Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Photopost: Hanson at the Pacific National Exhibition!

After Matthew was done with work, we drove to East Vancouver to the Pacific National Exhibition summer fair. The evening was threatening rain. The place wasn't too crowded, but we wandered to Playland (the area with all the rides) and it was swarming!

Map of the PNE fair. The PNE has one of the oldest wooden rollercoasters ever; in 2008 my cousin Sophie convinced me to go on it and I thought I would die. Never again.

Waiting for the band, on the lawn, enjoying the cloudy chilly evening. :/

Matthew proudly showing off his corn dog! I had a bite, it was tasty but I'm glad I didn't get one.
Pictures of Hanson

This was the first pic Matthew took... how good is it!?

Tip: if you click on one of the photos, it make it bigger and you can scroll through all photos. Another tip: if you right click when in the photo-viewing screen, you can see individual pictures even bigger. Because I know, as a fellow Hanson lover for all time, how important that is to you. :)

Some observations:
  • There was no pot smoke in the air. Matthew and I have been to a fair few outdoor evening events this summer, and I am surprised and delighted that we weren't stuck in a cloud of it! Bless my fellow Hanson fans for keeping it clean last night.
  • People were just a little bit Too Cool to dance. I've never been even remotely TC for anything, so I felt a bit alone in my dancing. Matthew joined in very good naturedly, though, to show team spirit.
  • It rained on us. Quite a bit. Boo.
  • Hanson played stadium favourites only, so no b-sides. A highlight was when they played a snatch of Get it On by Marvin Gaye in the middle of their song If Only.
After the show we wandered to the mini-donut van and got a bag of cinnamon treats to keep u going on the walk to the car. (I read online that parking was twenty dollars!! so we parked on a side street. Hilarious detail: several local residents, mostly grandma-aged, were attempting to direct traffic into their own back lanes and backyards with home-made signage and funny arm waving gestures to make some easy dollars on private parking solutions... so dodgy!).

As always, it is evenings like these that make me so appreciative to have Matthew. As I mentioned, this is his second Hanson concert in a year (and my third), and he has shown an unfailing sporting attitude. Thank you from my heart, Matthew.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A week in the burbs

Hi friends. I'm sorry I've been patchy about writing lately. Not feeling very inspired, and living under the shadow of a term paper... again. I'm just going to document some stuff that Matthew and I have been up to this last week, but apart from that, the blogging ennui continues:

This week is the last week before uni goes back for the Fall Semester. I have a teaching assistant position for first year English, and a whopping thesis to plan and write. Later this week there is a meet & greet lunch at the English Department for us to suss out all the new incoming grads, but apart from that I will be avoiding campus and moping about this yet-unfinished paper. It's important to me that I finish this term paper before the semester starts, and it's important to Matthew that it's finished so that I stop whinging about it.

Last weekend Matthew and I took Hilary and Kevin to meet by family at Aunty Lorraine's house, which we felt was a success. Aunty Lorraine's food was predictably delicious, and as usual she kindly gave Matthew and me a take-home portion of cake which we have been savouring. We also got to chat with a cousin-of-a-cousin, Shannon, who I haven't seen since we were superlittlekids. She will be at UBC this fall too, so hopefully there will be chances to connect. All the cousins are coming back to the fold this fall, from their Canadian and worldly adventuring. I hope that I can be more proactive about organise the odd group activity every now and then, because I think it's important.

Late last week I met up with my friend Elanna from Melbourne and we 'did' Granville Island (including cheese, cherries, the whole lot). We then met Matthew and took the picnic home with us. The evening was warm and delightful.

Later last week (Friday evening), Matthew and I had separate adventures in Vancouver 'burbs: I went to 29th and he went to 25th for drinks and socialisings. I was visiting my friends Jenny and Aimee, and we drank home-made, self-picked blackberry cocktails and watched Howards End (perhaps in the hope that it will inspire this term paper). The house that Jenny was house-sitting had a gorgeous cat with a distinctive mustache (also known on the internets as a 'kitler') who we played with for hours.

This evening Matthew and I are off to the Pacific National Exhibition in East Vancouver (like the Royal Melbourne Show sort of) because I discovered about a month ago completely by accident that HANSON ARE PLAYING TONIGHT!! So excited. This will be our third show in one year... I knew there was a reason we moved to North America! Also, we will be eating corn dogs and cotton candy and all that summer fair stuff.

