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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Fine Art of Being Two Years Old & Other Lessons

We`ve been nestled in at my sister`s house for three weeks, graciously hosted by both she and her husband.  This inexpensive lodging comes with an interesting addition of two 2 year olds during the week.  I must admit that it`s been quite a while since we`ve hung out with toddlers and we are gamely trying to adjust to a baby proofed house.  I frequently wonder how many times I will try and yank open a cupboard before I`ll remember that it has child proof catch on it.  (Apparently, I`ll never learn, I still pull on the handle and am amazed that the door doesn`t open fully.)  Door knob covers also occasionally confound me.

I`ve also learned that the Wiggles are de riguer and "5 Little Ducks" is an endlessly joyful classic that is NEVER boring.  Uh-oh is a frequent phrase and "I am" is adorably replaced with "Ima".  For example, "Ima jumping".  Meltdowns are an irregular, but ear splitting occurence and I've come to realize that being two is fraught with peril and unfairness.  Ron and I are forced to admit that they're pretty cute and quite well behaved.  (No, that doesn't mean that we want any.)

The world is just one big discovery after another.  Fishy tiles in the fountain...AMAZING!  Soap makes bubbles...MIND BOGGLING!  Crabs hiding under rocks...who could have known?  There is, of course, unjustness...having to eat when all one really wants is to play, grown ups getting too tired to read a 50th book (or the same book a 50th time - in a row).  How horrible to have to eat pears, when what you really want is grapes.  I guess it's never too early to learn that life isn't fair.

We've also learned that if you don't bring an umbrella with you, it's almost guaranteed to rain, but if you do the predicted rain just won't come.  (It also seems that the bigger the umbrella being carried, the better the weather turns.) We're also becoming intimately familiar with the public transit system.  We've used the Skytrain, probably 20 times and have yet to have our fare checked.  (The same goes for our one ride on the Seabus.)  Translink must be losing millions of dollars in unpaid fares.  They are in the process of installing a more New York style of access, with transit gates that only open if you "tap" your card to prove that you've paid your fare.  The only glaring problem is that it would be fairly easy to wiggle under the gates, if you don't mind getting a bit dirty.  (Skate boarders could roll right under quite nicely.)

Other things of note: property prices are still ridiculous here.  You can argue that there's no other place like Vancouver on earth (well, Hong Kong comes to mind, but that's on the other side of the globe), but seriously...who can afford a 2 million dollar house out in the suburbs, where a 2 zone bus pass costs $124 a month and property taxes are commensurate (that's your word of the day, kids!) with property values?  Be honest are views like this really worth it?

Okay, so maybe the city is breathtaking, and there are tons of beautiful natural areas to visit.  Like Shannon Falls:

Even in the rain, it can be quite stunning.  That being said, it's pouring rain today and we're taking a movie day.  That's it from the West Coast, at least for now.  More to come, once we hit Victoria, or so I hope.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Return to the Prodigal City

Our old home, steeped with memories and multiple neighbourhoods, that we once called home.  Even with the dark clouds gathered on the horizon and lightening flashing down, the city is beautiful.  (There's something about the colour of the setting sun reflecting off the storm clouds that is breathtaking.)

We went to a restaurant which is a tourist favourite (Cloud 9, a revolving restaurant in the heart of the West End), because of the views, and were treated to a beautiful sunset.  This is remarkable, as in all the time I've lived here, it's almost impossible to time that sort of thing.  (It's all about table placement, speed of rotation and, of course, time of sunset.)  Anyway here is the result:


It's a beautiful city, as stated and has grown remarkably.  It will always feel like home, but in a few more weeks, we'll be off on a whole new continent with new places to discover.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Clock has Run Down & We're Resetting the Timer

It's hard to believe that our time in Prince Edward Island has come to a close, at least for the time being.  We've crammed most of our life into a 4'9" by 9' (not 5' by10', as was advertised) storage locker and for better or worse, we're headed off on our grand new adventure.  (You might be wondering if a foot makes a difference, YES, yes it really does.)  We're safely in Vancouver, after a very long day of cleaning out our beautiful house and taking the final ride down our driveway.  We really didn't even have a moment to take it all in, as we were off to the storage locker with some final items, before checking our baggage and dropping off the rental car.

We've discovered that we really don't like travelling heavy.  Checking bags is a huge hassle and waiting to collect them at the other end is even more so.  I guess you have to make allowances when you're taking creature comforts to carry you over a year or more of travelling.

We awoke to a beautiful sunny Vancouver day.  (In truth, the sun was barely breaking the horizon when we woke up, but we're just starting to adjust to the time change.)  Once the sale of the house is complete and we have cash in hand, we'll be ready to turn our faces forward and enjoy this new stage of our life.  Sorry there aren't any parting photos but at least I've managed to get in an update after the mania of closing up yet another house.  Updates to come!

Like a song from the 90's says "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."