Published: December 13th 2009December 13th 2009
Well it has been a few months my last update.
As my trip back to Perth is fast-approaching (one week to go!), I thought I’d say hello (HI!) and give a run-down of the past six months of my life in Vancouver.
A quiet month for me. The event of the month was the Scotiabank Half Marathon. My second half marathon and I completed it in 1 hour 27 minutes and 19 seconds.
I played host to another Couch Surfer this month, Paul from Brighton is a travel writer so was able to score us a free dinner at Rain City Grill and tickets to Bard on the Beach (The Comedy of Errors).
A rare treat in Vancouver this month - a lightning storm!
We had gone to Trout Lake Park for the Lantern Festival and, instead, were treated to a spectacular lightshow. Ironically, the Festival of Light fireworks competition was on the same night.
I’m told that the Lantern Festival is a fun event and that the home made lanterns are a treat, but, sadly, the rain, thunder and lightning kept the crowds away, ruined the
paper lanterns and electric lights were clearly not a smart move. Next year, perhaps!
Summer was in full-swing by August. We had some super-warm days and night, and with the sun not setting to around 10pm, you could really make the most of your evening with seawall walks and reading on the seawall at 9.30pm.
For the first time in two years ago, I spent some time with family. My Uncle Terry and Aunty Pam joined their friend Neil and Gil on a three-week trip to B.C.
I played tour guide and got treated to great company (nice to have some Aussies and family around) and was taken out for dinners and activities in return.
We had a nice dinner on the Friday and on the Saturday I took them to Capilano. The hike from Cleveland Dam to the Salmon Hatchery was a bit too much (not sure if Pam will ever forgive me) but, along the way, they made friends with a local couple and got to experience some Vancouver hospitality.
We then headed to Grouse Mountain. Grouse is a Vancouver institution, less then an hour by ferry and bus
from downtown, the ‘Grouse Grind’ is a famous, and physically intense, mountain climb. We didn’t do the ‘Grind, but I promised myself to return one day and do it.
The summer weather deserted us today - it was cold and cloudy at the foot of the mountain, but by the time we got to the top (1,231m), it was near freezing and much of the mountain was covered in a blanket of fog.
There is plenty to do at Grouse: skiing in winter, hiking and zip-lining in summer, a Grizzly Bear shelter, bird show and a Lumberjack competition.
A friend had a fun, and unusual, birthday party (well unusual for us, not unusual for Scott!). Scott designed and co-ordinated a race around Vancouver.
We divided into three teams, were provided with a question and answer / guide book and had to use public transport to visit various hubs around the city, take pictures of or with a variety of objects and answers quizzes.
We had a time limit, so planning was needed and decisions made as it was not possible to make it to all seven hubs, but the hubs were worth different points. Whatever
we did, it was the right thing as our team won!
It was one of the most fun days I’ve ever had.
Vancouver has been abuzz lately with the opening of the new Canada Line, a direct link from YVR Airport to downtown. The line was completed ahead of schedule and under-budget. It may prove to be the one positive thing Vancouver takes from the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The big excitement for me this month was seeing Pet Shop Boys live in concert. We had front row tickets (Dane won them!) and the concert was an amazing visual-spectacular and heaps of fun. The dancing, the costumes, the set and the songs were near perfect.
Lots of gigs this month but not much else for me.
The Vancouver International Film Festival, now in its 28th year, featured over one hundred films shown over sixteen days. I saw four films: ‘Mammoth’ staring Gael Garcia Bernal; ‘Home’ a global warming documentary; an animated short film collection; and Aussie film ‘My Year Without Sex’ staring Matt Day.
This month I took part in the ‘Movember’ Prostate
Cancer fund raising movement through work. This involved shaving my beard and growing a mo’ for the month of November.
The Davis LLP team raised over $2,000 which was pretty awesome. The mo’ was embarrassing, but that’s the point, yeah?
The lead up to my return to Perth was pretty hectic. I was cat sitting for three months while Rael and Tracey were in Peru and making this book consumed almost all of my free time.
After a depressingly wet start to winter, the good weather returned as Vancouver got colder and colder, but, for the most part, the cloud and rain stayed away. My daily runs around Stanley Park continued - I never tire of the beauty, it is such a great run.
So, after thirty one months way, what have I achieved? I definitely think I have changed as a person and I’m a lot more confident around strangers. I’ve gained a greater respect for our planet and have continually found ways to lessen my impact on the planet and to avoid all the nasties that our chucked into our food and products we use each day.
extremely lucky to have worked in two different countries, travelled to over thirty cities in fifteen countries over three continents and made countless new friends. Not to mention, I went to over 200 gigs and saw over 500 bands play.
I’m excited that I get to go home to see my friends and family. But I’m also looking forward to returning to Vancouver to live the new life I’ve made for myself here. Perth will always be home, but Vancouver is going to be my home for a few years to come.
Perth get together - CORRECTION! Monday December 28th at Windsor Hotel South Perth - email pqc1 @ hotmail.com for details.
There are more photos below