I will hopefully have some photos to share tomorrow, but until then I have loads of term paper to stare at.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Just to add to the misery

...Autumn has arrived a week early. That's right, I'm disrespecting it so much I'm not even calling it 'fall'. This morning we went outside and the ground was wet from rain. The air had a chill and a nip to it, and by 9am the city was covered in low cloud and pouring with rain.

I'm sulking inside. You'll find me here for the next 8 hours.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Writing/Running: can one be a metaphor for the other?

Today is officially day three of essay writing and I am not going well. I can't possibly be burnt out because I haven't worked very hard since about May. When I get up in the morning and follow Matthew out the door, I try to maintain a work ethic about running because I think that Matthew is working hard so I should too. But that totally wears off after I get home. The same discipline (if not enthusiasm) I have about running and housekeeping and even reading to an extent totally does not extend to writing.

When I am thrashing it out on a treadmill (none of the sensory benefits of running outside, so a similar kind of tortuous to writing), I think: writing can't be as hard as this. All I have to do is stay on the treadmill for x amount of time, and I will have run. I have applied the 'x amount of time' theory to writing and it totally fails. As in, 'All I have to do is stay in front of the computer for x amount of time, and I will have written'. <= Yeah right.

The last couple of term papers I submitted, I just applied the 'just keep writing and you will have enough words to satisfy the criteria' method. Because life it too short to wait around for inspiration to strike. This degree isn't going to pour out of me miraculously in perfectly formed, totally erudite sentences. But this practical approach to completing work, though efficient, is very unsatisfying. I feel like I am just ticking boxes, rather than enjoying an academic experience.

Why after all these years of writing papers and meeting deadlines is it still so hard? (...Said everyone who ever had to write anything. Hardly groundbreaking, that.) If there's one thing I'm vocationally trained to do, it's write papers. I don't love running, but I do it anyway, because I want to be a runner. So why can't I just write for the same reason? Why does there have to be more to it?

And why am I writing the blog instead of the essay? Warming up, I guess. So the metaphor works a little bit.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Cloudy Sunday

The sun! Where has it gone? After innumerable glorious days, and the last of the snow finally melting from Grouse Mountain, the clouds have returned. Queue lowering of spirit.

Friday afternoon, as previously mentioned, I met Hilary in town and we bussed to Granville Island. We drank iced coffee on the pier and compared the size of the local seagulls to other seagulls we have met (by the way, Vancouver seagulls are much larger -- think albatross). Then we hopped on an Aquabus (tiny open-air commuter boats which service False Creek) and sailed the length of the creek from Granville Island to Scienceworld and back. The water sparkled, we saw a seal!!!, it was enchanting.

When we returned to Granville Island, we ducked inside the Public Market for some fancy cheese, local sockeye salmon, and strawberries for dinner. By that time Matthew had msg'd to say he was off work, so Hilary and I wandered homeward. We prepared the feast, drank some wine, and got properly caught up.

Saturday (yesterday), Matthew very kindly drove me to Burnaby where my friend Martina (from UBC and Bookclub)was having a wedding shower. Martina herself did not know this. I have never been to a surprise party before, but it was everything I had imagined, including the silently waiting and shouting 'surprise'! Martina's in-laws-to-be put on a spectacular feast and we played Martina-themed party games. I didn't know anyone else there, but everyone was so friendly it didn't matter.

Afterwards I skytrain'd into the city and met up with Matthew and Hilary who were long-lunching at the Top Of Vancouver revolving restaurant. While they were revolving, All The Clouds swept in and dampened the city. We walked to Gastown and peered in the tourist shops, and then walked back to Yaletown through the trendy half-residential East side of downtown (but not quite Chinatown).

I'm sorry to say that when Matthew and I got home we ate a lot of home-delivered pizza and watched 'Lethal Weapon' for the first time ever (actually a hilarious movie... oh, Mel Gibson, where did you go wrong?).

Today Matthew has gone to the airport to collect Kevin (Hilary's partner) and I am locked at home in an effort to get cracking on this term paper. Aaargh.On that note... wish me luck and good discipline.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Hilary Has Arrived!

Yesterday Matthew took a half-day so we could pick his mum Hilary up from the airport. The flight was even a little early! Everything went smoothly. She has gorgeous accommodation in Yaletown, which is a neigbourhood in downtown Vancouver just across False Creek from us. After exploring the accom, we drove down to English Bay for early dinner and cocktails (watermelon margarita: so refreshing, so pink!).

