Thursday, October 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday - River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, BC

Throwback Thursday to the Girls Weekend at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, BC.  

What is girl's weekend?  Every year a few girlfriends and I go on a girls weekend away instead of celebrating our birthdays with dinners and presents.  We save our money and treat ourselves to a weekend away from our regular daily life and instead take a much needed girls weekend away.

How do we choose our destinations?  It's never easy for the three of us to decide on a place.  It has to be during the weekend from Friday night to Sunday and close enough to return to Vancouver on Sunday.  It needs to have shopping, eating, drinking, spa-ing (luxuriating at the spa), or more drinking.

In 2016 we decided to go to the River Rock Casino in Richmond.  They had Trattoria (highly rated restaurant), the Buffet (which actually was our favorite), casino, Spa Utopia with hot tub and pool access, and shopping at Richmond Center.  It met all of our requirements for a girls weekend away.  

What was our least favorite part of this trip?  Well, I have to admit that I upgraded our room from two queen beds to a suite.  I thought the idea of a suite would be great!  Of course even though no one was smart enough to tell me that this was a bad idea and we should change our room, instead the other girls banned me from ever being in charge of the hotel room for the girls weekend because I would get enough bed.  At least this is one trip we will remember.

What was our favorite part of this trip?  Spa Utopia and the male Registered Massage Therapists who were excellent and after the treatment I had wished that I chose the longer one.  45 minutes was too short.  And The Buffet at the River Rock Casino.  Our timing was perfect so we didn't have to wait long for dinner and were so impressed we returned the next day for the breakfast buffet.  

Take a look at our suite in the Vancity Girlfriends video and you can decide if this is enough space for three?

Our 2017 Girls Weekend away will be in Kelowna, BC coming up in October!  Subscribe to Vancity Girlfriends on YouTube to see what we do in Kelowna.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thrifty Tuesday - McDonald App Coupon

We don't usually get the normal round of flyers so when I found out that it's possible to save money without coupons but instead there's an app for that.  

In our technology savvy world, that is not a surprise.  When McDonalds App Coupon came out, I was drawn since McDonalds is not an expensive fast food restaurant to begin with.  Then add the discount coupon on the app and it's possible to save money.  Now what I didn't know is that the coupons do rotate and change every week.  

With the McDonalds Kiosks and McDonalds Coupon App, it's easy to order at the self serve kiosk and save money.  It's great for introverts like me who hate ordering in person and having to answer all of the questions.  The kiosk makes it much easier.  My coupon was for $1 off a breakfast combo so I ordered the sausage egg mcmuffin with hash browns and I splurged and upgraded my drink to a medium size of earl's grey tea with stevia.  There are customizations and options at the kiosk.  Have fun with it!  Comment and let us know what you ordered.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vancouver Restaurant - Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant

I love trying new food so I was happy when friends invited me for Ethiopian food.  We went to Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, BC.

It was a quaint restaurant and it's great when others know what to order and could order for us.  We ordered a combination platter and a lamb wot dish that perfectly fit in the middle of the plate.  Ethiopian food is eaten without utensils.  Yes, that's right, we eat with our hands.  They serve the food with and on injera, which is a flatbread that you pick up the food with.  Now I think there is a talent for eating with your hands.  Even with the injera my fingers were covered with juices and I must have used ten napkins.  Ahh, the fun of eating with friends.  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Girl's Night Out - Earl's Restaurant Test Kitchen and Sephora

Girl's Night Out is our date night for Vancity Girlfriends.  We have a chance to catch up and go out on the town.  We decided to go to dinner and a movie and in between had time to make a quick stop at Sephora.  

Earls Restaurant was our first stop at the Earls Test Kitchen downtown Vancouver conveniently located beside the Scotiabank movie theatre.  We met early so we could go to Earls Restaurant Happy Hour.  Happy Hour is the perfect way to eat fabulous food at a fraction of the cost.  On Saturdays Frozen Lemonade is $2 off so we started with that and then we shared appetizers from the Happy Hour menu including Margarita pizza, Coconut prawns and Swordfish tacos.  

