[trip style = weekend getaway]
I can't even count the amount of times I've travelled (by car) between Vancouver and Seattle and back again. Along with my husband, we now have the trip down to an art! Too bad there isn't a car version of frequent flier miles. Whether you're crossing the 49th parallel for a flight, shopping, to visit friends or a weekend getaway, here are my tried and tested must-stops.
YVR --> SEA Must-Stops
1) The Border (Nexus)
The Nexus lane is fast and efficient, 95% of the time. Spending $50 and investing two hours to apply and interview for Nexus makes border crossing, dare I say, somewhat dreamy. Otherwise, check out the border line-ups with one of these border wait apps, or indulge in orange tic-tacs at the Pacific Truck Crossing's duty-free store to legitimately jump the line and save yourself a lot of time.
Filling up once you cross the border is a no-brainer. Gas is about 20-25% cheaper in the US, regardless of the exchange rate because the price differential is almost entirely related to gasoline taxes. So why not fill up?
3) Avenue Bread
What this simple take-away or eat-in cafe lacks in decor, it makes up for in food quality. Their freshly baked bread is what they're known for, but in my humble opinion, their two most delectable dishes are Avenue Eggenues (a fresh-baked english muffin and egg breakfast sandwich, with add-ons like cheese, spinach, bacon, avocado and tomato) and the BLT&T with rosemary bread, add avocado.
Where to find it: The location with the most atmosphere (pictured above) is 3 mins off the I-5 highway in historic Fairhaven (the last exit before you exit Bellingham.)
4) I Wanna Moka
I have never been served coffee by friendlier, more bubbly baristas. Either they LOVE their jobs, or they're on a constant caffeine high. But seriously, this drivethru coffee bar is where it's at. And yes, their 'mokas' are good.
Where to find it: Also, just off the Fairhaven exit, you won't be able to miss I Wanna Moka.
5) Optional but highly suggested: Trader Joes and/or Target.
Trader Joe's, a more fun, boutique alternative to Whole Foods has everything from Two Buck Chuck ($3 bottle of bin-end wine) to fun treats, fresh flowers, great to-go salads, the best tasting sugar and salt-free peanut butter on the planet and a host of other groceries. Whether you're driving to Seattle for a flight or shopping, it's a great place to grab healthy snacks.
Where to find it: The Bellingham store is just off the I-5 highway and conveniently across the street from an Avenue Bread (not the location I mentioned above).
What don't we need at Tar-jay? This weekend my husband found a great fall essential for $6, the grey waffle shirt. Need I say more? Well, I will: shopping at Target makes me wish I had a hobby/storage room to keep all the sometimes silly, but sometimes awesome seasonal stuff I find. There is no store like it in Canada. I always stock up on their allergy medication, toiletries, white platters, designer-collab clothing lines and wine (costs 50% less than in Canada).
Where to find it: In Bellingham at Bellis Fair Mall, or in Marysville just off the I-5 highway.
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