We walked around English Bay Beach in the pre-sunset, watching the enthusiastic swimmers, the designer dogs and the mountains-upon-mountains receding into the horizon. It was perfect. Matthew is at work today, so I am meeting up with Hilary to do some downtown 'sploring this afternoon. Eventually I think we may end up at Granville Island before heading to our place to meet Matthew for dinner at home. This week has seemed like a big one, and what with jetlag, I think everyone is grateful for a quiet one.

Yesterday was also my last class for summer school. I feel like the lion's share of the work is still in front of me, with the paper due next week or thereabouts. I have never written a paper in only one week, so I am skeptical about that time frame. But we'll see. I'm going to write on Howards End because it was a genuinely great read, full of sentences and paragraphs that make you think 'Yes!'.

Now the swearing guy in the alley is rattling past with his shopping trolley of recyclable bottles. Every now and then someone will stick their head out of an apartment window and yell 'shut up!'. This always enrages him even more. *sigh* Life in the city, eh?

On Wednesday I met up with my friend Rebecca from UBC and we got iced coffees and sat by the water at Granville Island and generally enjoyed out flexible schedule. Then we found an awesome art supply shop, which was like entering a world of art + craft, totally magical. And then, on a whim, we decided to revisit the Public Market for some cherries and strawberries... perfection! I am reminded how nice it is to catch up with people from uni outside uni. I may have to work on that this academic year, as I will probably not have any classes so there will be less formal socialising.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Blackberry Picking, Baseball, etc.


After a hard day of French long-lunching with the my newly-Vancouverite friends, and Matthew's hard day at work, we met at his work and headed for the carpark to pick All The Blackberries. We didn't even get five percent of them, but we came away with a little over a kilo.

When we finally got home (*cough* from a Friday night shopping trip to Ikea *cough*) we needed some basics from the corner store... what we came home with was Double Gloucester stuffed with Stilton. Genius in cheese form.


we got up at a reasonable hour and walked down to 2nd Avenue to the Belgian Waffle place. By coincidence, the moment we walked in there was next to noone else in there. There were probably 50 different waffles to choose from, sweet and savoury. Some stuffed with custards, others glazed with chocolates and nuts, everything! After we settled in to a table, the rest of Kitsilano, dressed in workout clothes, came in for a waffle too, so we were lucky we got there when we did! (Later we were told that a half-marathon had just finished, so no wonder all the sporty types were feeling hungry!)

Saturday afternoon was glorious and hot, so naturally Matthew went to the games store and I stayed indoors. But at 5ish Matthew collected me and we headed back to Main St for a cocktail or two in the late afternoon sun.

At quarter to seven we walked from Main to Nat Bailey Stadium (under Queen Elizabeth Park; you can see the park trees in the background) and met up with Mike and Laura for baseball!

Our seats were totally awesome. We were good and close to the front (ie. where the batter was), and we could see all the action at all times. The Vancouver Canadians were playing the Yakima Bears (Yakima is in Washington State). One of the Canadians got a home run and the ball happened to hit a giant sign in the shape of a mug of root beer. This meant that everyone in the audience got a free burger coupon after the game. How thoughtful of him! Sadly, though, the Canadians lost woefully.

I also have to disclose that we fully-sensorily embraced the baseball experience with beer, hotdogs and doughnuts for dinner.

After the game was over, there was an unexpectedly wonderful fireworks show. Since we had been to the creme de la creme of fireworks shows the weekend before on English Bay, I admit our expectations were a bit low. But they were phenomenal! They went on for aaaaages and were all colours and shapes. And this time we could actually hear the music (eighties and nineties pop radio classics, fyi. Even fireworks can't make me enjoy Love Shack).

We walked Laura and Mike to the train station and continued home, with a brief stop in at the Belgian beer cafe on Cambie.


First thing in the morning we went to pick up our new bed frame. It was my first experience with Craigslist, and it couldn't have gone more smoothly. We only had to drive to City Hall (like, within our suburb) to get it, and it fit perfectly in the back of the stationwagon. Hurray for practical car ownership! We are still in the process of mattress shopping though, so bed is not yet in full working order.

In the gorgeous middle of the day we walked down to meet our friends Martina (from bookclub) and her soon-to-be-husband Stuart. We all meandered towards the Wicklow Pub on the marina at False Creek, and tucked into lunch and pink sangria in the hot sun. Perfection! After another wander we fetched up at Citadella (a very sweet cafe in a converted Victorian house) for a coffee in their garden, where we chatted in the dappled tree filtered light... *sigh* it was such an idyllic afternoon!

