Winter Wonderland 2016

Contrary to popular belief, Canada isn’t covered with ice all year round and we don’t live in igloos. In fact, we wouldn’t be able to build any here in Vancouver, because our climate is so mild! We famously had concerns over having enough snow when we hosted the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. 😂

Having said that, we were hit with an uncharacteristic blast of winter over these past few weeks. And although it causes havoc on the roads and with transit, we were SO happy to see snow! It just gets us into holiday mode and the scenery becomes a winter wonderland!

Overlooking the river…

Minoru park was a delight to ramble through in the snow – with the pretty snow dusted chapel and the frozen lake. Definitely Christmas card worthy!

The frozen over lake…

Can you spot the natural Christmas Tree? 🎄

Not your average snow-covered trees!

Even our pets were excited for the snow and had a blast tearing through the snow!

And this year, we were hit with snow not just once but twice! Let’s just say it got us even more excited for the holiday season.

Steveston, one of our favourite places, was also ready for Christmas – with its own Christmas Tree right by the wharf.

I can never resist the water and a sunset!

Last weekend, we went to watch the Nutcracker ballet, as per tradition! It always gets us into holiday mode – with the spectacular music by Tchaikovsky, the gorgeous costumes, the dancing, the dreams of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the swirling snowflakes!

Of course, I can’t go to a ballet without taking a ballet photograph!

We couldn’t resist taking some selfies on our night out! 😏

Because we are the silliest and I wouldn’t change us for anything!

I think we make rather nice looking reindeers! 😋

And on that note…

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all! We hope you all get to spend some quality time with your loved ones over the holidays!

From Vancouver with Love,

Ioana and Natalie

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© Letters of Wanderlust, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any written material and/or photographs without express and written permission from this site’s authors is strictly prohibited. Please get in touch if you would like to republish any of our materials or if you would like to work on a project together!

Ladurée – Vancouver

About 2 months ago, we stumbled upon a Ladurée while we were in Dublin. We just had to stop by for some French macarons in Ireland! 😝

Now that we are back home in Vancouver, we had to try the Ladurée here! Ladurée opened in Vancouver on March 24, 2016, to huge lineups! With that kind of hype and the tasty macarons that we had in Dublin, how could we not stop by the Vancouver Ladurée for a treat!

The shop is decorated like all the other Ladurée boutiques in the world, with the iconic pale green and gold colours throughout the shop and the display windows. It was all very whimsical, elegant and pretty! (And tempting!)

In the front part of the boutique is the pastry counter – cakes, sweet treats, chocolates and, of course, the world famous macarons placed neatly in colourful rows.

There were lots of tasty treats to choose from, but we were there for the macarons this time! With 15 different macarons flavours to choose from, it was difficult to choose! Here is the ‘menu’. Each macaron is priced at $3.15.

After some careful discussion ( 😉 ), we decided on 4 macarons to share.

The first two macarons were the Melon and the Cherry Blossom.

  • The Melon was a really light and refreshing treat – being the perfect macaron for a hot summer’s day!
  • The Cherry Blossom was really tasty as well – it had a floral flavour that was delicate but very distinctive!

Next we went for the Rum Vanilla and… the macaron that we loved in Ladurée Dublin – the Strawberry Candy Guimauve. Unfortunately we were a bit disappointed with these two. 😦

  • The Rum Vanilla almost tasted like rubbing alcohol to us. We couldn’t taste the rum or the vanilla, since the rubbing alcohol taste was so overwhelming.
  • We really liked the Strawberry Candy Guimauve macaron that we had in Dublin, but not so today. The guimauve filling (marshmallow) was actually really tough and chewy. Of course, the texture of a marshmallow filling will be different and not as smooth as a ganache, buttercream or jam filling. But this one was almost hard to bite through. Since the macarons are flown in from Paris and we are an ocean and an entire continent away, I wonder if that had anything to do with this macaron?! The taste of the meringue shell was still good though.

