Monday, October 26, 2009

Vancouver vacation - Saturday

Saturday the rain granted us a reprieve so Kelly decided it was a great time to show me more of Vancouver. We drove back from the States to Kitsilano. Kelly's roommate grabbed her motorbike, Kelly and I grabbed some take-out sushi and the three of us headed to Cypress Mountain, just on the outskirts of Vancouver.

The weather was gorgeous so we just sat on a park bench at a lookout area, ate our sushi and absorbed the sunshine and the view!

From Cypress Mountain we made our way back towards Vancouver and legendary Stanley Park, home to some of the oldest "monument trees" in Canada. I couldn't resist stopping for a few pictures, and to witness the destruction the forest had faced recently from deadly wind and ice storms.

We left Stanley Park and parted ways with Mel. Kelly and I parked back at home and walked from Kitsilano down to Granville Island in the heart of Vancouver, to take in the famous Granville market.

With drinks in hand we found another park bench, soaked up more sunshine, and watched the bustle of the market while a dapper old man in a tuxedo sang French love songs. We even found where the Swiss will call home during the 2010 Winter Olympics! I finally felt this time like I had a taste, a feel for what Vancouver had to offer. I think I'm hooked!

Finally that night Kelly, Mel and I got dressed up and went on a mission to discover Vancouver by night. We did our best and were not disappointed ~ we hit 5 different bars that night and finally stumbled home in the wee hours of the morning. It was a fantastic vacation and I want to say a big thank you to Mel and Kelly for the hospitality (sorry I missed you Maude and Squamish Dude, you're next on my list).

Vancouver vacation - Friday

Friday dawned rainy in Vancouver so Kelly and I stayed in for the morning before packing an overnight bag and headed across the Canada - U.S. border to the town of Port Roberts. This town was made famous recently because of a high-profile murderer who fled from California eventually taking his speedboat up the west coast to the marina at Port Roberts. From there he crossed into Canada by foot. Two days later he was found dead in a hotel room in Hope. B.C. This happens to be where Kelly's sister Lori and her family call home. I was intrigued to say the least!

Lori and her husband Brady have a HUGE house with the most amazing view across the water into downtown Vancouver. Brady is a pilot with Air Canada so his commute to work is reasonable. Lori stays home with their two daughters Ally and Brooke (so adorable).

Friday we just stayed in, drank some wine and painted our nails. It was a fun girlie's night (Brady took care of the kidlets so we could let our hair down a little). It was so neat to meet Kelly's sister and her family as I had been hearing about them for years when we were teaching. Many thanks to them for their hospitality during my visit!

Vancouver vacation!

My friend Kelly has been bugging me for months to hop a plane and come to Vancouver to visit her. I finally called her bluff and booked a three-day weekend to visit her this past weekend. Kelly and I have a crazy past ~ we both used to teach English in South Korea. Met each other through a mutual friend that I was teaching with and all of a sudden one year-long contract turned into two for both of us and we ended up being neighbours in the heart of Seoul. We've had lots of great times together and I had been missing some of that fun.

Now I've seen Vancouver airport more times than I care to count it seems, but my actual "in Vancouver" time had been pretty limited until this weekend. In fact the last time I was in Vancouver, Will and I were doing a whirlwind tour by car ~ we took the scenic route all the way from Calgary to Vancouver which left us about 11 actual hours in the city. I was itching to see and do more.

Kelly and I had the weekend planned; Thursday night we'd stay in, Friday we would cross the border into the U.S. to the town of Port Roberts to spend some time with her sister, brother-in-law and kidlets, Saturday we'd sight-see and pub crawl around Vancouver and Sunday we'd see what our hangovers would permit us to do!

I have lots of pictures so I'll try and group things by day. I'll kick things off though with some pictures of Kelly's home in Kitsilano as well as some of the fall colour in her neighbourhood. It was the first time that I felt it was properly autumn somewhere ~ these colours are spectacular!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thanksgiving long weekend

I realize that I've been kind of neglectful with my postings lately and for that I apologize. I've started two night classes and that seems to take up a lot of my spare time (including the homework generated from these classes as well).

Anyway, last weekend was Thanksgiving and I packed up Lydia to head home to Saskatchewan for the yearly turkey feast at my parent's place. I stayed overnight with my sister at her adorable house on Friday and then headed home on Saturday. We've had early snow this year (the trees have just started to turn colour and lose their leaves) and I wasn't keen to learn what Lydia's capabilities were. I have taken a couple of snaps of the yard and mom and dad's though, just to show you what it's like.

This is nothing though compared to Thanksgiving 11 years ago when we got over 3 feet of snow and were snowed in/house-bound for the entire weekend!

Our family feast was Saturday night and we shared it with my grandparents, my aunt, and one of the local doctor's wives. We even broke out the fine china for the event. Of course there was a football game on that day and I made sure that I was the best fan I could be from home!

It was such a great evening (as family get-togethers usually are) and a fantastic weekend overall. I never actually get rest when I go home ~ Sassy gets me up early in the morning ~ but usually we don't venture far from home and wearing your pj's the entire day is a given.

This Thanksgiving made me realize just how much has changed for me in the year since we celebrated Thanksgiving in Australia. I'm so thankful to be from Canada and to be home in Saskatchewan this year. I'm increasingly thankful for my loving and supportive family and the wonderful group of friends I have in my life. I couldn't ask for anything more....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Aussie package has arrived!

Those who followed the travels of Will and I through Australia last year may recall that one day while we were in Manly, we ran into a family fishing off the breakwater. A quick conversation with A-M while her husband and sons fished, quickly turned into a chat about our respective blogs. We exchanged blog site addresses, parted ways and never saw each other again. Will and I have been following A-M's blog since that day through all of the trials and tribulations as she and her husband have built their dream home from the ground up (The House That A-M Built).

We've traded comments on each other's blogs throughout the last year and a half and I check her blog daily. About a month ago A-M ran a contest on her blog ~ those who wrote a comment on her blog for that day would get their name entered in a draw for some goodies from her store Armchair Trader. Wonder of wonders, her sons drew my name out of the barrel and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that these goodies were on their way to Canada.

I just wanted to let you know A-M that my package arrived today and it's nearly too beautiful to unwrap! Thank you again for the treats but also for sharing your blog with me and for continuing to follow mine now that I'm back in Canada. I can't wait to come and visit you in your beautiful new home someday! XX