Matthew and I then farewell'd Martina and Stuart, and stopped briefly at home to collect the last of Friday's blackberries (read: three-quarters of a kilo!) before driving over to Aunty Lorraine's house for dinner and Olympics Closing Ceremony with her and Gramma. We ate: local artisan peach and raspberry pie, hand-picked blackberries, locally-grown corn-on-the-cob and... fresh figs picked right from the tree in Aunty Lorraine's front garden! I am reminded that I love fresh figs more than any other food in the universe. And that includes chocolate, and that also includes pasta.

We are in for a couple of quiet days and nights, as I have much study and Matthew has some warhammer crafting targets that he wants to meet. On Thursday Matthew has a half-day so that we can go to the airport and collect his mum Hilary! We are beside ourselves with anticipation, and we can't wait to show her our new home, our new city all the sights!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Friday Five (mini-post)

1. Running. This morning I achieved 5 miles for the third time since mid-July. Therefore I'm going to try to incorporate it into the weekly run. I can do it!

2. French. I am very excited to be meeting with a friend and ex-colleague from UniMelb, who just moved to Vancouver the other day. We are meeting at a little French cafe on 4th Avenue in about 3 hours, and it is the most perfect day for French Lunching.

3. Blackberries. This afternoon I am meeting Matthew at his work and we are going to attack the blackberries which are growing (taking over!!!) by the car park there. I envisage lots of eating and baking of blackberries in the near future.

4. Ikea. I am afraid to say that after we have stripped the blackberry bushes of their finest, we are planning to spend our Friday evening inspecting beds at Ikea, as we need a new one post haste. I haven't been to Ikea enough times in my life for it to be boring yet, so I'm actually looking forward to it.

5. Weekend! This weekend we are catching up with British friends for baseball and fireworks, then catching up with Canadian friends for hopefully a nice walk in the sunshine. Also, I've heard about a fancy Belgian Wafflery (<= don't know whether that's actually a word) on 2nd Avenue that we are going to explore tomorrow morning before Warhammering and Study.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Macbeth, Steveston, Fireworks

This afternoon we farewelled Ruth and Lorenzo back to Milan, after two beautiful weeks of sun adventure, and activity! They have gone to relax on Lake Como... envious much? We are. After a rocky start, weather-wise, Vancouver finally got serious about summer, and we experienced our hottest day yet yesterday. I think it actually hit 28 degrees! So at least we could show Ruth and Lorenzo a bit of North American Summer while they were here.

Macbeth at Bard on the Beach

On Tuesday Ruth and Lorenzo explored Grouse Mountain and saw the Grizzly Bears, Grinder and Coola. In the evening Matthew and I met up with them for Bard on the Beach. We saw Macbeth, in the main tent. Because the weather was so gorgeous and the sun was so bright, the tent curtain was down to add to the gloom of the drama. Macbeth was sufficiently conflicted, and Lady M sufficiently evil. MacDuff was the real revelation. He had a commanding stage presence despite relatively few lines (could have to do with his expressively bald head amongst an otherwise-hairy cast). The zombie ghost of Banquo was beyond frightening, especially when Macbeth got such a shock he trampled loudly all over the metal banquet setting with a sudden crash! We notices some repeat actors from The Taming of the Shrew too.
My Shakespeare-branded chocolate bar, a pre-show snack. Also, tea was cheaper than water. #NoLogic #Don'tMindIfIDo

Lorenzo, Ruth and Matthew before the show. Matthew is giving me a disapproving look, as 'photography is banned' in the tents.
Friday I took the day off study, and met up with Ruth and Lorenzo after they had explored the UBC Treetop Walk and also the Beatty Biodiversity Museum (with the whale skeleton, I'm sure I've mentioned it before), and we bussed over to Hillcrest with the best intentions of ice skating. Contrary to the information on the website ice skating was not actually on. So Ruth and Lorenzo headed up Little Mountain while I took a quick sauna, and we rendezvous'd an hour later for cocktails at Seasons in the Park (grown-up tree-house restaurant). By that time Matthew was off work, so he joined us for a drink and we headed home to get dressed up for an evening in Coal Harbour.

Coal Harbour is a neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver, in the North waterfront area. In downtown Vancouver, virtually everywhere is descriptively 'waterfront' in some sense, but Coal Harbour adjacent to Stanley Park, and a busy marina. We bee-lined for Cardero's, which is a seafood restaurant, and settled in for a couple of solid hours of eating and drinking. The restaurant was noisy; there seemed to be a system of nautical flags and a loud bell which alerted us to their changing display... quaint. I had a whole plate of scallops, decadent. We cabbed home and got a solid ten hours before our big day out the next day...

