What to do on the weekend – Sunny Edition

We’ve all been waiting for it and finally it’s here: Summer. At least this weekend the weather is expected to be spectacular in Vancouver! Here are some ideas on how to enjoy the sunny days.

I) BC Bubble Ball with INTERNeX Join us for Bubble Ball this Sunday, 1pm at Charleston Park! We are going to play a bunch of fun games encased in transparent big bubbles. It’s recommended to everyone who is comfortable playing sports, falling over and laughing until their abs hurt. 🙂

II) The VIMFF in North Vancouver Also on Sunday, from 3pm-9pm there’ll be the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, celebrating Canadian Multiculturalism with a free outdoor event at the Shipyards, right at the Londsdale Quay in North Vancouver. We’ll head over there after our Bubble Ball match, so if you’d like please join us! There’ll be award-winning mountain films, live music, giveaways, fun activities, like an outdoor climbing wall, a beer garden, snacks and more! A perfect way to end a sunny weekend.

III) Beach day Of course the sun screams for a beach day! Vancouver has a lot of them! Take a buddy and tan, play volleyball, or go swim in the ocean. For a more relaxed beach atmosphere with a little more space I recommend to go to Spanish Banks. The beach is wider and the water clearer than at the other beaches, plus you have a great view of the mountains and the city skyline. If you want to stay close to bars, restaurants and other shops I recommend Kitsilano beach. It’s such a hip area! A lot of younger people go here to play some beach games and enjoy the sun. At night you can sometimes find street artists playing their music and people just start dancing to it. To me, that really feels like summer.


IV) Lake day If you’re not into salty water, there’s also a few lakes around. You’d have to go a little further, but you could make a whole day event out of your trip. My recommendation is Cultus Lake in Chilliwack! Nearby there’s also the Cultus Lake Water Park, Castle Fun Park in Abbotsford and more. It’s a nice little getaway from the city and popular amongst many locals. A good way to explore the Canadian country side a little more. If you’re hungry on your way back stop by at Brodeur’s Bistro in Abbotsford for the best Chicken Waffles you’ll ever have (trust me on this one). The only downside: you’d probably need a car, since the public transit is not too good outside of the city.

V) Get some ice cream! Vancouver has a bunch of (n)ice cream shops. Here are my top 3 must-tries this summer:
1.) While you are in Kits, get some Rain or Shine ice cream before, or after you go to the beach and thank me later. 😉 They have some really good vegan options as well and all cones are made in house! You can smell it when you get close to the shop.
2.) Earnest Ice Cream is one of Vancouver’s favourites when it comes to the frozen dessert. They have rotating flavours that make you return all summer (and winter) long.
3.) If you are looking for a place with many many different flavours, you should check out La Casa de Gelato, with it’s 238 varieties of ice cream! This place actually won a world record.


Which ice cream are you going to try first? Are you Team Beach or Team Lake? Are you excited for summer, or are you more of a winter person?

I’m definitely excited!

Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

New ‘Kids’ on the Blog

Last week we’ve got a lot of Newbies joining our INTERNeX crew. 20 students from Bristol in the UK just arrived! Half of them study sports & fitness and the other half study travel & tourism. They are here on a four week volunteer practicum program in different, super interesting companies and organizations. Each of them will gain valuable work experience abroad while enjoying the few coming weeks of summer (hopefully). They are eager to get as much as possible out of their time here.

Friday, we went on a little hike in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, all the way down to Spanish Banks, to explore the area around UBC, because that’s where all of them are staying. Afterwards, most of the crew went Downtown to do some shopping. On Sunday almost all of them joined us to do the Grouse Grind! It was an extreme hike, but not extreme enough. I’ve heard from Luke that he wants to go either bungee jumping or skydiving while he’s here! Does anyone want to join?


The Brits were not the only newcomers! Jonas from Bayreuth in Germany joined us as well! He’ll be staying for at least 2.5 months doing a volunteer practicum, gaining experience in social media, organizing events, etc. He’s about to start his studies in Philosophy and Economics in Germany this fall. He told me that these majors open a wide range of possible careers for him. One of them could be Politics. His practicum combines fields of ethics and politics which is why he’s super excited to start and see how he likes it. I have the feeling he’s going to enjoy it.

