Goooood morning friends!
As you read this, I am probably flying through the air back to Ontario after what was an absolutely amazing weekend in Vancouver. I’ve got heaps to tell you about and it is definitely too much to fit into one post so I’ll split the trip into two.
I landed in Vancouver at about midnight Pacific time on Thursday night, and made my way to the Sheraton. When you’re used to waking up at 4am and going to bed at 9pm Eastern, still being awake at midnight PT (3am ET) made for a pretty long day! I collapsed on my lovely fluffy hotel bed and passed out in seconds.
It just so happened that the SeaWheeze took place during the same month as Ramadan, which is when my dad (who works in the Middle East) usually takes holidays. Lucky for me, he was able to come over to BC and join me in Vancouver for the event. My dad’s not a runner, but he did do quite a lot of swimming back in the day! On Friday morning, I had a quick workout in the hotel gym. Nothing too serious – I just wanted to make sure my legs were feeling good for the race on Saturday.
Then I met up with my dad for breakfast at the hotel lounge restaurant. Several plates of hard boiled eggs and fruit mountains were consumed.
Vancouver’s weather was gorgeous all weekend, so we set out downtown to see where the race and expo would be. The expo took place at the Vancouver Convention Center, and the area around it was gorgeous. Mountains, greenery, AND ocean? Yes please!
I couldn’t believe how clear the air was. We have so much humidity in Ontario and Vancouver’s sun and sea breezes were super refreshing.
As we walked past, we saw the Lululemon volunteers setting up for the first of 3 yoga/stretch sessions of the weekend in Jack Poole Plaza. This is also where Vancouver’s Olympic Cauldron is located from the 2010 winter games.
Soon after we got back to the hotel, my long-time buddy Lauren arrived at the hotel. Our mums have been lifetime besties and Lauren and I have known each other since we were born. (August babies – wooohoo!) She lives in Alberta (my home province!) so we don’t get to see each other often. We decided a few months ago that we wanted to get together and figured the SeaWheeze would be the perfect excuse.
Early on in our trip planning, we decided that Lauren would be in charge of figuring out our entertainment and I’d be in charge of figuring out where to eat. A lot of you gave me some great suggestions and it would have been impossible to visit them all in the short time that we were there, but eventually I narrowed down the choices. One of my favourite quick lunch spots in Toronto is Freshii, and since I knew the chain doesn’t have locations in Edmonton or Calgary, I had to take Lauren to experience some Freshii greatness in Vancouver.
Our afternoon was totally booked up with race expo action. The Convention Center was swarming with runners and their spectators, but from our perspective, everything ran like a well-oiled machine. You’d think the Lululemon crew had put this event on in the past, but this was the first SeaWheeze and I was totally blown away by how smoothly the race package pick-up and expo activities ran.
Our swag bags contained several race essentials, as well as some other goodies. We got vouchers for SeaWheeze flip flops (essentials for post-race stinky feet), vouchers for 15% off in the SeaWheeze showcase store, and of course, our race chips. (That’s Chip Wilson’s face that you see below, the founder of Lululemon.)
After picking up our kits and flip flops, we checked out the showcase store.
They had some neat stuff, but we figured that the way to truly experience Lululemon in Vancouver was to actually go to one of the company’s retail locations. We did, and I was so busy
spending money checking out all the gear that I didn’t take any photos. Oops!
We still had plenty to check out at the expo after our retail therapy, so we walked back to the Convention Center. On the way, we found a big Lululemon goals board….
…some very cool airbrush tattoos…
…a cupcake shop that smelled divine….
… and a super cute pug.
Back at the expo, there were free manicures and pedicures, massage tables, animals and other creatures on stilts, and life-sized jenga. We saved the massages for post-race, but definitely took advantage of the manicures!
All that expo-going helped us to work up an appetite, and our chosen diner destination was Earls in Yaletown, a request of my dad who used to love Earls back when we lived in Edmonton. Above this Earls location is the V Lounge, which was where we ate. Lots of delicious food went down…
Watch out, blinding white legs ahead!!
When we got back to our room after dinner, we found some lovely little race packages, compliments of Lululemon. Inside, there were blister bandages, hair elastics, sunscreen, epsom salts, and black Essie nail polish (so that we could paint our toenails the same colour as the toes that were about to be nail-less after the race!)
All that was just Friday. I’ve still got the actual race to tell you about, but let’s save that for tomorrow!