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B. C.

I know it sounds silly that I didn't do very much research before our move to British Columbia, thinking it would be pretty similar to the United States, however, I didn't. Who knew that they don't have pennies, rounding up the price? Not me. Nor do they have single dollars, instead using "loonies", a one dollar coin, as well as "toonies"; you get the picture. Nor did I know that you would need a lot of dollars to live here. We knew housing was a bunch, and thank God that is provided, however, everything else is a bunch as well. Sunday, while talking to a man at church, he said, "Didn't you know that B.C. actually stands for, bring cash or bring cards?" Why, no, we did not. Now we do!

That said, we are adapting, albeit, kicking and screaming. There is a lot to like here, including, or at least this Florida girl thinks so, seeing a mountain at the end of the street. This would be Richards Street which ends at the park beside the condo.
While on the subject of the park, I think I mentioned before that the folks and their dogs do pretty much whatever they please, including tossing their dogs into the water fountain, either for play, or to cool off, I'm not entirely sure.
The heat has been crazy here, not at all what I was expecting, that's for sure. But then again, neither were they because the temperatures have not been this warm since 1939 according to this article. The sad news for us is that we have no working air conditioning and haven't since we've been here. Perhaps I've mentioned that it will be another six weeks before it is fixed and surely by that time it will be cooler? Let's hope so because it is like a oven here, what with all the windows facing West and not a cloud in the sky. I've taken to going down to the park in the late afternoon when it is the worst. I don't usually sit in these benches because, frankly, with all of the dogs peeing everywhere, coupled with no rain for more than sixty days, it is just plain smelly, in spite of how lovely it looks.
Sunday evening I convinced Bruce to head downstairs and sit in the cool shade for an hour or two. The seawall is a never ending stream of people on the move.
In quite a few photographs of the waterway, you've probably noticed what looks like white sails in the corner of the park. You've seen this scene now many times, however, every day I notice something new and in this case it was the surface of the water just after sunrise. A boat had just passed this way, leaving not just a wake, but the circular ripples that form when the wake hits the seawall. It occurred to me that it was almost a metaphor for life, as the action of one boat sets off a reaction with other objects. More specifically I was thinking of people. Think about it...
Here's what you haven't seen yet:
The Great Blue Heron is a symbol used quite a bit around here as it represents the ability to progress and evolve in Native American culture. There has been very little wind here, however, a slight breeze showed that the wings of the above heron do move up and down. That aside, I've seen but one along the water since I've been here! They are so darn common in Florida, I've always pretty much taken them for granted. The same could hold true for all manner of things, however, I am happy to report, in spite of the outcome, that I can easily watch college football here because we get the ABC channel out of Seattle which is where Bruce is driving as I type. He's taking on a remodel project in Bellevue, just across the water from downtown Seattle. Although they have hired a new head of construction, he has yet to start; waiting on a new baby before they move to Vancouver.

Back to the condo, here's something kind of crazy. Well, aside from no air conditioning, but I digress. I was telling Matt how sometimes I feel like one of those folks on a cooking show that have to make do with what they have. In this instance it was having no griddle to make pancakes, however, that pan worked out just fine, as did the grates work as a cooling rack.
 What wasn't working out just fine was turning the oven off. Say what? Yes, you read that correctly. For the first two weeks I was going mad because I would set the temperature, which btw, only goes to 425, and then hit start. Sounds easy right? When whatever I was cooking was done, I would hit stop. Nothing happened. I hit stop again. And again. I invited Bruce to the party and he couldn't figure it out either. One time the oven was on, generating unwanted heat I might add, for 90 minutes after I was done using it because I could not figure out how to stop it, despite, hitting every button on the front I was so desperate.

And then, one day, I tried something new. I set the temperature, followed by setting the cooking duration time, and lo and behold, it worked!! Another small victory for the home team.

Friday evening we went to the pub named after Morrissey and it was fine. Not great, but fine. Located on Granville, the main entertainment drag, I suspect this street gets a whole lot busier, later in the night.
I had seen this sign at the corner of Granville and Drake in the daytime, and was happy to see it lit up at night.
We were too early for the live blues.

