So I’m back in Orlando. As I write this, it’s 91ºF in Orlando. It’s 63ºF in Vancouver right now. Any guesses where I’d rather be? 😀 Wishing I were somewhere cooler but very thankful for the time I had to enjoy the beauty that is British Columbia and more specifically, Vancouver.

Two days after our marathon, Teresa and I decided to give our legs another challenge. We had heard much of, and could see from town, Quarry Rock, a large, rocky outcrop that overlooks Deep Cove and the Indian Arm inlet and from which you can see for miles. Accessing the rock requires a 3.8km hike through beautiful forests (and up and down numerous steps!).

We woke up early to give us enough time to do the hike and get Teresa to the airport in time to make her flight home. I’m so glad she was able to do this before she left! Hiking through the forest in the early morning hours is just so, so wonderful and peaceful. The birds chirping, the fresh scent of pine, the cool breeze, the peacefulness – I loved it!

quarry rock hike

We took our time going up (our still recovering muscles had a lot to do with that 🙂 ) and once we got to the top, we spent some time just sitting on the rock and enjoying the views and the quiet. Quarry Rock, and the trail leading up to it, can get quite crowded but we pretty much had the place to ourselves (bonus to going early in the morning!).

quarry rock

Such a perfectly, beautiful start to our day! The hike down was much quicker and Teresa had just enough time to finish packing, get ready and get to the airport for her flight. I was so sad to see her go and so wish she could have spent more time in Vancouver!

After my parents and I dropped her off, I thought it would be a perfect time to get some fish ‘n’ chips at the highly recommended, Go Fish, a takeaway seafood shack located on Fisherman’s Wharf across the inlet from Granville Island. This is a popular place at lunchtime and we had to wait in line a good 25-30 minutes to order our food. But it was worth it!

My Dad and I had the salmon and my Mom ordered the cod. Each was served with a bucket-full of fries and some yummy coleslaw. We nabbed one of the patio tables and ate as much as we could while enjoying the beautiful weather.

go fish lunch

From there we walked to Beaucoup Bakery to pick up some special treats (I think we bought one of everything!) and then headed back to Deep Cove. A lazy afternoon and evening commenced complete with naps, reading, journaling, a walk into the village for a green smoothie, leftover pizza and Netflix. 🙂

The following day was the first overcast, gloomy, rainy day we had experienced in the traditionally overcast, gloomy, rainy city of Vancouver. But we didn’t mind! It made the surroundings and our view even more beautiful somehow, and it gave us permission to rest and take it easy for a day.

deep cove vancouver

For dinner, we decided to go out for some good seafood. It took us forever to nail down a place to eat! We ended up going to the Pink Peppercorn Seafood House. This was not my first choice but it was my Dad’s as it had great reviews. I was basing my adverse feelings for it solely on it’s appearance. Or lack thereof. I wanted to go somewhere with great food, but also great ambience. But I gave in and we drove to Pink Peppercorn.

This is one of those places you wouldn’t look twice at passing by and most likely wouldn’t go in if you didn’t already know something about it. BUT, it ended up being great!!! So the decor was dated and there weren’t any views. The food, the service and the fantastic playlist (Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Tony Bennet) more than made up for it! We all had such a great time together and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

the pink peppercorn dinner

The following day, after breakfast at BluHouse Cafe in Deep Cove (my third time there – loved it!), we headed back to one of my favorite places in Vancouver: Stanley Park. Although we had taken a horse-drawn carriage tour here at the beginning of our trip, I wanted my parents to enjoy the pastime of walking around the seawall.

We parked at Prospect Point and took the steep trail down to the seawall (I had forgotten just how steep and long the trail was until I was traversing it with my parents 😛 ). Unfortunately for us, the sun hadn’t quite reached the side of Stanley Park we were walking along and with the brisk wind and cool temps, we were pretty much shivering the entire walk. But it was still so beautiful and fun and can I please live here so I can walk or run or bike along the seawall everyday???

stanley park sea wall

We walked to Third Beach where we took a break with a concession stand-bought lunch then walked back to Prospect Point via the Merilees Trail. It wasn’t as windy on the trail and the sun was shining and it was just lovely.

That evening, we had reservations to dine at The Observatory Restaurant on top of Grouse Mountain. I had read online that if you dine at this restaurant, your lift ticket up the mountain is complimentary ($39.95/person!). I thought that was a deal that couldn’t be beat so we made our dinner plans!

I had visited Grouse Mountain on my previous trip to Vancouver and really enjoyed it. We took the nearly empty gondola up to the top and were surprised at how much snow was still on the ground at this elevation! We had arrived early so we could spend some time walking around a bit and the first thing we did was follow the bear paw prints on the sidewalk to the grizzly bear refuge.

grouse mountain

These bears are huge!!! And so fascinating! We spent quite a bit of time watching them while taking 562 photos and 238 minutes of video…only exaggerating a little. From there we walked around a bit and admired the absolutely gorgeous views.

Our dining experience at The Observatory was quite nice. We sat by the window with a birds eye view of the city, the sea, Stanley Park, Vancouver Island, and miles and miles beyond. Our meal was fantastic and I especially loved the little “extra” courses that we were surprised with.

the observatory

The gondola ride back down was packed full of sweaty people who had just completed the Grouse Grind (I might just have been one of those sweaty people a little over a week later… 😉 ). But the views were beyond amazing!

A lovely day full of lovely views, and the following day would be full of even lovelier views… 😉