Sunday, July 31, 2016

Food and Pride

It has been a week of food! On Thursday night we joined friends for a feast of Korean food in Richmond. The table was loaded with dishes of tasty food and our bellies were groaning when we left the restaurant after two hours...delish!!

On Friday we travelled to Richmond again for a relaxing lunch with friends. Back in the downtown area we found ourselves caught in the "Pre-Pride Street Dance" road closure traffic....grrrrh! Unbeknownst to us, Davie Street was closed from 3:00pm. It was a mess!

Yesterday we drove out to my sister's for an overnight visit and another incredible meal. This morning we deliberately left Cloverdale early in order to avoid the crowds that were expected for the Pride parade. Unfortunately, once again, we were not aware that Davie Street would be closed. Forced to turn onto Burrard, we were also forced to drive over the Burrard Bridge because Pacific was closed. I managed a u-turn and travelled across the bridge again toward the apartment. My passenger encouraged me to make an illegal turn and we finally coasted into the underground parking. I rushed to get out of the car and up to the apartment with a very anxious bladder. It wasn't until I was organizing my purse later that I discovered the key & fob for the garage were missing!!! They are probably sitting on the seat in the car but we cannot access the garage without the key!!!!
I have left messages for the building manager and hope that she is able to let me into the garage before tomorrow.

Later this afternoon we joined thousands of post-parade revellers on Davie Street. On this perfect day there was an abundance of sequins, rainbows and bright happy faces enjoying the party atmosphere.

A parade group

At Jim Deva Plaza.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


We all live in boxes...
...some become homes.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fireworks and Pride Week

It's an exciting time here...fireworks and Gay Pride week.

View from the pool deck on the first Celebration of Light display.
Hundreds of boats at anchor for the 10pm display on Saturday night.

Residents of the apartment gathered on the pool deck to watch the brilliant display.

This morning we walked over to Davie and Bute for the dedication of Jim Deva Plaza.
The Carnival Band from Britannia Community Centre played lively music for the crowd.

Participants of every age joined in the celebration with drums...

...and castenets!

It was a gay and colourful event!!

The City is covered is festooned in colour...
even the entry stairs to The Bay welcome customers with a rainbow!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday outing

Another great day with my sisters and niece. We enjoyed a delicious brunch at the Village Bistro on Davie Street where everything is made in-house. My sisters decided to try the "Smashed maple syrup croissants" that were smothered in stewed apples. I savoured the eggs benny served with smoked salmon and my niece tried the traditional eggs benny. Yummmmh!

We strolled through some of the gardened streets before retreating to the apartment pool for a refreshing dip. The pool temperature is around 30 degrees and much warmer than the breezy air!

Yesterday we discovered a small local distillery that features Gin & Tonics on Friday evenings. 

It is on our list for next week!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunshine Valley visit

Yesterday we stopped at the airport to pick up Adrian before driving to Sunshine Valley, east of Hope on the Hope Princeton Highway. His friends have purchased a really nice home there and retreat to the peace and quiet that it offers on weekends. We were invited for an overnight visit, a roaring bonfire, roasted marshmallows, BBQ and Bag-n-Ole competition. It was great fun!

A view of the house from the fire pit.

Preparing the smores!

The pool shark!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vancouver's West End and bike sharing

Here are some things that you might not know about Vancouver's West End:

Close to 45,000 people of all ages, incomes, ethnicities, and sexual orientations live in the West End.

The West End is also home to Western Canada’s largest LGBTQ community. 

This downtown peninsula now has more children 
than traditional family neighbourhoods in Vancouver.
The students of Lord Roberts Elementary School (k-grade 7) 
represent 43 countries and 37 languages.

On November 4, 2015, The Canadian Institute of Planners announced 
that the West End of Vancouver was the winner of its fifth annual 

There is ongoing controversy about the parking situation in the West End.
A public bike share program has been endorsed by the City.
Two new bike racks have been placed on Harwood Street.

Each rack will hold 20 bicycles and displace three parking spaces.
Signage indicates that these will be in place until the end of the year.
We will be watching to see whether the residents make use of this program.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Birthday and Giro de Burnaby

As we were preparing to leave for our grandson's belated birthday dinner we received a call from our daughter to say that the Giro de Burnaby was taking place on the street outside their apartment. There was no parking nearby and Hastings Street was closed from Boundary to Willingdon. Grabbing birthday gifts and wine we headed out the door with the hope of finding a parking spot somewhere in the area.

