So I finally did it. I took a step outside of the US. Ok, it isn’t necessarily a big thing to some, but for me it’s a tick off my ever evolving bucket list. I drove across the border and spent a few days in Canada and merciful days what an adventure!

It all started off with a 75 minute wait to get to the border crossing. I was being a total tourist as I geeked out on what was happening on the border. Like the dog sniffing under cars. The learning of NEXUS – which I believe I need in my life. I got to people watch: a lady who was rocking out to the quietest song ever, a Canadian returning home while cleaning his nose and eating it and just the sheer amount of people crossing the border. It. Was. Nuts.

Of course I was school girl stoked to see both the Canadian flag and American flag side by side because you know, you can’t ever see that in the states. SMH.

The 8.5 hour drive was broken down to a few pit stops so my little dude wouldn’t get too crazy in a car seat. He sure made riding in the backseat well worth it.

And while I was demoted to the back seat, my favorite part of the trip was always when he held my hand…


As we crossed the border stupid Pearl forgot about a few things. Remember the next time you spur of the moment travel internationally that local currency, cell roaming and banking are kind of important to figure out.

I called my bank and that was easy enough to fix. Went to a bank and got to hold my very own first Canadian bill – ya, I told you school girl stoked here.


Then, dum-dum-dum, I failed. As soon as we crossed the border I got a cute text message from my phone carrier welcoming me to Canada. Thanks XFinity! It gave me the rundown of roaming charges and I was like, eh not too bad. Until I realized, goodbye XFinity! You’re nowhere to be found in Canada. I didn’t mind not having a phone or the ability to text. My road trip company would keep me entertained for sure. But, then I realized GPS on my phone required data. I wasn’t about to spend money needlessly especially with us moving in August.

So, I learned to read a map that day. I had to figure out North, East, South and West. Mary Chris, you would have been proud. I was able to direct us to and from destinations. Like, you know, to a spot that takes you into a tunnel underwater.

Going through that tunnel gave me Final Destination feels.

All the other feels? Those also happened over the weekend.

The feels when I am being creative or seeing creativity at it’s finest…

The feels of laughter because what does this even mean!?

The feels that Canada gets me…

The feels of nostalgia because of this douche…

The feels of being different…

Of course the ceremonial feeding of my opu (OO-pooh, meaning stomach) is pretty important. We ate at a bunch of different places. Vera Burger and Shakes. The Keg. Granville Market shops. So Hyang. Lots of Starbucks. Dairy Queen (because I needed a fix).

But, my favorite place was outside of Canada. Cakes of Paradise Bakery. Here is my excitement…three years! Three years I have been searching for a long john that taste just like home. And, I. HAVE. FOUND. IT.

Also, you’re welcome Kristy.

I walked into the bakery, didn’t even know how it would taste. But, that didn’t stop me from buying out all of the yummy-ness that was in the showcase. This is a shameless plug for Cakes of Paradise. Go here: 6322 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108. Eat some Powdered Sugar Long John and fresh Guava cake. You will not be disappointed. You’re welcome.

Beside the food we had fun. It was definitely an adventure. Granville Island is a nice walk on a beautiful day. It has a regular market with fresh produce and a food court. It also boast a cute Kid’s market. It wasn’t infant friendly, but I mean it was Pearl friendly so…

The last day was something to be remembered. We parked in a parking garage so my car would be safe from the crazies and the absurd $5/hour street parking. I got my number as a stall.


And that was all there was to garage parking happiness. We found out that we parked in a garage that only took Canadian currency. Not a problem right? We thought the same way too. Except we spent two hours walking around down town to find an open bank – which we couldn’t find because hello why would a bank need to be open in downtown on a weekend during a holiday where there are tourists galore! We finally found a convenience store that would exchange our USD to CAN money with some tears.

Just, you know, needed to get my steps in.

By then I already had my favorite corner shop…

You always need to know where your favorite corner shop.

I passed this Starbucks in search of Canadian currency at least 7 times. Ya, I kid you not. Not circles, just, you know, meandering down streets that say there are open financial institutions but they don’t. But, hey, they make a mean Venti Caramel Macchiato with Soy Milk.

I was also ready to go home but my love was determined to show me the Steam Clock. So, we walked yet a few more blocks and got to watch the clock’s music…

And to make my weekend even more perfect? I had the wonderful joy of hearing the water hit the shores of Kitsalano Beach Park…

…and warm sand on my toes.

While I had my fun in Canada there is nothing like home. I screamed in delight when I saw this sign…

Oh, and as if there wasn’t enough adventure for the weekend, one thing you should always be ready for – projectile vomit from a 7 month old that gets all over him, the back seat, and the back seat navigator. Or, you know, the fact that you’re traveling so you don’t have a washer or dryer so you have to hand wash and dry everything on the dash…


Seriously though, it was a fun trip with only semi-stress. I had the loves of my life with me to get through so it helped. I also learned Canadians spend less time on their phones. WiFi isn’t so available. The roads are narrow but the people are kind. I got to meet an incredibly sweet proprietor at the B&B we stayed and learned so much about myself and Canada. I wouldn’t have traded the weekend for anything.

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With all of the drama we kept joking asking ourselves, but did you die? Let’s just say I’m glad we got through it. When our trip to Italy comes around I’ll for sure be ready. I’m just glad I got my feet wet. Most of all, I’m glad I’m back home. xoxo