Monday, October 30, 2017

Almost Too Pretty to be True

So reminding me of the, almost garish, yellow of our Tabebuia trees back home that I love like crazy.
I believe the above is actually a Gingko tree, but don't quote me on that. Bruce tells me that the end of this gorgeous display is nearly over, but I don't want to believe him just yet. That said, I did see a little snowflake on my phone for later in the week when I checked the upcoming forecast. Yikes!!

In the meantime, I am loving every minute of it, and as last week's adventures show, I am taking advantage of the weather while I can. But, there are still real-life things to accomplish, one of which is me finally getting a haircut. Although Bruce has had several haircuts, and even Baxter has had one, I'd been gun shy, mostly because there are seemingly endless choices of salons. In about a two block stretch in Yaletown, I think I counted fifteen or more! Finally, a neighbor said she'd gone to the Aveda salon on Homer Street near Robson, so taking that cue, I made an appointment. Actually, I called in the morning, and they said they could see me at 4:30. No turning back now! For nearly ten years Monica is the only one who has done my hair, so I was a tad nervous, but needn't have been, because Enid, (her English name) was a delight, even allowing me to take her photo for before and after shots.
Enid moved here with her parents from Taiwan, speaking very little English. Her parents eventually returned to Taiwan, wanting her to do so as well, however, with her parents help, she lives downtown and has no intention of leaving. She washed my hair in a dim room, put hot towels on my neck, massaged my scalp, you name it. The one thing she did not do is use any product which was a little surprising, but given that I don't at home, why bother?
She thinned out as much as she cut off the bottom, and I am now get-to-go for several months! Woo hoo! Because I was most of the way there, I went over to Georgia Street to buy some comfy sole inserts at Hudson's Bay for Bruce. Although I'd seen this little alleyway in the daytime, at night, now that's a different story altogether.
I've rarely been out at night, however, the days are getting noticeably shorter, and what with daylight savings time ending this weekend, we sure will be out in the dark in the upcoming months.

Back in the daylight...more trees at the park.
Bruce returned from Seattle in the early afternoon and I had a plan. Let's walk along the seawall to the Cactus Club, another restaurant chain owned by one of the Fuller brothers. We'd yet to go since arriving, so with such spectacular weather, the timing was right. Nearly all of the restaurants in town have Happy Hours from like 3-6, so my plan was to arrive during that time and stay until at least sunset. Along the way, of course, there was both people and leaf watching. The AIDS memorial...
When I took this photo, I did not even notice the turquoise hammock strung between trees. I'm not the only one who was taking a photograph either.

The sun was warm, but I'm not so sure about wearing a bathing suit, with the straps pulled down, no less, in 50ish degree weather.
Sunset watching is taken very seriously here in Vancouver...
Walking home along Beach Street, this park sculpture now makes more sense to me. Called "The Engagement Rings", having seen it only in the daytime, I had no idea there were lights involved.
Saturday morning I had a few errands to complete, one of which took me along Seymour Street. The red trees! What can you say?
Generally, we need to walk through the park to get where we are going, not a bad thing, that's for sure. For weeks now, I've been watching, from the balcony, as these trees change color. Maybe I should actually say, the tops of these trees.
At any rate, they are looking pretty darn great now, aren't they? I wonder what more is in store? Seeing this scene street level, I had an idea. I'd had B take my photograph amongst the park flowers some months ago, making a summer shot. Remember, this adventure is all about the seasons. Not the Florida seasons, which I've deemed, "greater" and "lesser summer," the real seasons. As soon as he got home from the office I dragged him back down to take my photograph amongst the park trees.
New glasses, new shirt, and new hair. Leaves aplenty!


Does this man look like a super salesman to you?
Last weekend he drug us into a shop on Robson that sells skin care stuff. I am the world's laziest woman when it comes to that sort of thing, however, Tony convinced us that a product they sold would work wonders, and we need use it but once a week. Plus, it came with a facial for the two of us. I don't know if wonders are occurring this very minute, but the facial he did on me was nice while this sweet young Russian woman did one on Bruce.
Apparently, just as most nail techs, not all of course, but most, are from Viet Nam, loads of Russian girls work in the beauty department. At least that's what she told us.  (I took these while lying on my back and I'm astonished they even came out!) Try as he might, Tony was unsuccessful at getting us to buy another thing!

