Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Full Experience

Well, I've gotten one thing I came for--the whole snow experience. People are shocked when I tell them I've almost never seen snow before, but what I should be saying is that until now, I've not seen it fall, nor the aftermath. Now I've seen both. It wasn't long after I last wrote that the sun came out and did what it does best, warm things up, including the snow.
Bruce claims that he's never caught up from the lost days in Bellevue so he worked on Saturday and I was to meet him around lunch time. That is when I really saw what happens in a city after a snowfall.
Like a dummy I wore my waterproof tennis shoes rather than boots and at times it was very tricky to not go into a puddle. Let's just say I walked very carefully as to not fall. Because heavy snow, or what passes for heavy snow here, rarely falls, there were families out with their children heading to the parks. I saw this Dad and his girls, in front of our building, heading to the other nearby park for some sledding.
It was cute to watch the younger girl keep stopping to make snowballs while the older girl looked as if she was too cool for that kind of play.
Apparently it is the responsibility of building management to salt the sidewalks but what I discovered on my way to his office is sometimes that does not happen. Again, I walked very warily. With that in mind I took a different route, walking along Pacific because there are lots of businesses that I hoped had salted their sidewalks.
In certain light the new Marriott, covered in mostly copper colored glass, reflects on the pavement, making for a pretty glow.
Although I did not get lost, I'd never walked this route before, but because downtown is so small geographically, finding your way is relatively easy if you remember that the mountains are always North of the city. This photo, taken further from the water, shows the snow was still plentiful.
According to my friend Bonnie, who owns a home in Traverse City, Michigan, had we been there the snowfall would have been up to my thighs! That sounds like way more than I am ready for. Speaking of snow, it has been snowing in London and in fact it is meant to do so much of this week. We are so hoping it will not disrupt travel from there because Matt and Tom are coming for the wedding on Thursday. As a matter of fact, our entire clan will be in Orlando, including all of my sisters, marking the first time that has happened since our Mother died 14 years ago! Back on the weather front, although it has already been sweltering in Orlando, a break in the weather is forecast bringing in cooler temperatures, but not too cool. Plus SUN galore!! Woo hoo! That said, after the January drenching here, the rain was mostly absent through much of February. Cold though, although that has not really bothered me much to my surprise.

I saw this colorful elementary school near Bruce's office.
Arriving there, I saw that it was a good thing Bruce hadn't driven because his parking space was  already occupied with snow. (he parks in front of the closest glass door)
Here is Bruce throwing a snowball at the wall, something he's not done since he was a small boy growing up in upstate New York, otherwise known as one of the snowiest places in America!
The confirmation you needed so as to proclaim me plum crazy.
After lunch, he worked, while I occupied myself with finishing my novel and watching the activity on the street below. It is a sad corner where people are making all sorts of transactions that can't be good. I kept thinking it was maybe what you might call, a street economy.
You might note the public toilet situated in the midst of this corner. Passing through this area on our walk back from lunch we saw several people shooting up which is not surprising because this is the beginning of the area with the highest concentration of people living on the streets, a few blocks up Hastings pictured below.
There was an editorial in the paper last week about how there is a great push to help women in dire straights, when in fact the homeless and addicted population is something like 90% men. Watching the street certainly confirmed that for me. What it also did was make me even more grateful that our family of four sons have, heretofore, managed to thrive and prosper. It is a risky business raising a bunch of sons, that's for sure!

Leaving that depressing subject, Bruce walked with me late Sunday evening to see the Olympic cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza. Thinking it was meant to be lit up for the closing ceremonies, I wanted to see it in person. Apparently I made that up because although the lighting was pretty, there was no flame. I kept thinking about these past Olympics, imagining that all happening here.
It is not often that we venture down here, but I'm always impressed when we do because it just so darn nice and pretty, although I will say I was surprised the plaza was not salted.
A lovely time to see the lights come on in the North Shore.
We then walked home down Granville Street towards our temporary home, passing by plenty of businesses that remind us of our real home in America.

Our 4:30AM cab is already scheduled for tomorrow morning and it won't be long until we see our family, not to mention our new home, once again! Plus there's a wedding to celebrate!!

yours truly,

Gail

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