Monday, July 30, 2012

Vancouver Vittles

For my birthday dinner, I chose Ki (in the Shangri La Hotel). It was chic but laid-back and the food was delicious. We had spicy edamame (not pictured), the creamy miso chowder (which I ate too fast to take a photo, oops), the kiwi-tuna roll, the toro tower, the spicy avocado roll and the flour-less chocolate torte. Yum!
The next day we decided to check out South Granville, noted in guidebooks and websites for good shopping. I found a few ways to spend my birthday money and then we had lunch at Rangoli which was excellent - and saying a lot from someone who isn't the biggest Indian food fan ever. The restaurant is also a market and they sell many of their dishes as prepared, frozen meals. I had the black chickpea and onion cakes with vegetable rice pilaf (left) and Brian had the chickpeas in curry on a bed of marinated eggplant (right).
While little markets and shops abound in the Gastown neighborhood, where we stayed, none had the artistic beauty of the farmer's market in Old Faithful Shop.
Sunday nights bring out the jazz trios in Gastown. We opted for listening in on the musicians at the Pourhouse, along with some drinks and dinner. I had a yummy beet salad and Brian had the steel head trout with the most amazing gnocchi in brown butter.
That's about all the food news from our trip, outside of tonight. We're headed off to a long-table dinner at The Irish Heather where we will rub elbows with all the locals before we head back to the States tomorrow. All good things must come to an end, I guess, but I wish we could take this weather with us!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

By Land and Sea

The proprietors of the spheres gave us a hand-drawn map of a hike that they recommended. They said it would take us about two-three hours depending on whether we took the long way or not. We opted for the long way, and enjoyed the quiet woods which we had all to ourselves - minus a few birds, a couple of grazing horses and perhaps a hiding bear or two.
Old growth trees and moss abounded - this is just to give you some scale on things.
Being on an island, we had easy access to the water as well. We hooked up with Island Surf Company for a little stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) around Qualicum Beach. It was easy until the tide started coming in and then, despite paddling like crazy, we just stayed in one place. I have one palm blister and a barnacle cut to the foot to show for our efforts.
After our hike (day 2) and SUPing (day 3), we headed back for the ferry to the mainland to start our Vancouver part of the adventure. (Queue the food pics to come.) On Vancouver Island we had pretty normal food, nothing to write home about, but if you're in the area sometime, we would recommend Lefty's, Shady Rest, and the ice cream stand along 19A. Thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Middle Earth Nights

Sometimes, the harder it is to get somewhere, the more worth it it seems. We left our house yesterday at 2am (PST) and arrived to Qualicum Beach, B.C. around 5:30pm. As previewed previously, we checked into our sphere and had a cozy evening. I felt like an elf in a tree and Brian said he felt like a Hobbit - both in good ways, of course.

Our welcome snack basket (not pictured - a birthday banner on our sphere's door)
Albeit small, the sphere is packed with everything you need, from board games to coffee maker to head lamps. Overlooking a small pond, we were rocked to sleep in this giant swing. All day today I have felt myself swaying a little, involuntarily.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dressing for the Wevther
I came across this site today as I was packing for Vancouver. Its simple, clean style caught my eye before I realized its function. Just type in any location and out comes wardrobe suggestions for men or women. Click on an item and you are redirected to purchase it online. In season, in style, and effortless, which, when it comes to packing, is just about perfect.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hipster(ish) Branson

This past weekend was spent eking out the last bits of summer at a family reunion before Year 2 of grad school commences. I took a short nap each day, the ultimate vacation activity in my world no matter how short. I looked for things to do that weren't Dixieland Stampede, Silver Dollar City or Duckboat Tours (which are all probably lovely, but not my first choices). Instead, we:

Went the the Copper Run Distillery for a whiskey, rum and moonshine tasting.
Visited Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery where we fed and learned about rainbow and brown trout.
Hiked around part of Table Rock Lake at the State Park. We took the paved route so it was stroller friendly, and caught up with some of Brian's West Coast family.
In all, it was a pretty action-packed 36 hours. I guess summer isn't exactly over, we still have our vacation coming up!, even if some of it will be spent reviewing marketing reports. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I just stumbled across this cool website, that I wish I'd found sooner, and had to share it with you. It's called "On the Way" and tells you what is between your starting and end point - restaurants, historical sites, entertainment attractions, etc. I wish I had had this on my way up to Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. I just ran it for our trip to Branson this weekend for Brian's family reunion:

Featured Stops

While this list is not too exciting, consider we are driving through rural parts of Missouri, there are options to make out of the way stops and take alternate routes to where you are headed. I am sure wherever you are going next by car will provide much more interesting list items. Thanks for checking in and be on the lookout for my next blog post - "Finding Hipster Branson." I am totally up for suggestions if you have any!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Renegade Finds

Like I mentioned in my last post, I had a great day checking out the Renegade Craft Fair. There were so many great artists and booths, it was hard to pick out just a few things to buy. However, thanks to my budget and my small suitcase, it got a lot easier. Here is what followed me home, and a few mentions of places I will definitely shop online in the future!

I'm not sure what I liked more - that this artist was from Maine (right near where I grew up) or her designs, like this linen tea towel.
This ring was made using 3D printer technology, which is becoming all the rage according to the podcasts I've been listening to on NPR. I am not entirely sure I quite understand how it works. Either way, this ring is awesome, as is the rest of their jewelry which you should totally check out here.
I'm a bit obsessed with letterpress things anyway, but these coasters from Wishbone Letterpress were especially vibrant and pretty. Each set comes with six designs and were the perfect remedy to my sweating cold beverages on my desk at work.
As I am always on the hunt for ways to make my cubicle feel more like an Anthropologie store, this print from Little Things Studio was perfect.
Perused but not purchased (yet):
  • -  these posters depict the public transit systems of your favorite cities; so cool
  • Son of a Sailor - delicate and beautiful jewelry, mixing elements like brass and painted enamel, great prices too
  • Virginia Kraljevic - this artist sold amazingly detailed, and whimsical, pen and ink drawings, so cute