn Inn to Canada Place was roughly a 20 minute drive. As we crossed over the bridge and started to descend closer to sea level, the rain started – primarily just a mist. The taxi was about $30 USD.
Check-in at the Pan Pacific was quick, but as we expected, our room was not ready. Check-in time is 4 o’clock and it was still before 11 o’clock. We checked our bags and headed out to explore.
Today’s plan was to explore nearby Stanley Park and the downtown area surrounding Canada Place. Remember, I mentioned the mist as we arrived at the Pan Pacific? Thankfully, we grabbed our raincoats from our suitcases before leaving the hotel, but we didn’t plan for how long it was going to rain. The news we watched in the morning along with the weather reports and radar implied the rain was going to move out. As we began our walk along the sea wall to Stanley Park, the mist turned into rain.
When we reached the Indian Totem Poles we were thrilled to see an accompanying gift shop. Not only did the building provide cover from the rain, there were public restrooms. The rain slowed down enough to take some pictures of the totem poles before it picked back up.
Just down a pathway from the Totems was the Shore to Shore sculpture which was originally carved in cedar then cast in bronze. The sculpture is a tribute to the ancestral connection between the area’s aboriginal and Portuguese communities.
We continued our walk toward a lookout where we could see the lighthouse.
It was at this point where we decided to turn back.
As we were walking back the way we came we heard someone yell our name; it was our friends also sailing on this cruise who just passed us on the bikes they rented. Oh yeah, next time, rain or shine, we are renting bikes to explore Stanley Park. (Note: Emily suggested this multiple times, but Isabelle and I ignored her.) Isabelle wants to go to the Vancouver Aquarium, too.
On our way to Stanley Park, walking along the sea wall, we passed a few restaurants. We selected Cardero’s, which offered indoor and outdoor seating.
Normally, we’d jump at the chance at sitting outside on the waterfront, but at this point, we want to be inside where it was dry and warm. The outside seating area was covered, but we were ready for a break.
The food was great, although this could have something to do with the fact this was our first real meal since leaving home. I really enjoyed the Kale & Quinoa salad with chicken; it filled me up and kept me going for the rest of the day. The brussel sprouts were so flavorful and had a nice spicy pop that made them special. The hummus was house made and best described as herbaceous. The margarita pizza was more along the lines of a cheese pizza with basil. The drinks were also delicious and hand-crafted.
After lunch, we walked around some more. The rain finally moved out and the sun was attempting to fight though the clouds. Izzy wanted to go to Claire’s to see if they had any unique items. Sure enough, she found some Canadian earrings & a necklace, which were part of the Canada Day line.
After striking out at Costco, we were on the hunt for a place to buy some wine. We found a liquor store on the map, but we were starting to worry it was closed on Sunday. Luckily, it was open and had a great selection. Plus, it was less than a 10 minute walk from the port.
We then headed out to what I would call the downtown’s mall. If you are looking for kid’s clothes, which we were, this is not the best place. Isabelle was hoping to shop at Roots, but this location did not carry any youth sizes.
We returned to the Pan Pacific just after 4pm and stopped at the front desk to get our room number and headed up to discover an amazing view of the harbor overlooking Holland of America’s Noordam.
We returned to our room for the night. I spent some time setting up a time lapse to hopefully capture the Disney Wonder’s arrival in the morning since we have such an amazing view from our room. Crossing my fingers that I will wake up early enough to start the time lapse capture.
Well after a day of travel, and a day walking around Vancouver, tomorrow we finally board the Disney Wonder for a 9-night Alaskan Cruise !!! Oh, and by walking around, according to my watch we walked almost 11 miles today.