Radio Silence

Ooops – I didn’t realize it had been this long since I posted.

I took off to Vancouver for my birthday and spent four days with Ande.  We had a great time.  It was blue skies and sunny when I arrived, but by the next morning, it was mostly showery for the next couple of days.

great day for a ride in the Porsche!

We headed out to Victoria for the day on Friday – DeHavilland Twin Otter over in the rain, and a Turbo Single Otter on the evening flight back.  We flew Harbour Air from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria and were on foot for the day.

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Ande is not comfortable on small planes, but she was a trooper!   I love float planes!

We did a ton of walking around downtown Victoria, did a couple of self-guided historic walking tours.  We spent a couple of hours at the Royal BC Museum; always a fun time.  And we had afternoon (fancy) tea at The Empress Hotel.  Very posh.

Getting all fancy with our tea!

Getting all fancy with our tea!

As we had been up since 6 and walked all morning, we were ravenous and almost forgot to get a photo of our delightful tea:

the delights!

Those scones were soooo good!

I took some photos which are in my flickr album here.  We had a great four days.  Lots of Bing time and snuggles, and we had a pug that stayed for the weekend.  We went to a Jamaican picnic where I had Goat Head soup; we had Chinese hot pot; went to Dayton Boots for custom made boots.  Hit up the Roundel for a fantastic brunch.  Managed to find a yarn store and bought some yarn. Spent some quality time at Ande’s beautiful condo.  I finished knitting a mitten.  I had a direct flight back from YVR so spent the $$ to upgrade to a “plus” seat so I had some leg room.

Love this Orca!

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Fort Carlton

As part of our Sunday Funday aka “active recovery” days, we decided to drive somewhere, take a ferry, and see something.  We packed a big cooler full of good eats and hit the road in the van.  Gorgeous sunny day, not too hot.  I had looked up Fort Carlton and the website I saw said it was open.  We took a circuitous route which involved a ferry, a religious shrine (detoured) and the Fort.  Which wasn’t open on weekends after all (not until July).  Hmmpht.

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but I want IN!

Such a beautiful valley near the river.

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looking west-ish

We explored what we could at the Fort, then had our delicious picnic lunch before heading out again.  We decided to not follow the map and just drove to see where the road went.  We got to the pretty much abandoned hamlet of Carlton nearby.  More pics are in the album here.  We walked around.  Interesting, but eerie.  We took a few turns here and there and ended up coming out at Rosthern.  So we stopped and had a look at the visitor center (closed).

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handstands everywhere!

Did some light deadlifts.

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Red River Cart Deadlifts

We then stopped at the Valley Regional Park to give the zip line a try (and have a pee).

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a little more rustic than the Elk Ridge one, but fun all the same

And we stopped in at Duck Lake and had a look at Russell Hanson’s museum.  Really interesting stop to make. We drive past it all the time; I’m glad we had a look.  We plan to do more of these little day trips throughout the summer.

Sunday Funday

Instead of doing our usual dog walk at the local park, our crew did a little road trip to explore an abandoned dam site near here.  La Colle Falls << info link

We took two trucks out – we had conflicting information about the state of the “road” going in, and were prepared to walk in, if need be.

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“what could possibly go wrong?!”

We had to stop in a couple of spots to roll logs into ruts so the trucks didn’t bottom out, but we made it in.

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off roading

It’s an interesting story – the most interesting was the fact that at the dam’s location, there never was/would be enough of a current to generate the amount needed to produce energy.

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the entire site is heavily graffitied

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I’m on your damn dam!

We explored every bit of the dam site.  It took some doing to get up inside, but we did.

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success! And I only got a scraped calf.

We walked along the river bank towards the forks.  We saw a lot of deer and moose poop and tracks.  We skipped some stones in the river.

my stone is bigger than yours

We had lunch at the nearby Saskatchewan Forks picnic site:

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we worked up an appetite for good eats!

Here’s the entire album on flickr.

In other news, it was Rufie’s 7th birthday yesterday.  He was happy to stay home and relax in the air conditioning.  The type of terrain we walked/climbed on all day was not greyhound friendly.

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“I’m fine …”

Vancouver Part 6

As with all good things, on Monday my visit had to come to an end.  Ironically enough, it was a bright, sunshiney lovely mid-winter day in the lower mainland.

I arrived at the airport in plenty of time to check my bag, get a bite to eat and people watch.

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turboprop all the way home

I had a direct flight and was glad I paid the extra to get a seat with more leg room.

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and no one was in the seat beside me – score!

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beautiful!

We flew into cloud cover as we went over the mountains.

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back home!

The poopers were happy to have the house return to normal.  I spent the next few days getting laundry done, getting back to crossfit and my usual routine.  Great trip!

Vancouver Part 5

Sunday – back to the winter drizzle, but it was intermittent.  And at +8° C I wasn’t going to complain.  It was a lot colder back home.

We made a quick trip to MEC to look at day packs, then conveniently we were close to a Memphis Blues BBQ, so we had lunch:

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The “Elvis” platter

We missed that in May, so this was a delicious treat!

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that’s some good eats right there!

We needed to walk off our lunch, so we went to Granville Island on the way home.  There’s a fantastic hat store in there:

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I loved this hat on Ande!

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Some sort of Voyageur chapeau on Ande, and a leopard print Sherlock Holmes on me

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hat store

Is your head cold? Nyet!

