Thursday, December 7, 2017
Yesterday marked our 25th Anniversary...legally...and 37 years of "togetherness". We drove into Vancouver to celebrate the occasion...planning to share wine and nibbles at The Sylvia Hotel. By the time we spent three hours in transit (including a Doctor's appointment), we were too tired to contemplate a walk through the fog to The Sylvia. Instead we trudged up to Davie Street in search of The Brasserie. Shivering in the cold we discovered a sign on the door that read "Closed for a private function". Hmmmh! What now?! John suggested that we walk down to Cafe Luxy for a pasta dinner. That sounded like a good alternative so...hand in hand, we carried on down Davie Street where we were surprised to find that Cafe Luxy had become Davie Dosa Company!! The idea of Indian food didn't interest either of us. The next choice was to hop on a bus to The Sylvia Hotel...but...neither of us had our compass cards or cash!! "I'll hail a cab!" John announced. After several futile attempts, and increasing chills, we opted to dine at Taki's Taverna. With a bottle of Greek wine and a platter of calamaraki...we warmed up and toasted our ability to be flexible...after all these years!
This morning we woke up to fog horns and a blanket of white...the building was completely shrouded in fog and eerily quiet. It was a chilly walk to Denman Street for our morning coffee at Delaney's before John visited the gym and I went for a walk along Coal Harbour.
...and no sign of Stanley Park across the water...
...just a few brave souls on the boardwalk!
Sunday, December 3, 2017
We brought Adrian over to Comox for a pre-Christmas visit with the family as he will be working over the Christmas holidays and not able to join us on Vancouver Island. After he finished work yesterday we picked him up and headed to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal for the two hour sailing to Duke Point. When we disembarked at 5:30pm it was totally dark and raining heavily until we reached Parksville. Thankfully the rain finally stopped and an "almost full moon" was visible through the clouds as we drove between Partksville and Comox.
Reinforcing drinks were poured when we arrived after 7:30pm!! The Christmas tree was decorated and the fireplace warmed us as we shared stories and exchanged our traditional gifts of books.
There was a heavy frost overnight and this morning we made a chilly visit to Goose Spit where we quickly realised that we (John & I) did not have appropriate clothing!!
A c-c-c-c-cold Papa with a swaddled Heather
Lots of snow overnight.
From Goose Spit we drove to Cumberland for a walkabout through the historic centre of town.
Cumberland's Ilo Ilo Theatre (meaning place of variety in Japanese)
opened in 1914...and closed in 1955.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Our Notary's office called this morning to tell us that the condo purchase was finalised and we are now the owners of a new home....still don't have the keys until Thursday morning...but...we decided to celebrate anyway! So...I began the research for Greek restaurants in Langley. Much to our complete amazement we discovered "Adrian's Restaurant at the Airport"! How perfect! Greek food in a restaurant with our son's name at an airport...Langley Airport.
We shared a delicious dinner(lamb for me and prawns for John) in a funky place that resembles a diner from the road and is quite nice inside. It is owned and operated by a Greek fellow who named the place after his grandson...a great discovery!
Sunday, November 26, 2017
In 1991 we moved to Salmon Arm from Richmond B.C. We left my family and all of our community connections behind in order to start the next chapter of our lives in a small town. Not long after arriving in our new home we read in a Canadian magazine that Salmon Arm was one of the most intolerant, bigoted communities in the country. What a scary idea! What could we expect on the job, in the schools, on the streets?!
To our relief we were soon welcomed into the arts community, minor hockey, rotary and everyday life in our neighbourhood. I am sure that there were intolerant people out there but we were rarely exposed to their ignorant behaviour. For over 24 years we enjoyed the support of our friendships, our community connections and a peaceful life in Salmon Arm.
Now we are ready to move into Langley City. With a population of 25,000, it has recently been designated by McLeans magazine as the 6th most dangerous community in Canada! Another scary place to live!! Again...what can we expect on the streets?
There are homeless people on the streets who seem to keep to themselves. There is social housing for a large number of people with special needs. It is encouraging to see these people welcomed into the Community Centre and library, to see them enjoying coffee with their assistants, to witness the patience of clerks in the grocery store as they help to process orders.
We have joined the community centre with its modern facilities and friendly staff. The Red Velvet Cafe has already become a favourite hangout for morning coffee served with smiles from Pam and Daphne. The Opus Art store has everything that I will need and John hopes to become active again with Langley hospice.
So...after we have time to settle into our new home...we will see if it is a comfortable fit. If not...there might be another chapter waiting for us!
Monday, November 20, 2017
Monday, November 6, 2017
The end of November will mark two years since we sold our home in Salmon Arm...two homeless years dedicated to travel and new experiences. We spent a total of six months in Greece on three separate trips to share Easters, John's 80th birthday celebration and a special baptism with our Greek family and friends. There was also a tour of several Balkan countries with our group of Balkaneros from Greece and Turkey ...wonderful friends who happily shared adventures with a couple of ageing Canadians.
In between these European trips we managed to fly to Mexico twice for visits with friends who generously hosted us in their new Mismaloya home for two months on each visit.
The other days, weeks and months were filled with house sitting gigs in Vancouver, Gibsons, Saltspring Island, Surrey and Cloverdale.
Added to all of these adventures was a test of endurance for our relationship. It seems that we can still laugh at each other's foibles in between occasional gasps of frustration!
So, at the end of November we will start a new chapter in our lives...as condo owners! But... before we get settled...we will fly to Mexico again at the end of December for a couple of months in the sun!
After living out of suitcases for two years...there is no rush!