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You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. - Arnold Bennet


So far, Vancouver is my favorite relocation city. It feels like home. Parts of it remind me of the east coast. It's very clean. The food is great. And the people are lovely. Not that I didn't love working in other glamorous locations like Downey, Detroit, Cleveland or Bulgaria... but, damn, it is fun to be Canadian.


Rachel Nichols

When I was a kid I wrote poetry. 

Not necessarily good poetry but most of the words usually rhymed :)

If I were to look back at my "poetry" I have a feeling that the majority of the themes would be unrequited love, break ups, teen angst, and just plain teenaged girl misery.

I think that it is sad that I mostly write when I have things to complain about or be upset about. 

So this post is all about gushing!

For my 36th birthday Ninja surprised me and whisked me away to Vancouver for a magical weekend.

I could tell you that he has never done this sort of thing before... but I would be lying. 1 day I will tell you about all the fun surprises he has planned for me like turning the livingroom into a harem tent or planning a week long "olympics" for my birthday, or our storybook engagement :) 

But for today we will stick to my fantastical 24 hour, 36th birthday Extravaganza!

A couple weeks ago I found this invitation in the mailbox,


I'm not a big fan of surprises LOL you know, control issues and all, but this time I was so busy with PAC and life that I didn't sweat it. I had a few ideas of where the surprise would be, Nelson, Vancouver, Osoyoos, or Vernon.

On Friday night he told me to pack up the girls and on Saturday morning we were off!

Even though we were headed towards the ocean and the only major city that way is Vancouver, I questioned everything. Are we going to Harrison Hot Springs? Are we going camping? Are we going to Victoria? Are we going to... Vancouver?

As we drove through Manning Park the rain turning to snow. As we only got snow twice this year even the white stuff made me happy.


When we got to Vancouver we went right downtown and then Ninja said "that looks like a castle."

In front of me actually looked like a castle. The Fairmont Vancouver is exquisite. It plays to all my favorite things like beauty, it is centrally located, it has history, it is over 100 years old.



It also had fashion. it had Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Omega stores in the lobby!






When we pulled up the man in the top hat took the keys and valaeted our little mini van away :)

The room was just lovely. It was white. I love white. You know what sucks about loving white? I can't have two kids and a white duvet LOL. When I was a teenager my bedding was white I always woke up in a brighter mood in pillows of white. When we turned on the TV, which we did very quickly as it was the third day of the Masters, the TV actually said hello Mr. Maier I hope you enjoy your stay!!! I was very impressed LOL




As I laid on the bed in my fluffy white robe surrounded by my white feathered pillows and my white duvet with the sound of that masters in the background I gently fell off to sleep :) the only thing missing was the sun streaming in through the window LOL which of course can't happen in downtown Vancouver. 


When I lazily awoke and hour later you know what I did? I took shower. You know why? 

Because I could. 

You know who came with me? No one!!! Wow, I haven't had a shower by myself in years just the silence of the room was the best present ever.

We got dressed and walked out feeling like we could take on the world!  We walked a little bit and came to the art museum. And what did my little eyes see? Cherry blossoms.  Seeing the Cherry blossom's in the spring in Vancouver is was on my bucket list! They were so pretty.

As we walked I saw a restaurant that had the audacity of having valet parking! I actually said "OMG that restaurant has valet parking!" Just as Ninja steered me through the doors!

What?

We sat down to dine in a sophisticated steakhouse called Gotham. For the first time in a very long time the service was spectacular! The food was mouthwatering! And the prices were absolutely effing ridiculous!!!!







But boy was it good. 

Personally I don't know why anybody needs a 14 ounce filet. I got the smallest steak on the menu and it was 14 ounces!

Who needs 14 ounces of beef? Not me! I watched all of these women walk into this restaurant tottering on 4 inch heels in skintight dresses and thought, man you're not going to fit into that dress after you eat 14 ounces of beef!


And that was something I really noticed about Vancouver, gluttony. Not sure if that's the best word but everything is just so... MUCH. 

High prices, everyone is dressed to the nines, or dressed in some fashion statement, people are go go go, the crowds are immense, the buildings are so tall, the traffic is wall-to-wall, there's just so... much. 

After dinner we walked outside and Ninja led me to Rogers Arena!!!! 




I was very excited to find out that we would be watching the last Hockey Night in Canada of the season, the Vancouver Canucks vs. the Edmonton Oilers! It was a fantastic game :) The Canucks won but in overtime. It was high-scoring, fast-paced and we were sitting around a very entertaining crowd. 

Which was more than I can say for the rest of the crowd. I was shocked at how reserved the Canucks fans were. As this was the last game before playoffs I was blown away at how quiet the arena was. How quiet the after party was. I know in Winnipeg people would've partied in the streets 'till all hours of the night after they won the last game before playoffs... Oh wait they totally did!

Ninja and I cheered on our favorite team and just enjoyed watching a live NHL game!

After the game Ninja went to the bathroom and I bought SBean a Vancouver Canucks ladybug. As soon as I saw it I knew she would love it. 


LalaLeggyBug goes EVERYWHERE with us now lol
And then we joined the crowd as we were paraded out the door and directly to the waterfront casino! We tried our luck for a few minutes but we headed home around 11. 


It was a beautiful walk back to the hotel, the weather was still very nice, we didn't even need jackets.  It blew my mind that there were so many people still out, yes I realize it was only 11 o'clock at night, but at home, some nights I can look down Main Street both ways and not see a single soul driving, walking, or anything! So, this is something I very much noticed. And another thing I very much noticed was the age of people out and about at 11 o'clock at night. They were all our parents age and they were out on the town and I just loved it!! I think that it is so awesome that when the children are old enough to be on their own or out and about doing their own things, that couples don't just sit home and continue to watch the same TV shows they been watching for their entire lives... not talking just watching. 

