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A One Month Anniversary!

And what a month it has been, filled with adventure, excitement, frustration, and sometimes bewilderment. I can't remember who said it, but when I was being a wee bit negative, they reminded me that I wanted an adventure, and now you've got it! Indeed.

Is it possible to have too much stimulation? It feels that way sometimes; living beside the water, with the constant activity, not to mention the beautiful light, whether in the morning when the sea sparkles so,
or the sunsets that are, quite frankly, amazing.
At least during this time of the year, every single night, the sun drops over the Pacific and the clouds and water light up like they are on fire. In Florida, the winter sunsets are the best, however, from what I've been told, winter is dull and gray here, so although you may be tired of seeing sunset photos, come December, both of us will be crying for them! That said, Beth, one of the local girls who works with Bruce, claims that this winter is predicted to be a big improvement over last year when they actually had snow in Vancouver, a rarity.

When last we met, I was fixing to walk over to Bruce's office to meet with Beth and Kelly for the minor league baseball game. One of the good things happening is that Bruce is not bringing any of this home, leaving it in his office each night.
It has been quite a while now since Bruce has not worked from home, and we both think this arrangement is working out nicely. It is not, however, without its frustrations. Because the office is in a neighborhood adjacent to the only really sketchy part of town, he had to go through a bunch of hoops to arrange a secure parking spot. Just this morning he found someone else was looking for the same, and was using his new spot. Nonetheless, he is enjoying the office interactions, something he missed for the last six years working from home. Most days I pack him a lunch that he eats in their lunchroom, a term I am using loosely because it is so much more than a typical lunchroom.

We walked to Kelly's parking spot, and she drove us over to the park which is also in Vancouver, across False Creek. Whereas we live in downtown, this is also Vancouver without the gleaming towers. I find it so fascinating the way the clouds seem to meet the horizon.
Set in Queen Elizabeth Park, the ballpark was impeccable, and super busy for a Wednesday 1:00 game.
Surprising, and then again not surprising for Vancouver, they sell sushi at the games.
In my last post I mentioned the singing of O Canada at church and how it made me feel a little homesick. WELL, just hours later, The Star Spangled Banner was sung at the ballgame as they were playing a team from Boise, a farm team for the Colorado Rockies. The gentleman who sang it did a remarkable job, I might add. Then the whole team, called appropriately, Vancouver Canadians, led the crowd in singing O Canada.
Here's something you won't believe...while watching the scoreboard I saw the upcoming batter's name come up along with his hometown. Yup...Orlando, Florida!! If you are a long time Orlando area resident you will recognize his Dad's name...Greg Warmoth! Oh my, it is a small world.

We had a lovely time and in very good news, Kelly was happy to drive me home. One of the frustrations has been the high price of everything, which I'll be the first to admit, I did not anticipate. In fact, shame on me, but I pretty much knew nothing about this city, aside from the beauty, before agreeing to move here. Because we are still in the process of making this place a home, most days I have to buy things which is a constant reminder of those high prices along with the taxes on everything! Buying some stamps yesterday, maybe it shouldn't have, but it floored me that they charge tax even on postage stamps. That would be 12%. If that translated into good service, that is one thing, but the postal service is very hit or miss. I sent a birthday card to Alissa in Austin on August 4 and she received it on August 25!! The ladies at the post office were not in the least surprised to hear that, claiming it takes up to SEVEN days for mail to get around Vancouver.

So, what does that have to do with Kelly you ask? Well, she is the second person I talked to this past week who drives across the border for shopping and gasoline because, even with the exchange rate not in their favor, it is still far less expensive. That little anecdote just to show you it is not only me that thinks it is crazy expensive here. $6.00 a gallon for gas anyone?

On the other hand, during this past month we have made great strides in learning both how to get around, and how and where to shop. Just yesterday I got it into my head that I wanted to make a little corn and potato chowder with chorizo and poblano peppers. I knew right away that I needed to go to Urban Fare to make that happen, so I walked along the sea wall to get there. Pretty isn't it?
One thing I am really missing is my birdies. Think back to a blog post from a year ago and it would probably have included a bird of some kind. Here there are seagulls, and more seagulls. Can you believe how clear the water is in False Creek?
The only other bird, aside from ravens and pigeons that I've seen are these guys that I can't seem to identify from any of the birding sites. For sure, the shot is poor, but they walk fast.
Back to the overstimulation comment, daily it boggles my mind how many people are out on the water from morning and into the darkness of night.
Plus, all manner of watercraft. Another day I'll show you some folks on bicycle type boats. Crazy!

It must have been Tuesday, when I went down to Canada Place, that I walked back via Burrard, luckily coming across this place that I'd read about.
Facing W. Georgia, it barely stands out amongst the cars and high rises, but it is a very important church in Vancouver's history.
You may be aware the Vancouver was a gold rush town , benefiting greatly from the Canadian Pacific Railway. And look who had a part in it...
Just as many of our streets in Orlando are named for pioneers or influential folks from the past, the same holds true here in Vancouver. I took Cambie Street to Bruce's office, and I take Seymour all of the time. I found a plaque inside the church,
honoring Mr. and Mrs. Seymour! I love learning that kind of stuff. If I were to guess, most folks living in Vancouver have never given it a thought, but as a newcomer, I am thirsty for knowledge of this place where we have planted ourselves for a year. And it's been a month already! Actually, a month since moving into the condo beginning this adventure for real.

Speaking of Cambie Street, I came across this amazing water feature...
Because I was in a hurry to get to the office, I'll have to come back another day to take a better photograph.

One of my favorite times of the year has arrived and it seems as if I won't be able to attend most of the party. Say what? College football my friends, and ESPN does not broadcast in Canada! Using Apple TV I can watch CBS sports but that is the rival SEC channel that no ACC fan really wants to watch. Googling sports bars around us, I found one on Davie Street, thinking it was closer than it was. After dinner last evening we walked to Score on Davie to see if the huge Saturday game might be available there....FSU vs Alabama! One of the teams will start the season with a loss, and I sure hope it isn't FSU. Along the way we came across this water feature.
We walked along Beach for a while, turning right up the hill on Jervis, and do I ever mean "the hill"...yikes; I had to stop twice! The fellow there claims we should be good to go, and so, when we walk there on Saturday, we will definitely take a different route.

People keep asking if we are happy, and the answer is yes, however, I would be lying if I said we did not miss our comfortable and easy life in Orlando. Not to mention our friends and family. However, we are making memories that, never in my wildest dreams, would I have thought possible and that is worth any minor frustrations that we face. When we are old (!), we will look back on this time with joy. Early in the morning, the light on the bay is a pale blue that I just love seeing. I had to kind of laugh when I saw the name of this cargo ship in English Baby.
New Destiny? I think not, however, new adventure in our life, a resounding yes!

On to the next month...

yours truly,

Gail

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