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tony + me whistler

{Whistler selfie}

About 2 days before our wedding, Tony found out he booked a role in a movie shooting in Vancouver. Thanks to our friend and his Hart of Dixie co-star Laura Bell Bundy, it was a direct offer for one of the leads in a Lifetime Christmas movie, Fiance Claus. And it was set to begin shooting just a few days after returning from our honeymoon. Best wedding gift ever. My parents kindly offered to watch our pups for another month, so I could go with him and keep the honeymoon going. (Yet another best wedding gift ever.) Tony and I first visited Vancouver last summer when he shot a Nickelodeon movie there, and we both fell in love with the city. I’ve written before about how it feels like a combination of home (Los Angeles) and my favorite place in the world (Lake Tahoe), but with nice people – it’s a big city, but on the water surrounded by mountains. I would happily move there in a heartbeat. So, we were thrilled to have the chance to pretend to be locals for a month…

sutton place

{In front of the Sutton Place, our Vancouver home}

Vancouver at night

{view from our room}

We got to live in the apartment wing of the Sutton Place, where we had a 2 bed/2 bath suite with a patio overlooking the city. The hotel has an indoor pool and is where Hollywood people in town to work always get put up, so you’re pretty much guaranteed celebrity elevator sightings. I was in heaven. Tony ran the stairs (up and down all 18 floors four or five times) and then lounged in the jacuzzi every morning. And every evening, I’d swim laps while dodging the unsupervised children presumably on vacation with their absentee parents (or, maybe 7-year-olds vacation by themselves these days).

waterfront run

{waterfront run selfie}

We also ran through the city, along the water and through Stanley Park every day. Tony sometimes went in the morning while I was still asleep, and I would sometimes wait to time my run to coincide with the evening walk of a local golden retriever (I was really, really, really homesick for our dogs).

school by the water

{Waterfront school}

There was a little school (or maybe daycare?) overlooking the water in Stanley Park, reinforcing my belief that there are few better places in the world to raise children than in Vancouver.

raccoon

We also saw a family of raccoons every single run. They were as friendly as the people of Vancouver, as evidenced by this photo Tony took. We also saw beavers. And black squirrels. And lots and lots of dogs – Vancouver is a major dog city. Yet another reason I should probably live there.

bella gelateria gelato

Another near-daily staple was Bella Gelateria, best ice cream in the world. Clearly, I am not the only person who thinks this:

bella gelateria awards

bella gelateria line

When we weren’t running or working, we were eating. In fact, I spent most of my waking hours eating or plotting where I would eat next. Hands down, our favorite restaurant was Tavola. Best Italian food I have ever had in my life. And I have been to Italy. We went at least once a week (usually twice), which is probably why most of my pants don’t fit anymore. Worth it. On the last night, I told Tony if he becomes the next Justin Bieber, he would win my heart if he flew me on a private jet just to eat there. He told me he had already won my heart, and that was the stupidest idea he’d ever heard (which is why I love him. I was clearly drunk on carbs.)

tavola appetizers

{Tavola appetizers}

tavola cacio e pepe

{Tavola cacio e pepe}

tavola dessert

{Tony enjoying dessert at Tavola}

Tavola

{Tony’s co-stars Laura Bell + Jesse, Jesse’s wife Lorelei, Tony + me. We made them go to Tavola.}

I also fell in love with Nook, another Italian restaurant just a block from the beach. I went there one night that Tony thought he might get off work early enough to meet me, so I ordered 2 appetizers and 2 dinners and kept telling the staff “my husband should be here any minute!” Then, when it was starting to look like he wouldn’t show, I ate pretty much everything. Pretty sure they decided my “husband” only existed in my mind. The food was so good, I didn’t care.

Nook

{Enjoying prosecco at Nook}

Another local staple was Meat + Bread, a local sandwich shop that serves exactly what their name states: meat and bread. The 3 sandwiches changed daily, and there was always a 4th vegetarian option. I never felt confident enough that I’d actually be able to even wrestle my pants on if I caved and ate the bacon ice cream sandwich, but maybe next time.

meat + bread

{Tony at Meat + Bread}

We’d heard that the sushi in Vancouver is insanely amazing, but none of the spots we tried were as good as our L.A. favorites, Sugarfish and Katsu-ya. The best we found was Miku; while the food and location (overlooking the water) was incredible, we had to wait 45 minutes even with a reservation and it took almost as long to get our food. I’m usually ready to chew my own foot off if I haven’t eaten in over an hour, so it was a rough night. Probably rougher for Tony. If you go, make your reservation for an hour earlier than when you think you’ll be hungry.

miku

miku dessert

{Tony, preparing to inhale the insanely delicious green tea cake dessert at Miku}

I’m also obsessed with oysters, so when I wasn’t shoveling pasta into my face, it was usually oysters and champagne, which I consider a perfectly balanced meal. We loved Cardero’s, Joe Forte’s and Boulevard, the restaurant at our hotel for seafood. Tony thinks eating oysters is not unlike slurping loogies, so I got them all to myself and he got some form of fried fish.

