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.

    jk.

    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:

    Eugene,
    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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Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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