The sky clouded over and it started raining as we parked three blocks away. Fortunately we still had clothing in the trunk so we were able to put on an extra layer for protection.

Augie had to test the berries!
It was a delicious cake from Whole Foods 
with almond flavoured whipped cream!!

Traditional post-dinner cribbage competition.

The weather gradually improved for hundreds of cyclists
who came from around the world to compete in this event.
The prize money is $15,000 for this 1.3km closed loop race.

Davie Village rainbows

Davie Village is getting ready for an annual celebration of Gay Pride. Sidewalks are painted in rainbow colours, flags are hung from balconies and the new plaza, dedicated to Jim Deva, is nearing completion. Deva was a gay activist and the owner/ founder of Little Sisters bookstore.

A unique rainbow design at DISH eatery.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Family and another walk

We drove out to Fort Brae campground yesterday to share lunch with my "Abbotsford sisters". Liz, Ken and Kit (the dog) had set up camp with their new truck and trailer. Tracey joined us from her apartment in Abbotsford. She arrived with a cartload of fruit...cherries, strawberries, watermelon and homemade antipasti.

Ken grilled the burgers, Liz made an exotic salad with grapes, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and a blackberry vinaigrette dressing. Kit anxiously watched the bunnies frolicking nearby. He was desperate to play with them.

We shared stories and caught up on the latest family news until around 4:00pm when we headed back to Cloverdale for dinner with Dorothy and Kevin at their neighbourhood Irish Pub. It was a great day!

This morning I embarked on another mammoth walk while John was torturing himself at the gym. 

Enroute I discovered five large yellow chairs.
A perfect spot to sit and reflect while looking over the harbour.

Friday, July 8, 2016

"I have walked myself into my best thoughts"

I came upon a quote of Kierkegaard's today that describes what happens to me 
during my walks through the West End of Vancouver.

"I have walked myself into my best thoughts."

Time disappears along tree lined streets 
as I inhale the sweetness of small side gardens
 with randomly placed benches 
that encourage me to sit, 
to pull out a notebook
and capture my thoughts...
how has that old house resisted demolition...
who planted the flowers on this boulevard...
why has life brought me here??? 

Sunday, July 3, 2016


We drove out to Port Moody this afternoon for our nephew's final game 
in the Provincial Ball Hockey tournament.

The Delta team was victorious!!

Meat Draw and THE BOYS

Last night was so much fun! We joined Adrian and friends at the Army & Navy on Main Street for their weekly "meat draw". It was reminiscent of visits to the Steveston location with my mother. She would bring her baggie with peanuts and raisins to share while we savoured glasses of draft beer.

Our group managed several "wins" last night. John left with boneless pork chops and was the winner of a 50/50 draw ($35), Kat (a vegetarian) won pork chops and salmon patties, Peter, Gerry and Ty also took home some meals.

Afterward we enjoyed dinner at "Meet on Main", a vegetarian restaurant that serves unique and really tasty dishes. Kat bicycled home and we returned to the car to discover a parking ticket. Apparently I had parked too close to the corner!!!...$50.00!!



Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Sherlan

Fifty years ago I moved from my marriage home in Surrey to a small apartment in Vancouver's West End.  I was 21 years old and desperate for freedom from the restraints of an ill-suited marriage.

The Sherlan Apartments at 1918 Haro Street

This morning I went on a discovery walk to see if the apartment building was still standing. Although it was only my home for 3 months, I remember the layout and the people who visited me there. It is shabbier than the neighbouring properties and will probably be torn down in the next few years, replaced by a high rise with elevators and modern appliances.

I didn't arrive with many possessions fifty years ago but I had high hopes and dreams for my future. BC Hydro, where I was employed as a Draftsperson, offered a good income and the Vancouver School of Art was within walking distance for painting & drawing classes. It was my first attempt at independence.

Not long after I moved into the apartment and told my parents of the separation from my husband, they announced that my father had been elected as President of the Canadian Postal Workers Union. They would be moving to Ottawa in the Fall and asked if I would move into their house during a three year absence. Reluctantly, I gave up my downtown freedom and moved into my childhood home. My grandfather was a tenant in the basement suite. The neighbours, who had seen me grow up, monitored my comings and goings. It wasn't the same!