Vancouver: Feels like home

Vancouver is where we say we are from, though we haven’t lived in the city for almost a decade. We were both born and raised in suburbs, and owned homes and raised our own family on the outskirts of town. For our last three years in the area, we lived right in the city looking over False Creek, and we adored the lifestyle this gave us. Whenever we’re in Vancouver, we walk or ride our bikes on one of the many seawalls and stop on the beach or at a seaside cafe, and reminisce about our old life.

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And here we are again. We are just coming to the end of a month-long house sit in a townhouse at the water’s edge, right across the inlet from our old condo, and about a 15-minute walk away from Granville Island.

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Our home comes complete with a very cool cat, William, who escorts us to his cat post to be rubbed all over and then waits for us to toss him his toy mice so he can scoop them out of the air with incredible speed and agility.

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We were also joined by a family of raccoons, which we have thankfully not seen since the first week of our stay.

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Two of the four babies plus mama that we had to discourage from hanging around.

We were sad that our rooftop patio ended up a bit different from what we expected (we were warned that there was a possibility the work would coincide with our visit, but we hoped otherwise).

IMG_20170708_112129589Oh, well. We probably would have spent too much time just hanging out up there, and not out and about as much, taking in whatever the city had on offer. Highlights below.

Car-free day on Main Street. This one was a little damp, but it didn’t stop the revelry. Since then, the weather has been amazing. We rode over to car-free day in the West End the next day.

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Many walks and rides to and through Granville Island. We found our names on the Trans Canada Trail sign from when our son, Kyle, contributed as a gift for us many years ago.

Drinks with friends Soren and Liana on their rooftop in Kerrisdale (good), interrupted by an odor of burning plastic, then falling ash, then the discovery of a dark smoke column when we peeked around the corner of the building. Just across the street from their place, a commercial building was engulfed in flames, and by the next morning was just a pile of rubble  (not so good).

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A drive to Steveston for a walk and lunch. We were barred from walking on one area of the docks due to filming (there is always filming in and around Vancouver–this time it’s the remake of Overboard).

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The beat of the drums on dragon boat festival weekend brought back memories of my own paddling (and Ken’s steering) days.

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Free Jazz Festival entertainment on the plaza in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, including a visit to the beer garden with friends Janet and Dom. We enjoyed more festival jazz another day while noshing lunch on the pier at Granville Island.

And the jazz continued with with my sister and brother-in-law and an evening at Frankie’s Jazz Club. (We enjoyed a couple other evenings with them that included great sushi and mediterranean food.)

Canada Day cycling the city, checking out Canada Place and the convention center, and some more jazz at David Lam Park.

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The view from the Vancouver Convention Center exhibition hall.

We ended the day with old and new friends in West Vancouver, partaking in a delicious potluck dinner while overlooking the water, and followed it up with a great view of the celebratory fireworks for Canada’s 150th birthday.

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Dining with Ken’s brother and sister-in-law, Michael and Gail, on their sailboat, which is moored about 250m, or a few-minute stroll, from where we are staying. We were joined by cousin-of-cousins Michael, and together we ruined a lot of great tunes.

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That’s the one!

Riding and walking the seawalls and seaside pathways, and hanging out on the beaches. Many, many times. Day and night.

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Visits with Ken’s Mom in West Vancouver, lunch with my Mom and sister at the townhouse, and a drive out to Langley to visit Aunt Norma.

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Coral, Norma, Ken, Marion (#badselfies)

Drinks on a nearby patio with an old friend (and a return visit on our own).

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Socializing with bogged-down-busy old friends the only way we could grab a slice of their time – by helping them out in their warehouse, schlepping boxes of slippers out of containers and onto pallets, ready for Costco deliveries. A few days of sore muscles and bruises followed.

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Photo credit: Shirley March

Khatsahlano festival in Kitsilano.

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Taking in some Latin vibes at Car Free Day on Commercial Drive (aka The Drive). All of the street festivals offered fun opportunities to check out the shops and restaurants, and see how these communities have changed over the last 10 years.

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And just enjoying the colours of the city, and the ocean smells and breezes.

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There is so much more we could do here, but it will have to wait until our return. Next up: 6 days in the woods on Vancouver Island outside of Victoria.

 

 

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