Okay-- Canada was one helluva week--and I'm sure I couldn't even remember everything I wanted to tell you even if I tried. Seriously--between the time I got off the plane home and now we've had:
A. Picking up the kids
B. An emergency edit--I shit you not!
C. A visit to Mate's relatives and a visit to mine
D. Squish's Kindergarden placement tests
E. Soccer practice
F. Various moments of sleep
So I need to tell the story now, but oi! Just so much to tell!
So I'm going to take a stab at it, one picture at a time style...
I e-mailed a bunch of pictures in random order--and you know what they say about pictures and thousand words, blah blah blah... so I'm going to call up the pictures and tell the story and see if that is slightly more organized that the linear trivia dump that kept threatening to erupt on the keyboard when I tried earlier, okay?
Alrighty then... the's start with this. It's a library. It's in the shape of the coliseum in Rome, because they had a contest and voted to see what Vancouverites wanted the building to be, and they have pretty good taste.
Okay... this is a little harder. Mate was actually WORKING during this trip--he was at siggraph, which is a conference of engineers and artists, built around how graphics programs can better work to entertain the hell out of us. I went on Tuesday (more about that later) but on Wednesday, I didn't want to mooch around the hotel room anymore, (because one day was bliss, but two days would have been boring) and so I caught a tour bus to Grouse Mountain. One of the stops up the mountain was here--it was sort of a walkabout attraction. You could go on the suspension bridge, the cliff walk, the treetop walk or just generally ramble. This is the suspension bridge, and it's sort of cool. It wasn't that far up (for me, anyway--I'm used to going over the Forresthill Bridge, which is around 800 feet up--this one was 250 feet up) but that didn't keep me from cold sweating and freaking out as I crossed it. Both ways. But still-- wasn't going to take the tour to say I wussied out at the last minute, was I?
This here was also on the Grouse Mountain tour--this was one of the many views from the sky tram that took us up the mountain. The most spectacular view was of the city itself, but it was sort of hazy that day, and the pictures turned out for shit, but this didn't. It's the cliff face itself as the tram is going up. There's apparently a hiking trail called "The Grouse Grind" that takes you up the mountain at a 45% angle. I passed. The tram was just fine, thank you!
This was also on the Grouse Mountain tour--this was part of the lumberjack show. The men (boys) in the show were amazing--their schtick was as drinking, brawling yokels, but the truth was, they were world champions in their events--axe throwing, log chopping, log rolling, and, yes, scaling the pole. In this picture, the guy on the left is a little behind--but that's because he gave the guy on the right a five second head start. He still won--there are benefits to falling with style, which is what the guy on the left was REALLY good at. Still scared the hell out of me. Which was, I guess, the point.
Okay- this is our first skyline. We actually spent our time in two hotels--the first one for one night only. That hotel had some construction going on, so we got a room upgrade. When we went to bed, we went, "Oooh... purty lights." When we woke up we went, "Oh holy crap! That's a STUNNING view!" And then we went, "You know, if we'd been in our original room, we probably would have woken up to a concrete wall or something." So, yanno, serendipity. Has it's moments, oh yes it does.
And this is a morning view of the city we spent the rest of the week in. Welcome to Vancouver, everyone--it's as lovely inside as it was on the out.
This was back on the Grouse Mountain tour--this was the cliff walk. So far, this picture has just tripped people out--especially because I was obviously on the walk when I took it, and it looks really scary, and I'm not known for my stability on heights. What can I say? I was up to my armpits in hurricane fence on a very securely bolted catwalk. It didn't trigger a single anxiety attack--I even looked down from the walk to the cliff face and the ground. Felt completely safe--but the picture's pretty damned cool, isn't it?
You already met the damned bird. He was cool--but he was hella vain. You ever seen an eagle preen? It's a little disturbing--like watching a war hero check his hair and makeup.
This here is Stanley Park--it's actually bigger than central park. Mate and I took a 90 minute bus tour, just to get a view of the place on the large, and Stanley Park was a big attraction. We took the tour on Sunday, our first day there, and it was sooo purty outside. It was sort of overwhelming--there wasn't a soul in Vancouver who wanted to hide in their lofts that day-- they were all at Stanley Park, and we couldn't blame them. It was twice as pretty as it looks in that picture--and the city must have been calling their names!
And this is an example of Vancouver's architecture. Just amazing--truly amazing. It was a city of chrome and glass, and every building attempted to be unique at the same time it fit in, and they all worked. Walking on the streets was designed to be pleasant, the the residents kept their city very clean. (Hell, even the street people were organized and assertive--I tried to give one my last Canadian dollar, and he tried to specify that he wanted American, in smaller denominations. I told him he'd get my last Canadian two-buck, and like it, and he managed a very thin thanks.) Anyway, this is just an example. I could bore you all day with random buildings we snapped, because each building seemed to be organic and perfect where it sat.
And that's all for tonight. I may find a couple more shots next post, or even chat about some of those other things that happened since we got home. In the meantime, I'm going to leave you with the following Squish-ism:
We were driving down a section of freeway that had been roughed out for repaving, and the car was jiggling up and down and Squish started giggling. "Mom! The road is massaging me!" Dude--I'm serious--for that child, even the freeway is kissing her ass!