A Weekend Retreat, Vancouver, B.C.

Corinne is one of my very best friends and she currently lives in Vancouver. We have lived in separate cities for the past 4 years, but thankfully, we’ve been able to see each other regularly. We’ve met up in Toronto, San Francisco, and LA twice; I was determined to make it to Vancouver this year.  I had been to Vancouver a couple of times in the past, but only for work – this was my first time really getting to relax and enjoy the city.

Corinne and I met several years ago in Toronto, as we lived in the same “staff house” while working for the same organization. We were fast friends, and before long I was spending Thanksgivings (and even a Christmas!) with her family. We went on several lengthy adventure-filled vacations, traveling to Costa Rica, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. It was a tearful and dramatic display when she moved out.

If you’ve met Corinne, you understand why one would prioritize seeing her at least once a year. She is as brilliant as she is fun, as fearless as she is wise. A friend who understands the intensity of your need for snacks. Who collects leaves and mails “pieces of Canada” to you. Who never misses a milestone, even if others wouldn’t recognize it as one.

In pure Corinne fashion, she presented me with the perfectly balanced weekend – a mix of fun activities and intentional relaxation. I figured I would share her wisdom and travel planning prowess via this blog in case you go to Vancouver in the future, and/or are in need of ideas for a wonderful trip. (*P.S. If you live in LA, Vancouver is an easy flight for a weekend getaway!)

 

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Friday:

  • Morning hike, Quarry Rock (Deep Cove) – 3.8km, deep woods, stunning views
  • Chai lattes and donuts afterwards at Honey’s Doughnuts
  • Afternoon walk along Kitsilano Beach (not only is the beach beautiful, chill, and filled with beach volleyball players, but it is surrounded by mountains)
  • Free outdoor yoga class at Kits Beach (this happens every night, all summer long!)
  • Dinner at Sushi Bella (sushi is a must in Vancouver!)

Saturday:

  • Scandinave Spa (Whistler) – Spa + lunch + nap + spa some more. We spent a reasonable 6.5 hours here – it was heavenly
  • We stopped at Pure Bread Bakery on the way home. We shared 3 desserts (and then had belly aches for 2 hours, but it was worth it)
  • We made dinner and relaxed at home

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Sunday:

  • Sea to Summit Hiking Trail (Squamish) – This hike is intense (7.5km straight up, and involves using fixed rope lines at points) but the view is 100% worth it. And you get to take a gondola ride down! Pack a lunch, wear sturdy shoes, and give yourself about 4 hours. You can do it!
  • Vegan pizza on the beach from Virtuous Pie (I highly recommend the Curry Mile Pizza!) #beachza

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The weekend was just what I needed. I left feeling, as I often do, incredibly grateful that Corinne is my friend, and also infatuated with Vancouver.

❤ Kailea

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