Eugene Cho

northwest travel: vancouver

we are in vancouver, british columbia right now to enjoy two days of rest and great food.  as most know, we love coming to vancouver several occasions/year.  it truly is a beautiful city and we try to encourage many folks to visit.  especially if you live in seattle or in the larger northwest, it’s a premier rest destination.  when you factor in costs for flying and the convenience of driving, vancouver should be one your top 3 places in the NW.  so, here’s what we did to save as much money as possible:

  1. go to biddingfortravel to see what hotels are available for priceline.  if necessary, check hotwire.  if you need to know what hotels these offerings likely point to, check out betterbidding.
  2. we tried for a 4* hotel in downtown vancouver and bid up to $70/night (two nights) but no luck.  beyond that, it was too much for our budget. 
  3. after checking hotwire, the hotel we wanted (coast plaza in the west end neighborhood) was available for $65/night.  with taxes + fees, it would have been $185 for two nights.
  4. after checkingwith biddingfortravel, we decided that our chances for coast plaza (a 3* hotel) was very good on priceline.  after bidding an initial $35 (it was rejected), we bid $40 and thankfully, we got the coast plaza on our $40/night bid.  the hotel rate was $170/night CN.  total cost via priceline = $100 for two nights.  sweet.

this hotel is great; not incredibly fancy but very reasonable.  parking is $17/night compared to $24-28 at other downtown hotels.  it’s located in the west end neighborhood =  couple blocks from the english bay beach, robson street, and most importantly, 1.5 blocks from tanpopo ‘all you can east’ sushi.  they also offer free internet which is rare in downtown locations.  two additional factors for families: 1) a good indoor pool and 2) a kitchenette comes with most rooms (make sure you ask).

for the northwesterners, could you please suggest some places you go to rest, vacation, enjoy, rejuvenate.  while we truly do love vancouver, we also hope to visit some other places in the upcoming years.

fwiw: there was nothing like vancouver ten years ago:

  • gas was (the cheapest i rememeber) was 89 cents/gallon.
  • the border crossing was minimal; it changed dramatically after 9/11.
  • the exchange rate was $1US = $1.40 Canadian.  i remember all you can eat sushi used to be $8.95 then.  now, you know why i was laughing the entire time i was eating sushi.  those suckers. 

Filed under: family, seattle, travel

7 Responses

  1. lbykim says:

    i’m sure i don’t have to remind you of longview’s reputation as THE premier vacation hotspot destination.

    i can assure you with the utmost confidence that you will get lots of rest in longview. there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one around.


    try the oregon coast. in college my friends and i would rent a house near the beach for a few days. it was great.

  2. Yung says:

    Bend, OR or more specifically Sunriver. Its a secluded getaway in the middle of Oregon. There’s lakes, rivers, fishing, Mt Bachelor for skiing, and other outdoor activities. I went cave diving while I was there. Its a great place just to unwind, collect you thoughts, and explore the outdoors. Best time to go is mid-late September because the weather is still nice and its lower price since its not in season. Plus, Bend has one of the only North Face Outlet stores in the world.

    Ditto to the Oregon coast. If you go down on the south coast, there’s places where you can dune buggy.

  3. e cho says:

    lbkim: so, are you offering me a discount to your hotel in longview? :) because if you are, i’m so kinda there.

    we did get a chance to visit ashland, OR and cannnon beach several years ago. the beach was so magnificent. the drive down the coast from seattle to san diego over two months was one of our highlights during our mini sabbatical four years ago.

    YUNG: have yet to visit Bend of Sunriver but i hear, like you said, it’s incredible. good news for us: a couple at quest are getting married in couple months in sunriver so we’ll be headed down for couple months.

    thansk for the tips…

  4. lbykim says:

    p.e.: well of course i will accomodate you. how could i not have you experience the decor of the thomas kinkadian escapist paradise you will immediately be immersed in upon entry?
    there are seriously thomas kinkade paintings hanging everywhere. outside is a tommy fountain, and of course when you are inside you feel like you’re in one of his warm sun-lit cottages somewhere near the coast…it’s like a tommy kinkade theme park. no joke. you have to see it for youself. don’t ask me what the interior decorater was thinking.

    visit oregon again. you can come make sure i haven’t perished down here in the boonies. =)

  5. Dennis says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Victoria especially in the spring/early summer when the flowers are in full bloom at Butchart.

  6. Blake says:

    It sounds crazy, but I’ve always loved going to Yakima for a weekend. :-) This is mostly due to the friends I have over there, but life in general just seems much slower and less yuppified in that part of the state.

  7. Daniella says:

    I just got back from a long weekend in the upper Methow Valley at the Freestone Inn . We stayed in a 1bdrm cabin with a kitchen, not for less thatn $100.00 bucks, but still reasonable. Easily big enough to accomodate a family of 5 and truly remote. Great hiking in the Pesayten Wilderness and if you get antsy, you can go into the town of Winthrop, 15 miles down valley.

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One Day’s Wages

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The Western Wall in Old City of Jerusalem (aka The Wailing Wall) - from the Second Jewish Temple.

I'm hoping to share a few stories of people that I met (Jewish, Muslims, and Christians) in the Holy Land in the days to come. One of our Palestinian tour guides said to me, "You will leave with more questions...and that's a good thing." He was absolutely right. We want everything so nicely packaged but if we're honest, it's very rare in a broken, complex world...and I can't think of too many things more complex than the situation in Israel and Palestine.

While I certainly understand and resonate with Israel and its history and its need to protect itself from harm, one can't deny the history and existence of Palestine as well. 
Is peace possible? This was the focus of my trip to the Holy learn more about the conflict and those that are working towards peace. My friend, Scott (and other pastor), Mae (our guide) and I had the privilege of going to a Jewish synagogue this past Friday. We were then hosted by a local rabbi and his family for a Shabbat meal. It was marvelous. Incredible. Illuminating. Delicious. A true honor to be invited to his home with his wife and three children. To pray, learn, share, and ask questions. 
What I loved the most was the story of how Rabbi Daniel and his wife rented a bus to take 15 of their friends to the West Bank ... to see for themselves the impact of the wall and the Israeli policies. Some of their friends had never even entered the West Bank...don't personally know a Palestinian. It's impossible to work towards peace when we don't know anyone from the other side...when we don't understand the other side.

Thank you, Rabbi Daniel. Old Jerusalem. So many stories. So much history. The synagogue in Capernaum (Galilee) where Jesus began his public ministry. He taught with authority... Pray for your pastors and teachers...that they may teach with courage, conviction, humility, and ultimately, directing people to Christ - the Word made flesh.

Speaking of, so excited to be teaching at @Quest Church tomorrow. If you're in the Seattle area, join us. A glimpse of Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." What amazes me most about this event is about...timing and patience. For Christ, it wasn't about "if" but about "when." In a world of supersonic pace,  impatience, quick results, hurry and now and NOW...Jesus waited for the Father's timing. He was patient and faithful. I need to learn that waiting on the Lord in itself isn't apathy but rather an act of faith. The town of Bethlehem and at the site of the cave (aka manger) of the birth of Christ.

One of the highlights was a class of Palestinian Muslims and Christian kids in a local public school singing a Christmas carol for us in Bethlehem...just across the Shepherd's Field. Galilee. Surreal to be at the mountainside where Jesus delivered "The Sermon on the Mount" ... aka The Beatitudes. Walking around praying for Paris, Beirut, Istanbul, Nigeria, Mali, Palestine/Israel... This verse is so particularly important in light of all the violence in the world. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

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