cardero's

happy hour snacks

{Happy hour at the Sutton Place}

happy hour drinks

happy hour

There are Japadog carts all over Vancouver, and one night while Tony was off working, my curiosity got the best of me and I ordered a turkey hot dog with mayo, teriyaki sauce, grilled onions and crispy seaweed. It tastes exactly as good as it sounds (and I will let you be the judge of that, because I still haven’t decided.)

hot dogs + wine

When we ordered room service, we ordered off the kid’s menu. We both pretended it was to save money, but really it’s because we both just love fried things that come in variations of the color beige:

room service

Laura Bell turned us onto Local Public Eatery, a pub across the street from the beach in Kitsilano, which is where I live in my Vancouver alternate reality. I had the best veggie burger of my life there. The sweet potato fries are also magnificent, as are the cocktails.

local public eatery

local cocktail

We went big one night at Kobe Japanese Steak House with our friend Gordon, where we ate all of Tony’s favorite things: Meat, meat and more meat. We didn’t singe our eyebrows off and our chef made this out of my fried rice to celebrate our newlywed status:

kobe japanese steakhouse

And on the one-month anniversary of our wedding, the concierge delivered this special treat from Tony:

anniversary cupcakes

Perhaps the greatest dining experience, however, was our Saturday morning routine: I would sleep in while Tony went around the corner to Nero Belgian Waffle Bar, waited in line for however long it took, then returned with an assortment of waffles he would bring me in bed. My favorite was the one soaked in honey, melted brie and walnuts.

waffles in bed

waffle minis

If I have not yet convinced you that Vancouver is the culinary destination, just know that they serve lobster at their Subways:

lobster at subway

One of our favorite experiences on our first trip to Vancouver was a day trip to Whistler. It’s beautiful drive through the mountains and along the water:

tony + me at lookout point

{We pulled over for this photo op, which does not even come close to doing it justice. We also saw a bear, but there was nowhere to pull over to take a pic. You’ll just need to trust that it happened.}

We timed our excursion to coincide with the Whistler Farmer’s Market, so we could indulge in treats like artisanal snow cones:

whistler farmer's market

{Pineapple habanero was my favorite flavor}

frost bites

{All that was left by the time we got to the front of the line}

snow cone

snow cones + gelato

Then, we got pizza and dessert.

whistler pizza

bakery

And then, we had dinner at Araxi, our favorite restaurant and oyster joint in Whistler.

whistler cocktails

restaurant blankets

{They even give you blankets, to get cozy while you eat!}

whistler

whistler river

{More Whistler prettiness}

All of these pictures probably make it look like we did nothing but party, but the truth is, Tony worked hard. Really, really, really hard. But most of his shoots were at night and he is an energizer bunny who requires very little sleep, and so we ended up having much more time to be together than I’d even allowed myself to hope for.

tony + me by the water

{Exploring the city}

dracula desserts

{Outside of what could very well be Dracula’s favorite bakery}

bed

{Taking selfies in bed}

And one day, I got to go visit the set with him!

view from set

{View from the beautiful cabin where they shot}

tony's trailer

{phone time in Tony’s trailer}

tony's make-up secret

{Tony, executing a trick on how to put on clothes without getting make-up smeared all over}

on set

{on set}

Because I did still have a lot of time to myself, I also got a lot of writing done. I’m working on a webseries with my friend Kim that we are both so stoked about. And I’m excited about the post-wedding direction I’m taking the blog in, and hope you’ll stay with me on the journey as I continue to write about my life, and also fashion, beauty, travel and FOOD.

me + sunset

{Solo pic Tony took at Sunset on our first night in Vancouver}

I’ve been thinking a lot about the long-term these days, and the life Tony and I want to build together, and where our relationship fits in that life. I’m very, very, very lucky that we had the resources to make it possible for me to pick up and go with him for a month, and that I can write anywhere. But a lot of our friends were also surprised that I was choosing to go for the entire shoot; wasn’t I worried about missing my own opportunities in L.A.? Honestly, yes, I was. I recorded auditions on my phone, and hoped that wouldn’t hurt my chances. I pondered whether my trophy wifing it up all over town was destroying all the hard work of feminists everywhere, and wondered if you can’t Lean In when you’re following your husband around the world for his job. But, I’ve also seen what this town does to relationships, and I’m determined to put the work in so Tony and I beat the odds. We both love the idea of having a white picket fence marriage, the type “normal” people have who don’t get paid to make out with other people for a living. And right now, Tony is on a roll career-wise, and I’m finding ways to keep chasing the career I want to have while staying with him as much as I can when he has to travel for work. We’re still figuring it all out. But for now, I’m happy to keep the honeymoon going for as long as I can.

me + tony in kitsilano

breakfast in bed

{And if I don’t go with him, who is going to make me breakfast in bed?????}