Category Archives: Vancouver

Seen around Vancouver

Heron by the Vancouver Rowing Club
Heron by the Vancouver Rowing Club

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.

The best collection of totems, complete with interpretive signs!
The best collection of totems, complete with interpretive signs!

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.

The Red Cedar Man gave the canoe to the people
The Red Cedar Man gave the canoe to the people
Crazy manufacturing welding sculpture
Crazy manufacturing welding sculpture
What if you have 2 astrovans but only have a motorcycle parking spot.
What if you have 2 astrovans but only have a motorcycle parking spot.
From the other angle
From the other angle
The Seawall!
The icy Seawall!
Graham's modeling shots
Graham’s modeling shots

Snow in Vancouver

Snow on the palm trees!
Snow on the palm trees!

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.

Unicorn and dino in the audience of a mummers play
Unicorn and dino in the audience of a solstice mummers play

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.

MyY solstice favourite, the outdoor (shirtless!) fire dance
My solstice favourite, the outdoor (shirtless!) fire dance

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.

A visit to the EcoDairy in Abbotsford with nieces!
A visit to the EcoDairy in Abbotsford with nieces!

Emptying Hemlock House

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All cleared out!

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.

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There was some visiting too! Family and friends helped out.

 

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Empty apartment selfie on the last day with Dad and David

 

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!

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Don’t forget the bike and the storage locker! There was so much to do upstairs, I was a little afraid I’d get distracted and forget the basement storage locker. Not pictured: the dank spider breeding facility that was the storage locker.

 

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What if you have a bunch of ceramic stuff and no packing paper? If it’s Thursday, you hit up a Georgia Straight news box.

 

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When you clean out a fridge and kitchen, there is a LOT of recycling to be done.

 

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The piles of stuff were amazing. I think each box must have been shuffled and moved at least 4 times.

 

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Dad taking a break from loading and packing

 

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Cupboards cleared and cleaned. Teapot was the last thing to get used and packed.

 

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What does an apartment look like after you’ve cleared it all out? I left some mercy toilet paper for the new folks who may need to ‘go’ before they unpack.

 

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David helped out with the final clear-out

 

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Bed frame disassembly – getting closer!

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?)

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I will miss this view.      🙁

 

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)!

 

Farewell, Hemlock House

Vaulted and bright
Vaulted and bright

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.

Pet Racoon

Taking a day nap in a crow's nest
Taking a day nap in a crow’s nest

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.

Forest buddies

What?  A forest stump googley eye renovation
What? A forest stump googley eye renovation

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.

This imposing cedar stump looking down on trailgoers
This imposing cedar stump looking down on trailgoers

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.

The McMouseRib is back!
The McMouseRib is back!
Here he is looking around.  Sorry, my phone doesn't take very clear photos.
Here he is looking around. Sorry, my phone doesn’t take very clear photos.
Let me just zoom in and sharpen that image up a little, CSI-style.
Let me just zoom in and sharpen that image up a little, CSI-style.