Behind the pastry counter, is the tea room. We didn’t sit in the tea room today but it looked to be very pretty, posh, prim and proper.

With our macarons in hand, we headed out of the pretty boutique and took one last peek at the window display.

And being the silly person that I am, I couldn’t help stopping for a photograph! I did forget my tutu and my pointe shoes at home though… Next time, I’ll come prepared with my ballet gear and stop for another photograph! I’m also missing a huge box of Ladurée goodies to hold over my head! So I’ll have to pick that up too!

Happy Foodie Friday!

From Vancouver with Love,

Ioana and Natalie

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© Letters of Wanderlust, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any written material and/or photographs without express and written permission from this site’s authors is strictly prohibited. Please get in touch if you would like to republish any of our materials or if you would like to work on a project together!

Happy Canada D-EH!

Today is July 1st – Canada Day!

We want to wish Canadians all over the world an awesome Canada Day!

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Canada… True. North. Strong. Free. With Glowing Hearts.

We are sorry for being so awesome! (Sorry for boasting!)

If you’re not a Canadian and you want to be awesome like us, watch this hilariously informative video and take notes!

Canada Day… the day we all unabashedly dress up in red and white! And our glorious red maple leaf will be everywhere! 🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁!

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On a more serious note…

I think sometimes we feel the allure of traveling overseas much more than exploring our own backyards. So we are hoping to do more exploring around our gorgeous area of Metro Vancouver this summer!

In the meantime, here are some of our favourite photographs of our hometown to celebrate Canada Day! 🍁🍁 (See? Everywhere!!)

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Sea to Sky Country – gorgeous!

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The beautiful Gulf Islands!

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Looking out at a rainbow, Stanley Park and the cloud-covered North Shore Mountains

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Our favourite – Steveston!

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Winter sunset in Steveston!

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Throwback to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics – had the once-in-a-lifetime experience to volunteer for the Olympics in my own backyard! Truly amazing!

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Sky, water, mountains, trees and snow 🙂

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These mountains will always mean home! 🍁

No matter where we travel in the world, Canada will always be home! 🍁 Stepping off a plane and into YVR (Vancouver International Airport) will always put a smile on our faces. And the sight of the North Shore Mountains welcoming us home will always be the sweetest.

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🍁!

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Let the festivities begin!

I leave you with something I found on Twitter a while ago… I don’t remember where or who created it – it kinda looks like a Molson ad?! (If anyone knows the source, let us know, so we can credit them appropriately!) This is so funny and so true!!

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Happy Canada Day! 

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Ioana and Natalie

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© Letters of Wanderlust, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any written material and/or photographs without express and written permission from this site’s authors is strictly prohibited. Please get in touch if you would like to republish any of our materials or if you would like to work on a project together!

Merry Christmas!

Last Friday, we spent the evening in Downtown Vancouver. It is lovely in the winter – with pretty lights decorating buildings and trees. Definitely not as festive as European cities, with their Christmas markets, snow and other festivities, but lovely just the same!

Lights at Pacific Centre, Vancouver

We were downtown for a performance of the Nutcracker by Goh Ballet at The Centre. It was a lovely show and I’m sure all the little children in the audience were dreaming of the Sugar Plum Fairy that night! (We were definitely dreaming of the gorgeous costumes, the wonderful music and the Sugar Plum Fairy!) I think we are going to start watching the Nutcracker every year, as a Christmas tradition!

Speaking of Christmas and since it is Christmas Eve, we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. We hope you get to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones this holiday season, no matter where you are in the world. We are dreaming of a White Christmas – I guess we will have to wait and see whether that dream comes true!

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Merry Christmas everyone!
May all your wishes come true this holiday season!

From Vancouver with Love,

Ioana and Natalie
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© Letters of Wanderlust, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any written material and/or photographs without express and written permission from this site’s authors is strictly prohibited. Please get in touch if you would like to republish any of our materials or if you would like to work on a project together!