Another reason why Jonas wanted to come to Vancouver is because he’s never been outside of Europe and he was seeking an adventure outside of his comfort zone. Plus, he heard about Vancouvers good weather ;), the vast nature, and the friendly people. In his free time he likes to do calisthenics, exercises that don’t rely on anything but a person’s own body weight, to play his guitar, and to meet up with friends. Maybe he can play us a song at pub night tonight? 😉

I’ll see you all there! 7pm at Sailor Hagar’s in North Vancouver!

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

How was the weekend?

I bet you were lazier than some of us this weekend, because let me tell you, we took on quite a challenge, but we made it!

Sunday was the day. Equipped with lots of water, snacks and some caffeine we were optimistic to reach our goal: Hiking the Grouse Grind.

I mean, I’ve read about it before, heard from others how hard it was, but really I didn’t believe it. I got proved wrong. It turned out to be one of the more challenging hikes I’ve done so far. Not that I’m a professional, but I thought I’d be fitter. 😀 The hike is about 2.5 kilometres long and has an elevation gain of 800m with a total of 2,830 stairs! That’s pretty tough.

The hardest part for me was the beginning, because you go up and up and up… and there seems to be no end. Then, finally a sign! It tells you that you reached the 1/4 mark. Pretty demotivating to me. But it turns out none of us is a quitter, so we kept going, reached half way and kept going! From that point it was clear, there’s no way back down now.

On our way we saw a lot of people struggling, which made me feel a little better, because I knew I’m not alone. Of course we also saw people passing us with such lightness, but I told myself “they’ve probably done this many times before”. I also think the actual challenge was not the hike itself, but the fact that you want to be faster than others. You try to pass people, or at least not lose sight of them. You try to make it up the mountain in less than the average time of two hours, which makes the hike even harder than it already is.

After seeing the 3/4 mark I felt motivated to reach the top. I could feel I’m in the homestretch and I increased my pace. The feeling of finally reaching the top was incredible. Since the weather was very cloudy, the view was very limited, but at least the air was nice and cool, perfect for a workout like this. After everyone arrived we had some food and drinks at the Chalet before we went exploring the mountaintop a little further.

We tried to spot the two grizzly bears Grinda and Coola, who reside at Grouse mountain, but they were asleep. On our way back down with the gondola we got lucky and had an amazing view over Vancouver. All in all, I’d say it was a pretty successful day.

Would I do the Grouse Grind again? – Maybe.

What about you? Have you done it? Or is it on your list? Was your weekend active? Or lazy?

Tell me more about it next Pub Night, 7pm at Sailor Hagar’s in North Vancouver! It’s only a short walk from the sea bus and has a beautiful view over Downtown Vancouver. Plus, it’s a real neighbourhood pub, as Canadian as it gets. 😉

See you all there!

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

New “Kids” on the Blog – Krystelle & Gianmarco

Two new INTERNeX crew members just arrived! Please welcome Krystelle from Australia and Gianmarco from Italy! 🙂 I’ve had the pleasure to meet them already and now it’s your time to get to know them better.


First, I will introduce you to Krystelle. Some of you already know her from our Whistler trip last weekend. She’s from Brisbane and has a really cool job as a criminal lawyer. Here she’ll be gathering experience at a legal non-profit organization for the next three months. Ideally she’d like to go to the United States, since she’s been travelling there a lot already, including Hawaii, Florida and Nevada. So far California has been her favourite destination, but she also has an ambitious bucket list for the next few months with States like Texas, North Carolina and Virginia. Seems like she loves the sunny states. 🙂

When she’s not working you can find her outside, maybe on a small hike. She told me it’s probably more like a walk compared to a Canadian mountain hike. Nevertheless she wants to take on a challenge and do the Grouse Grind! INTERNeX is actually planning on doing the Grind on Saturday June 18th. We’re stronger as a group, so feel free to join this adventure! 😀 After the workout we deserve a big Burger, or Lasagna, Krystelle’s favourite food. One thing she noticed in Canada – I’m sure, a lot of people will be surprised about – is that the alcohol here is only half as expensive as it is in Australia. Crazy, right? And I thought everything in Vancouver is expensive… She has a whole list of things she wants to do while she’s here, so it definitely doesn’t get boring with her. I like that she’s done her homework 😉 and I’m sure at the end we can cross a bunch of things off that list together.

