Monday, April 3, 2023

Bigass Anniversary Vancouver Trip! Friends! Shopping! Sights!

Welcome back, my friends! As some of you long-time readers may have suspected, L and I went to Vancouver this past weekend for our annual pilgrimage to Fluevog - we started this way back in oh...2006? somewhere around there...the years all start to blur! We visit Fluevog Shoes, buy each other a pair (or two), meet up with friends, eat, drink and be merry, and we do a bunch of shopping (mostly second-hand). 

We took our 25th anniversary trip here last March, our first trip in years due to the pandemic. Last year still felt a little odd, but this year we were fully back to normal. I took a ton of pictures, and I bought a lot of stuff, so you may want to grab a snack in addition to my oft-recommended beverage before you get settled. 

Ready? Here we go. As always, all links are 'cause I love. I do recommend you clear your browser history if you go to Fluevog's site, as you'll end up seeing their ads everywhere. 

Speaking of...Happy Anniversary, my love! 
Pic by the fabulous Melanie of A Bag and a Beret (follow her on Insta here - I took some pics of her in an awesome Balenciaga faux-fur coat in Nordstroms while we hung out with her!).

But let's back up a titch and do the outfit stuff, shall we? I am a minimalist traveler, which always surprises a few people. I am a one-bag gal! 
I dressed for shopping, walking, the weather and Funk Quotient. 

  • Leather jacket - Elizabeth & James, consignment; last worn here in January
  • T-shirt: Lindi Ortega 2013 "Every Mile of the Road" tour shirt; purchased here by L in November 2013 (acquired from his collection by me several years ago)
  • Skirt - Liz Claiborne, vintage 80s, thrifted; last worn here in December 2022 for a Mom-Day Adventure
  • Boots - Original Sabado, Fluevog; last seen here in March for Mom-Day at Beacon Hill Park

I did the same formula every day.
T-shirt plus skirt and boots. I sleep in all of these tees - they aren't usually everyday wear for me. 

With my coat - good for all weather! 
My plaid silk scarf was deployed multiple times in the Movie Star Wrap mode due to rain. 

That's my backpack in the background. 
On the way over, it weighed 4 lbs. On the way back, it was 14! 

All done up. 
This is how most of the world saw me all weekend. L and I had many compliments on our colours and style, mostly from the lovely folks working in the stores we visited. 

  • Purse - Danier, thrifted
  • Scarf - Elaine Gold, consignment
  • Gloves - Parkhurst

My accoutrements were always small enough to stuff into my purse while I shopped. I also carried three nylon shopping bags and we filled them all. 

The stuff: 
I coated the lower portions of my boots with Woly (clear) for extra rain protection. I have inserts in these boots and they were comfy as heck all weekend. 

Silver bling: 
I brought some alternates for dinner. 

  • Mesh bracelet - Sidney
  • Leather/steel cuff - Rimanchik
  • Anneke & Lars ring - vintage mall
  • Silver/sodalite ring - Scotland, 1996
  • Kyanite/silver ring - consignment
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Silver earrings - Israel, consignment
  • Crystal heart stud bracelet - Juicy Couture
  • Earrings - thrifted

I put the mesh bracelet and the blue earrings into the giveaway when I got home. Not feeling them anymore. 

L and I always find our kitty before we go on a trip, so that we can look at his pic if we miss him.
"Wait, you're LEAVING me?"

Vizzini was in good hands with Cat and Ross! 

L and I flew both ways, harbour to harbour, from Victoria to Vancouver. 
Rock on! 

We flew Harbour Air, which is a carbon-neutral company. 
That's our plane - it only holds 8-10 passengers! 

And we're off, taxiing out of the harbour.
The Coho Ferry - it does a round trip to Anacortes, Washington in the US. 

Angling out over the tip of Vancouver Island. 
It's a 35 minute flight to Vancouver. 

Many islands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 
Those are in the US, the Orcas Islands. 

I see the silhouettes of the tall buildings in downtown Van looming in the distance. 
See them? Look in the centre and they appear in the grey.

Lots of tall buildings. 
We're headed off to the left.

Right here...

And we're down! 
The Vancouver Convention Centre and Canada Place (famous from the 2012 Winter Olympics). 

We strolled up to our hotel (the Blue Horizon, aka "The Blue"), checked in and then wandered our way down to Jam CafĂ© to meet up with Melanie for brunch. 
Ah, the Sears Tower (about it here - it was the tallest building in Vancouver until 2009). I have fond memories of having lunch in the revolving restaurant back in the late 70s, on a trip over with my mom and my aunt Sheila. I remember shopping at Duthie Books too! 

