Walking down the aisle

Bling Boutique Bridal Show

Yesterday I went to the very first bridal show – Bling Boutique Bridal Show – of my life with my mom. They had tickets on sale for awhile for $35, but I couldn’t justify the ticket price since I already booked most of my vendours. Nonetheless, admin girl from my work got me this brochure that had promotion code for free admission, so I thought what the heck, why not! Also, my other concern for this event was that it’s at the new Trump hotel. Obviously I’m not the biggest fan of Trump, AND the building wasn’t even done with its construction works yet. So this morning on my way to church, I asked the concierge that was standing outside the building if the event is actually happening. Apparently the building connects to Fortis building, and he confirmed that it is still on. I was quite surprised that people were already lined up in front of the building 20 minutes before the doors were open!!

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After having brunch at Tableau with my parents, my mom and I went straight to Trump hotel to see what’s up. There were about 50 vendours, ranging from florists and makeup artists, to DJs and wedding dress shops. There were quite a few interesting vendours too, including Archimallows (homemade marshmallows!), Hugo’s Churros, and Jack Coffee which would’ve been great options to explore if I went ahead with my farm wedding idea! Anyhow it was just as great to try their samples at the event.

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At 3pm, Blush bridal put on a fashion show with dresses by Vera Wang, Hayley Paige, and Berta (I think there was one more brand, but I don’t remember…). Vera Wang is not my favourite(GASP), although I love HP and Berta. My actual dress is actually by HP!

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As I’ve mentioned, I pretty much have all vendours figured out, but my fiancé and I have been talking about maybe setting up a photo booth as well. And I am very glad I found Pixstar at this event, as they were offering a special promo price. Plus, I got to try out the photo booth with my mom 🙂

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I think we were there for about 2 hours. If you ask me if it was worth the ticket price of $40, my honest answer would be a hard maybe.. but for free? I’ll definitely be back if I get a chance. At the end of the day, we got a little swag bag with magazines, chocolates and coffee from vendours, and tons of business cards.

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It was a great Sunday for this bride and the mother of the bride ❤

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Daily

Canada Day 2014

I’ve never really celebrated Canada Day – because 1) I lived in Maple Ridge growing up, so it’s a little too far from all the celebration in downtown and 2) maybe I’m just not that patriotic enough?

But this year I decided to watch the fireworks with a couple of girlfriends, and also my boyfriend suggested this great idea to go see the Canadians play at Nat Bailey stadium. Watching the Canadians play on Canada Day, how patriotic is that??!! So we took skytrain to King Edward station and walked a bit to Nat Bailey. It was my second time being there, and we of course got a couple of beers. Although the heat was a little tough to bear, the Canadians won the game against Salem-Keizer Volcanoes! O CANADA indeed.

Then the boys decided to go meet up with other friends, and I had to meet up with my girlfriends for a little picnic and fireworks. Since two of us live right by the sea wall in Coal Harbour, we picnicked out in Harbour Green Park for hours. Then around 9 we decided to move a bit East, so we sat ourselves down near De Dutch. Little did we know, soon after that the police blocked all walkways down to the sea wall which prevented my boyfriend from joining us for the fireworks. WOMP.

The fireworks itself wasn’t too bad, although my friend liked the last year’s better apparently. Well, I don’t really have anything to compare than my vague memories of Canada Day fireworks about 10 years ago… But all in all, it was a fun night with some action, a lot of girl talk, and beer! Happy Birthday Canada!!

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Daily

Spring in Vancouver

It’s been a few weeks since the beginning of spring. It’s been a very peculiar dry winter in Vancouver, so I’m not so surprised with all this rain now. I was expecting more of an end of world scenario with hails in size of a baseball or lightning strikes that burn down the city, so I’m willing to bear through this rain for a couple more days.

Nonetheless, it’s been a beautiful start of spring before it started to rain, and I want to share my instagram pictures of spring in Vancouver (Yaletown specifically) with you.

This was on my way back from work, on March 21st. Cherry blossom trees just started to blossom and spring began to spring!

Then five days later, they were in full bloom! Yaletown has many of these cherry blossom trees on the streets, and I love strolling down this area everyday. It’s never a busy area with exceptions of weekend nights, and looking at people walking pass me with their little barking friends makes me happy.

This is from Good Friday, on the other side of downtown. I had lunch with my bf at Cardero’s and we decided to take a long walk. It really was a good Friday – the weather was gorgeous, he even had to take his windbreaker off because it was too hot (but I thought it was perfect). Yaletown and Coal harbour area are my two favourite areas in Downtown Vancouver; Quite different crowds but I just like the vibes of both these neighbourhoods. We walked good 5~6 km that day and of course there were a lot of visitors and tourists at Stanley Park as wells as locals casually rollerblading around the seawall.

