One of my favorite pre-baby trips last year, was my "couples only" trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. My husband and I loved Canada. We loved the crisp Canadian air, which was punctuated with the perfumed fragrance of tulips and hyacinth. We loved the sweeping and majestic views of the ocean from the Stanley Park. We loved learning about the history and the art (including the intricate and towering totem poles) of the native peoples. Another one of our favorites? Granville Island. If you are visiting Vancouver, one thing you "must do" is head off to the Granville Island Public Market, which is chockful of boisterous vendors who sell a vivid array of seasonal produce.
The "goods" available at Granville Island Public Market, however, are not limited to fresh fruits and vegetables, but you can purchase things such as antique baubles from a public market jeweler, or mountainous pot pies with craggy and buttery pie crusts from a local baker.
And since it's Vancouver, you know they are going to sell seafood at the market! On the recommendation of our Canadian-phile friend, my beau and I purchased a few sticks of maple syrup salmon (an amusing combo of two quintessential Canadian ingredients). The salmon was a little tough and cloying for my taste, but the freshness of salmon itself was stellar--the quality of salmon in Canada is unparalleled.
Another place you must visit on a stop at Granville Island, is Sandbar, a restaurant on the island where my husband and I enjoyed a early pre-dinner meal after a small lunch. Since we were planning on attending a wedding that evening, we only ordered a few beers and a 1/2 order of their mussels in a coconut curry sauce (a great option for someone who wants the "taste" and not the cost of a full meal). (If you are budget-conscious, I would also check out their happy hour specials.)
The uncutous, fleshy, and rotund mussels burst in our mouths like delicate seafood balloons, releasing creamy and mouthwatering innards. The milky curry sauce was perfectly sweetened and seasoned, not too ethereal, not too heavy, and had the perfect balance of subtle coconut aroma.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but Vancouver and Granville Island are definitely worth a visit!