West Coast bound and can’t make it to the Empire State for your lavender nuptials? Think about heading to our northern neighbor Canada, where tying the pink knot is a relative breeze in British Columbia. For the traveler seeking some active sports and adventure, this is the spot for you. Here are my taste-y tips for a maple leaf themed gay getaway wedding.
Taste-y Stay. First stop should be the concierge desk at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver since the helpful team has planned many a gay wedding and can get you set-up with all the right paperwork (and even fill-in as a required witness to the ceremony). Perched right on Vancouver’s waterfront with dramatic views of the harbor and surrounding mountains, the hotel exudes modern luxury with comfortable touches. After you get hitched, do like the outdoor loving locals and take a ride around the waterfront and through the nearby park on one of the hotel’s BMW bikes.
Taste-y Grind. Need a little more action than a leisurely bike ride? Have the hotel escort you over to Grouse Mountain where you can conquer “nature’s Stairmaster” on a rigorous “grind” to the top. Don’t worry—gondolas take you back down. It’s quite the experience—and don’t be surprised if you meet several local octogenarians out for their third or fourth grind of the day while you barely catch your breathe halfway up.
Taste-y Recovery. Make sure to book a “Van Active Body Massage” at the Fairmont’s Willow Stream Spa before you undertake the grind. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. This special treatment uses organic aromatherapy ginger body oil with deep tissue pressure on joints and muscles to ease in soreness from activities. Then lounge outside in large pods that overlook the harbor—a true urban oasis.
Taste-y Eats. Celebrate your nuptials in the historic and charming Gastown neighborhood just a few minutes walk from the hotel. Book at table at L’Abbatoir for a stylish meal in a refurbished building featuring West Coast fresh farm-to-table flavors, along with some innovative cocktails.
Taste-y Escape. Buy a ticket on a seaplane that leaves from right outside the hotel for the short flight to Victoria. There you should enjoy the historic afternoon tea at the iconic Fairmont Empress. They even have gluten free scones and vegan options for those with diet restrictions!
Editor’s note: JP got his grind on in Vancouver for a couple of days courtesy of Fairmont Hotels.
Jon Paul Buchmeyer is the author of the award-winning humorous memoir Alphabet City: My So-Called Sitcom Life and writes frequently for Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit magazines. In addition, he is the author of his own popular blogs: ABCityblog.com and Poptimistic.com.