Back in Yaletown down at the seawall. My office got a day off for Easter Monday as well so I decided to walk down a couple of blocks down to the water and read my articles there. Again a beautiful day, I was actually wearing shorts and short sleeves t-shirt and a light cardigan on top!

This will be my last picture of the day. This is from only two days ago on Wednesday. On my way back home from work again, and I was so surprised to see all these trees covered in green! I swear it wasn’t this green the night before or even on my way to work that morning! It felt like all the trees just decided to put on their green leaves together at the same time because the leaves were on sale or something.

And since yesterday it’s been raining and raining, and too bad I sent over my rain boots back home. But also it’s a lot warmer so I can just put on one light trench coat in the morning and I’m good to go. Hope this rain ends soon though, because I’d much rather have the sunshine over my head than my neon-orange umbrella.

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Europe, France, Italy, Travel

Trip Planning: France and Italy Part 2

I’ve booked my flight tickets!!

..well, actually three days ago. I’ve been busy at work and outside of work so finally I get to write this posting. Anywho, As I always do, I’ve been researching like crazy and keeping track of the price trend. I had two options for my flights:
1. Round trip from Vancouver to Paris
2. Two separate trips, Vancouver to Paris and Milan to Vancouver

First I only thought of option 1 since Paris/London/Frankfurt are the cheaper options to fly to Europe from Vancouver. And for the past few weeks, prices were around $1200~$1300 for the round trip. And the option 2 was also around $1300~$1400. I know the trip is not happening for another four months, and for my last trip last year I only got the tickets about eight weeks before the trip. Nonetheless that was during low season (January-February) and I was flying from and to United States (from New York to Prague, from Paris to Seattle). So when I was searching for my ticket for this year’s trip I decided to go on the hunt earlier since July is very high season. Also I already got my vacation approved, so there was nothing that’d stop me from getting my tickets.

I was tracking the price trend for the past few weeks on various websites – Momondo, Bookingbuddy, StudentUniverse, and I also asked for a quote from Flight centre.

  • Momondo: Very user friendly UX, searches different European websites which tend to offer lower prices for tickets in Europe. But one downfall is that since they search up on European websites, some of those websites offer the price in Euros, or British Pounds. Therefore depending on the exchange rate the price might differ from what you saw on Momondo.
  • Bookingbuddy: It also combines many website searches into one. The usual websites are Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline, CheapOair, etc. Shows you the correct US/CAD price.
  • StudentUniverse: Great website for students or people under 26. I found out about this website the year before last year when I was researching for my tickets to Europe and since I was a student I was looking to see if I can get some perks of being a student. It feels like it’s either hit or miss for StudentUniverse, because most of the times the prices offered are little more expensive than what you can find elsewhere; but if you are lucky (like I was the year before last year AND this year) you can find some great prices. However, I’m not sure if they changed the policy or not, you need to prove that you are a student by sending them a screen capture of your logged in page on your college website.
  • Flight centre: This one, also is a hit or miss. They got me an amazing price for my flights from/to Hong Kong for my exchange. Everywhere I searched I only could find $1900 and above, but they were able to find it for $1300. I was flabbergasted and have been going back constantly for quotes for all my trips, but since then I was always able to find better price than them. And when they say they’ll ‘beat the lowest price’, they mean it by a dollar and $20 credit for your next booking with them. But quite honestly, I was able to find prices that are much lower than what they offered and I didn’t want to bother going through them for $21 in savings. And some consultants are just not too nice 😦

As I was keeping track of the price trend, there was one day last week when I could get the option 2 flights, with KLM, for under $1300 on StudentUniverse (This definitely was another hit by StudentUniverse). That day the option 1 flights were also around $1300 but for option 1 I had to get another flight from Milan to Paris. So when I found that price on StudentUniverse, I just got my credit card and purchased it. It only stops once in Amsterdam, and I’ve heard that their airport is one of the best in Europe so I wouldn’t mind kicking around at the airport for a couple of hours. And the greatest thing is, when I checked the prices yesterday, the exact same tickets now – same airline, same time, same stops – are now over $2000! (I usually keep checking prices even after I purchase my tickets to see if I was smart or not). I’m usually good with purchasing the ticket at the right time, but since I paid $500 for what used to be $350 on my flights to Austin next month, I was determined to not make that mistake again.

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So… that’s my two pennies on booking tickets online. I guess it’s going to have to be a nickel from now since Bank of Canada has gotten rid of pennies! hahahaha 😛

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