Escaping Thanksgiving|Vancouver 2017|Day 1
Escaping Thanksgiving|Vancouver Trip 2017|Day 1|British Columbia|Canada
For the past two three years, we have been avoiding thanksgiving, this year is no exception, we have decided to skip it and head to Vancouver. Although Canada has been our favorite spot to avoid turkey day, but mostly, we were staying at Whistler. Not this year, this year, we want to stay at the heart of Vancouver and take a closer look at the city.
The driving didn’t start out well, it was rainy and windy, but eventually, it change for the better. At first, it was gloomy and the rain come and goes, but by the time we reach Skagit Valley, it’s sunshine all the way.
Traffic was actually ok, for a thanksgiving day, I thought it would be a lot worst. Even so, we were still stuck in traffic in stretches, a 4 hour trip did take us almost 6 hour to make, including stop, food and rest of course.
Hmmmm…. I guess it’s not just me …. seems a lot of people are also doing the same thing I do, running away from thanksgiving, lol~
Well, border crossing took sometimes, but it’s not the worst I have seen, trust me, 30 minutes sitting in the car waiting to cross is not bad, I think my longest wait here is close to two hours.
Finally, we were in our hotel room, check in and all, it’s completely dark by the time we arrived. We stayed in Hyatt Regency in the heart of downtown this time, it’s a perfect spot if your goal is to explore downtown Vancouver, it’s also very convenient to go from here to everywhere, walking, driving, or using the subway.
I found the hotel on Hotwire, using their hot deals option, meaning, at first, I have no clue what I was getting, but from research, I was very confident that I am getting one of the two, I was hoping for the other one, but I got Hyatt instead, haha~ No complain here, a 4 1/2 star hotel with an above 90% rating in the heart of downtown for about $130? It’s a no brianer~ Beware, Hotwire do charge for processing fees that makes the whole thing around $150~
Now, $150/night in a 4 and a 1/2 star hotel in downtown Vancouver is pretty cheap, but is it really? Well, just like staying in most of the major downtown in the country, there’s one huge hidden cost people simply don’t think about – parking.
The parking fee at the hotel is around $40, and that’s before tax. Now when you add it all up, your per night stay is suddenly around $200/night, and that’s not “low cost” in any sense. Of course, if we just look at the hotel cost, it is still very cheap, only if we can avoid the parking fees, it will be perfect. Perhaps I can park at a low cost parking garage and take a subway or bus to the hotel in the future~
And if you have dogs, which we do, that’s an additional $90 for three days, even though we are only going to stay for two. Now that’s pretty steep. So remember, when the hotel say they are dog friendly, they only mean you can bring your dog, but it doesn’t mean your dog stay free. Oh, and they only welcome dogs that are below 50lb. You won’t know that if you don’t call before hand and depend all your information on Hotwire. Good thing our dog is not heavy.
Aside from the shock of how expensive the parking and pet fees was, I love the hotel. Well, I love the location, to be exact. The room is clean and offered comfortable stay. The check-in clerk even made sure we get a room with ample space and good view, so that’s an A plus plus on service. Would I go back? I am not sure, I am a cost minded traveler, the parking fee and the pet fee are a real put off.
After resting a bit at the hotel, it’s time for dinner. This time, we didn’t do any checking on yelp, we have decided to go for a stroll, and settle with something that feels right and catch our eyes.
After a couple yay and nei, and here it is, the restaurant that both catch our eyes and our feel, our force are matching … or we are simply hungry enough to not want to look any further.
Either way, we are going for Thai at the Sala Thai.
It’s a charming busy restaurant, love the decos, especially the tricycle, all the decos are harmoniously put together, and made sure and without a doubt that you know you are in a Thai restaurant.
Pad Thai and Curry Seafood are what we order, they are both good, the curry is rich and the seafood is fresh, tasted better than your average Joe’s Thai restaurant. Now, we can’t really comment much because we have never been to Thailand, we don’t know how original Thai dishes taste, we do not have an origin to compare to, we can only compare it to other Thai restaurants we have tried before.
However, one thing that is worth mentioning is that, you got two choices of Pad Thai. One with tamarind sauce and the other with ketchup. Per our server, Pad Thai in Thailand was made with tamarind sauce. To me, that’s equivalent to a choice of authentic Pad Thai and American modified Pad Thai. Well of course I am going to choose the authentic Pad Thai, that’s a no brainier.
The Pad Thai did not disappoint, although it is wetter than my liking, it tasted good and not as sweet, the tamarind sauce gave it so much more depth in flavor, makes you looking forward to the next bite. And most importantly, without ketchup, it tasted so much less artificial. Yes, that’s how I felt every time I had Pad Thai that is made with ketchup, artificial.
Overall, we had a good meal, and it was quite satisfying. Instinct win, yeah~
After dinner, we were so full, we ate everything without any takeouts, that is rare for us, it could be because it is so good, or we are simply that hungry.
For the Asian, the solution for eating too much is always going for a walk, so walk we did. The city was in holiday spirit so lights and holidays decors were everywhere, it was pretty. That’s the good thing about staying at the heart of downtown, you felt the spirit of the city right away as soon as you step out of the hotel.
We walk a bit, we stroll into a couple cute stores, and soon enough, the food become sugar and we all felt tired. That’s it, day 1 is over, lights out.
Oh, did I mention the pillows and the mattress and the blanket are all so comfy and soft? Oh yea they are …. put me to sleep so fast …. ZzzZzzZzz …