I have flown long distances alone with four tiny children.
I've driven back and forth across the continental United States more times than I can count.
I've taught little girls in India how to read and swam in Malaysian waterfalls and driven a motorbike through the crowded streets of Vietnam.
But I have never in my whole life taken a girls' weekend.
Well. Until this weekend, that is. My girlfriend, Anya, and I slipped out of town for two lovely nights and three days in Vancouver, British Columbia.
^ Anya ordered the latte, sandwich and soup, I chose the quiche, baby derkins, ginger raspberry, and the food was as delicious as it was pretty.
^ We didn't eat any macarons but I admired them from afar.
Thankfully, we were very much of one mind about how to spend out time. Priority Number One: Eating. Anya came prepared with a long list of recommendations and tried-and-true favorites, and somehow we managed to walk the line between delicious indulgence and pure gluttony. Thierry Bakery made the short list for our first day's breakfast.
^ Big blue buildings stand shoulder to shoulder, set off perfectly by puffy Canadian clouds.
^ Vancouver Harbor and the mountains to the north.
^ This building bears a cryptic message:
"lying on top of a building...lying on top of a building...lying on top of a building/the clouds looked no nearer than when i was lying on the street"
Once we ate, walking around became our priority. (I mean, we needed to digest each meal as quickly as possible to make room for the next.) We wandered through a few gorgeous boutiques and upscale salons, but we did not come to shop. Fresh air and good conversation as we explored the city was a much better fit for our dispositions.
^ Canadian flowers speak their universal language of love in both English and Français.
^ Effortlessly chic, the markets displayed not only typical cut bouquets but also on-trend succulents, cacti and lush green urban jungle plants.
The city streets feel friendly and familiar. Though we wandered through the heart of a major world-class city, small markets, open bakeries, and lots of dogs and their humans punctuated our path.
^ The bar at España was an OCD delight.
Our journeys led us forward, time and again, to the next meal and the next delightful restaurant.
And thus I spent forty-eight self-indulgent hours in a blissful cycle of eating, walking, and talking, interrupted only by long hours of reading and soul-satisfying sleep.
This may have been my first girls' weekend but it is most definitely not my last.