Vancouver


HK andI are hikers. Avid hikers.  We used to be avider (is that a word?) hikers, but time has slowed us down a touch. Plus the fact that we don’t like driving too far to get in a “quick” 6-10 miles. Fortunately, there are many, many options in Vancouver proper that perfectly fit the bill.

Stanley Park is an obvious choice. It is 10% larger than Central Park in NYC, and a 5 mile seawall is the perfect length for a walk or run. Plus there are (more…)

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Oh, I loves me a parade! And Vancouver’s Pride parade is THE parade of parades! We’ve been in Vancouver for 2 pride parades in the last 3 years, and I think we’ll make it an annual tradition! (Click here for by blog from the 2009 pride parade)

For the past 3 years, the theme of Pride has been “Educate,Liberate and Celebrate”. It certainly was a celebration, with well over half a million people attending the 3-hour parade. The annual parade is Vancouver’s largest 1-day celebration, a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community. It was a day to celebrate whatever, and WHO ever, you are!

We continued the celebration with a cook-out at the home of the women that own the house we’re renting and a bunch of their friends.  This why I so love  this city–it is full of hospitality, joy and celebration!

Enjoy the pics. I have over 100, so grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and kick back.

nature's handiwork

nature's handiwork

While reading today’s post on my friend and fellow-blogger Elizabeth Harper’s site today, I was reminded of something.

The day that HK and I were to leave Vancouver this summer, I took one last run along the seawall to my favorite little park that overloooks the sea. The park, a tiny spit of lush greenery rarely frequented by people (although there was a resident bald eagle that hung out there), was the perfect spot to practice t’ai chi in the mornings.  So, after my last session on that last day, I took a minute, really took a minute, to look around me and observe the beauty that I knew I would miss until the next trip out there.

There, right n the very beach that I had run along so many times, was the most beautiful piece of mother nature’s handiwork. It was a fallen tree that had obviously been there for a long, long time, but up until now, went unnoticed by yours truly.  As I was appreciating the carved-out formations of the bark, I noticed a stone that was lying at the tree’s base. The stone was black, smooth, with a thin white line that completely encircled it. I picked it up, rolled it around in my hand, and realized that this rock, far from perfect, had probably been there all along, from the day we arrived in Vancouver until the day we left. To me, that rock symbolized the journey that I had taken while in Vancouver, and how on this last day, I had come full circle in many ways, both physically emotionally.

 tree3tree2

full circle

full circle

I was so thankful that I had my camera with me, because I took a photo of it as a reminder to self that I need to slow down and look around.  Beauty is everywhere.

While HK and I were in Vancouver this summer, we took the ferry over to Vancouver Island, then drove our car to the far west of the island, to Tofino.  We had a 3-day weekend, since HK’s company had given it’s employees an extra day for the 4th of July holiday. 

view from our patio in Tofino

view from our patio in Tofino

Of course, Canadians don’t celebrate the American Independence Day, but we had just celebrated Canada Day in Vancouver on July 1st, so we were getting 2 holidays in one week. How lucky was that ??  It got better.  As we relaxed on our lounge chairs, watching (more…)

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.

Now, let me start by saying that i know that spending just 6 weeks in Vancouver by no means makes me an expert.  Not even close. However, knowing how much people like to hear other people’s opinions on restaurants, (see good eatin’ in Atlanta, which continues to be my most visited blog), i thought i’d share with you my personal favorites (and some not so favorite).

Maenam just opened the week we arrived in Vancouver, and was conveniently located about 4 blocks from our house. Perfectly balanced hot, sour, salty and sweet flavors make this reputedly (and believably so), Vancouver’s best and most authentic Thai restaurant. The chef makes every effort to use what is fresh and in season locally. The vibe is current and bright, with none of the kitch of most Thai restaurants. The service was great and the price moderate. I highly recommend (more…)

Mommy and Daddy really had a great time playing in the mountains of British Columbia. it seems like every day when Daddy got off work (at 2:00, since he was working on Eastern Time), they’d head off on another adventure.

One day while their friends Stef and Glenn were visiting, they went kayaking on the Indian Arm at Deep Cove.  Being a self-proclaimed cheapskate, mommy called all around to find us the cheapest guided trip. She finally found one, but when they got to the outfitters “office”, it was a little trailer in a run-down neighborhood. Two young (but cute) guys were waiting outside for them.

“Nice one, Jules. Real professionals”, Daddy and Glenn teased her.It only got worse when they told them to follow them down a long, windy, remote road. “This is straight out of one of those Kill the Tourist movies,” Daddy said, and that really pissed mommy off.  Finally they got to the put-in spot, and the 2 guides turned out to be very professional.

Mommy couldn’t stop talking about the scenery-here’s her favorite shot…

check out the scenery!

check out the scenery!

hahahahaha! that was their guide- a real “hottie”, according to Mommy and Stef.  Here are some more pictures from their 4-hour kayak trip

Beer break

Beer break

an abandoned hydro power plant

an abandoned hydro power plant

Meanwhile, (click on more to continue the story) (more…)

Beam me up, scottie!

Beam me up, scottie!

While we’re on the subject of festivities , HK and I attended the Vancouver Pride parade this weekend.  Talk about festive! Reports are that there were anywhere from 400,000 to half a million people there! We loved it! Everybody was cheering at the floats, throwing beads, dancing in the streets, actually, it was a lot like Mardi Gras!  Even (more…)

from bridge

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ken, who was visiting us in Vancouver with his partner Terry, asked,  “My God, does anybody here have a job?”   The beaches were packed with people young and old, playing volleyball, frisbee,  swimming in the surf or just hanging out on a blanket in the shade.  It was a Thursday, mid-afternoon. 

This morning I took the pups to the beach near UBC for a romp at a typically deserted stretch of beach.  I looked forward to letting them run to their heart’s content without fear of other dogs/people distracting them.  WRONG! When we got to the beach, it was packed with sunbathers, dogs, kids.  Hmmmmmm–Ken had a point–I don’t think anybody here has a job…

Oh, yeah.  Just remebered.  (more…)

OMG-YUMMMMMMMMYYYY!

OMG-YUMMMMMMMMYYYY!

We’ve had houseguests visiting for the past 2 weeks (2 different couples, 1-week each), and i just love to cook up a a special meal for friends, as you know from past posts.  So, since we’re renting a little house close to Granville Island , my friend Stephanie and I walked over and bought a bunch of fresh, organic, local food to cook up a great meal.  On the menu was (more…)

 

HK and i have houseguests this week, our friends Ken and Terry from the ‘hood in Atlanta. Yesterday the boys and i rode bikes out to UBC to tour the campus and go to the beach there.

We rode through beautiful Jericho beach and dog-friendly Spanish Banks beach along the way. here’s a pic of me.  ken shoulda told me to take my helmet off–it looks so goofy!

me at jericho beach

me at jericho beach

One of the women we’re renting the house from loaned me her bike and helmet–that was soooo cool! her bike is a beach cruiser, with just the one speed and pedal brakes.  it was sooooooo hard climbing up the hills on that bike, the boys had 5-speeds, so they pretty much kicked my ass going uphill.

wreck beach

wreck beach

It’s downhill all the way to Wreck beach.  Lots and lots of wooden stairs lead down to a wide, sandy beach where about 85% of the thousand people there were all-over tanned and bare-ass naked.  It’s Vancouver’s largest “clothing optional” beach, and was full of (more…)

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