We were hoping to meet up with a friend, Carol, who was having a weekend in Vancouver, from the Seattle area, so we began our walk towards the hotel where they were staying. We had yet to take Robson all the way to Stanley Park, but now we have. The West End is full of surprises, like this hotel sign which I'm assuming has been here awhile.
There are lots of cute shops nestled amongst the hotels, and lots of fancy cars. This tree!!
Bruce had been over on the North Shore earlier in the week and told me the trees along Georgia Street were spectacular, and although I'd seen some further south, and they were good, this batch was outstanding!!
So thrilling seeing yet another part of the city that I'd yet to explore. Oh my goodness, now here's a water feature for you!
Sadly, in our rush to leave, I'd left my phone at home. Bummer! Bruce called the hotel, but whether or not they relayed the message, we've no idea, but the meet up did not happen. While we were awaiting her call, we saw this place, and who would want to forgo a visit when given the chance?
Bar  Grill View.....they sure have that right. We sat at the bar, which, of course, had to be photographed ASAP to send to our son Bill who is plum crazy for lit onyx. We had a lovely chat with the two woman seated next to us. A daughter who'd brought her Mom into the city from nearby Abbotsford for her 70th birthday.
Before we parted ways she said it was lovely to meet us, surprised that we were nice Americans, or something to that effect. :)

We made our way uphill, taking lefts and rights, and lo and behold, we came across the Chihuly glass lit up!
That was awesome, as was the fact that we came across the Rolex store. I know what you are thinking...however, we are not that rich; twelve years ago Bruce was given a Rolex by Blaine Sweatt at Darden, for doing exceptional work. He had only just said, maybe two days earlier, that he needed a link removed in the band. Mission accomplished!
By now, as you can plainly see with your own two eyes, darkness prevailed, and the city, particularly Robson Street, came alive with lights. Oh my!
I can hardly wait to see what it looks like come Christmas time!!

First things first though. Autumn, how I love thee.

yours truly,

Gail

Friday, October 27, 2017

I've Been Out Walking

Because Bruce had been mostly home for three days, when he went to the office early Monday morning, I felt a little out of sync. In spite of the fact that it was gray and gloomy, instead of just sitting at home, I decided to take a walk. My plan was to walk along the seawall, up Denman Street and over to Robson to have my glasses tightened up a bit. I never did make it to the glasses store.
I am like a kid in a candy store, I just can't get enough of the autumn colors! Although I did my best to edit down the amount of photographs in this post, it wasn't easy as there are just so many things that cause me to put my camera up to my face. Seriously, I just can't help it.

Even the gloomy weather does not stop folks from getting out on the water.
On a gray day the beaches somehow seem a little more appealing than they did during the summer. I'm now accustomed to the big logs on the beach, and truth be told, it really is a brilliant idea, giving folks a place to sit without having to bring along chairs. Then there are the plentiful seagulls who have found resting spots on the rocks.
This fellow was gathering stones to make his own inukshuk, adding to all the others folks have made.
Whatever the weather, folks are strolling along the seawall.
The red tree in the distance caught my attention, however, I thought to myself, Gail, that's a little too far out of the way, so stick to your plan. Ha ha...as you will soon see, I did not listen to myself.

I did turn onto Denman Street, however, I then began wondering if all the side streets ended at  the water. Obviously, I did not consult the map inside my backpack, instead,  just kept shooting pictures, walking down whatever street caught my fancy. Seeing the yellow trees from one street, I took a little pathway over to Barclay, a street I'd yet to explore.
Following the lovely residential street, I came across some stone steps at the end. Continuing down the steps, lo and behold, I found myself in Stanley Park!
Although I saw the sign stating it was Stanley Park Lost Lagoon, I still asked a woman who was sitting on a park bench. Her husband arrived and I suppose, seeing my camera, they felt comfortable asking if I would take their photo under the lovely trees. Why, I'd be happy to! Instead of going back up those steps, I took the man's advice, continuing along the pathway. He mentioned a lovely bridge, which I saw. He did not mention the ducks and raccoons I saw in a pond. See how good I'm being, no shots of either!

