Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Don!

Don is now officially an old bastard although as he says himself,  most of us have considered him that for years.

I seem to be forgetting to take photos so this is one I picked up on the Internet of a paper chef hat.  For Don' birthday present we filled it full of goodies from the Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver and a few things from Trader Joe's .  Don,  take a photo  of the contents for me.

Don and Elaine are going up to Cowichan Bay today for the weekend and dining at one of their favourite places,  The Masthead.  They haven't been able to get up there for a while so thrilled they are doing this for this very special birthday.  Make sure someone takes a photo of you two and send it to me!

Have a wonderful weekend, Guys!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to old haunts...

Dinner with Derek and Mary last night at the Penny Farthing.

Lunch with Monique at Uplands

Swimming and lunch with Elaine at the Hotel Grand Pacific.

Great to be back to our home in Victoria!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


We got our first Old Age Security deposit today!  Free ferries,  cheap transit....I can take this Senior Citizen bit.   Starts to make up for the enormous amount of taxes we've paid over the years and continue to pay...and mortgage rates of up to 22% and now RRSP interest returns of  1%. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Internet back!

Shaw had to reset it....probably the thunderstorms.

Back to Victoria....

Pretty busy at the ferry yesterday....just missed the 4pm but caught the 5pm.  We didn't reserve since we weren't really sure when Donna and Elliot would arrive.  A very long flight for them from St. John's but flights were all on time at least.

At the ferry terminal we saw Don Poy with  a couple of very tired grandchildren.  They were on the 6pm.  Carole,  we looked for you but then had to head to our car to catch the 5pm.  I imagine you, us and thousands of others were very glad to get home yesterday!

We really enjoyed meeting them and look forward to hosting them in Victoria.  In January they head to Dublin, Ireland where Elliot will finish the rest of his sabbatical year.  Quite a year for them!

Something seems to be wrong with our Internet connection and our house is a dead zone for Rogers and my iPhone so at MacDonalds at the moment and may not be on regular email for a day or so until we get that sorted out.

Great to be back to our other home!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Zion Will

I dropped a little gift off today and saw their lovely new baby boy....such a darling!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Some more lasts....

We had our last ocean swim today....want to get up all the grit and sand so perhaps swim in the pool Saturday since it's going to be a nice day apparently.  We should have most of the packing and preparations done by then.  And then a final lunch at Las Margaritas today.  We hadn't noticed this slogan above the bar before.

Translation:  "Health, wealth, and love and the time to enjoy them"  

Yes...that's pretty much what it's all about and the wealth part doesn't have to be that much.

A novel idea: Hotels reach out to book lovers

 I love this idea of e-readers, novels, book lounges, libraries in hotels.  A trend I hope will continue!

A novel idea: Hotels reach out to book lovers

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nitobe Gardens

I don't think we'd been to the Nitobe Gardens since we were at UBC.  I do remember going there often and was a wonderful place to decompress from classes and assignments.  It was free for everyone in those days.  I hope it's still free for students but maybe not...not much for free these days.

We do have many tranquil oases in this wonderful city.

Last dinner with Richard in Vancouver for a while....

We went to the Keg for their Lobster Fest last night.  Excellent as usual and a summer tradition for us now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome Zion Will to this world!

From Kerry last night:

"Zion Will arrived today, August 20th, at 2:30 pm, weighing in at 8lbs.
Katie is just great and they are coming home tomorrow.  Visited
tonight and he is beautiful...lots of curly hair ...looks much like
Harmony at the same age."

How wonderful....a lovely boy!  Congratulation to grandparents,  Roger and Kerry,  parents, Katie and David, and big sister, Harmony!

A time of last times....

We went to Cloud 9 last night for tapas and beer and I guess it will soon be our last swim....

Monday, August 20, 2012

In the Telegraph today: Apple worth more than any company!

 This is pretty amazing.  I paid three times as much for Apple stuff than Jim did for PC in the early days.    Something someone said to me at a conference.  "Hey....given the value of Hypercard....the computer is free."  Turned out to be really true in the case of our family since that's what got Richard into the whole computer thing.

