Friday, December 1, 2017

And The Sky is Grey

Whereas you were becoming accustomed to opening this little spot on the internet and finding gorgeous color, that is largely a thing of the past as the days, one after another, are mostly gray and rainy. That, however, is not keeping me home, only inconvenienced. I hate to admit how stubborn I oftentimes am, but it is the truth. More often than not, I think, I don't want to carry an umbrella if I don't need it, when, of course, I should have one with me every day. Mind you, it does not rain hard, mostly spits cold rain, covering my glasses with water spots when I'm behaving in the above manner.

In any case, I've managed to find bits of color here and there.

Shall we begin? Following Auburn's defeat of Alabama (!), we walked over to see what CandyTown in nearby Yaletown was all about. Booths with local goods were lined up along Mainland, with characters roaming about, a horse drawn wagon, live entertainment, and food trucks. Mostly it was not raining, much to our delight. Sadly we missed the live ice carving.
Walking to church on Sunday was fine, leaving, not so much with rain pouring down. Nevertheless, we made our way to Nordstrom where I finally got boots that are not only waterproof, but have a zipper as well. I left the building wearing them. We roamed a bit through the mall, followed by a walk down Robson in search of a new ball cap for Bruce. Then, miraculously, it quit raining, and while we were eating lunch, lo and behold, there was some blue in the sky, albeit about an hour before sundown. I will take what I can get!
Monday morning Bruce left for four days in Seattle and I took the previously purchased boots back to Nordstrom, followed by a little roaming around. It is what I do when I don't want to hang around the condo. Looking down Granville I saw the snow capped mountains, but by the time I actually walked down there, mostly they were hidden by the clouds.
I decided to walk down Water Street through Gastown where we were first going to live. It is the oldest part of Vancouver and the street is lined with both shops for locals, and tourists alike. Also, it is the home to a steam powered clock which whistles at intervals. I read a fascinating story about the man who built it, almost having a nervous breakdown in the process!
Going up one block, turning right on to Cordova, well, this is sure a familiar site to all of us now, isn't it?
I suppose the reason I run into these film shoots nearly every day is because downtown Vancouver is not really that large. Not long after I took this, the rain began in earnest so home I went for lunch.  Normally, at this time of year, I am immersed in making gifts and everything else that goes with Christmas, however, this year there will be no homemade gifts from this gal. I admit it feels quite strange, but I guess everything else does as well, so why not Christmas? 

Because there are only a little more than eight hours of daylight, I do like to make the most of them when at all possible. Around two in the afternoon, I put on my raincoat and took to the seawall, heading to Stanley Park. I don't know much about seagulls, perhaps I should investigate, but I do know there are two types here, this tannish one,
and the one I am more familiar with, white, grey, and black; both of them are plentiful and large!
As to the temperature, mostly in the low 40's everyday so not too bad. Talking to my sister Maureen along the way she was amazed I was not cold, but I explained again how the same temperature here feels entirely different than it does in Florida. Why that is remains a mystery to me.

I am becoming more familiar with Stanley Park, so taking a little short cut I've learned, I headed for the birds, coming across this beauty along the way. I can't recall seeing a Great Blue Heron with the feathers extended like this one.
Seeing my camera, a man pointed out an area under the bridge that beavers have dammed, although he said I'd have to be there early to see them in action. Perhaps if it is not raining one morning I will do just that! A darling little birdie on one leg...love those chest feathers that look like triangles!
Nancy called as well during my walk, although I had to set the phone aside for a moment to take a photograph of this cool mushroom that looks as if a little troll should be nearby!
There was this tree covered with, well, I don't know what it is, but I explained to Nancy that it was a dusty rose. Color, my friends! Celebration time!
I hate to be out without a phone that works, however, I was in danger of mine going dead until Nancy explained to me about how to put it on low power. When Matt and Tom arrive I'm getting some technical tutorials that's for sure!

I'd been hoping to see some Wood Ducks and I got my wish.
Walking further around Lost Lagoon, there is a clear view of the West End and some of downtown.
Rain began again as I walked back home along the seawall. I was happy to see a tiny bit of color in the sky...
Why I would explore another area in the rain is beyond me, but I did come across this interesting sign;
Holy Cow, they aren't kidding!! BTW, the photo below is not shot in black and white..
Grey sky, wet trees, and there you go.

One of the things Maureen asked me is if I know the city well by now; downtown, I'm pretty good at, however, there are loads of other cool places I've yet to explore. The next day, in spite of the rain, I took a bus to Main Street, getting off near the Science Center. Not too many folks out along the stretch I explored, however, I did see a film set behind these buildings which I suspect this car belonged to.
Further I came across what turns out to be the main train station.
A lovely old building inside where I learned you could take a train to Seattle, or Portland, should you care to.
Before long the rain began coming down in earnest,
and because I'd been stubborn by not bringing an umbrella, I searched and found the bus stop to take me back home. This excursion will have to wait for another day.

A good many of the museums and such are very expensive here, but I found one nearby that is not, the Roedde House which I walked to in the rain one afternoon. Many of the what they call "Heritage" homes were torn down in the West End, but this, along with a handful of others was not.
Two items of interest to me were this sewing nook by the window,
and the girls room that displayed a nursing diploma from St. Paul's Hospital, the one I showed all lit up in my last post.
Apparently this was a big deal for a woman to have a profession in those days, and nursing turned out to be a dangerous one for the daughter of the family as she was killed by a deranged patient when she was 28 years old. Amazing! There were other interesting things I learned, including the fact that at one time there was a large pier in English Bay, somewhat like the one we saw in Brighton, England.

Another Heritage home in the West End all lit up for Christmas, taken at around 4 in the afternoon.
In spite of another rainy day yesterday I walked downtown to find the city Christmas tree which is to be lit tonight. I hope we can go and witness it before heading to church for a Christmas carol sing-a-long. In the midst of building it yesterday morning, I hope they are done by tonight.
Finally, another Christmas tradition in Vancouver, a free ice skating rink opens today. All ready to go yesterday when I took this shot.
I'm pretty sure I won't be participating, never having been on ice skates before!

If my phone weather app is to be trusted, the weather report is promising for next week. There are several of those little yellow balls that represent the sun. Hallelujah!

Let December begin.

yours truly,

Gail

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