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.)
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: