Beautiful Spaces: Where We Stayed in Vancouver, Canada

Nov 21, 2016    /    stories & photos

Welcome back to Beautiful Spaces—a series of posts in which I talk about the places where I stay during my travels. It all started in 2013 when I realized that my contentment on the road is directly connected to how much I love where I’m living…and so made a commitment to find beautiful spaces to call home along the way. The owners of this cozy little Airbnb rental in North Vancouver were kind enough to offer a small discount in exchange for this review. As always, opinions are my own.


After our epic cross-US-then-cross-Canada road trip in the late spring to mid-summer, Chad, Luna, and I settled in for a longer-than-usual stay on Canada’s western coast—in a city that Chad already loves and that I’d been curious about for awhile: Vancouver.

We chose to live in North Vancouver—a sprawling city in and of itself located up against and, indeed, in the mountains across the water from downtown. First, we spent a month in a studio in Lynn Canyon, and then we moved to our longer-stay spot: a little one-bedroom place with a spacious patio about a 30-minute walk from the famed Grouse Grind.

kitchen

chicken stock

chair

bedroom

princess bed

Very quickly, the little space felt like home, with its giant cozy leather chair and its tiny white kitchen. Chad spent his days settled at the kitchen table, brainstorming business ideas. Luna sprawled happily on a blanket by the window, which we took to calling “the princess bed.” And I took up residence most days in the leather chair with notepad and laptop in hand or standing in the kitchen making bone broths or sour cream pancakes or burrito bowls.

Our favorite space, though, was the patio. We were out there anytime it was sunny and warm (regularly in the beginning of our stay) and sometimes, bundled in blankets or pulling the chairs back toward the house away from the rain, even when it wasn’t sunny or warm.

Chad declared several times that good patio spaces were now a requirement for him. He couldn’t imagine living without the views and the fresh air and the space to mull over creative ideas in the sunshine.

cookies

Other things we really liked about our stay? Luna loved the little walking path (Mosquito Creek) just a couple blocks away. And we humans were really, really glad to have stayed in North Vancouver, which is so much quieter and closer to nature than the bustling city.

The owners, who lived above us, were also incredibly nice, helpful, and quick to respond if we needed something. They’re the kind of people you could trouble for a cup of sugar when baking or just stop to chat with.

In fact, the only thing that was less than ideal is that the buses up in this part of town are almost never on time. So if you don’t have a car (we’d sold ours already by the time we figured this out), you’ll need to be a little flexible. Leave a little early if you have somewhere you have to be. And take a book in case the bus coming back is running late too.

Despite the buses, though, I’d absolutely still choose this space if we were re-booking our Vancouver adventure.

park

Going to Vancouver yourself? You can find Mary’s place listed on Airbnb. And if you’re joining Airbnb for the first time? Would you please use this link to join? You and I both get a little thank-you credit toward our next trips if you do! 

Looking for more places to stay? You can see all the beautiful spaces I’ve reviewed here.


Going to Vancouver? I wrote a tiny local-centric guidebook for you:

Buy it Now:        Kindle for $2.99 – or Kindle Unlimited for free!

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2 Comments
  • Suzanne
    December 18, 2016

    I love that photo of Luna on the bed with her legs up. She looks very happy.

    However, I imagine there must be some challenges when traveling with a dog. You mentioned you spend a lot of time outdoors and don’t eat out a lot, but when you do want or need to go somewhere where dogs aren’t allowed, what do you do with Luna? And what about getting around on public transit with a dog? When I lived in France for a year we took our dog with us but there it was easy because dogs were allowed on buses and trains, and even in restaurants . I doubt many other countries are that receptive to dogs.

    Glad you’re making it work and would love to hear more about getting around with Luna.
    Suzanne

    • gigigriffis
      December 19, 2016

      Hey Suzanne! You can find everything I’ve written about traveling with Luna here: http://gigigriffis.com/category/luna/.

      To answer your specific questions:

      :: Mostly I travel in Europe and every European country (with the exception of Spain and the UK) is just as dog friendly as France, if not more so! In Slovenia, they even let me take her in churches (provided I hold her in my arms the whole time). It’s only in North America (Canada, USA) that I have to deal with outdated regulations against dogs in public spaces. Even in Mexico, I could always find a restaurant that would take us and nobody batted an eye on public transport.

      :: Luna definitely doesn’t impact our decision not to eat out much. That’s more driven by A. budget, B. the fact that I love to cook, and C. our disappointment in restaurants in certain areas (e.g. we only had one “wow” experience in over four months in Vancouver, so after trying a handful of people’s favorite spots, we just started eating in more and more). I also just love the outdoors, so that’s what I would be doing even if I didn’t have a dog. :)

      :: We also pretty much always rent apartments, so we can leave Luna just like we would if we lived full-time somewhere. If I need to go to the grocery store, for example (somewhere I can’t take her even in Europe) or if we want to go to the theater or something, she just stays home and snoozes on the couch.

      :: I try not to leave her super often, but when we were in North America this year, unfortunately it was more often than I’d like, since she can’t go in restaurants, cafes, etc. etc. and it seemed cruel to take her out exploring in the cold cold rain since she gets chilled easily. For those traveling with dogs, I definitely recommend getting outside the US and Canada – the rest of the world is so much more dog-welcoming!

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