Wednesday, February 27, 2013


stripped from its home
it leaves an imprint
a reminder of the climb
into blossoming maturity

replaced by urban trend
to muralize all walls
with scenes of nature
in acrylic colours

At Wicked with a special person

This morning we met a good friend for coffee. Our history spans many years. John worked with her father fifty years ago. Then, in 1980, she became a co-worker at BC Transit. Thirty two years ago, she dreamt that we would have a baby boy and name him Adrian. At that time we weren't even pregnant!

Needless to say, she holds a special place in our hearts! Time flies when we're together. Although we don't manage to solve world conflicts, we do touch on a wide swath of subjects while sipping London Fogs and Americanos.

Our gathering place this morning was Wicked Cafe, almost kitty corner from the apartment. While convenient, it is not on my list of top choices because the coffee has a harsh flavour. The problem is that I want to like it. There is local artwork on the walls, the decor is low key and the staff are friendly. As a neighbourhood coffee house, it attracts young people with laptops who occupy space for hours. It is my theory that these "on-coffee-liners" hate sitting alone in their tiny apartments, do not own coffee making equipment or pay for their own internet connections. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Scones and marscapone

We decided on a return visit to Arbutus Coffee this morning. There is nothing like a cherry/dark chocolate scone to brighten and start the day. Sitting on stools, looking out the window, we were treated to a vision of yarn bombing! Colourful knitting was wrapped around the trunks of two trees.

Later we took a meal to our daughter's apartment for the celebration of both her and her husband's birthdays. They were born on the same day, five years apart. We ended the day with slices of marscapone cake! Definitely not getting on the scales today!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sunny day

It was impossible to resist a sunny day in Vancouver! We headed down to Granville Island and then east with the wind at our backs. We walked for about 45 minutes before deciding to hop on an Aquabus across to Yaletown. At the corner of Mainland and Davie we discovered a small Artigiano coffee shop housed in the Opus Boutique Hotel. The aroma of coffee mixed with soft jazz as we walked in the door. Coffee was served in cups & saucers, not mugs. Loose leaf herbal tea was served in a teapot with a built in infuser. The baking was delicious! It felt as though we were in a Parisienne cafe.

We sat and listened to the upscale orders being placed at the counter. The most amusing was "easy heat with an inch" which conjured up a variety of images. He was a 50 year old regular customer with a string of other requests to ensure that his order was special.

The sunshine invited us back outside where the wind had picked up in intensity. We walked along the north side of False Creek for a while before hopping on another Aquabus to Granville Island. On the weekends the island is a zoo! It is amazing that people think they'll be able to find parking on a Saturday afternoon. "Winterruption", the island's winter festival, was in full swing with musical performances in tents and stilted performers wandering around.

Three hours had passed. It was time to head for the apartment and put our feet up!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe

Brrrh!!! It was a bone chilling walk over to the Fifth Avenue Cinemas on Burrard this afternoon and felt even colder on the way back. We enjoy the fact that these small theatres have a few comfortable chairs at the back for older folk who struggle to get out of the standard theatre seating!

Silver Linings Playbook was good...not great, but entertaining. On our route back to the apartment we stopped at Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe at 6th & Fir to research their coffee/tea/baked options. It is pricey but delicious! My pain au chocolat was "to die for", the coffee was just okay. John's tea was served in a pot on a tray with a timer to indicate when he should pour the tea into a little cup!! His peanut butter cookie was a sandwich of two p.b. cookies with a creamy p.b. mix in the middle!! Decadently rich!!

For those who are interested, the website is

Friday, February 15, 2013

Caffe Cittadella

My quest for the best coffee place continues. We have walked as far west as Arbutus Coffee and yesterday we headed east to 7th and Ash, one block west of Cambie. In another heritage house we discovered Caffe Cittadella where they brew a delicious coffee and offer wonderful scones.

I still have not found anything to compete with the incomparable coffee at Calabria Bar on Commercial Drive. Maybe because the owner is a good looking Italian guy who has spent many years perfecting his barista skills!

The criteria for "The Best Coffee Place" is not restricted to coffee flavour. We are also looking for friendly service, pleasant & clean decor, good scones & muffins. 

Last year we sampled at least 21 cafes and kept returning to the same one, Bean Around the World at 20th & Main Street. The coffee was good, the goodies were predictably good and baked inhouse, the atmosphere was funky casual. We felt comfortable taking our portable backgammon game along. Sometimes we would share a table and talk with people who lived in the neighbourhood where I grew up. Maybe that was part of the attraction too.

So, this year we drove over to Bean Around the World with our backgammon game and enjoyed the same casual ambiance but it is our goal to explore as many cafes as possible within our walking range. No automobile necessary this year!

Daily visitors

Every morning we have two visitors.
Usually they watch us from the rooftop of the Masonic Temple.
Today they decided to perch and poop on our terrace.
I politely said good morning and buenos dias
before waving them off with adios amigos!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Arbutus Coffee

Another grey Vancouver morning so we decided to walk over to 6th and Arbutus for our morning coffee. Nothing like an invigorating walk in the mist to activate a desperate need for caffeine!

The Arbutus Coffee offers great coffee and delicious baking. John chose a cherry/dark chocolate scone while I opted for a fresh berry muffin that could have fed four people! His herbal tea was prepared in a small Japanese pot with an accompanying small cup. The Ethiopian dark roast coffee was a treat.

There is seating for about 17 at three tables, three stools and one booth. On sunny days there is ample room outside. The washroom walls are decorated with pages from a 1927 Vancouver newspaper. The interior has not been updated with shiny surfaces but instead reflects the character of the area.

A trio of elderly women (probably only slightly older than us) occupied one table, sharing neighbourhood stories. None of the customers had laptops or other devices in their hands, they were either chatting or reading or writing!! It felt like yesteryear.

As an aside, John is still experimenting with greeting everyone on the streets as we walk. The results continue to produce smiles and responses. Sometimes there is even a conversation. This morning we were thrilled to cross paths with Diana's sister on her way to work....big hugs!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

John's experiment

John is conducting an experiment while we are in Vancouver. He is doing his usual  "Good morning" or "Good afternoon" to everyone we pass on our daily walks. At the end of each day he does a tally of smiles, replies and non-responses. So far we are both surprised by the number of people who happily respond, usually with a smile! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In Vancouver

Here we are in grey Vancouver!! Crawled into bed at 3:15am (PV time), up four hours later to gather groceries and head out for a one hour roundabout walk to Granville Island before the skies opened.
We need a couple of days to get into the "Wet Coast" swing! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

One more sleep

Only one more sleep until we head to Vancouver. This morning, before I was fully awake, I saw a photo on Facebook of two friends sharing drinks at Cantina Vallarta. Thinking that they had arrived in PV, I sent a message that I was leaving for a walk on the Malecon. I was disappointed that there was no sight of them on my route. Checking back on Facebook later, I saw that they had shared drinks at Cantina Vallarta in Salmon Arm!!

There is a changing light display on the new wharf at night.

This young man creates colourful flip-flops and earrings
on one of the bridges over the River Cuale.

I found Senior Frog and the little froggies
on our  6km trek to the cemetery and fish market.
Senior Frog is the one with two new knees!

Friday, February 1, 2013


Self awareness is an exercise in patience
and tolerance with oneself.