I love you, Vancouver.

Hallo there!

How was your weekend? Mine was terrific! I had my first rehearsal for Hairspray on Sunday night and got to listen to them work through a few of the songs for the show.  We have a large cast of 30+ lawyers, so it can take a bit of time getting everyone on the same page, but it’s sounding great.

Saturday was my awesome day though.  I decided to have a Vancouver celebration day!  It’s been over four months now since I moved back, and I still find myself falling in love with this city more and more every day.  I didn’t realize how much I had missed it until I was here again — and guys, cherry blossom season hasn’t even started yet!!  I am going to lose my mind!

It started by relaxing in bed with my kitty cat, who was feeling lonely after a week of 13 hour days.  She was being cuddly and I am never one to turn her away.  Plus, she is my Vancouver cheerleader through thick and thin. (And she’s extra affectionate these days since I started giving her wet food…)

The 20 minute walk to the skytrain flew by as I traveled down Broadway, passing the Rio and a bunch of road construction — two Vancouver staples.  My favorite thing about the ride from Commercial to Waterfront is the view.  The snow covered peaks on the mountains in the back and the downtown core that towers over you as you reach the edge of East Van.   I love this city.

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Photo on top of my old digs at Woodwards, towering over the downtown core, looking down at the skytrain station. And the peaks of Canada Place in the background. 

I arrived at Waterfront, grabbed myself a Blenz Hot Chocolate (with whipped cream of course) and then went and had a look out at my old reading spot, Canada Place.  With it being February and all, there are no cruise ships setting sail.  It’ll be a little while before I get to come sit on my usual bench with a good book, a tasty drink, and just take in that view.  So for now, I just look out at North and West Van and those mountains again. 
IMG_4030 (1)As you can see, the weather was not the greatest, but at least it wasn’t raining (much)! 

Now why was I headed downtown? My dear friend, Chris Kent, offered me a ‘float’ for my birthday.  We had made plans to go together, but he had to cancel last minute.  He suggested I go anyways and I did because really, it is a solo activity.

Let me just start by saying that the staff at the Float House were fantastic. They really make you feel at ease for what is a bit of an intimidating activity.  For those of you who don’t know, a float is just that, floating! — in a sensory deprivation tank.  It’s filled with something like 18 kg of salt I believe? So you really float.  The temperature is regulated and you are supposed to feel like you are one with the water — and you do!

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You can prop the door open with this pool noodle for people who suffer from claustrophobia, breathing issues or just any reason you might have that you don’t want the door fully closed.  They recommend that you keep the door shut as much as possible to really get the full experience.  I had to open it twice.  Once because I felt like my ear plug was starting to come out, so I swapped it out for one of their silicone ones that completely seal your ear up.  The second time because I started having a bit of difficulty breathing.  One of my sinus passages (I think?) is pinched shut, which has always given me sinus infections and trouble breathing when I have a cold.  After almost an hour in the tank with the door shut, I started to experience a bit of difficulty so I opened the door, took a couple deep breaths and was fine to resume my relaxation.

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Overall, I really enjoyed the experience.  My skin felt really nice and soft after the post-float shower.  I loved feeling like I was floating on a beach somewhere as I laid there in the dark.  I found it difficult to shut my mind off and relax at first, but the feeling of weightlessness throughout was really something.  I also read in the post-float-journals, that a lot of people used the time to think about their creative projects which was something I did too.  In the moment I remember thinking ‘no! shut your mind off!’ but after a reading that, I thought there really was no better place than a big black hole to get all of your thoughts out.  I’d certainly encourage anyone with pain, stress, or a desire to try something new to give this a shot.  Call the Floathouse today! (With locations in both Gastown and Kitsilano) And thanks again Chris for the awesome gift!!!

On my way back home, I decided to have a Vancouver style cheap lunch and stopped at Uncle Fatih’s for some pizza.  I have never been a big ‘pizza by the slice’ person, but since moving to Vancouver, it’s been growing on me.  A big part of it is surely the price, but I also really enjoy the variety you get at every place.  Freshslice has a pretty decent pesto chicken pizza and I was about to learn that Uncle Fatih’s has a better pepperoni than they do and a potato pizza!!!

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I walked it home and reheated both pieces in my oven for a couple minutes.  They were both really tasty and for $5.50 for two pieces and a drink, it was a steal of a deal in this crazy expensive city.

As an aside, Vancouver, your lunch specials are the best ever.  I love going to Bob Likes Thai food and being able to get lunch for $10 including a salad and wontons.  I love you, I love you, I love you. 

After polishing off the last of my pizza, I made my way over to my friend Ian Berg’s house for my first time … GEOCACHING! What is geocaching? It’s a GPS based treasure hunt style game with an online community who like to share their favorite spots with their fellow geocachers.  (That’s a pretty basic statement, for more info, click here!)

Ian was kind enough to let me borrow his 7D for the trek and though I needed a bit more practice with his camera, I got a couple nice shots throughout our multicache (where you go to several locations to get clues to take you to a final location).  Oh did I mention we had to go through several cemeteries? Which got creepier and creepier the later it got? (My fault, I was late <<)

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The gate to the second cemetery we visited. 

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One of Vancouver’s many little tree houses. They are so sweet. 
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I felt like I was in Europe for a minute looking at these elaborate headstones. 
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A hill a group of kids were skateboarding down.  They stopped to let me take a couple pictures :). IMG_3959

The city starting to light up as we started to wind down. 

We walked about 7 kilometres on this trek! Seven! It felt so good to get out and walk around and get some exercise.  That is by far the best part about living here: the walkability.  I could walk around my neighborhood every day and find something new and pretty to look at.  With a bit of a drive, I can find any number of places to go for a walk and tons of adventures to be had.  I am as I always say, a lucky girl.

While I don’t know that I would go geocaching on my own, I certainly enjoyed hanging out with Ian and going to a part of Vancouver I had never really been to before.  I would definitely go again and check out other gems this city (and the geocachers) have waiting for me.

After finding the final cache — fourth to find it! — we made our way back to his house where we parted ways.  I went home and made myself pulled pork on top of spaghetti with some baby potatoes on the side (leftover special) and settled in for a night of relaxing in my cute little east van home.

So that was my Vancouver day.  I hope to have many more of them soon! This weekend it sounds like Ian and I will be heading out to Richmond to check out a park and then on Sunday I think I may go out to the Vancouver Flea Market.  I’ve been meaning to go since I got here and have just never done it.  Anyone up for an antiquing adventure?

Peace&Love

P.

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