Apple's slogan:   "Think different"....yep,  they sure did.

Remember this,  Richard?

Our personal parade...

This parade was happening the day we moved in two years ago.  It has rather diminished since then.  There were two full pipe bands and lots of floats that year.  Look on my blog archives of Aug 16 2010.  It was quite something to be "piped into"  our apartment in English Bay!

I love these South Granville banners of the buildings and mountains.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fun, fun, fun....on transit again!

We're really into this transit thing now.  Bought a book of 10 tickets at Safeway.  So,  on the weekend and after 6:30 pm, for seniors it's $1.75 for all zones and you have one hour and a half on that ticket.  What a deal!  We took the Skytrain to New Westminster today.  Got the bus on Denman first to go to Burrard Station.  No waits for buses or Skytrain either way.  Quite a difference from the transit I grew up with in Vancouver....half hour wait for the Smith bus etc.  The bus took 10 min. and the Skytrain 25 35 minutes to get to the Fraser river and the Westminster Quay.  And it's a great view on interesting to see things from that perspective...almost all above ground.

First off had lunch at the Paddlewheeler Pub  right on the river walk and view of the river.  Great special today....8 oz NY steak,  5 garlic prawns,  loaded baked potato, and veggies....$13.95.  Steak done to perfection.  Washed down with a bottle of their feature Jackson-Triggs special Reserve Merlot for $22.95...excellent wine.   Then off to the flea market which was all along the long river boardwalk.  Lots of interesting things to see and we had such laughs.  Jim was thrilled to get two toe nail clippers for nothing (he is pleased by small things...) and a hacky sack for 25 cents.  Then a couple of coffee mugs for 10 cents each.

But the real fun was getting this Captain Morgan windbreaker for 10 bucks with a sleeve of 3 new Titlest golf balls and a hat thrown in.  The selling guy was so amused by Jim's bargaining he came after us and put the hat on him for free...such fun!

And we still went for a swim when we got home even though a bit cloudy and definitely problem for me but Jim loves the heat.  We may go to the PNE tomorrow (on transit, of course) so will be more comfortable.

Westminster Quay and riverwalk and hotel...looks rather cool...looks over the river.
Jim with his Captain Morgan windbreaker.
Saw lots of paddlewheelers and tugs.

This amazing lamp was in the big Salvation Army thrift shop on Columbia.  90 bucks and I'm sure it's a total collector's item that would sell for $10,000 plus in Palm kidding,  I know what they want for this kind of stuff.

Our amazing lunch.

New West is rather weird in that they still have outdoor smoking areas.

Quite a lot of police around the river walk...these two on bicycle and two other groups on foot.  The vendors at this flea market and the customers all seemed pretty respectable.

First time I've ever seen a booth like this anywhere for any kind of event.  Are people on day parole around here?  Perhaps would explain the police and this outreach for families of people in the prison system.

Jim with some of his "treasures".

I got a real laugh out of this.

Now,  I thought it was only Jim who wore the Nike sign upsidedown....definitely a statement....

Hot, hot, hot....

It was hot yesterday but we went in swimming in the morning and the afternoon and there was a refreshing breeze so not too bad really.  We had lunch with our old UBC chum, John, at the Cactus Club....inside where it was cool.  I do love the calamari and Jim gets sthe hot peppers so everyone is happy.  John and Jim  both had the tuna burger....raw on the inside...perfect.  I think they make some of the best fries around.   I stole some of Jim's of course since he had my peppers....

Again...appetizer size which Jim had to help me with. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wonderful day with Linda and Cec...thanks so much!

We had just a wonderful day yesterday and what a treat to be driven by transit and Linda and Cec to Belllingham then back to their home for a fabulous dinner.  First time we've used our Nexus and no line ups coming back or going.  Trader Joe's is a little tricky to find so glad to know how to get there.  It was like being in Palm Springs going into Trader Joe's.  Cec bought some cheese that would be 3x as much   And we all got some cheap wine.  It seems you're not really supposed to bring back a bottle each but Linda's an expert at it all and knew it wouldn't be a problem.

