Day 2 – Seattle

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Day 2 began with a 45-minute drive out to Westfield Southcenter, a giant shopping center in Tukwila. My Filipino friends have been raving about this franchise chain that serves authentic, delicious Filipino which was only available in the States so one of my goal for this road trip was to try it out. The closest Jollibee to Vancouver was the one in Westfield so it worked out perfectly. Anticipating long line ups, we went there as soon as the mall opened only to find out that it was shut for renovation!!! They didn’t mention anywhere on their website about this renovation! ☹

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Fortunately, the Filipino bakery shop next door, Red Ribbon, was still open so we still managed to try some delicious Filipino food! We ordered the Arroz caldo (chicken congee), palabok (noodles with sautéed pork, eggs and fried garlic), beef empanada (small calzone) and the ube overload cake. It’s a little heavy for breakfast but the food was delicious! Prices were very reasonable as well.

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All their desserts on display looks appetizing as well but we were already too full. We did purchase some butter mamon (sponge cake) and cheesy ensaimada (fluffy bread top with cheese) to bring home with us. Even though we had these pastries a few days later, they still tasted so fluffy and creamy! How I wish we had a Red Ribbon in Vancouver!

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For the good half of the day, we spent time checking out the shops in this huge mall. There are a good variety of stores with a good combination of restaurants and a large food court. They have Din Tai Fung here as well, an international Taiwanese franchise famous for its xiao long bao (another franchise that we don’t have in Vancouver ☹). They also had Christmas decorations up already which looked very pretty and festive.

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After shopping for a bit, we met up with a friend of mine who had moved down to the States for a few years to catch up over lunch in the food court.

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K had the sushi burrito and I ordered a beef teriyaki bowl. Food was decent for a food court.

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We bid farewell to my friend and we headed back into Seattle to catch up with another one of my friends who just had a baby. We spent some time catching up and headed out for an early dinner in the city. There were just soooo many restaurants that I wanted to try and not enough time to try everything! Given it was a Saturday night, some of the restaurants that I wanted to try were already fully booked a few days before hand! We ended up getting a reservation for a Japanese restaurant called Yoroshiku.

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The layout of this restaurant kind of reminds me of those hipster, trendy restaurants on Main Street in Vancouver. It was only 6:30 p.m. but the restaurant was already completely full. We got seated right away and given menus. We ordered the umami dashi ramen (bonito, kelp, school dashi stock, chashuu), ebi soba ramen (prawn with lobster broth) and a pork okonomiyaki.

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The food was soooo good!! Both the ramen were super flavourful and the ramen was cooked just right. The ramen absorbed the broth so you were able to get the flavour in each bite! The broth was rich but you could tell it was not MSG.

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The okonomiyaki was equally as delicious and authentic, reminds me of the one that I had in Osaka! Proportions were a tad smaller that I would like but that was expected for restaurants like these.

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You know food is authentic when all the chefs are Japanese! I would definitely come back next time. The long line up when we left proves that it is worth the wait!

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It was still early in the evening so we headed to Trader Joe’s to get a head start on our grocery shopping. Ever since I’ve been eating healthier, I’ve realized how much my grocery bill has gone up! Getting organic, low sodium, low fat or fresh ingredients in Vancouver is so expensive! I am so jealous how they have Trader Joe’s! Everything here is almost half the price of Vancouver even with the exchange rate being so high! They also have products here that are so unique that I haven’t seen anywhere in Vancouver…butternut squash pizza crust? Turkey bone broth?! Pumpkin pasta sauce?!?! My mind is blown…I am like a kid in a candy store whenever I come to Trader Joe’s! We did a preliminary run since we can’t get anything frozen yet and I’ve already spent $120…! Since we already bought so much stuff on this trip already, we had to spend some time back at the AirBNB to logistically figure out how we’re going to fit everything in my trunk! Day 3 still to come!

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A DAY TRIP TO CHILLIWACK

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It finally dawned on me that this was the last weekend of the summer so I try to cram as much outdoor activities as possible to make sure I fully utilize the sunshine before it is gone! Weather forecast for Chilliwack that week was a little like the stock market; one day it showed rain, the next sunny and the day after, cloudy. Since all the activities I planned for the trip were outdoors, we would need a plan B if it was to rain. With a final verdict of a cloudy forecast, we decided to take the risk and head to Chilliwack anyways.

