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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Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother. I love all the free amazing views in our Evergreen State. #RattlesnakeLedge

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