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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As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory) May our hearts break for injustice and exploitation - whether abroad or in our own backyard. Spending a few days for @onedayswages in Thailand. Along with one of our board members, I'm traveling with a group of 10 others to learn, listen and visit a few NGOs including one of our partners, @thefreedomstory. Couple days ago, we spent an evening walking through Soi Cowboy. On a given night, about 10,000 people are in the ring of prostitution in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. Much of this is driven by the consumer demand. Approximately 70% of male tourists go to Thailand for the sex industry.

Human trafficking is complex. Anyone that says otherwise is lying or selling you something. 
To reduce it to simple terms, or simple problems, or simple solutions…cause harmful consequences. While we can all agree that it is sinful, egregious, evil, and wrong…there are many nuances and complexities. It would serve all of us to grow deep in the awareness not just of the larger issue but the nuances and complexities.

When people speak of human trafficking, they tend to be ‘attracted’ to the issue of sexual exploitation. Dare I say it, human trafficking has become trendy as a justice issue.

Clearly, it’s evil and egregious. But to reduce the entire issue of human trafficking into one form is not helpful. Because the mission is to fight the entire injustice of slavery. And if that’s the commitment, we have to not only combat sexual exploitation but engage in issues of poverty, forced labor, commercial exploitation in tourism, land rights and power abuses, organized crime networks, cultural and economic realities, etc.

Oh, it's so complex but we have to be engaged whether in Thailand or in our own backyards. May our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God... More thoughts to come.

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