Hello + Happy Friday!!!!! As many of you know the lack of blogging was due to my trip out to Vancouver + Seattle and then working 2 night shifts as soon as I got back. I vacationed with 3 of my girlfriends, and we had the best trip. We all agreed that we would highly recommend it.
Today I’m going to share pictures and a few details about the trip, just in case you are thinking about heading out that way!
There isn’t enough good things to say about Vancouver. We kept saying that the city has it all: mountains, ocean, good food, beautiful parks, and coffee shops at every single corner 🙂
Highlights of the trip:
- Spending time with friends. As I’ve mentioned I’m a huge fan of trips with girlfriends. I try to make a habit out of it once a year. It gives you a great opportunity to connect and learn more about your friends. I work with Ali, Kaitlin, and Kelley…so we made a rule before the trip that we could only talk about work 10% of the time. I’m happy to report that we were really good at sticking to this rule! We had a healthy cathartic talk about how we deal with the sadness of our oncology/palliative care job, but other than that we really kept it out of the conversations.
- Hiking. This was the best hiking of my life. The views were incredible. Below I’m going to share pictures and give a small review on each hike.
- Food. AHHHH! We would have breakfast each morning, and then during the hike we lived on Cliff Bars, Shot Blocks, and trail mix. As you can imagine by dinner we all felt hungry and ready to eat a big, satisfying dinner. One of the great things about a hiking vacation is that you don’t feel bad about indulging a little bit at dinner 🙂 We had some great choices of restaurants and I loved each meal!
- Being outdoors. This was definitely the type of trip that was 95% about hiking and making the most of our time, and at night 1 glass of wine or beer was more than satisfying. We would try to get to bed on the early end to be able to wake up at our 5:15-5:30 am alarms. We spent 90% of our time awake outside. I absolutely love hiking and get very reflective and feel closest to God during my time in nature.
The 3 hikes we did were:
Day 1: Garibaldi Lake, Whistler region, British Columbia. Oh my goodness, I would highly recommend this hike. It was absolutely gorgeous. I would say it was easy/moderate difficulty with a lot of switchbacks. Unfortunately we were up there on a cloudy day and not able to see the glaciers behind the treeline of the lake (we looked at Instagrams when we got back from the hike, and couldn’t believe it was the SAME place). It was still beautiful. I would highly recommend this hike!
Day 2: Stawamus Chief, Howe Sound region, British Columbia. This hike had a TON of stairs and to me it seemed moderately difficult. Toward the summit there are some chains and ladders that you have to brave, but the view at the top was more than worth it. We experienced a bit of a storm at the top, but thankfully everyone stayed calm and we quickly headed down the slippery rocks to tree coverage. I would highly recommend this hike.
Day 3: Grouse Grind, Vancouver. SOOO this hike kind of happened by accident. Kaitlin’s friend recommended it as a “short” hike. We figured it would be the perfect opportunity to watch the sunrise over Vancouver. We woke up early and headed to the edge of Vancouver to get up the mountain on time. For some reason, we all had in our minds that it was a short hike and didn’t look up how long it would take to get to the top. We started in the DARK and hiked fast as we didn’t want to miss the sunrise. Imagine our surprise as we made it to the 1/4 of the way there sign as the sun rose. We kept plugging, and ended up loving this hike. It was pretty intense and is referred to as “nature’s stairmaster” because there are a ton of stairs. The footing is a little treacherous, and you aren’t even allowed to go back down on the trail…you have to ride the gondola to the bottom. There were plenty of locals there that were doing this hike as the Saturday morning workout and were passing us left and right 🙂 I couldn’t imagine having this hike in my backyard, I would LOVE to do it all the time + they have a time chip program so you can see yourself improve. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at a beautiful building and had a big coffee and the best breakfast wrap to celebrate getting there. I would highly recommend this hike. It’s perfect for all levels because the people that cannot hoof it can ride the gondola to the top to see the gorgeous views.
Day 3 part B: Mount Baker, Washington. On our drive from Vancouver to Seattle we decided to catch one more hike (we just couldn’t get enough). We took one of our waitress’ recommendations and headed to Mt. Baker. We drove to the top and did a very easy and flat walk to see the sights. It was beautiful, but probably the one I would recommend the least. There are several different hikes there though, so if we had more energy I’m sure there was an awesome hike ready to be had.
After the day 3 hikes we headed to Seattle. This portion of the vacation was a little bit less intense 🙂 We explored the city, shopped, and ate. We ended our time with a trip over to Bainbridge Island and all loved the cozy and charming little city.
All and all, the vacation was amazing and I would get out there if I were you 🙂 Cannot wait for my next hiking adventure.
I hope everyone has a terrific weekend! I’m excited to head home and celebrate my sister’s baby shower! 🙂