vancouver zombies. jet lag is the worst.

a few months into our trip, we decided to skip mainland china and replace the month of may with indonesia and japan instead. we wanted more beach time and danny, a lover of big cities, really wanted to experience tokyo. with our days and cities pretty flexible, we spent an hour on the phone with American Airlines Advantage (love you, Carole!) to find us a frequent flyer route home. the one we landed on included a three day stopover in Vancouver between Tokyo and Los Angeles. without any hesitation, danny said it sounded perfect. i wasn’t so sure at first, but i’m so glad that it worked out like it did. those three days were clutch to our north american acclimation before diving into family and friends.

a girlfriend scored us a beautiful room with a view at the Westin Bayshore where we spent the majority of our Vancouver time enjoying the balcony and heavenly king bed. we were seriously jet-lagged zombies. awake allll night, fighting the urge to sleep allll day, eating lunch at 6pm, desperately wanting room service at 3am and then finally falling asleep at 9am, but then waking up 2 hours later because your body thought you were just taking a daytime nap. it was a mess.

westin bayshore vancouver
westin bayshore vancouver
the gorgeous view from our room at the Westin Bayshore in Downtown Vancouver

danny’s always rolled his eyes at jet lag — until this. despite our best efforts to pre-plan sleeping hours on the plane, the 16-hour difference was destined to hit us hard. everything we read said that east-bound travel is the worst for jet-lag and they’re right. with a family wedding just days away, we were doing everything we could to re-adjust as quickly as possible. we read a lot about the benefits of light therapy – getting in the sun when it’s daylight and blacking out the windows at nighttime. so, each day we dragged ourselves out of bed and did laps around vancouver’s stanley park sea wall like the walking dead and blacked out our room each night since the sun didn’t set until after 9:30pm.

westin bayshore vancouverwestin bayshore vancouver

i’m so glad we had those first few days alone to readjust as much as possible without the pressures of conversation. vancouver in the summer is absolutely gorgeous and stanley park was the perfect place to wander around during the day and feel like you were actually doing something worth while. we saw so many random things while walking that we felt like we actually were the walking dead – old men screaming at old women, an otter staring at us, a hawk trying to snatch up a squirrel and the impossible to find totem poles.  delirium at its best. oh, and we saw rob lowe three times. feeling some guilt, we did attempt to do a self-guided tour of vancouver and even bought a full-day public bus pass, but in the end we just couldn’t muster up the energy to do much of anything but eat, sleep and watch bad 2am television about canada’s rigid border patrol.

in total, it took a solid 2+ weeks for our sleep pattern to get normalish again. and while it was really tough at times, being thrown into a wedding agenda really helped – despite wanting to curl up in a ball and die from exhaustion, we were forced to stay awake throughout the day and then drink at night which did help with the going to sleep process.

how do you working parents do this up all night & then function all day at work business?

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