Sunday, 18 January 2015

Gastown & English Bay

A few more days in Vancouver have slipped away....

We have explored Gastown & enjoyed the quirky little shops & quaint heritage features. We jumped in a Skytrain to get into town today & we were very surprised that nobody even attempted to get on the bus before us, even though we were at the end of the line! They all stood back & waited for us to get on & settle Campbell first. Just wonderful! 


Lunch at Steamworks Brewery was perfect! 

While back in the area we dropped back into Chapters- Campbell is struggling a bit with the unfamiliarity of everything but stops asking to go home when he is in Chapters :) 
He found several new books to keep him smiling & help him feel more at ease. Drew & Joe also enjoyed finding a Vans store & picked out new shoes for school. 

A new day & a big sleep in. We all caught up on some rest this morning before enjoying this glorious beach weather at English Bay! 
The wind was chilly but nobody could say we weren't refreshed. 
Another visit to Stanley Park & still so much of it left unexplored. 



The Lost Lagoon offered lovely views of wildlife & the city. 



After a brisk walk we treated ourselves to an Italian lunch in Denman St. We have been grateful for our kitchen for easy dinners most night but Campbell did request Vietnamese on Friday night & we only had to walk across the road. We are really spoilt for choice here in the West end. 

We are picking up a car tomorrow so we can spread our wings a bit more- finally some Canadian snow!!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Vancouver


Our arrival was so exciting that we all coped reasonably well at 3am (Sydney time) on very little sleep. Hurrah to adrenalin!! Thankfully we found a five seater taxi with wheelchair access right outside the airport & our apartment was made available to us well before our check- in time- blessings! We decided to explore our little English Bay neighbourhood & gather some groceries before catching up on a few hours of sleep. We staggered through the supermarket in a jet lagged daze & collected all sorts of Canadian novelties- maple syrup (naturally), waffles, breakfast sugar (AKA Cap'n Crunch & Lucky Charms), bagels....what!!! No bacon!!! We somehow forgot the bacon. 
We have a great view over the bay & we are an easy walk to restaurants, Stanley Park & the city centre. Walking all the way to Granville Island was ambitious, but we managed :) 


The best bit is that we got to celebrate our anniversary twice! Once on the flight (oh joy) but then we got the 14th all over again in Vancouver. We enjoyed a Mexican feast for dinner & even got free dessert! We have never experienced such outstanding customer service. Even when there is no tipping involved everyone has been so friendly & helpful. One lady even ran up alongside Eric while he was pushing Campbell & stretched her umbrella over his head. Good people here in Vancouver. 


Exploring the city some highlights were 'Chapters' where Campbell found a pile of new books and 'Golden Age Collectibles' where Drew & Joe stocked up on some must have items. 




Granville Island had a Kids Market which was obviously a hit! Lots of lovely shops to explore on Granville Island but we got there late in the afternoon, it was raining & we had done A LOT of walking, so we opted for a ferry ride back to the city to head back to the apartment. We have a full kitchen in the apartment so it was nice to relax in front of the TV with a home cooked meal after such an exhausting day. 

We discovered this fantastic community garden in our way back downtown. 


And the streets are paved with rainbows...


Today was spent in Stanley Park, and we still didn't get to see it all. Everything shuts down in January so the miniature train & horse drawn carriages were not operating but we loved the Aquarium & squirrel spotting. 





The bike hire in Stanley Park looked like fun & there were lots if bikes around. We could have had access to a hand cycle bike for Campbell but it's not something he can do independently- certainly a great option for somebody a bit more enthusiastic & energetic. The sun was shining for us today & so far the weather has been quite mild- not too cold at all! 

I also loved wandering around Wholefoods Market today- so much organic goodness!!! 

We are still not sure what we will get up to with the rest of our holiday, but Vancouver has been wonderfully welcoming so far. 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Joy in the every day things

We have had lots of time to fill with simple pleasures since Christmas. Eric will be working every day until we leave for our holiday (EVERY day!) So we are hanging around the house to keep him company & making the most of the chance to enjoy pottering about. 
It was so satisfying today to put in a few hours in the garden, it has been a bit neglected in the warmer weather. Organic gardens grow weeds in abundance too! Some massive and forgotten cucumbers were uncovered and lots of produce gathered for dinner. 


All of this suggested lasagne to me :) 

We had onions, chilli, tomatoes, spinach, basil, silverbeet, zucchini, cucumber & lettuce all singing out to be gobbled up! 
Some pasta was rolled out, chunks of mozzarella added to the top, a salad thrown together & deliciousness was born. Such a happy day. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Our upside-down summer holidays.

For our family summer holiday this year you won't be seeing this..
Or this....

And most certainly not this...

This year we will be here....
and admiring this (while shivering).

The Date family are heading to the Northern hemisphere for our first big international adventure. It will be freezing (& cheaper than the summer equivalent) and we are excited! 

Watch out Canada! Here we come! 

Hey Vancouver, don't say I didn't warn you, eh!!

We welcome top travel tips & great fun suggestions, especially involving wheelchair access. 

Also please keep your fingers crossed because we have had the passport application process from hell & I'm still not convinced that we will ever be allowed to leave the country :/

Monday, 10 November 2014

Day 17- one more sleep!



Busy, busy, busy today! I wanted time to fly because it really does feel like so much longer than 17 days since you left. 

Joe & I kept busy with a ridiculously tricky 'I Spy' book. You know how he loves that stuff. It's been nice to spend time with him, usually the two of you are as thick as thieves & I rarely get a look in. 

Campbell has continued to do his own thing (books, writing & The Muppets) but he is missing you & asks every night how much longer you'll be away. 

Looking forward to sleep tonight because tomorrow brings you home. 


Finally!!!

So full of nervous energy today & I've been watching the clock obsessively. While we are expecting that the bus may not arrive precisely on time- we will be standing there at 4pm waiting! 
I wish I'd been at work today so that I was busy.  Instead I have just dropped Joe at school, picked up some groceries, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned both bathrooms & all 3 toilets, baked a cake, dusted, prepared dinner, did a load of washing, packed away the multitude of toys and books left from one end of the house to another and had too many cups of tea. It's nearly time to leave to pick up Jonas & then we will wait.....

Can't wait to have you home xxxxxxx


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Day 16



We've had a lazy day in the sun today...
Campbell had a very long nanna nap today after a late night and then a very early morning. So we gave him some peace and quiet & wandered over to the dam. Jonas found 7 yabbies and 2 tadpoles!!




As you can see we are doing it pretty tough here at home. Hopefully Coffs Harbour is just as lovely today....yay to the home stretch!!! Only 2 more sleeps xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 
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