Vancouver and Joffre: city life, vegan bites, & glaciers!

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One of our dreams has always been to visit Vancouver. There is something about the balance of city life and nature that really resonates with our interests. We’ve always heard stories about how beautiful the BC forests are. And although we do enjoy (what are considered) some of Ontario’s largest provincial parks, there was something that drew us to visiting BC.

Over the past year, our lifestyles have changed dramatically. We have become more in tune with nature, hiking, eating mainly wholesome plant-based meals, strength training, and travelling. So of course, Vancouver seemed like the perfect place to visit! Funny enough, our first stop was the Steve Nash Fitness World Gym! After sneaking in a quick workout, we felt revitalized, refreshed, and excited to start our adventures.

2Our Airbnb condo in Yaletown had the most amazing view of other high-rise condo buildings and the snowy-peak mountain tops.

3After checking into our Airbnb, we were ecstatic to visit the local Whole Foods (there were about 4 locations within a short driving distance). We’ve read about Vegan Pudding & Co. products that were sold in Whole Foods. They are a small company that creates certified organic, white sugar free, egg & dairy free pudding cups. We tried the Original Vanilla Pudding with Caramel sauce; the texture and taste were incredibly creamy!

20160929_182255Within a short distance of our condo, we took a sea-bus (yes, that’s right: a motorized boat-bus that transports travellers on water!) across to Granville Island. If you live in Toronto, you’ll surely know about St. Lawrence Market; this is a very similar concept. Here you will find fresh foods, baked goods, art, hand-crafted items such as candles and soaps, etc.

20160929_182256After scoping out the entire market, we found tons of vegan options! Aside from tacos, cold-pressed juices, wraps, and salads… we also found a bakery with fresh vegan pastries!

20160930_092019Day 2 of our trip: we were dying to check out Joffre Provincial Park! This was about a 2.5 hours (VERY scenic, mountainous drive) just a little east of Pemberton. Initially, we were thinking of heading to Whistler until we realized that drones were not allowed (and also because we discovered that Joffre has glaciers!).
20160930_092020We’re not even joking, but this EXACTLY (if not more) how blue and crystal clear the lakes were! Joffre Park has 3 of these lakes located in the park (totalling of about a 10 kilometre hike which can take 3-4 hours on average). Note: we visited the park on Friday because there are a lot more hikers on the weekends.

20160930_101438The waters were serene and picturesque, the trees were large and majestic, and the mountains seemed so surreal! It felt like something out of a magazine.

20160930_111312 20160930_130552We met a very friendly traveler from Missouri who actually hiked most of the trail with us. After pushing each other, we made it all the way to the top of the most upper lake (if you see the drone video below, you’ll see the lakes cascading in the background).

20160930_194629Once we realized we hiked a total of 15 kilometres and spent over 6 hours at the park, we were famished! Although we meal prepped and packed some carby foods with us, we wanted to try out this new place that just opened in Vancouver: Virtuous Pie.
20160930_194630We saw their pictures ALL over Instagram and thought Hey, it must be a big deal!20160930_194631AND IT WAS!! We had the Stranger Wings pizza (made with tasty cauliflower wings) and the Superfunghi pizza (with cashew mozzarella, scalloped potatoes, truffle almond ricotta, and mushroom duxelle.

20161001_114135Loving Hut has a food truck in Yaletown <3 We tried their Bacun Cheeseburger and devoured it before we got a chance to snap a shot of it.

20161001_133232Within 10-15 minutes of driving from Yaletown is a quaint neighbourhood called Kitsilano. Just our luck: we came across Parthenon Supermarket (a bakery and grocery store that carries Mediterranean and European foods). We found quite a few vegan groceries (such as Daiya and yogurts) and realized there were baked goods as well!
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20161001_180537We later drove to Gastown (another unique and historic neighbourhood in Vancouver) to check out Meet in Gastown. FYI: their gourmet veggie burgers are phenomenal! And one of the managers gave us free desserts because she liked our Vegan Muscle Team hoodies lol. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a great food shot because the lighting was dark.
20161001_181435The famous Steam Whistle clock that goes off every 15-30 minutes.
20161001_182331We came across various architecture, including this flat-iron style building.

20161002_111550With our last day in Vancouver, we were excited to visit more forested areas in Vancouver. We walked the entire path around Stanley Park. It was great to see such an active community of people hiking, biking, and running throughout the park.
20161002_120751 20161002_134734This was by far, the largest tree I have ever seen! Stanley park has (what felt like) hundreds of different tree and plant species.
20161002_140754Nice Vice was recommended to us by a few friends. And we definitely wanted to indulge in some vegan ice cream after all the walking.
20161002_141147The salt bar seemed unusual at the time, but OH MAN! Just a small pinch of flavoured salt makes a distinguished difference on ice cream!
20161002_141216 20161002_141217Charcoal Activated Earl Grey with Maple Rum Raisin. Seriously, this place is worth checking out and we cannot wait to come back!

20161002_145545Lastly, we visited Queen Elizabeth park (which was just across the bridge from our condo). If you enjoy beautifully arranged exotic flowers, plants, and trees… this is your spot to see!