Monday, 22 June 2015

Father's Day Weekend

It was Father's Day on Sunday in North America. My dad, Steve, is in Vancouver with my uncle, Rick. Wow have we been adventuring!


Saturday was the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival. Cousin Eleanor was competing at 10:30am and 4pm. I am ashamed to say that we missed both of them. (Matthew was in Toronto for a week and only got back on Friday night, so we took the opportunity to have a romantic rooftop brunch together on Saturday morning.) We met Dad and Rick at the Science World end of False Creek and watched some races, and met up with Eleanor and her beau Bryerton and some friends. Then, as the crowds were thick and the sun was hot, Matthew and I took Dad and Rick around the Sea Wall to Bella Gelateria at Yaletown. We had pretty delicious gelato, and the hot sun made it drip down the outsides of the cone.

We had intended to hit up the Jazz Festival at David Lam park, but we were several hours too early when we strolled past at a mere 3pm. So Matthew, Dad, Rick and I all hopped on an Aquabus to Granville Island and took in some busker jazz in the sunshine before walking up the hill home.

Saturday night was cousin Sophie's graduation party in New West, so we scrubbed up and partied on for a couple of hours. The evening was warm, the champagne was crisp, and the food was delicious. Sophie is a champion, and she has so many exciting plans for the coming year, up to and including some significant world travel. We are very envious.


Matthew and I KILLED 12 miles around the Sea Wall, the last long training run before Race Day next week. We went from South Granville to Burrard and over the Burrard Bridge, then directly to the sea wall and around all the way to Lumberman's Arch. We cut through Stanley Park past the Aquarium and jogged around Lost Lagoon. Then back onto the Sea Wall until Granville Bridge, over the bridge and home again (via Meinhardt, for breakfast supplies). Along our jog we saw 3 friends and a million cute dogs. It was a good run, mostly in shade. We could not be more prepared for the race.

We collected Dad and Rick in New Westminster and took them to the Richmond Buddhist Temple. Dad and Rick went to China together two years ago, so they have seen their fair share of temples. But Richmond Buddhist Temple is so impressive, it is always worth a visit.

We went on to Steveston for some Father's Day fish and chips on the Steveston Pier. It was jolly hot in Steveston and there was a thronging summer market on Moncton Street. We had a late lunch and admired the view. On the way home we stopped at one of the roadside fruit stands and bought local cherries. (Since then I have eaten two bowls full. Cherries are a true luxury.)


Matthew had to work, poor thing. But I had a day off, so Dad and Rick picked me up and we went downtown and over the Lion's Gate Bridge to North Van for a full on day of exploring! First we went to Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, and walked around the trail. Then, we were so enchanted by the calm atmosphere in the woods that we moved the car and went for another walk around Rice Lake (slightly North of the Suspension Bridge walk). But before that we stopped in at the End of the Line General Store, which is on the Canyon walking trail. It is a very sweet little cafe (I had visited before when Jane was here).

Rice Lake is a secluded and magical spot which is special for its disabled accessibility. It is surrounded by a flat walking trail with no stairs, and the fishing spot (a boardwalk which extends out in a big square onto the water) is specially designed for accessible fishing. Sure enough, there were a dozen keen amateur fishers enjoying the sunshine, and a boy even caught a trout while we were there! On the Rice Lake walk I also learned all about Flumes, which were a network of wooden troughs which were filled with water to transport the logs down out of the forest quickly. There are still remnants of the Flume system throughout the woods, but no water.  In fact the whole Canyon Park was astonishingly dry. There was very little fungus and all the paths were tinder under our feet. My sneakers are covered in a film of dust from the walk.

AND THEN... (long day)... we drove to Deep Cove! We walked along the beach park, then up the main street (still adorable). Because it was a Monday there was not much going on. But the only sandwich shop open on the street was teeming with people. We grabbed a snack, took it to the waterfront, and sat on a rock. We watched the kayakers coming in, and enjoyed the mountains upon mountains receding into the distance.

Dad and Rick are in town for a couple more days, then they are going on a cruise to Alaska(!!). Sadly I have to return to the world of work tomorrow, but I hope there will be more adventures to follow. Happy Father's Weekend, Dad! Welcome to Vancouver, Rick!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

New Apartment

Matthew and I have bought our first home! It all happened rather quickly. We started looking in earnest just before the Victoria Day long weekend, and on Sunday we "removed subjects", as the Canadians say. We will move in late July.

Our new apartment has a very large kitchen, beautiful bay windows, East and West sunlight, a charming wood-burning fireplace, and a second bedroom - so we very much look forward to having guests! We are also allowed to have a pet... I predict a kitten in our future.

We could not have done this without the dedication and acuity of Leslie Gray, our stellar agent. She is like a cobra in negotiations, and we are so pleased at how smooth and possible the whole home buying process has been under her guidance.

I am looking forward to sharing the next steps on this blog. We have been working and waiting for so long. Now is the time.