Friday, August 18, 2017

Purple tomatoes

We arrived on Saltspring Island at 8:30pm last night after a short ferry ride from Crofton on Vancouver Island. Our friends greeted us with open arms and a tasty bottle of red wine. Today we toured the island in an effort to orientate ourselves for the next 10 days of housesitting. The island is home to about 10,000 year round inhabitants but swells close to 20,000 during the summer months. It has become a haven for artists, musicians and creative pursuits.

On our tour today we visited the community garden
where gardeners (including our friends) 
have the opportunity to rent a plot for a nominal annual fee 
and harvest their personal crops of organically grown produce.

This was the first time that I had seen purple tomatoes!

One of our housesitting chores will be to visit the garden
every second day to water the tomatoes, onions, kale, potatoes, etc.

Chemainus murals

Travelling down the island from Comox we stopped in Chemainus to see the murals.
Busloads of tourists arrive in this small town every day during the summer. 
When we arrived around 5:30pm...the streets were empty.

With a population of around 3000, this small town is dependent on the tourist industry
that brings thousands to view amazing murals depicting the area's history.

August plants the birds

Before we left Comox yesterday August planted two garden decorations 
that my sister (Grauntie Dee) had sent for him... bird in his favourite colour of green...

... and one bird in her favourite colour of purple!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A move to Comox

Yesterday morning we boarded the ferry to Vancouver Island. We were accompanying our daughter and her family with their move to Comox, a small town on the island.

It was very exciting to arrive at their new home!

The backyard has a lovely water feature and pathways.

There is also a "meditation" bench.

We spent some time touring the house and inspecting the garden shed. The previous owner left behind a couple of valuable ladders and miscellaneous useful items. It will be a challenge for them to find each other in this vast new expanse of indoor and outdoor space! Their bedroom is at least double the size of their apartment bedroom...more like a dancehall!

Their belongings would not arrive until the next day 
so we all spent the night in "The Garden Cottage".

It is rustic, quaint and very comfortable.

After a simple deli dinner the "boys" has a cribbage challenge
on the coffee table/crib board. Who was the champion?...again!

This morning we joined Augie for a couple of hours 
while the movers delivered belongings to the new home.
We visited Marine Park and The Filberg Park.

The Filberg Park is home to the annual Filberg Festival.
The Filberg Lodge, an example of Arts and Crafts architecture, was not open today.

Augie entertained us with some inventive piano compositions!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Luxury cars

Touring the Luxury car outlets with our grandson.

Quiz: Can you identify the makes?
Clue: We visited Jaguar, Ferrari, Bentley, Mazarati, Lotus and Range Rover display rooms.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Smokey walk

We had a smokey, muggy walk along the Westminster Quay this morning with our grandson.
My eyes were weeping from the smoke.

August skootered along ahead of us for most of the river walk,
stopping occasionally to examine the love locks.

There are hundreds of love locks along the river fence.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Wednesday and Saturday

Hungry babies!

My sister and I made a trip into downtown Vancouver today.
Because we were early for my hair appointment, we "enjoyed" a smokey walkabout!

A smokey view across to North Vancouver from Coal Harbour

An attempt by the city to rejuvenate Vancouver's downtown lane ways.

Pride weekend at the Odyssey!

Will these lovelies be on a parade float tomorrow??

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


This morning's harvest

Blackberries line the roads in Hopkins Landing!


An unusual week lies ahead in the weather forecast.

Smoke from the wildfires in the province has descended on the south coast
at the same time as hot weather is pushing up from the south.
Temperature records are predicted to be broken
as we struggle to breathe and stay cool!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Busy days

It has been a very busy week! Last weekend we spent a few quality days at my sister's in Surrey with Princess Peach, their cat, while they researched a possible move to Campbell River. The Princess provided loving companionship and we enjoyed spending time on their flower potted back deck while savouring a harvest of raspberries.

From there we travelled to Salmon Arm for two days' deluxe accommodation at our friends' tranquil home in Sunnybrae. One year had passed since we last visited so there were many stories to share along with delicious meals and carefully selected wines. Although we didn't have time to visit with all of our friends we did manage to settle some financial concerns, view Lois' new home, have John's pacemaker checked, share lunch with our daughter, enjoy coffee with Karen and drop in for a three minute visit with our old neighbour Marg.

