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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Whoa. Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Also reminded that while buildings are nice and have their place, the building isn't the church Let's fully welcome refugees. Remember, refugees aren't terrorists...they're the ones fleeing away from violence, war, and terrorism. 
Afraid? Me too. It's ok to acknowledge we're afraid since it confirms we're all...just...human. We're all afraid on some level especially when our culture seems to run on the currency of fear but as we live out our faith in Christ and more deeply embody compassion and love, fear begins to dissipate. It's also incredibly critical to know that agencies are implementing some of the most rigorous and thorough vetting ever. 
My family hosted a Somalian Muslim family from a refugee camp years ago through @WorldRelief. It was eye opening, challenging (especially with language realities), and yet, encouraging...and we hope to host families again in the future as they resettle in a completely new and foreign city and country. It's a terrifying experience. And while not a refugee, I remember the first few months as an immigrant when I was six years old. To this day, I remember the kindness of folks that helped us through that transition. Lift a prayer for me as I'm privileged to collaborate in ministry here in Melbourne, Australia. Meeting with local pastors, teaching at the Justice Conference (10/21-22). Then, preaching at the Bridge Church on Sunday  Pray that in preaching the whole Gospel from the Scriptures, I may honor God, point people to Jesus, and be sensitive to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Interesting. The holy bench. Wow. And in a blink of an eye, this happened. The nights might be long but the years go by fast. #ParentProverbs #WhatHappenedToMy13YearOldSon This past week, @seattlequest celebrated its 15th Anniversary. In many ways, it feels like forever and in other ways, it just seemed like we just started yesterday.

Around May 2000, Minhee and I found out we were expecting a 2nd child. Then, we got another surprise. We felt a calling and stirring to plant a church. We told God, "This is horrible timing!" We left a thriving ministry that we started in the Seattle surburbs and felt compelled to move into the city to plant a new multiethnic church called Quest. To be honest, we were so scared. Minhee was pregnant. Our insurance was about to run out. But we ventured forth. Once I resigned from this church, I had plans, goals, strategies...and none of them materialized. Only bills and payments. I quickly found out that a Masters of Divinity degree - as cool as it may sound - is actually useless in society. No one wanted to hire me. I was unemployed for months. We were eventually on food stamps and DSHS insurance.

In December 2000, we welcomed our 2nd child to the world. When "T" was born, we cried more than the baby. Couple days later, I finally landed a job as the janitor at a Barnes & Noble store. It wasn't quite what I was envisioning but God really worked through this "valley season." And we finally felt peace about starting Quest. Seven people gathered in our living room and several months later on October 2001, Quest Church was officially launched. 
It has not been easy. We've been hurt and worse, we learned we hurt people. More accurately, I hurt people. We've heard our share of criticisms and sometimes, even worse. I've been called my share of names. Too many to list. I've been too liberal, too conservative, too edgy, too rigid, too blunt, too passive. We spent many nights crying out to the Lord...for direction, for peace, for answers. We usually never got the answers we were wanting...but we always felt His presence - even during our valleys. To be honest, we still have many restless nights. In fact, I think we have had more restless nights these past two years than we did in the first two years. 
But through it all. God has been so faithful and gracious. Thank you, Lord.

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