The revolving W sign is atop the old Woodward's building (about it here). 
This W is a replica of the original). Note the seagull, bottom right.

We got in line at Jam (same as Victoria - if there's a line, you know it's good) and Melanie soon arrived. 
"Darling! It has been FAR too long!"

She's so fabulous! 
Every time we meet, it's like no time at all has passed. 

We have been meeting up for 10 years! 
Check out 2013's trip here, the first time we met. 

We traded around camera and phone - this one's from Mel. 
L and I have been together for 28 years - 26 of them married. It shows! We pose the same. 

You are such a silly man. 
I guess that's why I love you! Thank you for the pics, Mel! 

After a delicious brunch, we all strolled down to the Gastown Fluevog store. 
More pics from Mel. L ended up with the black and white checkered shoes on the table. 

Not the ones he's wearing here. I can't even link to the ones he bought - they were so new, they had just been unpacked from a big shipment in the store mere moments before. 
And I didn't buy those lavender shoes (although I was tempted). While we were futzing around, trying shoes on, John Fluevog himself recognized Melanie (she's a very distinctive person!) and came over to chat. Nice to see you again, John! 

I didn't buy the lavender shoes, but I did get them in green! They look super high, but there's a one-inch platform hiding in the front. 
I should say, L bought both of these for me! What a sweetheart, thank you! 

The green shoes are the Fast Cars Mille Miglia, and are on sale in multiple colours for $299.99 (here). 
The orange/white/purple shoes are called the Sole Talk Lenora, and are $469.00 (here). Both L and I had gift cards that we applied - I bought his black and white shoes, so the prices were slightly lower with those factored in. 

Love the green rubber soles. 
I also snagged a handful of buttons. 

I love the soles on these. 
These feel like slippers on - extremely comfy! 

From Fluevog, we wandered through some boutiques, stopped at a pub for a fortifying beverage, and then we briefly braved the rain (it rained all day Friday) and headed for a wander to Nordstrom's to see the closing-down "deals" which were silly, like 5% off. 
Mel and I had a blast checking out all the fabulous high-end designer stuff and playing try-on. The couture clothes are always more interesting! 

We were having so much fun, but suddenly realized we were running late for dinner with our pal Craig at Earl's. 
L and Craig have been friends for decades. After three hours of catching up and a fine dinner, I headed back to The Blue. I can only take so much hockey talk, ha ha.

View from the 30th floor. 
Looking down Robson Street. I chilled and watch TV and introverted. That was a packed day! 

On Saturday, we woke up to a much nicer day. 
I wore my Duthie Books t-shirt, which was a birthday gift from Casey - I wore it here on the blog last April for a trip to the periodontist, but I don't track it otherwise. I do sleep in it regularly, though. 

That is a much drier day! 
Van is such a bustling place. 

View of the North Shore. 
It was variously warm, cold, windy, sunny and rainy. 

30th floor selfie! 
I'm gripping the railing for dear life. 

Ready for another fun day, my love? 
Of course you are! 

Spence and Kim and kids were not able to meet up with us for brunch, but we still cabbed up to Main St. eatery El Camino's had a fantastic breakfast. 
I took our picture in the mirror on the other side of the restaurant. 

We love exploring up and down Main Street - it has fantastic consignment, thrift and vintage stores. I always have good luck at the Main Exchange (I'm not going to link to all of these - you can look them up easily). 
This lovely pink jungle bomber jacket caught my eye. 
Love it! 

Go ahead, roll your eyes, it's Adidas! 
My Weird Adidas collection is growing.

It was $34.99. 
I couldn't find a single pic of this online, so it's likely from the early 00s. 

From there, we spent some time in Front & Co., one of our favourite shops. Shout out to the lovely Sam head to toe in their lilac! Such great staff, and well-dressed too! 
I found tunic? very short dress? and loved the pattern immediately .

I've outlined the armhole here for you.
The other armhole is on the BACK. 

It's a very odd garment. 

We were all agog that it's Zara. 
I'm not even sure what to call this - a cocoon? $32.99 seemed good. 

I will continue to flout "rules" about miniskirts. 
Hot pink vinyl? At my age??

Uh, do you have to ask?! 
It's really cute on. 

Every skirt should have 'em.

This is by Vero Moda and was new with tags (NWT). 
Also $32.99. They've flagged it as Y2K, but I think it's more recent, as I saw a bunch of pics of it online in modern styling. 

This dress made me giddy with glee. That's how I like my clothes to feel! 
It is a sequined, plaid, mini, polo shirt dress. 

It's fully-lined, but the hems and edges that would touch your skin all have extra fabric covering them. 
That's a mark of quality. Cheaper garments will scratch. 

