Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vancouver & Whistler, Canada. July 15 - July 19, 2011

The love story goes like this...

Labor Day weekend, 2008, my good friend Rasheed visited me from Philly. He wanted to go to Las Vegas because he's never been, so we drove out there. One night after dinner, I didn't feel like going to the club, so I went back to the hotel while Rasheed stayed and partied. That night, he met a woman visiting from Vancouver. The next morning, Rasheed and I had a discussion about long distance relationships. While I've been involved in a couple before, Rasheed didn't believe it could work. I simply told him to keep an open mind, don't have any expectations, and just treat the process as making a new friend across the country. June 2009, Rasheed and the woman he met in Vegas, Andrea, started dating seriously. On January 1, 2010, Rasheed proposed to Andrea, and they became engaged. Rasheed told me he actually bought the ring only a month after he and Andrea got together! I kept teasing Rasheed that not only did he get involved in a long distance relationship, but an international and bi-coastal one, too. Rasheed and Andrea were getting married on July 16, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. When Rasheed and Andrea visited me last month, they asked me to marry them in Las Vegas after Andrea's visa goes through. I feel so honored to marry this lovely couple later this year here in the States!

I decided to make this my yearly vacation trip and included a visit to Seattle after Vancouver. I was in Vancouver in October 2010 for work and didn't have a lot of time to explore around. This time, I stayed for a few days and explored different parts of town. I had three missions while in Vancouver: 1) Rasheed and Andrea's wedding, 2) Eat as many Japa Dogs as I can, and 3) Visit Whistler and do the zipline.

I purposely booked the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver because there is a Japa Dog stand right in front of the hotel. Andrea laughed so hard when I told her this. I arrived Friday night after work. I told Rasheed when he picked me up at the airport how much I was waiting for Japa Dog to open the next day. My first meal in Vancouver was their Spicy Cheese Terimayo with wasabe mayo on top. Oh how I missed this!

I had a few hours of free time before the wedding, so I went exploring the town. Here's Robson Square.

Seattle, WA. July 20 - July 22, 2011

After Vancouver, I went down to Seattle. One of my best friends from high school, Patty, has been living in Seattle. We haven't hung out since 1991 after I went away for college. We briefly saw each other in January 2009, but we were with a group of high school friends and didn't get a chance to catch up. Patty had been inviting me to visit, and I'm glad I did!

Patty works in downtown so I rode with her in the morning. Seattle has FREE buses running from 6am-7pm through downtown in the tunnels. It's great! I wished LA had something like this.

I went on an underground tour in Pioneer Square. I learned a lot of history about Seattle on this tour. This used to be the street level!