Monday, January 29, 2018

Six Months!

I would be the first to admit that during these months in Vancouver I feel as if I am living in a bit of a bubble. Rarely do I even know the date, so it came as a bit of surprise discovering this morning that six months have elapsed since we arrived on July 29, 2017. Doesn't it seem as if were not that long ago that I was writing this post? Now that was fun to re-read that post! I was wrong, the building I photographed was not ours. Terribly sad to read about Baxie..

So, what do we think six months later? We do love the city, but this weather, yikes! I also read in that post that I was bound and determined that I would not complain, so we'll leave it at that.

Every day last week, in both rain and weak sunshine, I made myself go out and about, not wanting to sit in the condo alone while Bruce is at the office. I visited places both familiar, and not so familiar. More often than not, I began my walk when it was not raining, finishing them when it was. One morning I saw that the rain was meant to hold off until 10, so I left at 8. Dreary, yes, rain, no.
I've mentioned it before but it bears repeating; every afternoon, about a half hour before sunset, hundreds of crows fly by our windows on their way to their overnight roost in Burnaby. Now I've seen where some of them hang out in the daytime.

Reading somewhere how we are often more apt to celebrate the novel, and that paying attention to the ordinary can be worthwhile as well, this large group of pigeons reminded me of that sentiment.
So much for the forecast because by 8:30 AM it was raining while I was walking to Stanley Park where I saw my very first daffodils of the season.
There are other winter flowers that I'll be posting soon; very exciting indeed.

Gray skies make for a blank canvas behind these unoccupied heron's nests.
As I walked, looking for signs of new life in my surroundings, the rain pattered loudly on my pretty umbrella. Eventually I remembered something a person told us, that if you get under a Douglas Fir tree you will stay mostly dry. I wish I could remember who gave me this advice because I would thank them indeed!
After a while I knew it was time to hit the seawall and go home for lunch. You will be happy to know that my feet were warm and dry throughout.
I bought the latest National Geographic the following day and was interested to learn that they are deeming this the "year of the bird." Isn't every year, "the year of the bird?"
One of the big differences between Orlando and Vancouver, as far as the weather is concerned, is that here it rains all night long and well into the next day, maybe quitting here and there, more likely closer to sunset, such as it is this time of year. We are used to lots of rain, but it is generally the "fast and furious" type, unlike here where it goes on for hours. Well, days, for that matter.

Having said that, it was a somewhat dry start to another day last week and I decided to walk across the Cambie Street bridge, a first for me.
So far, so good. One thing I love seeing here is the darling young children in their weather gear. So cute!
From the apex of the bridge I pointed my camera North to get a shot of the city, the streets running between all those towers which have now become very familiar. Homer, Hamilton, Richards, Nelson, Cambie, Helmcken, Pacific, and others are, at least for now, etched in my mind.
The rain held off as I came to the other side of the bridge,
but not for long. I crossed a few streets, wandered around in the Winners on Cambie, before heading back over the bridge to walk to Costco for a few things. Mostly butter. :)

It was raining cats and dogs when I walked back outside with the wind whipping my umbrella around like nobodies business. Needless to say, by the time I returned to the condo, I was relieved to be indoors.

Now, where should I go? It must have been Friday morning that it actually wasn't raining, nor even threatening to do so, allowing me to set off free from worry. This time I walked over the Burrard Street bridge on the newly opened pathway.
Sweet heavenly sunshine!!! Here's how some folks live in Vancouver,
while, sadly, others live like this.
My destination was the Museum of Vancouver to see what I could see. Mostly I was interested in the Neon signs from the past. Here's a bit of an explanation for the exhibit:
And here's a few of those signs.
From the neon sign controversy, to any other cause you can think of, another exhibit explores that theme. There was a large screen set up in the middle of the room with shots from the Vancouver Sun spanning decades of protests. Apparently, affordable housing, or the lack thereof, is nothing new in these parts.
Here's a protest that surprised me, although I don't know why it would.
Very interesting that they passed a bylaw about this because one thing we've noticed while we've been here is that the laws seem somewhat flexible. Just last week a street market of pot vendors was shut down. We'd seen them for weeks, set up, as it turns out, illegally in Robson Square and nothing was being done about it. Well, they were arrested, however no charges were filed, and by golly, several of the vendors were back on the street selling within hours. Crazy, right?

Loads of interesting, well at least it was to me, stuff to learn about how they transformed themselves from a sleepy logging town into a glittering metropolis. So, here you have the background info on that Burrard bridge I crossed to get over to the museum.
Count me as thrilled that when I came back outdoors, there was still some blue in the sky, with even a few patches where the sun shone through. Looking towards Stanley Park and the North Shore in the shot below. All those big green trees, many hundreds of years old too.
Making my way back home, I was even more excited when the clouds broke enough to show off those beautiful, snow capped mountain views.
Rain began falling in the evening, continuing non-stop until the middle of Saturday, however, Bruce forged ahead; it was a soggy walk to the vet's office. :(

Keeping busy is very important right now, so I dreamed up an activity Bruce and I could share. We took the train to Waterfront Station where we boarded the SeaBus for the 15 minute ride across Coal Harbor to the North Shore.
Seating 400 people, it was lovely seeing the sun light up the mountaintops on the North Shore.
And, an even better view on the way back!
This has run on way too long, by which time I'm sure you are all bored. Lots more to say about that little trip, but let's wait until another time as there is a tiny break in the rain and I MUST get outdoors.

It sure has been an interesting six months, don't you think?

yours truly,

Gail


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