It is nice to be able to walk around a visit a place you like. On the last days of our Xmas trip, Graham and I got a chance to walk around Vancouver. We were downtown and in the West End, which is not a place I’ve ever spent a lot of time.
We got cha time bubble teas and went for a walk in Stanley Park. We ate legit Korean food and then went to H-mart to pick up dinner to eat on the plane ride home.
So we arrived in Vancouver for a two-week visit to the westcoast and found it snowy. Luckily it has mostly melted, so we can continue our tour: the city, Maple Ridge, Mission, Seattle, and Victoria.
On Dec 21 there is always a big multi-site solstice celebration in Vancouver, which is one of my favourite events. Professor Banjo and Hot Pluto Jazz trio played, and the grand finale was Urban Haida drum group accompanying fire dance. Perhaps 2017 will be the year I put together my hula hoop and acro-yoga skills and take up fire dancing.
Graham and I also took his parents and our youngest nieces on a tour of the Fraser Valley Eco Dairy. We learned about their bio-digester and methane fuel/compost production, as well as animal husbandry. Linnea was really interested in the robotic milker, and Jasmine was brave enough to let a cow lick her with a long, scrapey tongue.
So Hemlock House is now owned by some new residents. These folks wanted it less than a month after they made the offer, shortly after labour day weekend (today!). Graham was racing in Quebec, so I went back to empty it out and get it ready for the next folks.
I was really REALLY lucky to have a lot of help and support. Thanks so much to Bernie and Tom, Mom and especially Dad who made 2 trips into the city, Jordan (aho also made two trips to clear out furniture!), Raynn-Beau and Adam who took the bulk of the heavy kitchen items. Biggest thanks to David, who not only packed and cleared out, but also drove the UHAUL moving van full of furniture to Victoria for Elizabeth. It actually turned into a pretty fun weekend, all things considered!
Farewell Hemlock House! It was a good little apartment and we had a lot of good times and fun parties there. We’ll be back for X-mas, and have already found airbnb new hemlock house across the street. It even has a pine outside the window (maybe a certain raccoon lives there now?)
Word of the Day
Saudade is a Brazilian Portuguese word for a sad but sweet nostalgia. Thievery corporation has a bossa nova song to articulate the feeling. So apt(artment)!
The Real Estate Market in Vancouver has been an international hot topic for some time now, with major articles in the the Walrus, the New York Times, and the Globe and Mail. Prices ramped up leading up to the Olympics and never settled; the situation has made living in the city unaffordable for median income families and vacancy rates are way under 1%.
Not everyone worked for a dot com in the year 2000, but everyone should know a bubble can’t last forever. So, since we don’t spend that much time there, we elected to sell our beloved corner penthouse apartment, Hemlock House. We didn’t buy low, so the least we can do is sell high. Here’s to cashing in!
Interested in buying? Here’s the listing. More photos taken by our Team Canada realtor buddy Chris.
The big ponderosa pines outside our Vancouver apartment have a surprising amount of urban wildlife. We’ve seen raptors eating smaller creatures, crow nestlings, and hoards of finches. This week we had a new visitor: and adult racoon who sleeps in the crows nest during the day. The crows were initially not thrilled and spent a long time yelling at thim, but then they flew off to start over in another tree and he is now in the nest during the day several days per week (I presume the other days are spent at his girlfriend’s place, but they are not yet ready to move in together full time). The photo isn’t fantastic, but you can see his little ears and stripey tail bulging out over the small nest like he was Maru the kitty.
While visiting my Mom and Dad in Mission I went out to Steelhead to hike the Hayward Reservoir trail. Things were really quiet since they are doing seismic upgrades to the dam (good idea!); the quietness meant there were all kinds of animals out and about in the forest.
One of the first animals I saw was the most charismatic – an owl ripping up a rodent (who was animal #2). I think it was a snowy owl, since it was quite big. He chomped up his snack and then silently flew off to another tree.