A Summer's Day in Steveston

Yesterday, Saturday, we slept in massively and drove to Steveston where we had planned to U-Pick raspberries and strawberries. Um, not poss. Quel horreur! The guy at the farm told us that we had clean missed out on both strawberries and raspberries, and there were only blueberries left! But Ruth and Lorenzo had just bought a kilo of blueberries a couple of days before, so we were so full of then we didn't feel like picking any more! So we quickly made a Plan B, to visit the Richmond Buddhist Temple.

Matthew and I had been to the temple a couple of years ago when we were on holiday in Vancouver. But we were pleasantly reminded of how large, grand, and busy it is. There are several buildings, the biggest of which is the Hall of One Thousand Buddhas (all golden). There are also stone, metal and wood carvings, a water garden, and a 'Zen dining hall'. The best thing about the temple is that it is bustling with worshipers, who carry handfuls of incense sticks slowly around the statues and make offerings of individual sticks to each statue. There is nothing museum-like or old about the place; it is dynamic with Richmond and Greater Vancouver locals practicing Buddhism.

A fierce looking deer!

A series of stone wall carvings depicting General Guan, in this one he is in a conference in a peach grove.

This was my favourite General Guan carving; here he is reading history in his tent.

The garden was full of animal statues.

We watched the turtles for ages.

If you zoom in you will see some turtles statues, and a real live turtle sunning himself (in disguise) on a crab statue.

The turtle here was trying desperately to climb up on the rock ledge; after much encouragement from us, he succeeded!!
Close up of the action!

After the temple, we drove to Steveston Pier for lunch at 'Crab King' which floats right on the water. Matthew and I decided to go for a half-crab, but in truth we lacked the skill to dismantle it efficiently.

After lunch we popped in to visit my friend Kelly (who took us whale watching a couple of weeks ago!) and then we drove home. On the way home, we stopped in at the U-Pick farm, and bought, I kid you not:
1 kilo x Apricots
1 kilo x Cherries
1 kilo x Raspberries

The Festival of Light: Italy

In the evening we headed to English Bay beach (in a taxi... after we had already tried to drive to Kits Beach and discovered it totally blocked and crawling with police...we headed back home with our tails between our legs...). We got the cab all the way to... Burrard St (approximately 2 kilometres from where we really wanted to be!) Due to public transport being diverted for the evening, we walked all the way down Davie Street.

This last night of the Festival of Light happily overlapped with the Vancouver Pride Festival, which involves a massive LBGT Pride Parade today, but celebrations were well under way last night. Rainbow everything! The place was alive with people, and as we walked down the steep hill towards the beach we couldn't even see the street anymore, it was so crowded!

We finally made it to the beach and unpacked our fruit picnic on our pink towels... amongst about a million other people! I have never experienced such crowds yet since being in Vancouver! With help from Matthew, who scouted ahead, we found a generous patch of grass and watched the perfect sunset.

At 10pm the fireworks started. The contender was Italy, following Vietnam last Saturday and Brazil on Wednesday. Sadly the speakers didn't stretch to our viewing area, so we didn't quite catch the meticulously matched soundtrack. But the spectacle was fantastic enough. I'm so glad we made it out there, especially after such an aborted attempt at the beginning of the evening. It was a lovely feeling of urban community to be on the beach on such a perfect warm summer evening with so many thousands of others, all being enchanted at once.

We are sad to see Ruth and Lorenzo go, but last night was a magical last evening in town, and such a unique Vancouver experience, eating local berries on the beach, with the rainbows and crowds and lights. This morning we headed out to a deserted West Broadway, Kitsilano (everyone was sleeping in from the fireworks or otherwise marching in the Pride Parade on the other side of the river) and took in a crepe lunch, before heading for the airport.

Next week: Baseball! More Fireworks!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Roadtrip! Portland, Oregon

Hi Team! We are back in Canada after a long weekend in Portland. This post will be heavy on the photos, so to make them bigger just click.

Day One: Friday, roadtripping, Tacoma
Ruth, Lorenzo and I took the skytrain to Matthew's work in Richmond in the late afternoon, and we headed for the border. Traffic was not too bad, but because we were a car full of foreigners, the actual border crossing was a little time consuming. We drove straight to Tacoma, and got in at about 10pm.

Peace Arch, 6pm
Seattle Space Needle, 8:30pm-ish
Americans love their RVs. This is a particularly patriotic example.
Jack in the Box fast food chain in Tacoma, 10pm. Self serve order machine! Pretty bad.

