Sunday, 19 October 2014

Photopost! False Creek Date

Sunday, the first day of freedom for us both (because Matthew works Saturdays). The sun was, in places, shining. And we were ready to 'splore.

First, we walked down to the sea wall at Granville Island, but instead of just taking the main street, we cut through a side street onto a cute rail bridge, and then wended through the beautiful apartment buildings on paths with names like "Birch Walk" "Fountain Way" (such romance!) until we encountered the sea wall.

We saw many fancy pedigree dogs, obviously.

We then walked along to Leg in Boot Square (love this name, I could type it again I love it so much) and almost stopped for fish and chips at the newly-opened Mahoney and Sons. The deck of this pub goes right out over the water, and there were many picturesque boats on the Creek. But we resisted the temptation, and walked on to Olympic Village.

Just past Cambie Bridge, there are some awesome concrete block piles, twice or three times as tall as us. Matthew stopped to take some pictures ("weathering", good inspiration for his miniature painting) and I got very distracted by this cat here:


 This all-white cat's name, according to his necktag, is Kool Whip. He seemed very far from home, there were no apartments or houses nearby. He was a bit aloof, though. I fretted. Also I wanted to take him home.

Elsewhere on the road to Olympic Village, was this public art:
Look at the name in the yellow!!

Pretty sure this wasn't there last time we walked past.
There's actually a picture of me on this blog about two years ago, with this very sculpture. Giant Sparrow. Never gets old.

A man stopped and asked if he could take our photo. We were a bit suss, but we let him do it anyway. He said he was from a Meet-Up group which takes pictures of people in public places. Okay, dude, whatever.

Thence to fish and chips:
Do you like my fancy nails? I hope so, because I spent like two hours waiting for them to dry...

There's a happy, and handsome, man.
Really we went to Olympic Village for a walk and maybe an incidental sandwich. We ended up staying for over an hour, and devouring our weight in fish and chips. We both agreed that this was a bit of a slip up in the plan, and vowed to police each other if we are tempted to do this in future weekends. Stick to the sandwich next time!!

We were so bloat that we didn't deserve a short walk home, so we hoofed it up Quebec Street hill, and along (I think it was) 7th Ave, we saw the creepiest and best house.

What's missing from this photo is the amazing 6-foot-tall white coral sculpture in the front yard, the bits of pottery littering the hedge bed, and the extra floor at the top of the house. But you can see the mailbox and the naked mannequin torso, so you have an idea. It was stunning. Also, it was next to an ancient creepy apartment and an empty lot, and it was opposite a Chinese Christian church (converted from an old school) with all the windows wide open. Perfect, I tell you.

(And then we got chai lattes, because we are yuppies.) (And then I bought a navy blue double-breasted woolen winter coat from Front and Company, because Treat Yo Self.)

The walk home is for another post, because it was full of such wonders. Happy Monday, all.

How We Are Celebrating

Now I have finished my degree, I find myself with expansive free weekends. Yesterday was my first real Day Off. I've forgotten how to be free. I'm like a caged chicken who doesn't escape when the door is open.

1. Hillcrest, for a workout and sauna. Last week I did not work out at all, because I wanted the extra sleep and also because I was pushing for my final thesis submission. Also, I accidentally ran 109 miles in September, so by the start of October I had a mighty sore hip/leg. It is not healed, so I have a physio appointment on Monday. But yesterday I went for a treadmill jog, a bit of a spin, some lunges, and 20 amazing hot minutes of pure sauna time. Yeah.

2. Painting my nails "watermelon" coloured. Nothing says party like hot pink. I'm even going to give myself a sparkle nail in about 15 mins from now. Glitter!!

3. Last night we went to the housewarming party of some UBC friends downtown. Their apartment is perfect and they had the most magical patio with fairy lights. The evening was not too cold, and the sky was pretty clear. I think I drank a whole bottle of champagne. And I'm sure a ate three cupcakes. Whatever, it was fabulous.

4. Growing out my bangs. I talked to Jessie (sister) on skype yesterday, and she is a big advocate of having a ceremonial chop after a big life event. I'm not sure about that, but I agree it is time for a new look. Growing out the bangs is a long process, and I am giving myself a crick in the neck with all the hair-flicking I am doing to get it out of my eyes. Sigh. By January it should be longish again.

The other thing I am doing is missing my parents. Mum and Dad left on Tuesday evening. We went to the airport and had dinner with them before their flight. Dad was only on town for one week, and Mum for three weeks. It was just not enough time. Because of our PR application and the fact that I have been a student for so very long, we are looking at a pretty travel-free year in 2015, so I do not know when I will see them again. It is tough, but that's part of being an expat. That said, I believe Mum and Dad had a pretty good visit with all the friends and family. We had a genuinely delightful Thanksgiving Dinner together with all the family here (there were not one but three pies, and the tofurkey was unexpectedly delicious!!). But it is always too brief. I also feel guilty that I was "so busy" with the last dying gasps of my thesis, and also my work, while they were here. I have a whole post of feelings about the Finishing of the Thesis, but it is too soon. I might just never.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mum, Dad, Thesis, Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! It is a long weekend here in Canada, and there is a short crust pastry in the fridge, ready to become a pumpkin pie this afternoon.

Since last blog, lots has been going on. Here are the highlights:

Mum arrived in Vancouver
We have been on a couple of adventures, including dinner at The Acorn on Main Street. We then went to Bellagio and had gelato.

I think mum took this picture. I can't find any pictures from that evening with her in them!!
We saw a catholic parade carrying icons (??) up Main Street, with a marching band playing "Tequila". Wonders never cease. Main Street is so cool. Mum and I also went to Hillcrest and we had a sauna and went to brunch (again on Main Street). At some point she also visited for an order-in Indian buffet at our place, yum.

Dad arrived in Vancouver 
He has been in Italy for the last three weeks, great adventure. Also, it was his birthday! His flight was delayed so we couldn't pick him up, but we had lunch together a couple of days later at Fable on 4th Avenue. We then went op-shopping. Watching mum and dad in an op-shop, I realise I come by my enthusiasm for thrifting honestly.
Family resemblance!!
We all went to dinner with the Grays last night at Rogue at the Convention Centre. It was delicious and the place was practically deserted! I think because it is a long weekend. The streets have been pretty quiet yesterday and today.

I defended my thesis, and passed
THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT. It was early in the morning (10am) so I did a lot of cardio and then the bus was running late, so I got to the defence with 5 minutes to spare, not really enough time to get my knickers in a twist. My committee was quite gentle on me, in retrospect, although I did find their questions challenging, and am still puzzling over them now.

So Matthew and I are at home, waiting for Mum and Dad to arrive for lunch and pie-making. Then we will rendezvous with the whole family in Burnaby for Aunty Lorraine's famous Thankgiving Turkey Dinner. (This will be a moral temptation for me, since it is the first turkey I have encountered since vegetarianism. But cousin Carolyn will be my partner in Tofurkey, so I'm not alone. Wish me luck.)