Gianmarco will be volunteering at the same organization as Krystelle. He’s working on his law degree in Italy which keeps him pretty occupied with studying most of the time. Now it’s time for him to gain some practical experience. Why not in Italy, you might ask? Gianmarco would like to refine his English skills and since he’s been to other English speaking countries like the UK and the USA many times before, he wanted to try something new. Canada was still on his bucket list and right away he noticed its peacefulness and its friendly people. What a great first impression. And he hasn’t even met anyone of our INTERNeX crew yet! 😉

When he’s not occupied with studying, he likes to meet his friends which he’s had since his childhood, play football (yes, I mean soccer), or go mountain biking. What he really wants to do while he’s in Vancouver is going up to Whistler to spend the day on a bike speeding down the mountain. I told him that it’s still super muddy, but apparently that’s the best part of it. I am not confident enough to ride my bike down a hill (haha), but maybe some of you would like to join him. I know we have some extreme sport enthusiasts in our crew that would love to go. Sounds like another Whistler trip to me. 😉

I’m really excited for you to meet both of them at tonights pub night.
Don’t forget to come and say Hi, 7pm at Earl’s on Robson Street. See you there!

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

How was the weekend?

Happy Monday! I hope all of you had a great weekend! I sure did. INTERNeX went to Whistler with a couple of cool people. We were only seven in total, but we had a lot of fun. Let me tell you about it.

On our first day (Friday) we kept it a little more chill. Once we arrived in Whistler we needed to grab some coffee, since it’s been a busy week for everyone. Then, finally we checked in to our condo right in the centre of the village and it was amazing! We had three levels with beds, a kitchen, a living room with a little balcony, two bathrooms (one of them had two showers), a fireplace on two levels, and a private hot tub! Check out our TikTok channel to see a little house tour. 😉 

Of course we made use of that hot tub right away. The water was warm, the bubbles relaxing, exactly what we needed. After being fully soaked with water and new energy, we started our game night with a few drinks and games like “Cards Against Humanity”. It was a great way of getting to know each other better.

The next morning we decided to take a gondola for a hike up in the mountains, but the weather was a little cloudy and apparently most hikes high up are still closed due to the snow, so instead we rented some bikes and explored the lakes around Whistler. It turned out to be a great idea! The weather was perfect for biking and we got to see so much of Whistler in such a short time. We went around Lost Lake, Green Lake, all the way to Rainbow Park at Alta Lake, where we made a short ice cream break, before we headed back to the village. On our ride we had amazing views of the mountains. It felt really nice to be outside in nature. 

As a balance, we later went out in the village to enjoy Whistler’s Night Life. We started with some Burgers and Poutine for dinner, then went on to a few clubs and danced our calories right off again. It’s needless to say everybody had a great time. 

The next morning came really fast and it was already time to check out of our weekend home. Before we had to be back at the bus stop, we took some time to go to the farmers market in the Upper Village, where a lot of local vendors set up cute booths with food, jewelry, art, etc. I don’t know about you, but I love promenading over a market, trying samples, seeing people’s ideas, supporting local businesses that have a personal touch to them, eating all the food from the food trucks… 😉

If you are with me on that, I gotta tell you that coming Saturday (June 11th) there’s the Portobello West Summer Outdoor Street Market here in Vancouver and INTERNeX is planning on going, so if you’re up for it join us! The admission is FREE. So there’s really no excuses to not check out the variety of local vendors presenting fashion, jewelry, art, home decor, skincare, etc., plus there’s going to be lots of food trucks with delicious snacks that you should try. We’ll be meeting at 1pm, at the Indigo on West Broadway.

I know it’s only Monday, but it’s always good to have an early weekend plan, so you have something to look forward to. 🙂

What did you do this weekend? Was it more relaxing, or adventurous? City, or Nature? Long enough? Mine felt really short, but time flies when you’re having fun. 

I hope you have a great start of the week!

Cheers, 

Laura 🙂