Sunday, March 30, 2014

Farewell to West 7th!

Our mini vacations in Vancouver are coming to an end. Our home-away-from-home has been sold. It is with a touch of sadness that we pack our belongings, launder the sheets, wipe the counters, mop the floors and leave this beautiful apartment for the last time.

Our hosts have graciously allowed us to roost here between travels and during winter months when travel to our real home in Salmon Arm was treacherous. We are deeply grateful.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fun with Augie!

We had an another afternoon with our grandson today and decided to visit 
the playground in Steveston for some fun.

Papa and Augie riding the train!

After dinner we were treated to a special music concert!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An "inventure" day

Today we went on an "inventure"...our youngest son's version of an adventure! As seniors we paid $1.75 for the bus ride down to Granville & Robson. From there we walked along Robson, taking note of changes along the way.

This gorgeous street mosaic reminded us of many special moments at the Commodore (dances, concerts & bowling), movies at the Vogue Theatre and concerts at the Orpheum Theatre. The face of Granville Street has changed and is, once again, in flux.

The Art Gallery banners tempted us to visit but we didn't feel like being indoors.

Further along we came upon Victoria's Secret housed in the old library building at the corner of Robson & Burrard. Am I the only one feeling uncomfortable about having a lavish display of undies at one of the city's major intersections?

Recovering from over-exposure to bras and thongs and sheer panties, we finally reached our destination, the New Balance store. A very helpful clerk fitted John with the exact same shoes that he had walked in with. He also convinced John to try several pairs of potential "dress" shoes. With two full sets of hammer toes it is challenging to find shoes that are roomy enough and don't cause damage! $200 later, and one pair of new shoes in hand, we retraced our steps back along Robson and over to Georgia Street.

A sculpture in the entry of the Georgia Hotel attracted our attention.

At this point we decided to find the Canada Line station and test the rail line. It felt like we were in a foreign city as we wound our way through Pacific Centre to the train. Disembarking at Broadway we transferred to a westbound bus, hopped off at Oak Street and shared a delicious lunch at Chiffon Patisserie...turkey & brie panini with creamed corn & carrot soup!!

It was just a short walk in the rain to the apartment where John fell immediately into bed for a long nap!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Floating through the clouds

Sunday, March 16, 2014


It rained all day.
There is a wind warning in effect for tonight
but we still enjoyed a gorgeous sunset!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I am often confused and dismayed by today's descriptions and analyses of artwork in galleries. Despite my adequate knowledge of the English language and aptitude on a scrabble board, my mind refuses to understand what the descriptive text often states!

In the weekend edition of The Vancouver Courier, Geoff Olson echoed my sentiments with the following quote from a copy of ART FORUM:

"This limbo, I argue, constitutes non art. But for this limbo to acquire theoretical consistency, a fourth factor is needed; the explicit denial of all artistic qualities - and I mean denial in a quasi-Freudian sense, that is, an involuntary admission of a truth in the guise of its negation. The word "no" must be uttered, and its true, unacknowledged meaning must be "yes"."

Geoff goes on to say "Either I'm a dimwit or language of this kind is a sophisticated fraud".

I totally agree!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Aquarium

Our grandson was waiting for us yesterday at noon when we picked him up from his daycare for an afternoon at Stanley Park and the Aquarium. The sun was shining and we were all excited.

Signs on all the parking ticket dispensers said that I needed my licence plate number to pay for parking but I entered all the necessary or bus, number of hours, type of payment and completed the transaction, receipt in hand, without having to enter the licence plate number. We paced the ticket on the dashboard in full view and proceeded to the Aquarium.

There must be a huge percentage of Vancouver's population who could never afford to visit this amazing place! At the regular admission price of $25 ($20 for seniors & $15 for children over age 3), it is unaffordable to the masses. The price of a hot dog at the food concession area was $9!!

A family of four would pay $80 for admission, at least $10 for parking, hotdog & drink each would be another $50 = $140 for a couple of hours entertainment! Wow!!

Inside we viewed beautiful displays of jellyfish, sea anemones, fish, frogs and a very lively octopus.

Outside we watched the dolphins being fed, the belugas frolicking and the seals barking commands to each other. All of the creatures moved so smoothly in their environment but I couldn't help feeling sad that they were contained in an artificial space.

Augie had his heart set on finding "the boat" so we finally made our way to Clownfish Cove, the children's play and educational centre, where he steered the wheel in a play boat for over half an hour while we watched the underwater antics of the dolphins.

Back at the car we were greeted with a parking ticket that said we did not have correct info on our purchased ticket!! The cost was $37.50 if paid in 7 days or $75 otherwise. The final risk was confiscation of vehicle! I was incensed!! Why did the machine take my payment if the info was incomplete!!

We drove to another play area in Stanley Park and I paid again. This time I entered the licence plate number first before paying the fee.

Augie played on Stanley Park's first fire engine, in service starting 1929. He soon made friends with other children and they played together on the engine and inside a hollow tree, home to a family of squirrels. Our afternoon together finally came to an end. It was time to head for home with stories about our adventures.

This morning I sent an appeal to the parking lot company explaining yesterday's ticket. I am waiting for a response!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sushi and ice cream

We enjoyed a dinner of sushi with our grandson and son-in-law the other night. Augie's latest favourite is tobiko, flying fish roe. He loves the way the little fish eggs pop between his teeth!

As the lower mainland was experiencing a torrential rainfall, an after-dinner walk was out of the question. Ice cream at McDonald's seemed like a good idea.

His Dad ordered a chocolate sundae for Augie and ice cream cones for us. When Augie saw the cones, he instinctively knew that an ice cream cone tastes better than a sundae!! I was happy to take on the challenge of consuming the chocolate sundae!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Jean's fall

Jean, Doug's mother was flown back to Vancouver last night by air ambulance after falling and breaking her hip and arm. John accompanied her on the Mexican air ambulance that made a refuelling stop in Tiajuana before carrying on to the South Terminal at Vancouver Airport. Arriving around 3:30am, she was then transferred by paramedics to an ambulance and taken to VGH for processing. John stayed with her, ensured that all of the documentation was handled and finally put his head on a pillow in the apartment at 7:00am.

It was a long and traumatic day for John, Doug and Jean but throughout the entire ordeal she maintained a cheerful disposition. Aside from her short term memory loss she is an amazing almost 95 year old lady! We love her!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Masonic Hall residents

These two live on the rooftop of the adjacent building, the Masonic Hall. They spend their days watching traffic below and waiting to see if we'll share our meals with them. The only intruders are seagulls and the odd pigeon which they either tolerate or ignore.

Yesterday she decided, despite admonishments from her mate, to test one of our outdoor patios. When I approached from inside she slowly rose from a comfy roost in the planter to consider her next move. Wisely, she decided to return to the Masonic Hall rooftop. We don't need baby geese hatching on the tenth floor and attempting their first flight!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


We had a very chilly early morning walk to Granville Island and around False Creek this morning. Should have worn gloves and scarves but we weren't complaining because it was minus 52 degrees in Moose Jaw where John's sister lives. Anything else must be balmy!

Coffee and scones at The Blue Parrot, served by ever-friendly staff, while we watched the dragon boaters, kayakers and other rowers plying the frigid waters.

Athletic Vancouverites refuse to believe that it is still winter weather. We passed joggers in shorts and runners in singlets. The exceptions seemed to be seniors in winter boots, toques and down filled jackets.

There were signs of spring along the way...crocuses, snowdrops and budding trees.

Snow is in the forecast so we are preparing for a few cold days before a warm-up to Spring weather.