Day Two: Saturday, Willamette river, wine & walking
We got up bright an early and breakfasted at the hotel before hopping back in the car for Portland. The outskirts of Portland had roadworks, so we got detoured onto a different interstate and ended up coming into Portland from the wrong angle. We actually ended up crossing over one of the many bridges twice and driving up a hill and down a hill before finally making it to the hotel at 2pm. So confusing!
The dreaded bridge, the second time around.

The hotel was in the Portland State University, about 15 minutes walk from the centre of downtown Portland. So convenient! We met up with Gavin and Tegan, our friends from Melbourne who are travelling in America at the moment, and we all walked down to the boardwalk on the Willamette River for an afternoon of sunshine, ice cream and wine tasting.

From left: Matthew, Gavin, Tegan, Ruth, Lorenzo

Gavin and Matthew chilling on the waterfront after lunch

Yours truly, in front of one of dozens of bridges in Portland!

Funny story: our ice creams came with little American flag wrappers on the outside. Matthew had licked down to the cone, when he suddenly asked us, "Does yours have one on the inside?". Nope. We got him a replacement ice cream.

Gavin and Tegan in downtown Portland
After wine tasting by the river, it was pretty much time for dinner, so we walked in to town towards the Pearl District. We fished up at an Asian-fusion bar called 'Saucebox' and tucked into some very exciting cocktails and snacks.

Ruth and me enjoying our pina coladas... in a coconut!!

The team.

Gavin and Tegan ordered a drink which came in a hollowed-out pineapple. This is what happened, naturally.
We staggered out and went in search of the mythical Voodoo Doughnuts... but alas, the lineup was down the block and around the corner.
Hoards of hungry hipsters, queuing for a midnight feast
So we thought we had better tackle doughnuts with more of an appetite in daylight hours, and we headed back to the hotel, taking advantage of Portland's free light rail service (yay for free public transport!!) and got a solid 8 hours before...

Day Three: Sunday, microbreweries, sunburn
In the morning we decided to take advantage of no sales tax in Portland!! and got our shop on. I can't describe how cheap All The Stuff is in Portland. For example, I came away with two shirts, three singlets (when I got home I realised they are American flag colours! how appropriate!), skinny jeans and shoes for less than $120. That's how dangerous no sales tax is.

Downtown Portland is full of public art sculptures. These beavers playing in a water fountain were very cute.

Tegan waiting patiently in the mall while we shopped.
 Afterwards, we met up with Scotty and Bill who are Portland natives. Scotty and Bill turned up on our wedding day in Las Vegas last year. And before that, Matthew and I met Scotty at a Vegas-themed party. Can you sense a trend emerging? It was excellent to see them after such a long time, and they were more than happy to show us their beautiful city. We headed to a local microbrewery for lunch and then, finally, to the famed Voodoo doughnut shop.

Bill and Scotty at Rock Bottom Brewery

Ruth and Lorenzo enjoying a bevvy.

Bacon and Maple flavoured doughnuts! Awesome recommendation, guys!

Proof that Portland is the Hipster City... a Pabst Blue Ribbon retro-style advertisement in a grotty-yet-gentrified part of town.

After doughnuts we were all feeling a little sun-stricken and full (read: sick), so naturally we headed for the waterfront and ended up at the Portland Beer Festival.

The guys enjoying a beer on the waterfront.
Later that evening, we went back to the hotel for a brisk dip in the outdoor pool. Matthew, Gavin and Tegan played Cribbage and drank wine (purchased from a convenience store... Oh America!). When the sun went down we all trooped into town to the second tallest building in Portland, for cocktails and snacks.

Matthew found 'Matthew' and also 'BV' wine!

Tegan entertaining us with 'Piano Man' in our hotel lobby

And lastly, here are some miscellaneous pictures of the many many bridges of Portland.

Day Four: Monday, roadtripping back to Vancouver, outlet shopping
Matthew, Ruth, Lorenzo and I farewelled Gavin and Tegan onto the next leg of their American adventure (New Orleans, lucky things!!) and headed for the border. Outside Seattle we decided we needed a break from the road, so we hit up an outlet mall. The day became greyer and greyer as we approached Canada, but it wasn't too chilly when we got home.

Massive thank you to Scotty and Bill for showing us the beautiful sights of Portland. Also, best wishes to Gavin and Tegan on their continued adventures! We loved seeing you all, and we hope to see you again soon! xoxo

Next up: Macbeth at Bard on the Beach