Monday, March 9, 2009

Things that Make me Smile

So how was my Vancouver trip you ask? Wonderful! Simply Wonderful!

I was fortunate enough to stay at the Westin Bayshore hotel located in Coal Harbour. Directly adjacent to Stanley Park but walking distance to both downtown and Vancouver's West end . . . it's easily my favourite part of Vancouver (English Bay would come in second). Now what is it about this area that makes me love it so?

Views like these just outside my lovely hotel room balcony! And if you look just to the other side there are more gorgeous views. This time a little bit more city-like. Mountains, Ocean, city, marina . . . it's the best of all worlds!

With my lovely view I was able to sit back and enjoy the puffy cloud-filled sky putting on quite the show for me:

It had been a long time since I had been in a big city or near the water. My soul was happy. I have never lived in Vancouver but the familiarity of it all made me smile. It was like the perfect mix between my beloved Toronto and my much missed Victoria.

I stared at the view for a while and finally decided to head out. My plan was pretty clear, I was going to head for a haircut, look for some exercise DVDs, grab a late lunch, and head back to the hotel for a quick run.

First the hair cut. I seldom put pictures of myself up on the blog but I kind of heart it so you're going to have to bear with me. This is my after shot:

And that in the background is my wonderful hotel room! A king size heavenly bed, floor to ceiling windows, and a Juliette balcony. :o)

My first Vancouver city meal was in a small Thai restaurant near my stylist. The prices were extremely reasonable so I never expected to get so much food!

There was some rice, a spring roll, a salad, and sauteed scampi. I barely ate half of my meal. Unfortunately I did not get to have any of my salad. It had a peanut dressing all over it and I'm allergic (hence why I'm one of the few food/fitness bloggies that doesn't indulge in Peanut Butter & Co.).

Overall what did I think of the dish? The scampi were amazing! Perfectly cooked in an oyster sauce and chock full of veggies too. I was a happy camper.

Full stomach in tow, I headed off in search of some fitness DVDs. The deadline for the Great $1000 Fitness Dilemma is drawing near and I still had some money to spend. I bought four DVDs that I can't wait to try and review here!

My haul included three Rodney Yee DVDs (Power Yoga - Strength and Flexibility, Yoga Burn, and A.M. Yoga) and Jillian Michaels' Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. All of that only cost me about $60! On the same outing I also headed to the Lululemon flagship store to buy a yoga strap that doubles as a mat carrier. Yaaay for dual purpose fitness goodies!

After all that shopping I headed to the hotel for a quick run. The weather wasn't the best that evening so I didn't take any pictures. I would more than make up for it the next couple of days when the sun was happily smiling down on me.

That night I got to meet up with one of my girls. We headed to a local French restaurant where I had the most ridonculously yummy steak of my life. Again though the portions were massive. As in more than double what I thought they would be. A warning - if you're a vegetarian you may want to look away now . . .

My rib-eye steak was accompanied by a Roquefort sauce, creamed spinach, a roasted tomato and a pile of frites. I barely ate half the meat, 1/4 of the fries, and 1/3 of the spinach. Clearly I need to start ordering smaller portions. I would have loved to take some with me but my lovely hotel room was missing a fridge. So I ate what I could and sent the rest away with assurances to the chef that I had indeed enjoyed my meal.

Soon I was off to bed because the next day was the business portion of my trip. I may have spent most of my Thursday in a conference room but I did manage to get out and enjoy my first lovely weather run in Stanley Park. More on that tomorrow but for now I'll leave you a preview of what I saw on my run.

Let's just say the views and the salty air caused me to re-discover a love for running outdoors:

See you in the morning bloggies - happy dreams! :o)


Krista said...

Great food, great haircut, great workout stuff....I'm officially jealous!! Seriously,'s great to read a blog that feature's such beautiful images of good ole Canada!! :)

A Toronto girl out West said...


That's such a great compliment! :o) I'm thrilled you enjoy the pictures so much!!

Diana said...

WOW! What beautiful pictures! Your hair looks great! And look at all those goodies! I - Like Krista - am JEALOUS! Honestly those pictures are fantastic! I can't wait to see more!

Leah said...

It looks like you had an amazing time! I love your hair by the way, you are so pretty!!!


A Toronto girl out West said...


I'll make sure to post more tonight! :o) I noticed in your blog that you posted pictures of the Rideau Canal - it's beautiful there!


Awwww . . . you're too sweet! :o) Thank-you so much!!

aron said...

love the haircut!!! that city looks amaaazing :)

A Toronto girl out West said...


lol Yeah I'm still in love with the haircut! I'll make sure to visit the same stylist next time I'm in Vancouver (I'm heading to nearby Whistler for a week in late May).

And it is an AMAZING city! Especially for a runner - you'd love it!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

*sigh* This so makes me want to go home ASAP. I love my Vancouver, and even my suburbs.

And the Westin Bayshore eh? That is pretty swank. My sister's grad was there.

Do you know the name of the Thai or French places you ate at by chance?

A Toronto girl out West said...


lol Oh how these pictures must torture you! :oP Think of it this way though - at least you can still see mountains and be near the water. You'd miss home even more if you were landlocked in a flat place. And it's only a ferry ride away! :o)

As for the Thai place I totally don't remember the name. I DO however have the name for the French place. It's called Pied-a-Terre and you can find the menu online here:

It's very small with only a few tables so getting resos can be a pain. But I'd go back again!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Oh yeah and the Westin Bayshore was sweet! What can I say? Work hooked me up nicely! :o)