I'm slipping in another sunset photo because I can.
Honestly, I am whining about the heat--- above is the silver lining.

I spent Saturday, before football, of course, tidying up and doing laundry. I've been foraging!! Across the street, along the fenced construction site, these pretties are growing like mad. Why not?
Our orchid is doing beautifully, as are my other plants. Anything to make it more homey is what I say. You may be wondering about my non-existent sewing. Have no fear, it is just plain too hot right now, but today its gray and gloomy, at least so far, a harbinger of days to come when sewing will, once again, become my constant companion.

Aside from Bruce and Baxter that is. You might be surprised that Canadians celebrate Labor Day as well. I know I was. Wonder of wonders, Bruce took the day off! I had a plan. "Let's go to Lighthouse Park honey," to which he replied, "sure thing." Neither of us knew what we were in for! Crossing the Lionsgate bridge over to the North Shore, this time we turned left, heading to West Vancouver on Marine Drive. Lovely drive I might add. Luckily we easily found a parking space, something that looked to be crazy difficult when we left. I'd read enough to know that the walk to the lighthouse was a bit steep on pretty much a paved path through old growth forests.  Steep, but manageable.
Although the photo makes it look flat, I might have taken this heading down. Anyway, it was all very lovely and COOL! Eventually we made it to the lighthouse, however, you could not actually get close to it which was a disappointment.
I had seen photographs online and I knew there had to be a better view so we kept going, climbing up on these rocks for another look.
Not much, right? Onward, into the forest, along the West Beach trail. Here's a map of the trails should you be interested in following our journey.
Beautiful giant trees and a tiny trail in the midst of it all. Onward to West Beach...
where I could not see the lighthouse at all, at least from my vantage point on the rocks. Smooth, nice cool rocks. I did not, however, climb over to these rocks beside my perch.
I chatted with this couple, once they returned to where I was sitting, and the lady said she was not much of a hiker and when she saw folks in the parking lot with hiking boots she thought it was overkill. We both agreed it most certainly was NOT. A woman we chatted with told us that the mountains in the distance are Vancouver Island. Bruce, meanwhile did climb down to the water, not only to take a shot for me, but also to determine if what we saw in the water were seals. He says not, although they sure looked like it from a distance.
On the upper left what you are seeing is Vancouver, specifically where the University of British Columbia is located. Consulting the trail map, we decided to take the Shore Pine Trail back towards the parking lot. None of this was easy, I might add, but we were rewarded with some fantastic views. This photo is so very Vancouver...
These young ladies were sunning on the rock when we arrived. Young and fit are the operative words around here! Once they took off, I scooted over there myself..
Absolutely wonderful. After a bit we returned to what they call a trail, and let's just say, I am not a great hiker, especially when it looks like this and I am wearing my Keds.
As well as carrying my purse!
Who carries a purse on a hike? Me!! How else would I carry my camera and lens around?

Just when I thought the trail could not get any worse, we came to this area...
You might wonder where the trail is and you can imagine, we did as well! Oh my goodness! I will say it was a great feeling when the parking lot came into sight. On the other hand, it was also a great feeling to have done it, and wearing better shoes, I think we both might enjoy doing it again. We were so thankful that we did not have Baxter along! At one point, when I was struggling up some steep terrain, and holding someone up from blowing by me, I explained...Floridian at work, or as Bruce said, flatlanders. Indeed.

While in West Van, as the locals call it, we stopped to see another restaurant owned by Stan Fuller called Beach House. A lovely area as well.
Stan, for those of you who don't know, owns the company Bruce works for.

Baxter was fine and dandy when we returned and we spent the remainder of the day recuperating! Not really, we actually were just fine as well.

When I saw the moon look like this,
I actually thought it was reflecting the red of the sunset you see reflected on the left side building. Nope, the smoke has returned, this time blowing up from Oregon. Today it will be 87 degrees here, unheard of but a cool front is predicted this week. Hip hip hooray!

How is it even possible I could whine so much when our fellow Americans in Texas are suffering so? Plus, Irma! Please forgive my pettiness.

yours truly,

Gail
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