It was inspiring.

After an amazing evening we got home and you know what I did? I took another shower! I hate wasting water but just knowing that I could take a shower at midnight and by myself was the best feeling!!! It's the small things people, small things LOL

In the morning I lazily woke up and you know what I did? 

Yup, I took another shower LOL I know this seems a bit obsessive but I really really love showers. Actually, I really love bubble baths but long hot showers used to be something I looked forward to every day. Now I always have a child with me. As we no longer have a bathtub I always have a child in the "bath" with me. Just having a hot shower in complete silence was a vacation in itself. Lol

Next, we were off to Starbucks for a scone and a latte. My favorite part about this was that we sat at the window bar and looked out at the hustle and bustle of  the city. Sunday between 9-10 is obviously family time in downtown Vancouver. :)

I was amazed at the different look of the... Family. 

I looked out and saw a gentleman, well-dressed, in a black Burberry spring jacket. He was walking beside a petite woman, very put together, not a hair out of place. She is pushing a pram. I'm not exactly sure what a pram is but it just sounds way more fancy than stroller. I have to describe it this way because the strollers were unlike anything I've seen before LOL. Fancy, modern, minimal. 

Pretty much the same couple seem to walk by for a full half an hour.

Every once a while they changed into a sportier couple but still just as put together and still pushing their little baby buggies lol. We were also in front of a bus stop so we did see some singles with huge headphones, people my Dad's age with earbuds and then the athletic singles in their expensive exercise wear. 

I guess the key to living in downtown Vancouver is wealth LOL

Ninja tried to get me to play the old game of pointing someone out and trying to figure out what their story was LOL

But it was hard for me to play when my mind was so focused on trying to wrap my head around the career people family with one child growing up in this concrete downtown. I was trying to picture it... 

Ninja led me back to the hotel after breakfast and into the spa. How lucky am I? Man, I have the best husband ever. I had already had the best weekend and then he goes and books us a couples massage?!?! Ah-mazing. It was relaxing and wonderful and then you know what I did, I took another shower LOL I sound so horrible! That is so overindulgent to use that much water! But I couldn't help it *groan* I am weak :(


So relaxed I didn't even open my eyes for a picture lol
When we were all refreshed Ninja came clean. Apparently everyone in my family is trying to intervene and is insisting on me buying new clothes. LOL. Ninja may has well been Stacy London or Clinton Kelly! 

"You never take time to buy clothes for yourself, you were complaining that you had nothing to wear out for dinner so we all thought we could pitch in and let you go shopping for the afternoon on Robson Street!"

So, what I heard was, "we think you dress like a slob and I can't take you out for a nice dinner because you have nothing to wear. With an undertone of I hate your yellow Puma sweats they make your ass look saggy and all of your tank tops have holes in them!"

I'm not a fan of shopping. Well, I am but I like to find, good prices. I have a very hard time buying things, especially for myself at the stupid prices that they are. I like to thrift shop, I like to take the time to find good quality for great prices.

That's not something you do on Robson Street.

By the time we got out of my massage and started shopping the crowds on the street where much different. Gone where the fancy-schmancy baby chariots hello to the D.I.N.K.S! (Dual Income No KidS)

Of course my first store was Lululemon LOL but Ninja made a very disapproving face and texted my sister as soon as we walked in so I knew I should just turn around and walk out LOL



The clothes that I looked at and touched were so beautiful. But they are just so impractical for my life. I would be scared of wearing any of those clothes around. Honestly the other day I had to change my shirt 3 times because either SBean spilled something on me, I spilled something on me, or I sprayed myself with the toilet brush while I was cleaning the toilet. 

You know what I mean? Lol

Also, in the valley here we are in sunshine and going into summer, in Vancouver everything is still very heavy for a cool spring. 

So it was very difficult to find anything that really suited me and to be honest I was going through sticker shock LOL I think after 6 years of not spending any money on yourself seeing a spring casual dress for $250 blows your freaking mind ;)

I did manage to buy a few cute items that I'm really happy with.

We stopped and had lunch at this modern diner called Abode. The food was awesome and again we sat right at the window and watch the amazing outfits and shoes walk by :)


Ninja happily let me try on anything I wanted and held all the bags and paid for everything, I felt like pretty woman!



There are not many children's clothing stores on Robson Street. We still had to get something for HBear. 

I was hoping to go to H&M and get her a new headband but sadly we ran out of time. I briefly played with the idea of getting her this amazing spring scarf that had the map of Canada on it. It was pastel and flowery and it was so cute. It was $50. 

LMAO

Finally we saw a little souvenir shop and we both said "HBear!"

She loves this shit LOL we picked her out a 4 colored pen kinda like the one she bought herself in Calgary but this one said Vancouver on it. We also got her a mini snow globe of downtown Vancouver. She loved them!!!!! 


Exactly 24 hours after we got there we walked up to our hotel and valet brought our van and our bags out. 


Ninja was true to the invitation we got to listen to the purple IPod band (my playlist) the whole drive. LOL The weather was great and the drive was beautiful. Ninja and I both love road trips and we both like driving so the 4 hours on the road was just a happy end to a WONDERFUL 24 hours :)

Thank you to my wonderful family for thinking I'm a slob lol Well... for pitching to make my day so great and allowing me to buy a few things just for ME :), to my in-laws for watching the girls and to Ninja for romancing me, surprising me and for being the best husband this old lady could have ever dreamed of. 

My cup runneth over.

L-O-V-E



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