After an early morning coffee with Brian and Diana we headed back to the coast and over to Horseshoe Bay for the ferry trip to Langdale. We will housesit here for a few days with Bella and Boomer, our favourite canine buddies.

Last night Adrian joined us for an overnight visit. Our dinner menu was a decadent mix of crab cakes, salmon cakes, potato salad, kale & brussell sprout salad, edamame salad and a dessert of coconut yogurt with fresh blueberries! Wow!

This morning we drove into The Black Bean Cafe in Gibsons for breakfast and a walkabout before dropping Adrian at the ferry for his return to Vancouver.

This weekend is the annual Sea Cavalcade Festival in Gibsons.
We were surprised to see the Caravan Stage tall ship at the wharf.

In 1984 the Caravan Stage Company split from Caravan Farm Theatre and embarked on a history of travelling theatre productions. Their vessel, the Amara Zee, has presented creative shows on waterways throughout Europe and North America.

The performances are held onboard at the wharf after dark 
for maximum use of dramatic lighting and magical moments.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Langley wanderings

I have been very happy to discover that Langley has a vibrant arts community!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Today's mail

After dinner I walked across the street to pick up my sister's mail.

I was thrilled to find a package addressed to us...
covered with stamps... from Amorgos Greece!!!

This creatively decorated package was inside!...

...containing a calendar of photos from the Constellation of Amorgos,
an annual summer festival that celebrates the diversity of Greek artistic talent.

Thank you so much!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

the last few days

Last Tuesday we moved from the West End of Vancouver to my sister's house in Cloverdale. The car was full! Since then we have been busy...traveling back to Vancouver for a baseball game on Wednesday evening and a Podiatrist appointment on Friday morning. The Doctor suggested an ankle brace for John's right leg to keep his ankle from turning over and it made sense to invest in new shoes as well.

Friday afternoon we picked up our grandson and visited Burnaby Heritage Park. John napped in the car while Augie and I explored an old tram car, wandered through the village and enjoyed a ride on the reconstructed carousel. Of course we had to stop at the ice cream parlour!

Augie led me down to a small wharf in Deer Lake where we discovered a million waterlily pads!

When it was time to head back to the car and wake Papa...we couldn't remember where we parked the car. Searching in the heat was exhausting but, after 1/2 hour, there he was...still fast asleep!

This morning we waved goodbye to my sister and her husband 
as they drove away in their new motorhome for a few days near Osoyoos. 
Safe and fun travels!!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

yesterday and today

Nadine joined me for yesterday's walk along Coal Harbour, around Lost Lagoon and back through the West End Market that is held every Saturday. After our walk I visited Chris while he was undergoing dialysis at St. Paul's Hospital. Three times each week, since he was discharged, they drive into Vancouver from Richmond for this procedure.

He was having a good day!

Today I pushed myself into some uphill portions on the morning walk...

...and it felt good!
This gorgeous mural is across from the West End Community Centre.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Real estate offers and a walk

We are still reeling from the results of our latest offer on a condo in Langley. After offering $23,000 over the asking price we learned that the condo was purchased by someone who offered $37,500 over the asking price of $239,000!! Our future, along with thousands of others, is affected by this real estate game that is playing out in the lower mainland.

The sale of our house in Salmon Arm netted under $300,000. After spending 1 1/2 years in travel mode we finally decided to start the search for a new home and discovered that availability is very limited in our price range. Thank goodness for the generosity of friends and family who are sharing their personal space with us.

This morning's walk took me out to Second Beach pool...

...where I experimented with the iPhone camera.

A much needed rest on the way back to 1100 Harwood Street.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Over the bridge

This morning we walked over the Burrard Street Bridge and along to the Maritime Museum. 

There is a  dock in Heritage Harbour, behind the museum, where a small False Creek ferry takes passengers to and from the Aquatic Centre, Granville Island and other stops around the harbour. There are several boats at this dock that have significant historic value. It was interesting to read the descriptions that are posted on each vessel...well worth a visit!

The North Star of Herschel Island is moored at the dock now. It is the last of the sailing Arctic fur trading ships, built in 1935 in San Francisco. She is rigged and ready to sail!