Holy Cow is the park beautiful this time of year, with towering trees filled with yellow, orange, and red leaves. An autumn wonderland. I passed Second Beach, a rhododendron garden, as well as hoards of high school students, presumably on a field trip. I followed the path along the sea,
eventually ending up back on Beach and that amazing red tree that I earlier thought looked too far to walk.
Two months ago I could have never walked this far, however I've become accustomed to walking and when there is so much to see, it is a real pleasure. I'd photographed this cool hotel in the summer but wasn't keen on my output. This time, with the burning bush turning all red, I like it much better.
This is one of two women that I'd seen earlier before my detour in the park. Her friend is across the street, where I am, having her picture made amongst the foliage. I saw a lot of that!
My feet were good, having worn the walking shoes Bruce bought me two months ago, however, by the time I got back to the condo it was the middle of the afternoon and I was starving! Plus, Baxter shouldn't be left to his own devices for too long.

They say on a clear day you can see forever, and while that may not always be true, Tuesday it sure was. I've raved about seeing the mountains from the balcony before, but I'm not sure if it gets any better than seeing two snow capped mountains, blue sky and water, plus autumn leaves. What do you think?
Yup, Tuesday was beautiful. It is astonishing how different the temperature feels from Florida. I believe it was in the mid 50's, however, it felt really good, whereas I'd be complaining if I were at home. This day I stuck to my errand which was a trip to DressSew to buy a twin needle for hemming knits. Perhaps you are sick of me going on and on about the layers of a city but I just can't help myself. So much to see and when there is elevation involved it is even more pronounced.
Since it was such a lovely day I decided to go back to where we began this journey, along Coal Harbor, walking past the Pan Pacific where we spent our first few days. This area of town is crawling with tourists and I suspect this is the only part of Vancouver that they see, as was true for me when I was a tourist here.
The difference between then and now is that I know what I am looking at! I had no clue back then that I was looking at Stanley Park and the North Shore, not to mention the infamous Lionsgate bridge.
I'd never made my way all along Coal Harbor before, but now I have.
Making my way back towards home, I was ever so glad there are steps along Jervis Street as it is a steep uphill climb otherwise.
Yet another sunny day yesterday, but it began looking like this which confused me. It was so remarkable looking (photo does not do it justice), that even my next door neighbor was out on his balcony doing the same as I was.
Again, I took to the streets, this time with no plan in mind, however, that changed soon enough. I decided to walk across the Burrard Street bridge that you have seen many times before. Well, then, a lovely view unfolded below. So, the very seawall I walked on earlier in the week from above.
Here was my destination once I crossed over.
Just like back home, Vancouver is made up of neighborhoods, each having their own character. Kitsilano was once known as a "hippie haven." While I saw no hippies during my walk, I did see that it looks like it is a fun place to be.
Again I was parsing things down, not showing you the colorful homes I saw, instead focusing on the parks. I was as pleased as punch when I noticed a Great Blue Heron in the top of this tree. Taking them so for granted at home, as they are so plentiful, it is remarkable finding one here.
Remember that funky sky from earlier, here are the remnants of it about 11 in the morning.
I came across a pond, filled with ducks, and over time Canadian Geese, who then made their way back on shore.
Walking around this pond, I listened to the shrieking crows, who managed to scare away most of the little birds I saw, but not all of them.
As I mentioned in another post, when the weather is good, Vancouver is a gorgeous place to be.
Standing here I had to make a decision whether to take the ferry back across the water, or keep walking. I chose to keep walking. You have seen this rooftop countless times in the sunset photos I've shown you. What both you and I are just learning is that it belongs to the Museum of Vancouver, located in Vanier Park.
How's that for a water feature?

So, where was the seawall going to take me? Granville Island, that's where. Along the way...
The above, my friends is the Burrard Bridge I walked across. Following the path, under the Granville Bridge, there are colorful buildings to go along with the colorful foliage.
On and on she went, Gail that is, finally walking on the other side of the houses on barges you've seen countless times. Called, Seaside Village, there are fourteen adorable homes on the water. Between two of them, you can see "our" park, otherwise known as George Wainborn, and our building. Look up about twenty floors and you'll see our balcony.
Remarkably, there are four days of pure sunshine predicted, so who knows where my feet will take me during that time. Two of those days I'll have my honey with me. I've been told that it rains every single day in November, but wouldn't it be something if that were not the case this year?

It all seems a bit surreal to me at times. How did we get this lucky?

yours truly,

Gail

Limping Along