After Haley and I’s whirlwind tour of downtown Vancouver area on the 2nd, it was a relief to go stay out at my aunt Dianna and uncle Scott’s beautiful home in Maple Ridge.
Pretty typically, when I travel anywhere I like to start my day with a run to get my bearings. I woke up to a quiet house and headed out for a run around the neighbourhood, keeping my eyes peeled for the mama bear and three cubs my aunt had mentioned that frequented the area.
The loop I did was just over four km, so I ended up doing it twice because I wanted to test my 5 km time (and finally got a 5 km under 25 minutes – success!). Of course it was raining a bit as I ran, and there were a few decent hills, but something about running in a new area is always fun.
Back at the house, everyone was eating breakfast and getting ready for the day. Once all us ladies were cleaned up, we piled in my aunt Dianna’s CRV and headed to Fort Langley for the day to explore. Fort Langley’s downtown area has tons of cute little shops to explore, and an amazing restaurant with lots of gluten-free options called Wendel’s.
Although Wendel’s was packed when we came in, somehow we managed to find a five-person table and have lunch. I had the Creole chicken salad and a latte – both were delicious. And I got to have another g-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie. * praise hands emoji *
We explored down main street after lunch, although I don’t think any of us bought anything despite all the cute things we saw.
On the way back to my aunt’s house, we stopped at Bruce’s Country Market to pick up some fresh fish and groceries for dinner. I even nabbed some kombucha! We spent the rest of the night prepping dinner, then feasting and visiting.
We decided to head out to Whistler to visit my aunt and uncle’s son, Chad, and get out for a hike.
Because I’m crazy, I did a driveway WOD first because I wanted to get some strength stuff in first. I borrowed a travel WOD from Carrots ‘n’ Cake that I afterwards renamed the inchworm express because I did four rounds of 10 inchworms, not to mention the burpees and push-ups involved too. My arms felt like jello!
We piled into the car around 9 to head out to Whistler. It took about 2.5 hours, but the scenery was lovely and as always there was lots of visiting, so the time flew by.
Since Chad is a Whistler local and conveniently a guide, he picked a nearby hike for us to do: Cheakamus Lake. The hike is lakeside with minimal elevation gain, and 16 km round trip. It was a slightly cloudy day and it was amazing how the lake’s color changed as the clouds moved.
As Dana sets a pretty brisk pace when we hike together, I guess I’m trained now to motor along. I didn’t even realize it until the halfway point, but unfortunately I’d been rushing everyone along the whole way. After that, I tried to adopt a more relaxed pace.
Between my little morning workout and the 16 km hike, I was feeling pretty tuckered out by the time we got back to the parking lot.
Luckily, great minds think alike, and pizza was on the agenda for dinner at Creekbread Pizza. The g-free crust was pretty good, and Haley and I had no trouble polishing off our individual pizzas.
After dinner, we wandered around downtown Whistler exploring. It is amazingly pedestrian friendly in the shopping plaza (unlike Banff where parking is a nightmare). By the time auntie drove us back to Maple Ridge, it was dark out and staying awake was a big struggle. Both Haley and I napped on the drive home, despite my best efforts to stay awake.
After all the exercise the day before, I elected to take a rest day and just luxuriate in a sleep-in instead. It’s so dark out in the countryside where my aunt and uncle live, and blissfly quiet too. It was wonderful!
We all had a lovely slow morning of breakfast and getting ready, before heading out to the seaside for lunch. After we parked in White Rock, the first restaurant that caught our eye was Jan’s on the Beach.
Gluten-free fish and chips? Sign us up! Haley and Grandma enjoyed the fish and chips (I sampled some of theirs – and WOW they were tasty), while I had the prawn/chicken curry. Funny thing to have, I know, but I was chilled!
After, we headed down to the pier to check out the views. Some people trapping crabs caught our attention for a bit (hey, we’re from a landlocked province.)
When we got back from the seaside, we decided to take my aunt and uncle’s dog Sade (a wonderful friendly lab) for a walk on some trails near their house. Our little walk turned into a pretty epic 9 km hike with some extreme elevation gains! I didn’t have my phone on me to measure, but I bet we gained 400-500m over 5 km. Needless to say, we all came home quite sweaty.
We had a late dinner in Maple Ridge at Browns Socialhouse. The chain is a favorite of my parents, and I can see why. I had the chicken social bowl and it was delish!
I’ll be back tomorrow with one more Vancouver trip recap about our last day, with lots of pictures!
PS. This is Peanut Butter Kait’s 100th blog post! Yay!