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Where to Begin?

Because I seem to be packing in as much as I can while we wind down this Vancouver adventure, it is oftentimes hard to know where to begin my narrative. Of course if I would leave my camera in my backpack more often, I probably wouldn't have this problem. :)

Alas, my trusty Olympus just seems to find its way into my hands, whether I'm at home, or out and about, so here goes with what I think you might be interested in, and more importantly things I might be happy to remember in the future. It is so fun going back reading old blog posts, including this one following our first week in Vancouver. Indeed, I have yet to be bored here. Chilly, yes, bored no. And yes, it is still chilly here; the high today will be 57 degrees, and allegedly it will rain. At this point rain would be welcomed here as it has been very dry for more than a month. In the middle of next week we have a big adventure scheduled, including a ride in a float plane, so let us hope the rain holds off for those days!

Without further ado, let us begin with this little fellow that landed for a few moments on the balcony rail.
Because it remains cool, the door is wide open which gave me pause for a moment, wondering if the little finch would detour into the condo. I can report that did not happen.

Pam and I were talking the other day about the plant life here and the gargantuan size of things. The poppies below are about the size of a luncheon plate!
She explained that the lack of funguses here, along with volcanic soil, as well as the long days of sunshine all contribute to flower sizes, not to mention profusion, the likes of which I've never seen before. These roses, found in a community garden, are also that huge, although perhaps that is hard to convey in a photograph.
Speaking of community gardens, I saw this last week,
and have not the foggiest notion of what it could be. Which reminds me that today I may just have to walk over to Burrard and Davie to find out what it looks like a week later.

Before I walked over to Burrard Street last Friday, I checked out this nod to the Vancouver weather over in Yaletown.
I was heading to a QUILT SHOW at the Convention Center and naturally I had to stop along the way, beginning with the Marine building. Dale convinced me that I must actually go in, something I'd been hesitant to do before, however, unlike many cities these days, it turns out to be as simple as opening the door and walking inside.
It is pretty darn spectacular, with terra cotta tiles on the walls, darkened with age, and all of the sea creatures in plaster lining the buttresses. Here are some fun facts about one of Vancouver's most beloved buildings.

I will surely miss being able to see distant sights when we return to flat Orlando. In the early days, walking up the gently hilly streets was a bit of a challenge, and some days it still is, but it sure does make for some great sight lines.
For a long time I'd been looking forward to my first Canadian quilt show, made even better because I could walk there. Walking most every day has become a real pleasure, and it was only last night that I learned from Giovanni that my phone was tracking my miles. Who knew? Of course one has to have one's phone with them, which is hit or miss with me. Always my camera, and most days my phone, except for when I leave it charging and forget it, like I did earlier this week. By the time I returned to the condo, more than four hours later, I was worried that Bruce would be worried if he'd tried to call. He didn't. Nancy did however, letting me know about Kate Spade's suicide. Tragic, isn't it? Anyway, looking at the application I learned that I've walked 20 miles some weeks which came as a surprise. Of course, when it is not so blasted hot, it is much easier to enjoy walking.

Okay, where were we? The quilt show is where we were. May I present the winners here.  I will say it was not nearly as much fun without quilty friends along, however, it was fun enough. Had you looked at the provided link you would know that the quilts shown were all over the map in both size, styles, and colors. While I am in awe of the skill it takes to make an intricate quilt, these days I am more drawn to simple ones using bold colors, like this one.
It was such a joy to see the one above as it was part of the traveling modern quilt guild exhibit. Furthermore, it was made by Anne Sullivan, a member of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild!! Now I said I like bold colors, and that I do, but this one was pretty darn awesome.
How about this unique piece? Canada all the way.
I wonder how long it will take me to get back into quilting mode? Here's a bright one for you.
Taking loads of shots for inspiration was fun, however, I suspect you've seen enough of quilts, so let's return to a favorite subject of late.
Unreal PURPLE vine!

Oops, got out of order on subjects because this was such a fun coincidence that I must share. Walking home from the quilt show on Hornby, I popped into a bank building where I'd seen a photography show in April. A gallery is set up in the huge lobby and look what they were showing that day.
Painted on aluminum, the artist statement said something about reading the colors in a certain way, which sounds silly to me, however, who am I to judge? I once made a quilt with a whole bunch of those same colors in a big square on gray for Matt and Tom making me wonder if they read anything into my placement. The truth is, I'm not that deep and just liked the way they looked together.

Okay, still more. Walking in the Coal Harbor area there are loads of water features to see.
That pop of blue! Awesome, as was this cool fountain I came across.
Before I forget, crows here are huge. But you knew that already because everything is. Anyway, walking down the sidewalk on a street in the West End, minding my own business I might add, a crow swooped down on my head, grazing it, and as you can imagine, startling the heck out of me! Freaked me out really. Then, it did it AGAIN! Bizarre to say the least.

I would not want one of the "chicken-sized" seagulls to swoop down on me like that, for sure.
Those Japanese Snowbell trees make a mess, but I suppose all flowering trees do. Worth it, especially when you don't have to clean it up yourself.
Right about now seems like a good time to apologize for these long posts, however, because I find so many things interesting, I assume you do as well. Then again, I'm trying to compress five days of walking into one post, and when you notice as much as I do, well, that's not easy. Anyway, read what you like and skip the stuff that bores you. Deal?

I met the rose gardener at Stanley Park the other day and we had a little chat about the superb, fragrant roses to be found here.
He said our problem in Florida is we use too many pesticides, to which I replied, "you have no idea how many pests we have in Florida compared to here. Frankly, there is no contest. It was while I was chatting with him that an American couple, here for a Harvard reunion, came looking for directions to Lost Lagoon. As I was going there myself on the way home, I showed them the way, and just as we arrived, this GBH caught a fish.
I left them on a corner where I hope they were able to get a cab and continued up some flights of stairs to yet another community garden I've discovered. Oh my goodness was it looking good.
It was there that I met Ray who told me to come back in a few weeks to see a trellis covered with Sweet Peas. You can bet I will.
I will leave you for now with this peaceful image from my favorite location.

yours truly,

Gail

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