Of course, it's Ralph Lauren. 
This dazzles in the sun. I am excited to wear it - I modeled it with my blue boots for the staff. 

Polo by Ralph Lauren.
I eyed that very modern phone tag. 

The link doesn't work, though. 
Still, it tells me it's recent. 

NWT again! 
Original retail $620.00.

My dress was actually old stock, so was an extra 20% off. 
I paid $135.19. L bought a fantastic vintage 70s shirt with a very funky pattern. 

Former downtown thrift store My Sister's Closet has relocated to Main St! I'm thrilled to add it to our regular visits. 
I found this amazing cotton skirt with elasticated back. Note the little extra doohicky flap thing (#technical term) on the front near the waistband. No pockets, but that is an incredible print. 

The colours are a deep mustardy-brown (it also looks olive green or khaki in some lights), red with little pink bits, the same bright blue as my leather jacket (expect to see them together!), a medium blue and navy blue. 
Also, crazy googly-eyed goldfish? I think the red things are lily pads. 

It's by Eva Franco, a brand carried by Anthropologie. It has a real vintage vibe without actually being vintage.
Their skirts range in the $150-$178.00 range, so $26.00 was a bargain! 

Bohemia Gallery was the next successful stop, and where Spence and Kim caught up to us. They spent the afternoon with us, which was a fun way to visit. We were so enraptured with their company that I completely whiffed on taking any pictures. You know you're having a good time...!
L tried this glorious fish t-shirt first, but it was too small on him. Perfect for me, yee haw! 

A rubber button with a curling wave and "Kenzo Paris."
This fits my newer sporty looks well. 

A lovely detailed logo. 
It was $55.00. Kim also bought a couple of gorgeous jackets, and L found a cache of late 90s embroidered shirts. 

It was super-busy with whirlwinds of customers at Turnabout. L, Spence, Kim and I went through the menswear section, finding things for L (he ended up with 2 pairs of trousers), then Kim and I had a giggly good time scanning the racks while the boys grabbed a table at a nearby pub for some snacks an beverages. Kim found a bunch of things, including an adorable corduroy jumpsuit. 
I fell for this glorious wool/sequined blazer. Appliques, ahoy! 

I love that the sequins line up on the sleeves. 
And it continues on the back. 

Real pockets, not opened yet. 
I stand corrected - those are not sequins. They are paillettes! 

It's by Nu with an Umlaut and is made from 100% recycled polyester. Excellent! 
This was also NWT.

There was quite a lot of Nu with Umlaut in the store - like a boutique had liquidated its stock. 
This is the Nala blazer, and it retailed for 1399 Danish Kroners, which is about $275.00. It was marked down to $103.99. 

Kim and I howled when I found another piece of Weird Adidas. 
Is it a skirt??

No, it's culottes! 
And the 3 stripes are sheer. This actually reads like a midi skirt when it's on. 

It's Adidas, yes, shocker. 
I couldn't find these online at all - they were $34.99. 

These boots were covered in dust and marked down as old stock. 
How on earth could that be? They are glorious! Look at all those studs! 

I spy a name.

There's a C on the heel. I was worried this would be too high, but it's a very comfortable 2 inches. 
They have a little bit of wear, but not much. 

The "Coach" name is still visible on the back of the heel.
The Coach logo is on the soles. These were $143.99 and retailed for $416 - they had their box but I didn't want to carry it home. I am excited to wear these! 

Spence and Kim gave us a ride to the hotel (we were beset with hail/sleet while in traffic!) where we rested for a few moments before getting ready to meet up with pals Tony and Laura for dinner. 
I bought this small, scrunchable, stretchy dress for an evening of sitting, eating and walking. 

I switched to my Fluevog silk scarf. 
We walked to the restaurant. 

I wish more buildings were this interesting. 
So cool! 

We arrived at Robba da Matti. 
The food was amazing - we worked through at least 5 courses. 

Hours later, we walked around looking for somewhere to continue our conversation. We ended up at Forage for another drink and more catching up.
L and Tony deep in conversation, two friends from the same hometown. So much love. 

Me and Laura. 
Love everywhere! 

On Sunday morning, L and I packed up all of our purchases, stuffing as much as possible into our backpacks. We still had to use a giant Fluevog bag to get all the shoes on the float plane! 
My final tee, my thrifted Leonard Cohen tour shirt. I saw him on this tour (2009) but didn't buy this t-shirt at the time. 

We met up with oldest niece Zoe for breakfast at the (very meh) breakfast spot De Dutch. Again, I whiffed on pictures - we were just so wrapped up with seeing each other! 
We flew in a Twin Otter seaplane on the way back - it has two props instead of just one on the nose, and is a bigger plane overall (16-18 seats). You want a bigger plane when it's rainy like this. It was a bumpy ride! Some of our fellow passenger were looking a little nervous.

