Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tiny Friends


The past eight-weeks with Vivienne have been incredible (of course challenging at times too)...I do love being a mama! Vancouver has been such a great city to have our first baby in. There is tremendous support from the community for new families. There are free drop-in classes each week with our birthing center & also the community health center just walking distance from our place. Both are taught by Nurses & each week there are new topics ranging from baby massage to exercise & nutrition for moms. It is so nice to connect with other mamas & have an excuse to get out of the house. Here are some of Viv's first friends. She is often the only girl, so she has lots of Canadian boyfriends (Simon, Soren, Maitland & James). :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

One-Month


Traditional Olive Oil Bath

Viv  ~  2012
Emily, my mom & I  ~ 1978

In our family it is tradition that the grandmother give the first warm olive oil bath in the first few days of life. It was so special to have my entire family up in Vancouver for Vivienne's first bath with my mom. It was very magical!  I could not find a photo of my grandmother & my bath, but did come across this one of my mother, older sister & I. I love comparing what I looked like as a baby & my own little girl. She is already growing up so quickly in her five-weeks...weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces (gaining 2 pounds since birth). She is perfect! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vivienne | Celebrating two-weeks


Viv & I did a little photo shoot to celebrate her two-weeks into this world! More photos on my Sparkle blog;  www.mysparklephoto.com. I am the proudest mama. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Arrival!

So excited to welcome our little girl, Vivienne, into the world! She arrive fast & furious 19-minutes after we got to the hospital. She wanted to meet her mama & daddy right away. The natural birth was the most powerful experience of my life. When they put her on my chest & wrapped us up in warm blankets, the world stopped & it was pure bliss. The doula & midwife that delivered her were just amazing & so supportive. We feel so blessed & are totally in love!  More photos on the way (as I cannot seem to put down my camera). :) xoxo

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baby Bump in Stanley Park

A few weeks ago my wedding photographer from Whistler was in town & we did a quick shoot in Stanley Park. The park smelled so good of pine, moss, earth & crisp air. It was magical in the trees as the sun was just setting. The little baby booties I carried back from Bhutan when my sister & I were in the Himalayas a few years ago. I think they will fit perfectly when she arrives. :) Thank you Anastasia Photography for your time, energy & beautiful photography!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vancouver Tips

Ryan & I are so excited to welcome this baby & know we will have a lot of family & friends visiting in the coming months. Here is a little guide of the best ways to get to Vancouver, some of our favorite places in the city & also maps! We love you all & are on the final countdown! Don't forget your passports.

VANCOUVER  |  YVR Airport

  • TRAIN:  The easiest & cheapest way from the airport to downtown is the SkyTrain Canada Line. The train is brand new, only about $5 & takes about 25-mins to stops along downtown. The train is directly outside the airport at the top of the escalators. The train goes one direction to Waterfront Station & our stop is Yaletown/Roundhouse
  • TAXI: A taxi is about $40 from the airport to downtown.  
  • TROLLEY: Once in Vancouver, there is a great Trolley that takes you to all the major sites downtown. You can hop on & off or take an actual tour. CLICK HERE for brochure.
  • WATER TAXI: All along False Creek (where we live) there are multiple water taxi stops. It is a fun way to see the city & take you to different places like the Science Center, Granville Island & the Olympic Village for just a few dollars. CLICK HERE for AQUABUS map.

SEATTLE  |  SeaTac Airport The best flight prices are always out of Seattle. From Seattle, there are a few options to get up to Vancouver.

  • BUS:  If you are not renting a car, you can take a bus directly from the airport on the QuickShuttle & it does stops at all the major hotels in Vancouver. I have taken this many times & it has free wi-fi & around a 4-hour trip (depending on the time of day). It is about $99 round trip. 
  • TRAIN: There is an Amtrak train that goes from Seattle to Vancouver. We have not taken this route, but it looks really nice, around 4-hours & is about $80 round trip. It looks like the train has a more limited schedule than the buses (which leave often). The Vancouver train station is about 5-minutes from our place downtown.
  • RENTING A CAR: You can always rent a car at the airport & drive up to Vancouver. The drive is about 3-4 hours. (depending on traffic & border time waits).
  • SCENIC ROUTE: Although a bit longer, one of the prettiest ways to get to Vancouver is by ferry.
    • From Seattle you take the Victoria Clipper. The ferry takes you from Seattle to Victoria in 3-hours through Puget Sound & is about $100 round trip with kids 12 & under free. 
    • From Victoria you take another ferry toVancouver with BC Ferries. The only catch is that the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver leaves at another port about 20 minutes outside of Victoria (by bus or taxi). You leave out of Swartz Bay (Victoria) & arrive at Tsawwassen (Vancouver). The trip from Victoria to Vancouver is 1.5 hours & about $15.
    • You can also take a float plane from Victoria to Vancouver through Harbour Air. It is a gorgeous way to fly into the city & takes only a half hour.