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Grumpy Old Cranky

It was fun!  They had an imaginable number of hats of all descriptions and styles.  And some knitted ones, but I could make them a lot less expensively than they were being sold for.

Bing was pretty exhausted with his active weekend:

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“good night, Auntie!”

As we had such a big lunch, we had a tasty salad for supper and made an early night of it.

Vancouver Part 4

Saturday – there was a break in the rain and we enjoyed some broken sun/cloud.  We got dropped off downtown after lunch and went to get tickets for “Flyover Canada” which is a very cool “ride” at Canada Place.  It’s sort of a simulator, amusement ride hybrid.  Very cool!

The Canada Trail runs along side the Canada Place complex and we found Prince Albert:

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Vog and Vog

Ande let me wear my new 5-Eye Derby Swirl boots and she wore my 8-Eye boots.  Such a great friend!  Ha ha!

We did spend more time waiting in line after we bought our tickets than the actual attraction took to view, but still I feel it was worth it.

After that, we wandered downtown, did some window shopping on Robson Street, then popped into Cafe Crepe to warm up and get something to eat.

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“It’s not Denny’s!”

but it was a delicious savory crepe with chicken, tomatoes and bacon.  Very good with a nice hot cup of tea.

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The Marine Building!

On our way, we walked past the Marine Building – I just love that building!  Next time we’ll go on a week day and get in there and nose around.

I mean, just look at its “art deco”ness:

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Amazing!

We enjoyed another great evening “at home” with our knitting!

Vancouver Part 3

On Friday, we had a lazy morning, no rush to get going.  We wanted to check out the Sweet Georgia Yarns studio.  They are one of my favourite yarn producers and local to Vancouver.  I wanted to find a nice luxurious yarn to use to make a shrug to go with a sleeveless black dress I have.

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this is the sale “bin”

They have a small office/storefront with their in stock yarns/colours, and next door was the dyeing space and the clearance/sale bins.  What a delight!  They have several different yarn weights and blends and they are all quite lovely.

(The sharp-eyed among you might notice Ande is wearing MY new boots … what a good friend to help me break them in!)

I ended up getting some Cashluxe Spark in the “magpie” colourway.  I think it’s a good match to my shoes:

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Fluevog Odette and Cashluxe Spark in Magpie

(More on the shrug in a later post.)

We had Ande’s nephew coming to stay overnight, so we didn’t stay away too long.  The yarn studio was our big excursion.

These boots (Fluevog Malcolm) were worn to start breaking them in:

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Fluevog Malcolm in brown – very comfy already!

We had a lovely supper then watched a movie and knit.

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my whippety assistant!

Vancouver Part 2

It continued to be quite rainy on Thursday, so we had a lazy morning, then headed downtown.  We had some Fluevogs to try on.

heading in – that’s the Marine Building ahead!

I love Vancouver.  Such a great city and so much to see and do.

We spent an hour or so at Fluevog and I got a couple pairs of boots.  One was a planned purchase, but the other, I just couldn’t pass up.  I always make a list of what we tried on and in what sizes, so if I see it on sale later on the website, I know what size I take.

Our little whippet fashionista:

Vancouver is very dog friendly. Bing curled up on the settee while we shoe shopped.

Luckily (??) Ande and I wear the same shoe size, so the clerk didn’t have to bring out different sizes of the same shoes and boots.

not a problem …

unless there’s only one pair left in “our” size!

We didn’t stay downtown long; we had to get home with Bing and then catch the SkyTrain to go to an NHL game!

taking one of the new Vogs to the game!

The SkyTrain was a new adventure for me – pretty efficient and quick.  $8 for both of us to ride downtown.

we had pretty nice seats!

Vancouver hosted the Columbus Bluejackets, a team they don’t regularly play.  It was exciting!  They led 1-0 for most of the game, then it was tied up.  They had a five minute overtime period, then it went into a shoot-out.  On the last shot for Columbus, they scored.

Then we crammed back into the Sky Train to head out.  My personal space was grossly infringed upon, but I survived!  $5.75 for both to head back out!

I found a great sweatshirt:

love this one!

And that was Day 2!

Vancouver Part 1

I found a seat sale to go to Vancouver to see my bestie.  It ended up being mostly on a turboprop, but it got me there and Air Canada did a good job this time – no delays, no inflight annoyances, etc.

I went from this:

frosty morning for flying

to this:

in a few hours

The gloomy forecast didn’t dampen our spirits, though!

together again!

I hadn’t seen Ande since my visit last May.  Bill and I didn’t do a West Coast tour in Fall 2015.  So it was long overdue.

Right next to the airport was a new outlet mall, so we HAD to check it out.  I picked up a couple of pairs of jeans that actually fit me, and a nice shirt at the Levi’s store.  Then we saw a Lindt chocolate store.  FULL of chocolate!  They greeted us at the door with free truffles.  What’s not to love?

so. much. chocolate!

We made our way into the city.  We had to stop to pick up Bing from the vet’s.  He was in for his neutering that morning.  Poor pup.  He wasn’t feeling that great.  We spent a quiet night in at Ande’s new condo and he eventually got comfortable enough to fall asleep.

Himself is not impressed

However, by the next morning he was feeling much better!

 

I was gone

but got back Monday night.  Super busy since then, but I will have some great photos to share in my next post.  Until then, gaze upon the handsome whippet that is Bing:

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He was my host dog in Vancouver and provided bed warming.  Such a handsome boy!