Vancouver eh?

So I'm in Vancouver. It's ridonky. The flight wasn't even that bad considering I was flying with united airlines. They are rude and you don't get a tv. So I read a lot and enjoyed the crying baby two rows ahead of me. And by enjoy obviously I mean wanted to rip my ears off. Was also constantly hungry on the flight, luckily I could eat most of the food but the portions are about a quarter the size of what I normally eat. Who eats like that? Not like you really want a big serving of good ol' plane food but still. Luckily once I got to Vancouver I was able to get my hands on a japadog pretty quickly. Rob and I were just wandering around and we came across this little place that was just packed with people and immediately I knew we had to eat there even before I saw the awesomeness of the menu. Basically it's a japanese hot dog. Yeah, I lost my shit. I think Rob was a little embarrassed about how excited I was. Days in Canada without eating gluten = 0. Good one. Worth it though. These hot dogs were insanity. Mine had bonito flakes and japanese mayonnaise and Rob got one with seaweed, japanese mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce. Freaking good. Definitely my favourite food of the trip so far. That night they had a fireworks display on to celebrate BC Day, not a bad way to end our first day in Van!

The next day I couldn't stop noticing how many gay people were walking around the city. And I mean mobs of gay men. And rainbow flags everywhere. Turns out it was Pride Day. And it was a big deal. The city pretty much closed off all the streets and there was a 2 hour long parade on. I discovered Wholefoods that day too. That place is the bomb. Wholefoods is like the best supermarket EVER. They have huge salads that you can get for $6 which is extremely helpful when you're travelling on a budget and also want to eat something nutritious rather than crap. Yeah I've been eating a whole bunch of crap too. It's so hard to get food here that doesn't involve grains or dairy or beans or sugar. I honestly don't know how people do paleo here. Rob and I ate a place called the Peckinpah in Gastown. Deep fried pickles. That was one of the items on the menu. Yeah, we ate there twice. It was all southern comfort food. I had buffalo hot wings the first time and the next night had the meat platter of pulled pork (awesome), pork ribs (boom) and brisket (actually the brisket was just ok). That also came with cornbread and two side orders of your choice. I went with hush puppies (corn bread deep fried) and southern greens (had to get some form of vegetable in me). Was ridiculous. The cornbread and hush puppies were the best. If I lived down south in the US I would actually be the most obese person ever. I complain a lot about Australia lacking in the food department but honestly I'm glad we don't have any of that back home because it would not end well for me at all. I would probably die of a cornbread overload.

I went for a run around downtown that Sunday morning as well. Firstly, go me for running. I never run. Secondly, I was up out of bed at 5:30am because I was super jet lagged, the room was about 400 degrees and it's pretty much daylight all the time. Like it will be 9pm and I'll literally think it's 4 in the afternoon. It throws me off big time. Anyway, so I was up and out running, waved to all the homeless people because they were the only other people up in the city that early. By the way I didn't wave, I just ran faster. Good motivation I guess. Then I got lost and had no idea where I was and ended up at the waterfront to catch the sunrise. Worst run ever. Seriously, could Vancouver be any more beautiful? I had to keep stopping to check out the scenery, it's so freaking gorgeous around here. They get the city, the water, the mountains and the forests. What more could you ask for? Anyway, the next day I could barely walk my legs were so sore. I had to do the awkward waddle and every ten seconds did the standard "oh my legs are so sore". Rob threatened to punch me in the face if I complained again so I stopped that pretty quickly. We headed around Stanley Park which I thought was a pretty standard sized park but in reality it's a massive forest with wildlife and totem poles. It took us a couple of hours to walk around the whole thing. But again, it's just so green and lush that you can't find a fault in the area at all. Apart from the banana slug we saw. Those are gross. If you don't know what a banana slug is, google it. I did some sort of childlike squeal when I saw it. I think I left a bit of my dignity back there at the park. There's also this dude that balances rocks by the water, and I know that doesn't sound too impressive but it literally defies gravity the way these rocks balance on top of eachother. I was sure it was fake but it's all legit. I definitely would not be patient enough to do that, pretty sure I'd be throwing rocks around everywhere within the first 5 minutes of doing that. After our massive walk around the park we went out for a night on the town. Gastown to be exact. Gastown is pretty cool, it's a little touristy but other sections have really sweet bars and cool restaurants. It is PACKED with homeless people though. And a couple blocks over is pretty much heroin-ville so you get a lot of that filtering through. I got on the special drink of the night - ceasars. At first I ordered a gluten free beer and Rob ordered the caesar because I didn't know what it was. Then I realised that it's like a bloody mary but they put clam juice in it too. Yeah, I got on to that real quick. Especially because that gluten free beer tasted like ass. We had poutine for dinner which is like the best combination of foods you could ever ask for. Fries, cheese curds and gravy. BOOM. The cheese is what makes it, ours also had a poached egg on top. Good God was that tasty. Long story short, it was all down hill from there and the last thing I remember was snorting pepper and taking a shot at the bar and then refusing to have lime squeezed in my eye. Apparently that is called a suicide shot. I woke up the next morning fully clothed and confused. Rob pretty much carried me home. I think he deserves some kind of award for that. Safe to say alcohol doesn't seem like the best idea right now. I was surprisingly pretty able bodied the next day. Except I saw people drinking ceasars EVERYWHERE, I think it was punishment for being such a jerk the night before. We checked out Kitsilano, also my other favourite part of Vancouver. It kind of reminds me of Fitzroy but more spread out and not as cool. But it was still pretty awesome. And I met the most stereotypical Canadian person I've ever met in my entire life. He would say "yeah, yeah, yeah" and "eh" about every second sentence. I was losing my shit in my head.  It was like something out of South Park. Classic.