Buh-bye, Vancouver! 
Farewell, my dear friends and rellies! 

This cloud is for Kezzie. 
I see a dragon's head! 

The Gulf Islands. 
The weather got better as we got closer to Vancouver Island. 

Two ferries. 
We deliberate chose to fly home later in the day so that we wouldn't have to take a ferry if the weather was crappy. Our strategy worked! Ferries are cheaper but take far longer.

Here's Sydney.
And only a few minutes later we were at downtown. 

We curled in and banked towards the harbour. 
I was taking pics through the whirling prop. 

And then we were home, although this pic is from the Vancouver Harbour Air terminal. 
Another awesome holiday, my love! Thank you for your love and support. You're the best. 

Our wee kitty missed us terribly.
"I did?"

He has been non-stop cuddling since we got home. Aw! 


  1. Happy anniversary to you and L.! What a great trip -- looking forward to seeing your new stylings :)

  2. My goodness, I had such a great time with you and L. It definitely felt like old times again. Thanks for including me in your anniversary celebrations!

    I can't believe all the Adidas you found. Jackpot!! Not to mention the other goodies. I'm agog. I used a couple photos you took of me from Nordstrom on my IG if you find someone with the app! ;-) My blog is still resting. That's also great that you found something at My Sister's Closet!

    I hope to see you again before another year passes. That was a blast! xox

  3. What an adventure I've just shared with you! I'm currently obsessed with a British TV show called Race Across the World where five couples have to travel across Canada over a month with no mobile phones and $5000 in cash and I'm obsessed with the scenery so this post is fabulous!
    You and L look incredible and the Fluevogs are insanely fabulous.
    Lovely to see Mel, she hasn't changed a bit.
    Excellent finds. I had that Adidas jacket but sold it as it was too big for me. Jon and I refer to it as Sadidas as it's tragic how much of it turns up second hand! Love the suede boots and I also recognised the Zara cocoon thingy instantly - another piece I've bought and sold!
    That chap photobombing your penultimate picture made me giggle.
    Love and cuddles to Vizzini! xxx

  4. Congratulations on your anniversary Sheila and L! And thanks for the tip about the clear Woly on your blue boots. I live vicariously through your Fluevog purchases. Leanne from Oz

  5. Hazaah what a fabulous, wonderful, satisfying, most excellent trip for you and L! I thoroughly enjoyed being a vicarious armchair traveler. :) As Cynthia said, I am quite looking forward to the many outfits you create with your new finds.

    Now, as for the Adidas, I laughed and laughed some more…not one but two pieces! You may yet make a convert of me, not for personal wear but for appreciating (thru you) their designs.

    You and L have an anniversary ritual that I find romantic and special. ❤️ Here’s to many more glorious celebrations!


  6. Mel shared your photos on her Instagram account, which made me guess what you did last weekend :-) And what a fun adventure it was!
    I'm swooning over your new Fluevogs, and oh my, you've definitely been shopping like a pro. I can't wait to see it all "in action", particularly the Zara cocoon thing! The suede boots are pretty amazing too. xxx

  7. Oh what a delight to read this. The thought alone of a weekend shopping by plane! Sounds heavenly. And what a gorgeous purchases! Would love to see you style the pink skirt with the green shoes!

  8. I am loving how you are finding all these Adidas pieces! I'm going to think of you every time I wear my thrifted Adidas superstar sneakers now, haha! I:) I am looking forward to seeing how you wear everything - especially that cocoon! It's wonderful you were able to relax with friends and unwind and shop and find so many goodies :)

  9. Wow! What a great trip and fun post. Happy anniversary. Thanks for sharing these photos with us. I remember the F store in Vancouver and, of course, the seaplanes. I heard the company was switching to electric planes (which I didn't know exist); is that what you mean by carbon-neutral?

  10. Oh so fun. You look so happy. I envy that. Love your style.

  11. What a fabulous trip! Like Vix, I'm watching Race Across the World (Canada) and ogling the scenery. I don't enjoy flying, but weirdly fancy a trip on a seaplane.
    You all looked super stylish and I'm not surprised Mr F himself spotted your party.
    Love your finds, particularly the lily pad skirt and those suede boots. x

  12. Oh my goodness, what a lovely read, what a lovely weekend, what excellent purchases. I so wanted to be there. I went back to look at our Vancouver blogger meeting and felt homesick. I think that is the best term for it.
    Oh and "the little extra doohicky flap thing (#technical term)"...I could have said that haha.

  13. WOW!! You scored big time on this trip! I love being able to tag along like this. So much fun! Thank you for sharing <3


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