Saturday, November 07, 2009


When a guy doesn't post for a couple of weeks, then busts out a thousand words on the minutest details of a rock concert, you know he doesn't have much else going on. Work's been blah, the weather's feeling like late fall, and I think I've been wallowing in a shallow pool of self-pity over my stupid thumb, which should finally have its last foreign objects (bone stitches and button) removed on Monday. I've regained a few millimeters of movement in it too, which is better than the zero I had last week. I've really missed riding my bike. Thankfully I've still been able to play viola and take some pictures.

So now I'll bust out another 1000 words on our five days in Vancouver, an adventure for us that would barely register as a real trip for normal people, never mind something worth taking 400 photos of and rambling on about online for imaginary audiences. Nevertheless, we needed a getaway, and the highs outweighed the lows by a longshot.
  • Not the best drive in, with Ezra cranky and high-maintenance, but he did sleep for about an hour (small mercies). Highlights included fancy bread and coffee from Bliss in Peachland, then fries and milkshakes in Hope, because we're all about the healthy living on vacation. Snow on the connector, but not enough to slow us down much. We squeaked across the Port Mann before the traffic got too insane (bigger mercy).

  • Checking in at The Sylvia is the best. It is totally our home away from home in Vancouver. We love starting our days there with breakfasts overlooking English Bay.
  • Esther and Imogene kindly dropped me and Angelo off near GM Place where we proceeded to wrangle a couple of beers and burgers at one of the packed pubs. I've already said too much about the U2 concert, but I'll repeat how great it was to meet my old friend for a couple hours of merriment.
  • The next morning Ezra and I walked across downtown to meet Angelo and Imogene at the Roundhouse, where we explored the old steam engine, then got on the Skytrain. Ezra had been talking about riding the Skytrain ever since the girls reported on their experience a few weeks ago. Many times a day: "Daddy, I wanna go on the Skytrain sometimes". So we did, and it was quite a thrill. Better yet, we took the new line to the airport and watched giant planes taking off from the new observation deck. Planes and trains in the same outing = Ezra in his glory. It was outstanding to hang out with Angelo and Imogene.

  • Dear friend (and midwife) Barb hosted our clan for supper that night, which was brave and generous of her. Salmon and squash feast with stir-fried greens and pasta...yum. The kids were a total gongshow, so I whisked them back to the hotel so Tannis and Barb could hang out a bit like normal people. No photos, sadly.
  • The next morning Tannis and the girls went for breakfast while Ezra and I went to see Cass and her new (8 months old) little Luke. Very nice to see her in her element and catch up a bit. Also forgot to take any photos...duh.

  • We had some gloomy clouds and rain, but a few stretches of nicer weather. We did a few great walks along the seawall that yielded a whack of photos. Fantastic to spend time by the ocean.
  • I snuck out to the art gallery later in the afternoon. I love being there. The main floor exhibit was devoted to landscape photography and painting. I haven't tended to pay much attention to this genre, but it was beautifully displayed and I felt like I was studying and learning. There was an interesting photography exhibit and some great Group of Seven stuff, but it was the Emily Carr/Jack Shadbolt exhibit that really rocked me. I was familiar with both artists, and had seen most of the Carr paintings before...but the Shadbolt stuff blew me away. Incredible energy and evocative images. I resorted to arguing with a tired security guard to let me get one more look before they closed.

  • Bill hosted our traveling gongshow Friday night. We hadn't seen his apartment before -- he had made it out to be a dump, but we thought it was fantastic. Unfortunately, traffic woes and Ezra's screaming had us arriving in mental tatters. Thankfully, Bill saved the day by busting out a killer train set that kept Ezra mostly occupied for pretty much the whole visit. Excellent pizza, some beers and hanging out. Our breakfast plans for the next morning didn't pan out, but perhaps we can lure the Baker Boys over here once more before winter begins in earnest.
  • After checking out of the hotel, we hooked up with the Eidse crew again, descending on their lovely home in East Vancouver. Great welcoming vibe there, and everyone was pretty happy and mellow. We ramped things up for Halloween later, getting everyone (well, except humbug me) costumed and geared up for trick 'r treat action. We couldn't have asked for a better evening -- warm, calm, a bright moon, good old friends, and a great neighbourhood for the kids. There was definitely some Halloween magic floating around. I put a few photos here.

  • We checked into a Super8 in Langley that night; a decent place with a nice pool that everyone enjoyed after breakfast the next morning. Then out on the open road, with no real stops until Sanderson's in Keremeos for veggies and curry. Ezra slept even less and solidified his status as the worst roommate ever.





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