So the next day we did the Grouse Grind. Firstly, I had been told to do the Grouse Grind back home by my Canadian friend Gibbles. Rob had done it before about 10 years ago, and I thought it sounded fun so we made a whole day of it. We had breakfast at a really low key diner-style place called Joe's Grill which is the only place so far we've found that does a good paleo breakfast. Then after that, I randomly bumped into my mate Geoff who I used to work with back home at lululemon. Insanity! That isn't the first time I've just ran into someone I know on the other side of the world, but still it gets me every time on how small the world is. Anywho, we headed to Grouse Mountain and I soon realised that the word "grind" was an understatement. Alarm bells were going off when I read at the bottom of the track that "the Grouse Grind is only for people with intermediate to advanced fitness levels". There was also a stretching station. Hmmm. So Rob wanted to time himself to try and beat what he got last time. So he starts the timer and I'm mid-way through a sentence when he just says "cya!" and bails on me powering up the mountain. After about 10 steps I knew I would not be following close behind. That shit is hard. It was already hot and humid, plus you're walking and at some points climbing up rocks and wooden steps. I was dripping with sweat and my legs were on fire the whole time. Basically what got me through was when I reached the 1/2 way mark. Also I would play games like "when I reach that dude with the blue shorts I'll take a drink of water" but then I'd overtake the guy and search for the next person to get to. That helped a lot. I ended up doing it in just under an hour, Rob finished in 42 minutes. He got 10 minutes off his previous time which is awesome. I think the world record for the climb is like 24 minutes or something ridiculous. After that we checked out the grizzly bear sanctuary and got so close to two bears, it was unreal. They were so cute and I just wanted to smoosh their faces, but then you see their claws that will literally rip your face off and you kind of realise that they're tough mofos that will not take crap from nobody. We also ate poutine with pulled pork - probably not the best post-mountain climbing meal but it was delicious none the less. We checked out the Capilano suspension bridge too, and of course, we had to rock it. Rob and I were able to get it swinging pretty good, we started at the top of the bridge and saw the ripple effect on a bunch of tourists standing in the middle of the bridge who all screamed when it got to them. It was quite amusing on our behalf. Then through the loud speaker we heard "please do not rock the bridge". Oops. Then the people behind us thought they'd do the same to us, which again was hilarious but we got told off a second time. It seems a bit ridiculous though considering a tree weighing 13 tons fell on the bridge and caused no damage at all to it. So you'd think a couple people rocking the bridge would be alright. We're on holidays, we do what we want. Just kidding. But seriously. We were well spent after that and pretty much just chilled the next couple of days.

I'm actually blogging on the ferry to Vancouver Island right now. Probably the best view I've ever had whilst blogging. Living the dream. But I think I should maybe check out the scenery instead of my iPad. You know, I am in Canada after all.

P.s. sorry for no pictures yet, they will come soon!

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