Sunday, 17 August 2014

When Aimee Came to Town

One week later, I am looking fondly back out our amazing adventures with Aimee. (Aimee and I met on the first day of grad school at UBC, but she finished her MA last summer and sadly went home to Brighton. Happily, we visited her in February 2014.) She was in town for a couple of weeks, and we were lucky to have her stay last weekend. Since this summer has been a bit low on fun and free time, I dropped everything and planned an hour-by-hour funfest for the two days.

Day 1: Deep Cove

Matthew and I were delighted to hear that Aimee had never been to Deep Cove (on the North Shore, tucked under Mount Seymour). It's one of our favourite little day trip spots, and is only about 45 minutes drive from home. Really it's just one sloping street to the waterfront, but we've always been able to fill an afternoon there.

We popped into the Seymour Art Gallery (free entry!) and saw the most amazing glass sculptures ever (the exhibit was called "Handle With Care"). The best was the gumball machine of despair (can't remember the exact title). All the glass gumballs had depressing thoughts etched on them. And the second best was the Vase of Affirmations, which had like "you are splendid" and other irreverent and enthusiastic words and phrases.

Then we checked out the beach, had some lunch, walked around, found some crabs on the shore, went for a swim (Aimee), had a nap on the beach (Matthew) and walked around some more.

...And then we got some ice cream. Natch.

 The second part of my carefully planned day included rooftop bar hopping in downtown Vancouver. Well, you know how we like to get comfy. We put ourselves on the waiting list at the Hotel Georgia Reflections rooftop bar, and then repaired the nearest sushi restaurant for some dinner. Lo and behold, we discovered not one but to Raccoon Dogs (remember these from my Japan holiday?)

 I actually already scoped out the Hotel Georgia rooftop bar a couple of weeks ago, and I was very keen to go back. The drinks were fancy and the people were tres glam, but our chairs were very uncomfy and we paid $10 (before tax and tip) for a snickers bar for dessert. No joke.

The offending item.
We returned to the apartment weary and with an armload of candy from the corner store, and had a midnight snack.

Day 2: Snug Cove

We got up at a reasonable hour and walked down to Granville Island. We had a bagel and cream cheese in the Public Market, and then caught a boat to Bowen Island!!!! Matthew and I have been meaning to do this for a couple of years. Bowen Island is a magical place about 40 minutes from Vancouver, and we have never had the organisation or free time to get ourselves there. In the summer, there is a handy little shuttle service from Granville Island (I know, right? Practically our front door!) but in the winter, you have to drive to Horseshoe Bay and catch a real big ferry. And the traffic is difficult because the island is so small. It's really a walking kind of a place.

Anyway, we had an awesome fun boat ride, and arrived in Snug Cove (which is just as piratey as it sounds, and also a bit early-20th-century-resorty as well) at about midday. First thing we noticed was there were lots of dogs milling around. Then we realised there was a dog show on. We nabbed a spot on a pub patio, got a drink, and watched some dogs trying to do agility tricks for a while.

 It was properly HOT all day, and so we didn't do much strenuous activity. After our patio drink, we walked up a hill and got side-tracked in an antique shop. Then we finally made it to a cluster of cute buildings called "Artisan Square". We had lunch with the most fabulous look-out to the water and mainland mountains. There was a gentle breeze blowing. It was perfect.

That view!!

On the boat home
We got Aimee back to Vancouver by 5ish, poked around Granville Island a bit, and then drove her to her next destination. Although it was sad to see her go, I am thrilled we could be so adventurous for the brief time she was here.

Happy travels, friends.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Fabulous Week

Welcome back! July was full, and I miss blogging. Last week in particular was the best. It always is. It's Fireworks + Pride week/end. Here's a photopost I prepared, to show you all that's been going this month.

The Kingswood (best building in the city, right down the street from us) had an apartment for sale. Sob. I have never so much wanted to be a multimillionaire.

We ate many ice creams. Here we are with Martina and Stu, at La Casa Gelato, of course!

On the theme of ice cream, I convinced Matthew to come out one evening after work to find Mario's on Quebec St. It was actually 3.7kms away. We really deserved our ice cream after that walk. And then we took the Sea Wall home in the twilight. The tide was very high in False Creek. And the Wall was so busy with walkers at 10pm!

We went to not one but two Fireworks  nights in Vanier Park. Both times we arrived just before they commenced. So perfect! The first night we saw France (the best bit was the red heart-shaped fireworks). But Japan was the real winner. The music matched the bangs perfectly, and the whole sky was filled with stunning shapes.

Finally (saving the best for last) I had the great honour to be invited to march in the Vancouver Pride Parade. I was representing my work, and I met some great people and had a really hot fun day with my work friend, Cail. And I didn't get too sunburnt! Best day ever. Matthew saw me on tv (he was watching on his computer at home, and he took some screen shots...)

Bless him, Matthew helpfully circled me.
Phew. If only all weeks of summer could be so fabulous.