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Mirling Around the World

Sushi, Craft Beer and Hungover Hikes

CANADA | Thursday, 18 January 2018 | Views [896]

Our first week away from home was an easy introduction to the backpacking year. We had friends and family put us up, take us out, and show us an incredible Canadian West Coast experience!

Vancouver has a great bus system. We were able to travel for several days, from the airport to my uncle's home, back and forth across town, and out to Port Moody for about $20 each – not shabby! We managed to find a craft brewery on Granville Island, bike around Stanley Park, and have two excellent (if very different) sushi experiences.

There was a quotation from the movie the Shining on this menu.Just look at that smile.Bright flickering, wild pieces of art on the ceiling - it was hard to take your eyes away!

The first was with Sterling's friend Tunny and his girlfriend Carly at a modern, funky place called the General Public Sushi Lodge on Main street. This place had bright flashing art pieces hanging from the ceiling (including a massive ruby-red hand displaying a prominent middle finger), menus quoting The Shining and multiple televisions showing Zoolander with subtitles. It was awesome and I definitely recommend it.


I'd like to delve into the second sushi experience a little further. Uncle Mark and Aunt Lettie wanted us to have a real Vancouver sushi experience to compare with the sushi in Japan, so they took us to Miku Vancouver, a restaurant on the waterfront. Some of the standout dishes from this meal included the Kaiso Seaweed Salad (best I've ever had, and I love my seaweed salad), the Aburi Beef Carpaccio, and an absolutely gorgeous selection of sashimi (below center). 


On the beef carpaccio plate, there was a sous-vide soft boiled organic hen's egg that I was nominated to eat whole (above right). Now, I'm no food critic, but I've got to try to describe eating this thing: it was dripping and wobbly on the spoon, and you had to eat it all in one go or you risked your shirt. It melted like butter with a silky smooth centre, as if instead of eating a regular bite of chocolate, you were eating a high quality truffle. Needless to say, if you order a meal with one of these babies, don't be afraid of the texture!

From Vancouver, we took the bus out to Port Moody to visit our friends Julie and Dom. What a beautiful city! Sterling and I don't have solid plans for our return to Canada from our trip, and I've got to say J + D did a good job enticing us out west with this stay: greenery, mountains, hikes all over the darn place and 4 breweries along a strip within walking distance from their home. (I can just see my mom wincing reading this – sorry Mom!)

It's hard to choose my favourite part of the visit, but I'm going to list the highlights:

  1. part of Thursday night was spent in an outdoor hot tub wearing toques in the rain (this activity in January is incredible to me, an Ontarian)

  2. Saturday evening we did a 4-stop walking brewery tour, which according to Dom is a first for them. I'm fairly certain it's a first for me as well. We had the best of intentions to try everything and rate our favourites, but splitting two different flights of four beers at four different breweries ends up with a hell of a lot of comparisons. (Quick math: Sterling and I each tasted 32 beers that night. Yikes.) That evening's fun-tivity leads me to...

  3. Sunday's Hungover Hike! Buntzen Lake is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. Multiple times on this 10 km hike in the hills around the lake, I mentionned that I would happily move to the lake and live as a hermit. (Sorry Mom!) Yes, I am excitable and yes, I am prone to exaggerate.... but don't take me for my word, look at the pictures below. I can't seem to enlarge the pictures in this story, so if you'd really like to look at them, check them out in the Vancouver photo section!


That about sums up the highlights of our Vancouver trip – I can't say enough for our hosts, who went above and beyond to show us a great time!

Now onto the next ... Saigon in Vietnam!




Tags: brewery tour, buntzen lake, craft beer, hiking, port moody, sous-vide, sushi, vancouver


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