SOME OF OUR FAVORITE PLACES...
  • STANLEY PARK: This is a gorgeous 1,000 acre park right along the ocean. You can rent bikes or walk along the seawall...it is gorgeous (with sand beaches, forest trails & yummy restaurants). It is 5.5 miles around the entire park. CLICK HERE for a great map of the park.
  • GRANVILLE ISLAND:  CLICK HERE for a map
    • Granville Public Market is open 7 days a week, 9am-7pm. It is a great place filled with local farmers & artists. It reminds me of Pike's Place in Seattle. You can take a food tour of the market through Edible BC & it is delicious!
    • Kids Market - Steps from the Public Market is a great place for the kids with shops & an outdoor play area.
    • Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design - art school on island with great galleries to explore.
    • The SandBar Restaurant - a favorite restaurant we love to go. It is worth the wait for the upstairs outdoor seating overlooking False Creek (great in winter too with heated floors, lamps & blankets).
  • CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE: Capilano Bridge is a gorgeous place to see about 20-mins from downtown & full of bridges up in the trees.
  • SKI RESORTS: There are three ski resorts within 20-30 minutes from downtown & Whistler is about 1-2 hours away.
    • Grouse Mountain - A great place in the summer or winter with beautiful views of downtown Vancouver. In the summer there is The Grouse Grind hike, Ziplines, Lumberjack show & a Grizzly Bear habitat. If you are not skiing, you can always just take the Gondola up to the top to soak in the view & eat a great lunch. $58 full day ski pass.
    • Cypress Mountain - This is a great mountain to ski, snowshoe, cross-country or even go tubing (there is a snow tube park that looks fun). Holyburn Lodge is only about a mile in on snowshoes & a great place for lunch. $59 full day ski pass.
    • Seymour Mountain - Great place to ski, tube or even toboggan. $46 full day pass (open until 10pm).
    • Whistler Blackcomb Mountain - One of our favorite places! The drive is beautiful along the Sea To Sky Highway & takes you about 1.5 hours from downtown Vancouver to Whistler. $96 full day ski pass. Be sure to ride the Peak2Peak Gondola where we got married. :) 
  • VANCOUVER ART GALLERY: The art gallery is right downtown & a favorite of mine! They have fun family activities on the weekends too.
  • ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUM: Located on University of British Columbia Campus & is a incredible museum of First Nations Art (huge totem poles & canoes). The drive to get there takes you along West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano where there are great restaurants & shops.
  • RESTAURANTS: a few of our favorites....
    • Tea House in Stanley Park: Great Brunch/Lunch/Views
    • Medina: Tiny restaurant, delicious breakfast/lunch (the wait is worth the waffles)
    • Dirty Apron: Cooking school with a cute deli inside (down the street if Medina gets too long of a wait)
    • Chambar: Delicious spot for dinner (mussels are one of my favorite dishes here)
    • Sandbar: On Granville Island, worth the wait for the upstairs outdoor patio
    • Tomahawk: Great breakfast if you are headed to Capilano Bridge or one of the ski resorts, diner style, very casual, open since 1926
    • Bistrot Bistro: French restaurant on West 4th Avenue & the boeuf bourguignon is a must!
    • L'Abattoir: Great little restaurant right in Gastown
    • Nuba: Delicious, casual lebanese food (a few locations downtown) 
    • BaoQi: Casual Vietnamese in Yaletown & best Pho Soup!
  • FAMILY FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS: CLICK HERE for some good places! Tim Horton's is also a Canadian staple. :)


HOTELS...

There are many hotels right downtown & everything is walking distance or you can always hop on the Canada Line train. Here are some hotels close to us. You can also search on hotels.com & we are downtown Vancouver near BC Place Stadium.
 OUR ADDRESS:
  • 8 Smithe Mews, Apt #1806 - We live in Yaletown along False Creek near BC Place Stadium
  • Building Code #6090
CLICK HERE for a great map of downtown Vancouver