Frozen Pink Lemonade

Margarita Pizza

Coconut Prawns

Swordfish Tacos
Check out the Girls Night Out vlog to see which face cleanser Carolyn decided to try.  Was it Drunken Elephant Jelly Cleanser, Thomas Roth Foam Cleanser or ???  What did she buy at Sephora before we went to the theatre for popcorn, Timeplay and to watch the movie "IT".  The horror movie with a morale.  

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Travel Tuesday - Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos, BC

I love being a tourist in my own city or province and so does Vancity Girlfriend Carolyn.  Perhaps the fact that her family lives in British Columbia gives her an excuse to stop and explore some new towns in BC.  This summer Carolyn and her family stopped by Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, BC on her summer holiday.  

Now I know that Watermark Beach Resort is not Iberostar in Mexico, but let's take a look at the Vancity Girlfriends Watermark Beach Resort vlog to see the spacious one bedroom suite, lakeview and resort pool.  The resort room had a balcony and it looks like Toby gives it a two thumbs up.  

They only stayed one night but the in-suite laundry and full kitchen makes it comfortable for a longer stay for sure.  

Find out more about the resort here:

We had another friend who ended up at the Watermark Beach Resort for her Yoga and Wine Holidays and that's now on my wish list.  It's a two in one where you can stay the at the resort and have it all packaged up with yoga.   

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Vancouver Event - Playland

Summer is here and Playland is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon for the whole family.  Playland in Vancouver is an amusement park and it has rides for all ages.  There are roller coasters for the little kids (which I prefer) as I find the wooden roller coaster too scary for me.  They also have the ferris wheel with the breathtaking views.  

It's a good idea to get an early start to Playland when there are fewer crowds and people.  Eat a big breakfast for you can enjoy the rides and fun without having to spend too much money on eating out.  There are all kinds of rides with lots of spinning, screaming, and gentler rides like the bumper cars.

Don't forget to bring a little cash so you can walk around the fun games sections to Whack a Mole (which is my favorite) or play darts, shoot guns, knock down bottles all for the hopes to win a prize.  This year the prize was the Skeleton Bunny!  

Check out Playland at their website:
Save money by buying online instead of at the gate or check out their special promotions.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Vancouver Cheap Eats - Dosa Factory

Everyone has talked about the Monday Dosa specials and I missed going with the large group of colleagues.  So I asked my Indian friend if she wanted to go again and bring me there.  Of course she said "Yes" as it's hard to resist a meal for $5.99.  That's the Monday special where you can order a dosa for $5.99.  At that price she basically told us to order one to go so we all would have lunch the next day.  Initially I wasn't going to but then I really thought about it and figured out that $5.99 is cheaper than a McDonald's Big Mac combo.  I might have offended my friend at that time for comparing authentic South Indian Food to McDonalds.  That justification won me over and I ordered one dosa to eat-in and one dosa to go.

Mondays at the Dosa Factory on Kingsway in Vancouver is a big deal so it's natural that you have to put your name down on the wait list and wait.  With a smaller group of 4 people it was easier than with a group of 10 people.  I did notice that they had many tables of 2 so a dynamic duo is a good number.  

It was worth the wait.  When we were seated there were bottles of water on the table for us.  The Monday menu was simple and we ordered one dosa to eat in and one order to go.  They were able to keep track of our order.  Even though it was busy and cheap, they still take the time to provide good customer service which I appreciate.  

I ordered a prawn dosa to eat in and the lamb dosa to go.  A dosa is pictured below and it's hard to see but inside it has the delicous filling of vegetables, potato, and the "prawn" or "lamb" or "menu option" of your choice.  What was more surprising is that it was filling and I was stuffed after eating one dosa.  I would definitely return to the Dosa Factory.  Everyday they have specials but Mondays are the cheapest.  I'll return again for another Dosa Day.  

Find out more about their daily specials here: