Urban

Cathay Pacific's Iconic YVR to JFK Nonstop Route

Cathay Pacific YVR to NYC Flight

[trip style = luxury + urban]

When I started Trip Styler, I vowed to visit New York annually to stay up on the city that never sleeps. In an effort to be intentional about this goal, I wrote it down on a paper napkin while perched at a bar in the Big Apple. Because all great ideas start on bar napkins. {Now if only I were sipping a Manhattan...}

Pssst: Scroll down to see 18 photos.

The Easy Commute
Part of what made {and continues to make} this dream a reality is Cathay Pacific's daily, nonstop service between Vancouver and New York. This flight is so well executed, it's a commuter flight for some travelers. I knew a man who spent his weekends in Vancouver and his weekdays working at a major magazine in NYC. And I get it. I've flown to NYC from Vancouver and Seattle in economy and business class on many airlines, and nothing compares to Cathay Pacific's service.

A Chic Approach
Since around 1996, this route has reached a near-iconic status with coast-to-coast jetsetters because of its chic approach. Let me explain: Even though flights between Canada and the US are technically international, most of them leave out the standard of service of international flights: creative cuisine, complimentary drinks, long haul-designed seats, etc. because "the extras" add too much to the highly-competitive, price-sensitive fares. 

The International Factor
This is where Cathay's Vancouver-New York route soars above other airlines' barely-there, cost-cutting service. Because Vancouver is a stopover between Hong Kong and New York, passengers step onto a long-range, wide-body Boeing 777-300ER with four classes, transcontinental service, touch-screen entertainment and flight times that make a "New York minute" last an extra day {the flight arrives in New York at 7am and departs at 10pm, meaning there's more time to take a bite out of the Big Apple}. And the price tag, hovering between CAD$600 and $650 for Economy Class advance bookings, is similar to other airlines' nonstop fares, yet with Cathay you get all the frills—and the feels.

Economy Class
Even when I'm in Economy, I consider the five-hour flight the start of my vacation. The cheapest seats offer generous service, full meals, alcoholic bevs, high-res seatback entertainment with USB charging, cradle-designed seats with a multiposition headrest and 6" recline, as well as fresh orchids in the lavatories. Basically, you still feel pampered in Economy, which is a lost art in aviation. It's also worth mentioning how polite Cathay's flight attendants are towards passengers in all classes.

Business Class
If you can spring for business class via points or dollars, do it... For the lie-flat beds extending almost seven feet. For the personal pods each with direct aisle access. For the beautiful menu. For the lounge. Oh the lounge.

Lounge Life
Cathay takes Vancouver VERY seriously—YVR was the airline's first foray into North America—and the airport has the lounge to prove it. The Hong Kong-based carrier's recently renovated lounge is by FAR the nicest address at Vancouver International Airport. {I wish it was my woodsy-chic home brimming with bubbly and signatures like Cathay's Noodle Bar and stunning bathrooms (with showers) stocked with Aesop amenities.}

I LOVE New York so much it has become a constant destination in my Trip Styling schedule. Due to the Cathay daily and direct flight, it's not only easy to reach, but getting there is effortlessly chic.

Quick Facts:
Inbound: CX888 departs Vancouver {YVR} at 10:50pm and arrives in New York {JFK} at 7am
Outbound: CX889 departs New York at 9:55pm and arrives in Vancouver at 12:45am
Flight time: 5-5.5hrs
Classes: Economy Class, Premium Economy, Business Class, First Class
Starting fare: CAD$600 {Trip Styler Tip: Search for a seat sale to reduce this price} 

Click the images below to enlarge and then hover for details.

Other Dispatches in this Series
Next Up :: NYC
3 Days in NYC {What I Packed}
Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR
6 Hong Kong Hints {that will make you want to book a ticket ASAP}
Flying Well :: Cathay Pacific's Revolutionary A350
Style Inspiration :: The Pier Business + First Class Lounges in Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Vancouver to Hong Kong

[Photos by @tripstyler (except where noted) taken while a guest of the airline. As mentioned, I've paid for this flight more times than I can count and I have a very strict editorial policy favoring trips I LOVE.]

Summer In Vancouver: Designer Ice Cream + Liquid Yoga + A Chic Longtable Dinner

Summer 2017 insider must-dos in vancouver canada

[trip style = active + food + wine]

To my sun-seeking soul, summer is the best time to be on the West Coast. During this sacred season, California's weather flirts with Canada's coastline, bringing sun from 6am-10pm, weather that justifies rosé all day and a fashion sense that's more breezy than bundled.  

Other than a few trips abroad in June, I typically reserve July and August for trip styling locally, either on weekend jaunts or staycations. To do this, I try to work fewer hours and extend each weekend because British Columbia is too gorgeous not to explore when it's in full bloom. 

For weekends away, I usually head to the mountains, beeline for the beach or channel my love Palm Springs in Canada's only desert {also a wine region!}. If I stay in the city, I like to bike the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront path, practice pool yoga or eat designer ice cream. {Real talk: Now that I have little stylers, I can't do all of this in one weekend, so I break up the fun throughout the summer.}

Here are a few "very Vancouver," summer-only, Trip Styler-approved happenings going on right now. See you there!

beta5 ice cream socials

Designer Ice Cream
Tucked away in an urban industrial district off Main Street, you'll find BETA5 Chocolates, aka Vancouver's sweetest secret. This summer, Canada's coolest chocolate-, pastry- and ice cream-maker is one-upping its cool-factor by offering designer sundaes that are more art than ice cream. But the cool treats aren't just for Instagram show --> they taste as beautiful as they look given the local dairy, in-season produce and handcrafted toppings that go into each bite.

DETAILS: BETA5's Ice Cream Socials take place every Saturday from 1-5pm during the summer. Want ice cream during the week? It's cool; they've got you covered.

liquid yoga the westin bayshore summer

Liquid Yoga
In an ode to Vancouver's summertime glory—yoga + outdoor pool + sunshine = yes please—head to the Westin Bayshore for Liquid Yoga. Taking place in the waterfront hotel's outdoor pool, participants float on aquamats while they flow through a 60-minute practice in a small-group setting, complete with birds chirping and warm water lapping up against their mat. The only requirement: Know how to swim and BYOBS {bring your own bathing suit}. The setting is so inviting, you'll want to take a dip after class when your hands touch the water during savasana.

DETAILS: Sixty-minute classes take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 8am + 9am during the summer, and cost $30 {$20 for hotel guests}. Reserve your spot here.

IMG_5264.jpg

Crab + Lobster Boil
Every Sunday this summer, YEW Seafood + Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is bringing the ocean to you with its Crab + Lobster Boil. Featuring BC-caught Dungeness Crab and Canadian Lobster, as well as a spread of sautéed greens and marbled potatoes, this long table feast offers a coast-to-coast taste of Canada, including BC wine. PS: If you haven't properly celebrated Canada's 150th birthday, this tasteful soirée is for you.  

DETAILS: YEW's Crab + Lobster Boil happens every Sunday night during the summer. Book your seat here. Tickets cost $75 and include wine.

[Photos via @tripstyler, except lead image courtesy of FS Vancouver]

Next Up: NYC

New York City

[trip style = urban]

While everyone else is on the hunt for the coolest pool inflatable {read: unicorn!} to Instagram in a sea of blue, I'm going to zig while others zag and seek the city versus the sand.

This week I'm kicking off the TS summer in style and heading to the ultimate metropolis, New York, to explore Lower Manhattan's eye-popping revitalization and report back on its essentials.

Trip Styler Tip: On the topic of zigging while others zag, as in, booking a summertime getaway to the city versus the beach... I love this travel strategy because it always boils down to less financial output. Case in point: Cathay Pacific is offering up to 23% off Economy Class and Business Class fares between Vancouver and New York right now. This is not sponsored, I'm just telling you because the airline and destination are TS travel muses.

When I first started Trip Styler back in 2009 I made a vow to visit the Big Apple yearly. My rationale: Connecting with New York is like getting together with your coolest friend. It never gets old {and you're already anticipating your next visit before you've even parted ways}. While I haven't 100% hit the lofty goal of visiting every 12 months, I've been able to prioritize getting there almost once a year. Because, New York. 

To whet your NYC palate, here's a taste of the concrete jungle courtesy of some never-seen-on-TS photos from my trip with Mr. Trip Styler a year ago. More dispatches will hit the wire shortly. I leave Monday night on the daily and nonstop YVR to JFK Cathay Pacific flight. Stay tuned. 

{Want to know more about a photo or pinpoint its exact location? Click it!}

Related
First Look :: Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR

[photos by @tripstyler + @mrtripstyler]

My Most Beautiful Meal in Hong Kong

high-end dim sum in hong kong

[trip style = food + urban]

If you want to devour ALL the dim sum, Hong Kong is the place to let your taste buds do the exploring. Home to mom-and-pop shops, and a swath of sophisticated restaurants where families go to celebrate or tycoons dine to impress, the food-obsessed city is your best bet for tasting the traditional Cantonese meal. 

Having dined on dim sum from street to three-star Michelin-chic, I thought I'd found my all-stars. Then I sat down for a two-star Michelin feast and preferred it in every way.    

The fact that I'm writing about dim sum being my most beautiful meaI in Hong Kong is a next-level achievement for this once-picky eater. In addition to tasting menus featuring rabbit-stuffed ravioli, or lamb prepared in an oven dug into the Sahara Desert, the myriad of dishes in a dim sum feast remind me how far I've come from crackers and cheese. While I don't indulge in golden frog legs with spicy salt on a regular basis, my travels have taught that experiencing a place through its traditional food gives you a seat at its cultural table, both literally and figuratively. With this, here's a first-hand account of my seat at Yan Toh Heen, one of Hong Kong's most beloved Cantonese restaurants, called the "best for dim sum virgins" by CNN.

From design, to food, to the rarely-seen kitchen, I give you: My most beautiful meal in Hong Kong.

Talk about an entrance. Before you even enter Yan Toh Heen, custom jade gates made from the restaurant's original gemstone tableware make for a wow-factor arrival.

Talk about an entrance. Before you even enter Yan Toh Heen, custom jade gates made from the restaurant's original gemstone tableware make for a wow-factor arrival.

The harbor-view dining room is draped in soft cream linens, mother-of-pearl, and wood accents, which provide a plush backdrop to the main star: The dim sum {historically a snack food for tired and weary travelers}.

The harbor-view dining room is draped in soft cream linens, mother-of-pearl, and wood accents, which provide a plush backdrop to the main star: The dim sum {historically a snack food for tired and weary travelers}.

Sharpening his knife and practicing the art of Cantonese cooking since the age of 14 in renowed Hong Kong dim sum kitchens, Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai {left} is “the” guy you want folding, frying, and obsessing over your steamed pork and prawn dumplings.

Sharpening his knife and practicing the art of Cantonese cooking since the age of 14 in renowed Hong Kong dim sum kitchens, Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai {left} is “the” guy you want folding, frying, and obsessing over your steamed pork and prawn dumplings.

The Executive Chef also doubles as a knowledgeable {and hilarious} dim sum teacher. Call the InterContinental Hong Kong to book a dim sum-making class at Yan Toh Heen.

The Executive Chef also doubles as a knowledgeable {and hilarious} dim sum teacher. Call the InterContinental Hong Kong to book a dim sum-making class at Yan Toh Heen.

Fun with dim sum: Making a crab with asparagus pinchers.

Fun with dim sum: Making a crab with asparagus pinchers.

More fun with dim sum, this time, a fish and a bunny. 

More fun with dim sum, this time, a fish and a bunny. 

Every place setting is decorated with custom jade tableware, so substantial, it's hard to lift.

Every place setting is decorated with custom jade tableware, so substantial, it's hard to lift.

The  pièce de resistance : Peking duck, carved and served on a trolley, tableside.

The pièce de resistance: Peking duck, carved and served on a trolley, tableside.

Peking Duck is a revered Chinese dish. The traditional preparation, involving many hours, leaves the skin crispy and the meat succulent. Here, the crispy skin is served atop thin pancakes along with crudités such as green papaya, cucumber, red chili, and pineapple, as well as a selection of signature sauces.  Deeeeeeelish .

Peking Duck is a revered Chinese dish. The traditional preparation, involving many hours, leaves the skin crispy and the meat succulent. Here, the crispy skin is served atop thin pancakes along with crudités such as green papaya, cucumber, red chili, and pineapple, as well as a selection of signature sauces. Deeeeeeelish.

From top: Roasted duck-stuffed taro bun, crispy spring roll with shredded chicken, and steamed mushroom and black truffle dumpling.  

From top: Roasted duck-stuffed taro bun, crispy spring roll with shredded chicken, and steamed mushroom and black truffle dumpling.  

Wok-fried vegetables served in an edible wheat-flour basket.

Wok-fried vegetables served in an edible wheat-flour basket.

Chilled on-the-spot mango cream with pomelo.

Chilled on-the-spot mango cream with pomelo.

A view of the dim sum prep kitchen. 

A view of the dim sum prep kitchen. 

Eating my intricate meal and seeing the kitchen in action, I've gleaned that dim sum chefs who labor over each piece with a surgical attention to detail, are food savants. 

Eating my intricate meal and seeing the kitchen in action, I've gleaned that dim sum chefs who labor over each piece with a surgical attention to detail, are food savants. 