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After a 1 hr 10 minutes’ drive on Highway 1, we finally arrived at our first destination, the Sunflower Festival! We bought our tickets online the night before, saving us each $5 a ticket!

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Although it was a Saturday, it was not as crowded as I had imagined, possibly because it was still early in the day and because of the cloudy forecast. The sun was peering through the clouds so my photos turned out not so gray after all!

 

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We had a great time wandering through the sunflower fields, taking photos with various props provided by the farm and with the beautiful mountain backdrop. They even had an area where you can pick your own sunflowers home for $2 a stem. The greedy me picked the baby sunflowers so I could maximize their life spans in my vase at home!

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Unfortunately, there is very little sunshine in my patio so my sunflowers still have not yet fully bloomed ☹ Since it was the second week already, some of the taller sunflowers were already withering away. The farm had great facilities – clean, portable washrooms; two food trucks; picnic area and a playground for the kids. Parking was free and admission prices were reasonable. This is the first year of the festival and I think it was a great success!

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Our next stop was a 10 minutes’ drive into town for high tea at Dickens Sweets & British Museum. At this location, they have a shop which sells teas, teacups and other British sweets.

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Next to it is a high tea room and a small collection of British artifacts! Reservations are recommended for high tea during the weekend as it can get busy.

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For $15, we each got a choice of tea, a scone, some finger sandwiches and some baked savoury pastries. The food was delicious, fresh and served relatively promptly.

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After a good meal, we navigated through the British museum which features a full display of a British pub, a grocery store and a computer hardware shop. There was also an Expo’86 collection as well. The owner’s collection was well organized and displayed!

Before we left, we also purchased some tea and British Cadbury chocolates. They also sell their high tea pastries in the store as well but since we were full, I just picked up two Madeline cakes for the road!

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After a delicious meal, it was time to do some exercise to burn off those calories! We headed for the Bridal Falls Provincial Park to see the waterfall.

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Since I am not a huge fan of hiking, this trail was perfect for me as it only took 40 minutes in total.

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However, it still proved to be a challenge as going up was a steep uphill climb and it was a little hard to find footing at times when climbing up closer to the falls on the loose rocks. However, the effort was all worthwhile as we got some amazing pictures!

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Another 30 minutes’ drive took us to the Cultus Lake Provincial Park.

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The sun has come out fully at this point so the park was busy with families playing in the water and also set up for picnics.

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The scenery at the park was very beautiful with bristling waters, tall trees and luscious mountain.

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We had a great time playing in the water and relaxing on the floating deck. This defines a perfect summer day in Beautiful British Columbia!

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Before heading for dinner, we made a stop at Tap-Ins Putting Course to do some putting. They also have a golfing range next door but for a golf amateur like me, putting was good enough! For $15, you get access to 18 holes and equipment rental which is a good price. The course is also very family friendly and easy to follow. Not to mention, the scenery was absolutely amazing and breathtaking. I’ve played mini golf several times before but all of them were indoors. This was my first outdoor experience and I had a great time! Although I did a horrible job (+56 from par) but it was the participation that mattered the most!

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Our final stop before heading home was at Bubba’s Big Bite. This was one of the most highly rated restaurants in town on Yelp and most importantly, opened until later! It is a small hole in the wall in a small plaza, but surprisingly we had an awesome experience. Everything is made fresh to order and done in house.

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The shop is ran by a couple who named it after their son’s nickname, Bubba. The owner was very nice and came over to make recommendations for their menu and made small talks with us. Although they were busy handling a take out order, the wait for food was not too long. We ordered the vegetarian calzone and the Meatball Oinker to share.

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The signature sandwich also comes with soup and the soup of the day was the hamburger macaroni.

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The proportions were very generous that I had to pack half of it home and the taste was delicious. I like how hot the food was and how fresh it tasted as well. It was so good I actually got a triple meat calzone for lunch the next day!

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Finally, it was time to head home! It was really nice to get out of the city to enjoy the beautiful scenery of our province and enjoy the fresh air! At first, I was afraid that there will be nothing to do in Chilliwack as I have never been out there except for that one time many years ago for the corn maze. However, when I was doing my research on the Chilliwack tourism website, I realized that there were so many things to do that it was impossible to fit them all in one day! I realize that sometimes you don’t have to go on a plane or travel far to enjoy a nice vacation. Even when you drive an hour or two out of the city, you may discover another world that you have never seen before! Chilliwack is definitely more than just corns but don’t forget to pick up some fresh, juicy and sweet corns before heading home!