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Vancouver, Seattle and Portland

October 1, 2016

Next stop – Vancouver! This was probably my favourite part of the trip. Mostly because I got to hang out with two of my best friends, who (selfishly) moved to Canada in April, and we missed them so much we had to travel thousands of miles to see their faces. It felt surreal meeting from the Greyhound bus station one morning, a couple of hours outside of Vancouver. We popped into a supermarket to grab some lunch bits and headed straight to the Kettle Valley railway trail for a 20km cycle through the most amazing views. It was so, so nice to catch up whilst we cycled along the trail and took in the landscape around us.

Trout took a panoramic of me on one of the bridges, which resulted in this rather excellent bouffant hair. Expect my country rock album in the fall.

After the trail we drove to Vancouver to drop off our luggage at their apartment and headed out for cupcakes on the beach and a wander through the town, before heading back for a dip in their hot tub (absolute bliss after you’ve been travelling for so many days!) and a swim in the pool, before getting ready to go out for dinner at Meet, an amazing vegan restaurant. It took me so, so long to decide what to order! Very glad I went for this burger, holy yum.

The rest of the trip was spent soaking up stunning trails, spending time at food markets, another dip in the hot tub, more good food and craft beer. I was so sad to leave their apartment in the morning :(

Seattle

As soon as we arrived in Seattle and found our Air BnB we headed straight out to visit the famous market. I didn’t actually go to the very first Starbucks (ever!), which is apparently somewhere in or near the market, but I wasn’t too fussed. Apparently it has original branding and everything. Meh. The market was really nice – flowers, seafood, people making trinkets and crafty things and jewellery, plus a bunch of food stands. It was fun to walk around.

Just outside the market is Pike Place Chowder, which is a famous, award-winning chowder cafe that has one vegan option. It was pretty good – except for the fact it was filled with sweetcorn (food of the DEVIL) – and I’m sure if you eat fish the other kinds taste amazing.Worth a visit, even if you just share a small pot like we did.

After the chowder we walked around the corner to El Borracho for nachos and quesadillas (yes this was a food tour). Both were really good!

We got up early the next day to go to the EMP Museum, which is probably the best museum I have ever been to. Seriously. We originally went just to see the Nirvana exhibition (which was a-m-a-z-i-n-g), but ended up spending a good couple of hours in the museum exploring their guitar history, interactive music production, horror movies and wearable art exhibitions.

After a tiring morning at the museum we headed to Wayward Cafe for the biggest lunch I think I’ve ever had. I really try to finish every meal, but this one beat me – and it made me skip dinner, too. These mozzarella bites were insane! Worth the $14 Uber to get there… It was in a cool neighbourhood with lots of vegan shops, too. Do not miss this place.

We had a lot of fun in Seattle. It’s a cool city, with loads of culture and history, and some really awesome vegan food. It was a very fleeting visit – we got there Friday lunchtime and left Sunday morning – so I’m sure we missed a few gems in the city, but I’m so glad we got to go to the EMP Museum and eat those mozzarella bites. Priorities.

 

Portland

I really loved Portland. It had a really relaxed atmosphere, and we were so lucky with the weather – beautiful blue skies and sunshine.

Wraps and beers in the sunshine at Victoria.

We queued up round the shop at Voodoo Doughnuts, and they did not disappoint. And yes, Trout’s is as rude as it looks, and cream filled. I had a peanut butter chocolate cookie doughnut, and oh my gosh it was amazing!

Yep, I went back for another doughnut the next evening. This place is so good!

A lazy morning in our hotel one morning. I drank a lot of shitty hotel room coffee on our travels, and this was no exception – but I absolutely loved the faux fur bed runner at the end of the bed, so that made it better.

It might not look like much, but this was the best food I ate on our whole trip – Homegrown Smoker, a food truck (and also a deli).

The Japanese Rose Garden, a haven within a city. A lot of places we visited had these amazing ‘retreats’ where you can forget the city and imagine you’re somewhere calm and quiet. That’s the beauty of a lot of these cities. We also visited Powell’s Books, which I could have spent an entire afternoon in. I restrained myself and only bought one book and a souvenir bag. There are so many beautiful shops in Portland, that are far beyond my budget but beautiful to look round.

So that was our road trip across Canada, with a couple of stops in the USA. I hope you enjoyed it! We’re already planning our next big adventure, and we’re thinking somewhere in Asia. Any tips? I basically just want to travel to all the places Rick Stein films his cookery programmes.

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