Then Jim wanted to go to these two second hand bookstores in downtown Bellingham so glad Cec had his GPS on his phone (I'll have to get mine working).  These two second  bookstores were across from each other and we couldn't believe the size of them and their stock.  I hope they keep going for a while....a dying breed everywhere.

Transit was just simple and relaxing to use.  We are fans!

Loved this "cookbook"....Mud Pies and Other Recipes.

Blueberries right from the bush....Linda and Cec have quite a few plants!

Loved this sign at the South Surrey Park and Ride

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great day with old friends and family

Donna and Kerry and I all had lunch at the Cactus Club...yummy spicy chicken with wontons for me...appetizer size was too much to eat so took some home and we had it for a pre dinner snack.   Donna and Neil had quite a few adventures on their recent trip back East for a couple of weddings and lived to tell the tale!  Kerry will be becoming a grandmother for the second time any day now.  Great to see them both.

Richard is back from NYC and came for dinner...great to see him and hear of his adventures.  Jim played golf yesterday so I went for a swim at Second Beach Pool then went for a swim in the ocean with Jim when he got home.  The water was absolutely fabulous.

I even went for a swim this morning in the ocean.  Now,  off on an adventure.  We're taking transit out to Surrey where Linda and Cec will pick us up then on to Bellingham and Trader Joe's and who knows?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Olympia patio....finally

I really wonder how these restaurants do it....lunch special for $9.95.  Jim had the lamb and I had the calamari.  Actually we had eaten almost half our meal before the photos.  I don't think we've ever experienced a bad piece of roast lamb in a Greek restaurant ever and always generous portions.  I don't think I could buy it for $10.  My calamari was done to perfection....not always the case everywhere!

 Jim's lamb was partly a rack of lamb as well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is the kind of stuff that turns me on....

"Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon, paid $1.5 million to keep Chinese artist Yue Minjun's  A-maz-ing Laughter sculpture at English Bay in Vancouver."

It is a-mazing to see these pretty much every day we're in Vancouver and see all the joy they bring to people.

Please don't keep telling me the Olympics aren't just about money....

 This "wonderful" Olympic athlete only makes 20 million a year at the age of 25 but complains about contributing to the UK through taxes on his endorsements and other Olympic related revenue.

Enjoy the Olympic gymnastic events? This is what it takes to get there.

 Don sent me this yesterday....ok, ok,  my last Olympic rant.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Itty Bitty Book Review: "Cutting for Stone"

"Cutting for Stone" by Aabraham Verghese

The first review I read of this book began with "Stunning!"....can I say more?  I don't think so.  An amazing tale of medicine,  Africa, faith, family.  I enjoyed it immensely and thanks to my bookclub for introducing it to me.  I wasn't in town when they discussed it but saw it on the shelf recently in the library and picked it up...good choice!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Warmest swim this!

After a rather busy day we went for a swim....wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

Photos didn't quite load in order of the day...guess I'll have to do them in batches.  Anyway,  we began at the Gourmet Warehouse and got some goodies, then across the street to the Waldorf Hotel parking lot where on Sundays they have a number of food carts.  Great idea as I guess the downtown food carts don't get as much business on the weekend.  Pig on the Street had over a hundred people lining up and not many fewer for the Mom's Grilled Cheese Sanwiches.  Obviously a great success.

Then on to the TD Chinatown Festival where we scored some free samples and three of these tote bags that fold into a small little pouch.   They had street food but we were just a little too hot so we headed home for a beer on our deck then a wonderful salmon burger (sockeye cooked to perfection...a bit raw on the  inside...Monique , you would have loved it too)  and Red Truck  Ale at the Stanley Park Fish House.  They have this special from 2-4 every day....12 bucks for beer and the burger.

 Very funky place, the Waldorf now.   Richard's band played there quite a bit.

 I was tempted to get a free turban but was a little hot.

 Kids were having great fun with the drawings....and the volunteers below were having even more fun doing them I think!

 I think these two street carts will become as popular as Japadog.

At these prices they could be disposable....