Almost two weeks ago, our first visitors from home arrived! My sister Amy and her husband Dave came to visit us for a couple of weeks and it was lovely having some familiar faces around to show off the city to! We dropped them off at the airport last night and it was a little strange to come back to an empty flat. During their time here both Natalie and I had to work during the week, but we had some great nights out after work, and at the weekends we packed in as much as we could with them.

On the Friday after they arrived we went to an amazing Tapas restaurant in English Bay called EspaƱa. We had to wait a while to get a table as it was pretty small, but the food was bloody incredible. I can’t actually remember what we ordered, but I do remember the croquettes were good (we are obsessed with croquettes!). The sun was shining on Saturday morning so we headed up to Stanley Park Pitch & Putt for a quick round of golf. We had a brilliant time, so much so that Natalie and I are going back again tomorrow, and we plan on going again with our friends when they come to visit next week.

Dave teeing off on the 2nd hold

Dave teeing off on the 2nd hole

Amy lining up a shot

Amy lining up a shot

I was so close to a hole in one!

I was so close to a hole in one!

Natalie on the 17th

Natalie on the 17th

After the golf we headed to BC Place to watch the Whitecaps play LA Galaxy. Unfortunately the Whitecaps lost 1-0, but it was a good game, and it was so close to being 1-1, but the LA Galaxy keeper made an incredible save towards the end of the game to save it for them. We were so knackered after what felt like a pretty long day that we stayed in that night, which was probably a good idea as I’d been drinking every day since they’d arrived, and we had an early start the next day.

Amy and I at BC Place

Amy and I at BC Place

On Sunday we hired a car and drove up to Whistler, where we had some lunch before heading up the Whistler Village Gondola, where we had some incredible views back over the village and the surrounding mountains. After getting some photos of us with the Olympic rings we took a short 10 minute stroll to the Peak Express gondola which then took us to the top of Whistler Mountain. The ride up was amazing, with stunning views all around, and it provided a great opportunity to see how amazing it must be there in winter. There was some incredible looking runs, and some pretty steep ones too. At the top of the mountain we saw the ‘Whistler Bowl’, which is a Black Diamond run that I will definitely not be going down if/when we go skiing there. It was almost vertical!

Natalie and I with the Olympic rings on Whistler Mountain

Natalie and I with the Olympic rings on Whistler Mountain

Natalie, Amy, and Dave on Whistler Mountain

Natalie, Amy, and Dave

The amazing views from Whistler Mountain... this isn't even at the top!

The amazing views from Whistler Mountain… this isn’t even at the top!

Me at the top of the mountain!

Me at the top of the mountain!

There were more mountains in every direction you looked

There were more mountains in every direction you looked

Natalie standing in the Inukshuk statue

Natalie standing in the Inukshuk statue

After enjoying the views from the top of Whistler Mountain we made our way to the Peak 2 Peak gondola, which carried us 4.4km over to Blackcomb Mountain in around 11 minutes! Pretty impressive! Its 3km unsupported span (between the two towers that are furthest apart) is the largest in the World! Needless to say we were bloody high up.

One of the cabins carrying people to Whistler from Blackcomb

One of the cabins carrying people to Whistler from Blackcomb

Yup, that's a long way down!

Yup, that’s a long way down!

Amazing light looking out from the cabin

Amazing light looking out from the cabin

Another of the cabins

Another photo of one of the cabins

Amy and Dave on Blackcomb Mountain

Amy and Dave on Blackcomb Mountain

Natalie and I on Blackcomb Mountain

Natalie and I on Blackcomb Mountain

By the time we’d made our way back down to the village it was getting late, and we were bloody tired, so we jumped in the car and headed home. Natalie and I were back to work the next week, and Amy and Dave spent a couple of days in Seattle, but we made the most of our evenings and enjoyed lots of nice meals and drinks out. We finally made it to Tap & Barrel in Olympic Village, which Natalie and I have wanted to visit for some time, and we’re glad we went. It was an amazing evening, and the upstairs patio has some great views back over False Creek towards BC Place, and of course our apartment.

Amy and I on the walk to the restaurant. BC Place was lit up orange, I think because the BC Lions had a game the next day

Amy and I on the walk to the restaurant. BC Place was lit up orange, I think because the BC Lions had a game the next day

Natalie and I at the Tap & Barrel

Natalie and I at Tap & Barrel

That night Vancouver was hit by a huge thunderstorm, which was seriously impressive. The thunder and lighting was good fun to watch from our balcony, and it absolutely pissed it down, so much so that when the balcony door was open it was pretty much raining inside! There’s some great photos and videos over on the Vancity Buzz website.

As Amy and Dave were due to fly home on Saturday night, we went out for another lovely meal near Canada Place on Friday night, and on Saturday we finally visited Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. Natalie and I had visited Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge when we arrived in Vancouver, which was amazing, and free. But we’d wanted to visit Capilano for a while, so now seemed like a good time to do so, especially as the sun was shining. Although it could be considered a bit pricey to get in (around $35 each, although if you’re a BC resident you can get an annual pass for the same price), but it really was worth it. It was a bit too crowded, but it was a weekend in summer, so that was to be expected.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Amy, Dave and I at Capilano

Amy, Dave and I at Capilano Suspension Bridge (this isn’t the bridge!)

The suspension bridge itself was pretty cool, although there were far too many people faffing around and generally being arses, but once you’re across there’s some really great things to see, like the Treetops Adventure, which was surprisingly high up! After a couple of hours of exploring, we left and headed up the road to Cleveland Park to take in the views, and to check out the Salmon Hatchery, which was nice to see again (it’s really worth a visit).

The Clifftop Walk

The Clifftop Walk

Natalie on the Treetop Adventure

Natalie on the Treetop Adventure

I couldn't resist buying this fridge magnet

I couldn’t resist buying this fridge magnet

Capilano Lake in Cleveland Park

Capilano Lake in Cleveland Park

Later that evening we jumped in a Zipcar and took Amy and Dave back to the airport for their flight home. It was very strange seeing them leave, and it was also very odd waking up at 8am the next morning knowing that they were only just about to land, despite leaving so long ago! It was so nice having them to stay, and it was great being able to show off the place we now call home, and it’s made us really appreciate where we are all over again, although we do still miss home (the real one)!

Natalie and I went to see the Whitecaps again today, they drew 2-2 with Chivas USA, and despite the scoreline it was a pretty piss poor game. The Whitecaps where shite, and they need to get their act together if they want to make the playoffs. We’re now looking forward to our friends Tom and Sarah arriving tomorrow (after we’ve squeezed in another round of golf), and finally having some proper time off work to get out exploring again. We have lots planned, including another camping trip, so watch this space!