How to Order Dim Sum
1. If you're a newbie, order the chef's tasting menu—typically a "highlight reel"—so it's a smart bet.
2. Plan ahead: Signatures such as Peking Duck or Barbecued Suckling Pig, often require advanced notice. 
3. Many dim sum restaurants serve their dishes from a trolley that passes by each table. When there's a menu it is often presented in categories {steamed, fried, noodle, specialty dishes, dessert} for easy ordering. 
4. Don't keep a dish to yourself, dim sum is a sharing meal.
5. Always start with tea. High-end dim sum restaurants have tea sommeliers to pair your sips with your selections.

Other Dispatches in this Series
6 Hong Kong Hints {that will make you want to book a ticket ASAP}
Flying Well :: Cathay Pacific's Revolutionary A350
Style Inspiration :: The Pier Business + First Class Lounges in Hong Kong
First Look :: Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR
Hong Kong :: Instagram Diary
Cathay Pacific Vancouver to Hong Kong

[photos by @tripstyler, except jade gates and interior shot provided by the InterContinental Hong Kong, where I stayed and dined as a guest. As with all Trip Styler dispatches involving partners, I ONLY talk about best-in-class travel experiences. This is one of them.]

Swooning over Stockholm

Sweden + Trip Styler

[trip style = urban + steal + food + wine]

Ever since I started collecting stamps in my passportI've longed to visit Scandinavia. The fashion, the design, the architecture; need I say more?  

A CRAZY Flight Deal
Back in February, Mr. Trip Styler found a trip style = steal-of-a-deal fare for a nonstop SAS flight from LA to Stockholm for $220USD return. It was an opp we couldn't pass up. So, we packed our parkas, and along with Baby Styler, visited in March. Amazingly, it was mostly sunny and not too frosty, allowing us to spend a ton of time outdoors exploring the city-on-water's 14 islands, part of an archipelago where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. 

Real talk: We learned a lot on the nine-day trip; namely that traveling with a 17-month-old toddler who likes to sprint everywhere and is still learning about instruction and boundaries, is not the ideal candidate for an 11-hour flight. While Baby Styler is a rock star traveler with 34 flights under his "wings" and a go-with-the-flow temperament, this time, our airborne adventures proved difficult. {Filing this under my "you live, you learn" drawer.}

The Plan
Instead of hopping between Scandi cities and hotels every few nights, we decided to stay put in Stockholm. Our aim: Travel slowly and get to know the city local-style. 

exploring stockholm with a baby

The Accoms
In keeping with this MO, we booked an apartment rental. Not only did we want a kitchen knowing we'd be hungry at all hours of the day/night as we adjusted to the time zone, we also wanted to immerse ourselves into the culture and be in close proximity to grocery stores and cafes.

We chose well. Our one-bedroom Airbnb was g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s {worthy of Elle Decor}, close to all that is cool, and our hosts were gracious enough to provide a new pack 'n play crib for Baby Styler so we didn't have to lug ours across the Atlantic.  

Most days we ate breakfast in our flat, then ventured out for "fika" {coffee} around 2pm. While this sounds a tad late, we woke up at 11am due to the time change, and once we put Baby Styler down for his morning nap, 2pm ended up being our "hello, world" time. 

airbnb sweden
fireplace airbnb sweden
dining room airbnb sweden
bedroom airbnb sweden
grocery store food sweden

Going kookoo for Cafes
To my surprise, aside from swooning over the street style and interiors of every flat I saw advertised for sale, Sweden's cafes ended up being our greatest joy. They are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, mirror each neighborhood's culture and design, and their food and fika is drool-worthy. When we ventured out before 11am, our typical breakfast dish would be strong coffee paired with a kanelbulle {Swedish-style cinnamon bun with extra cinnamon, low sugar, and no icing}, in the afternoon we noshed on a hearty sandwich or a burrata-topped arugula salad with rye crumble and beat purée. Stockholm's food game is strong.

Sophies Canelé

Sophies Canelé

Rosendals Trädgård

Rosendals Trädgård

Kaffeverket

Kaffeverket

Café Pascal

Café Pascal

Trip Styler Tips
- Packing: We did the whole trip with carry-ons. Mr. Trip Styler and I each had rollaboards, and we carried a suitcase-style backpack for Baby Styler with his clothes, plus a starter kit of wipes, diapers and nappy cream.
- Baby essentials: Pampers, wipes and baby food is easily accessible at any grocery store in Sweden. 
- Bus with baby: One parent can travel for free on the bus with a baby stroller in tow.
- Shopping: Want to dress for Scandi success? Save room in your bag for the Acne Studios {a local and iconic brand} Archive boutique for jeans, suits, dresses, and all that is on-trend.
- Airport transport: The easiest and fastest way to/from the Stockholm Arlanda Airport from Stockholm—even airline employees hop on this service—is the Flygbussarna coach, a 40-min bus transfer service.