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No Matter the Weather

There is certainly a lot to like about Vancouver, however, at this time of the year, the weather is not one of those things. That said, getting out is important to me, so no matter the weather, I'm going somewhere. As was the case on Friday when the forecast was meant to be sunny, at least for a little bit of the day. Dressing in the style I'm becoming accustomed to, I used the useful transit app Matt had me install on my phone. I walked two blocks to the bus stop, and within minutes I was riding instead of walking.
My destination? The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, a place that I noticed when we were driving into the city for the very first time on that July evening some four months ago. The app told me which bus to take, followed by what the walking route to get there. Once I got off the bus, I was so delighted to look down Granville towards downtown and see the snow capped mountains. Seriously, it is just fantastic. Either water or mountain views everywhere you look, as you will soon see.
Above there is some light, however, it was intermittent at best! I walked a few blocks in a beautiful residential area of the city, filled with beautiful homes and trees surrounded by puddles of fall leaves.
It was a lovely, peaceful walk..
Visiting a botanical gardens in November is maybe not ideal, however, I've been wanting to go there for ages, and now that I had my nerve up as to the bus, why not?
The curvy roof is a living one, and inside it looks like this. I so love how they use curved wood here.
I was prepared for few floral displays, but what I was not anticipating was the myriad of workers who were everywhere setting up for this big event. 
A light drizzle began which was okay, however, in a dumb move on my part, trying to match my outfit, I wore some loafers with my tights, rather than my waterproof shoes. The loafers actually are okay with getting wet, however, they are not okay with keeping my feet warm. Meandering with cold feet is either for fools or well, I don't know what else to call myself.

Here's one reason to go in the Autumn; I only wish I'd gone a few weeks earlier, as I suspect the display was fantastic!
These are some super cool flowers I came across, a Strawberry Tree!
And just what do you think this fellow was doing beside the Totem Pole area?
If you guessed cleaning up a film set, you would be correct! They are literally everywhere.

Wandering around, this explains how the gardens came to be, a move that could certainly be implemented in Orlando, what with all of our golf courses.
There are all manner of themed gardens including this display from the Japanese Gardeners Association.
A very large garden so getting lost is not so hard. Fortunately, they give you a map, and I did my best to follow it. Although I knew there would be few blooms I went to the formal rose garden with busts surrounding the beds, including this one.
It is very easy to forget that so many names we readily say have a person behind them. Douglas Fir in this instance.

I'm wondering where to go next with my cold feet and all, when what do I see but an older woman with a massive camera on a tripod pointed at a tree. You can bet I sidled right up to her, striking up a conversation, during which time...a hummingbird appeared!!!
Good golly, Miss Molly! I've rarely seen a hummingbird, so I know you know how excited I was. This kind woman shared all sorts of info on birding places to go. In my excitement, the photo below did not turn out great; with the sun peeping through, when the Anna's hummingbird did something (I'm no expert), the head turned this incredible shade of hot pink!
It happened so fast, and there were no second chances. You get the idea anyway. I told the woman that I'd just talked to my husband, who was driving back from Seattle, and he told me he'd just passed a field with thousands of white birds. Identifying them as Snow Geese, she told me where they could be found closer to home. Hmmm...

Walking back from the bus stop I marveled once again at the beautiful things I am seeing everywhere I go. Although I took a photo of this house on my way, I was so focused on the tree (see above) across the street, that I did not even notice the cool hedges. Then too, this shows how people rake their leaves here, onto a tarp that they tie up like a bundle.
It was a miracle when, later in the day, around two hours before sundown (4:25PM), there was, once again, light in the condo. So thrilling I had to take a photograph of the event!
Sunshine!! Shadows!! On the ironing board is a bright corduroy skirt I made as well as the makings of a blouse to match. Ha ha....look at my blouses in the closet! More shoes than clothes is what I have. :)

Saturday morning, Bruce, having finished all of his work by Friday evening, was ready to do some exploring as well. Although I was dying to see the Snow Geese, the weather was gray and gloomy, and since B had just driven back from Seattle, it didn't seem fair to ask him to make another drive, albeit many miles less. Our first order of business was to return the tree to Home Depot. During the week I realized it was just too large, not to mention it would need way too many ornaments. That done, we found the nearest Michael's and purchased a skinny tree, ornaments and a tree topper which we put together late Saturday. Never have we put up a tree so early, and for that matter, never have we had a fake tree,  but the bright lights help dispel some of the darkness. Baxter, once it was decorated, decided he liked it as well. When I said skinny, I really meant skinny!
Following the tree purchase we drove around Kitsilano, where when we turned a corner, this was our view.
Seeing our Florida license plate, one thing I've noticed here is there are very few, and I do mean very, different license plates. In Orlando we are so accustomed to seeing all manner of state plates, it has kind of surprised me. No doubt Bruce's car is the only Florida plate in the city!

Driving along Marine Drive, we stopped at the beach, such as it is.
Spoken by a true Floridian, right?

Around the bend, it was even less like a beach. The weather, as you can tell was chilly, chilly. Nevertheless, we carried on. The next beach entry point was even less like a beach. Sometimes only a black and white photo will suffice.
However, there was a lovely little waterfall that provides the water you see pooling amongst the rocks shown above.
We kept exploring, coming across this sign.
All the more remarkable when you actually see what this "clothing optional" beach looks like!
I tried, unsuccessfully, I might add, to imagine naked folks lounging on all these rocks!

Driving up the hill, we arrived at the University of British Columbia, a sprawling campus set high upon a hill, oceanside.
The buildings range from this kind of architecture,
to quite the opposite. Never far from our thoughts, this spoke to me because Bill and Dave both have economics degrees.
I don't know why, but both Bruce and I were surprised to learn the student body size is similar to that of UCF.

Traveling back down the hill, we made our way to 4th Ave to find a place to eat. A myriad of contenders, made the choice difficult, until we found ourselves parked adjacent to Romer's, where the aroma convinced us to head on in. Bruce ordered some cauliflower "wings" that were fantastic.
Everything was super tasty, the atmosphere cozy, and finishing it off with donuts served with a trio of dipping sauces made for a memorable lunch.
Baxter was delighted that we finally came home! He has been hanging around in the new sweater Bruce bought him, that is until he wets it. In that department, let's just say there is some improvement.
Sunday, oh rainy, rainy Sunday! Walking to church and back convinced me that rain boots are an absolute necessity here, after our leather boots got absolutely soaked down to our socks! The afternoon: hot cocoa, fire in the fireplace, and a funeral service for a police officer killed in the line of duty made for a uniquely Canadian experience.  Broadcast throughout BC, the funeral, all two hours, was televised in its entirety.

Yesterday was meant to be a little sunny, with the operative word here being little, with rain for the rest of the foreseeable future. No matter the weather, I'm vowing to get myself out!

yours truly,

Gail




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