Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fabulous fireworks tonight...really spectacular...and it was Canada's night to boot!

The evening started off with Derek bringing pizza for dinner here.  Great to see him and hear all about his new job and we had lots of laughs.  He headed home before the fireworks...really such a hassle for people to get out.

Just a wonderful spectacle tonight.  Hearing the horses clomp by as I post this.  The police are beginning to sweep the people out already.  Don't see the helicopter with the searchlight yet...that is a little 1984 but I guess it works.  Oh...spoke too soon...helicopter out in force.

Took a few photos on the fly...just too good a spectacle to try to get photos.  Congratulations,  Canada!

 If you look hard you can the a couple of fireboats putting on a show.

 I love this photo...think I'll try a painting based on it.

These photos don't even begin to do justice to a fantastic show.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Visit from Victoria today....

Ian and his friend, Sky, from San Diego came to visit from Victoria today.  It was really nice to get a visit from someone from Victoria and we really enjoyed meeting Ian's friend,  a super nice chap who is a jazz pianist.  I forgot to take photos but here is a good one of Ian that Sky took.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens

  Yesterday, we became members and visited the garden (it had been on our list for quite a while) and were very impressed with what's been done.  Wow….what a treasure to have in the middle of a large city!   In addition to a very informative tour we were also treated to children's games as this special event was going on.  Jim never did quite get the hang of the Chinese yo-yo :)

Then to Foo's Ho Ho for lunch and had their signature dishes of sticky rice stuffed chicken and pork-crab-vegetable egg rolls.  This is an old style 1950's Chinese restaurant and while interesting to try not really quite to our taste.  This is "western" influenced Chinese food and a lot of deep fried things.  We are now spoiled by all the new and more authentic fresh style Chinese food.

 Some very large carp.

 Everything in the garden and the buildings came from China.

 Jim trying out the Chinese yo-yo

 Beijing bicycle in front of the gift store.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another amazing sunset...

This photo didn't quite capture it perfectly but still pretty good....must learn how to use this camera better.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Always lots of fun and laughs with Katy, David, & Liz

David and Katy are out from London visiting family and friends.  We missed them last year when they stayed in London since the Olympics were going on.  And great to have them see Richard again and meet Emily.  A perfect afternoon!

 Richard and Emily


 katy and Liz


The fireworks....

The UK tonight and a James Bond theme.  For once we managed to get the music thanks to an app for the iPhone.  Pretty spectacular as usual.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Before the fireworks...

A super evening with John and Carol

Wonderful food as usual prepared by Executive Chef Carol,  lively conversation,  a warm summer evening, and Mr. Darcy is well...does it get any better than this?

 All the trips to the Vet after Mr. Darcy got attacked by three coyotes has made him much more used to people so can now capture some photos.

 The first course of a wonderful dinner.

 Just love Carol's handpainted T-shirt!

John dressed very formally with his Vesuvius Beach Indolent Society T-shirt.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Justin Trudeau at English Bay

Couldn't get much of a photo.  He was posing with lots of people...bit of a frenzy.

You can see a bit of his hair and his left shoulder.  He's the one facing forward.

Looks like he likes "The laughing men" as  well.  Photo taken by the Province newspaper.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Amazing what's left in the "free room"....

If the shoe fits...would these really fit anyone?

Itty Bitty Book Review: "A Moveable Feast"

 Hotel des Grands Ecoles in Paris pretty much across from where Hemingway and Hadley lived in Paris (one of the places).  The address is:  75 Rue Cardinal Lemoine

"A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway

I so enjoyed reading this memoir of Hemingway and Hadley's time in Paris in the 20's.  I did order it from the library around 6 months ago when I had finished "The Paris Wife" but received a stained, tattered copy so returned it.  After the recent bookclub discussion I ordered a copy from the library and received a new clean hardback copy...yeah!

Of course I'm a sucker for anything that takes place in Paris and it brought back lots of our own memories.  We stayed at this hotel in the summer of '95.  It is quite wonderful and has a courtyard where you could picnic with your own wine and food you could keep in a communal fridge provided for the use of guests.   Great for families trying to save a bit of money and we saw a number of them doing just that.  We enjoyed sipping wine there ourselves.  It was about 100 degrees though and no air conditioning so we were relieved that the next part of our trip was Brittany...soft warm rain and cool ocean breezes in a cottage we had rented by the ocean....heaven.

Vancouver Central Library

We went on the bus to the main library yesterday.  I am always in awe that they got this building so right...the "coliseum" type design makes excellent use of expensive downtown space and allows lots of natural light...brilliant.

And passed by the Hudson's Bay glad that has been preserved.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rock balancing

Went for a swim in the Second Beach pool this morning and saw the "rock balancer" hard at work.  Will still have an ocean swim this afternoon but I also enjoy getting into the pool and doing lengths.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

After a swim...pastis

It's so much like being in Bandol...swimming then pastis,  wine,  sea views...all those memories.  And last night we had 'gambas" (prawns) and rosé de Provence.    We missed you,  Don and Elaine, but glad Don is better today.

We're enjoying this little table that Chris found at the Oak Bay dump and that I painted in a Provence tablecloth design.

Finally a margarita at Las Margaritas....

This is actually a first...!  I had the traditional lime one and Jim had strawberry-mango.

Back to warm ocean swims

A couple of days ago the water was rather coolish...still enjoyed it but didn't go in for a second swim.  Glad to report the water is back to being warm and very warm in parts.

Along with enjoying the good weather,  Thursday night music at the Sylvia where we learned from one of our "beach friends" that the Italian Consulate downtown has free Italian movies with English subtitles every couple of weeks and other events although the accordianist they had as a special guest put her to sleep...!

And I also started painting again....working on the Art Trading Cards...a fun project.
 Dinner from Stephos the other night...$11.50 and there's more than enough for both of us.  Look at the size of that piece of roast do they do it?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Daytime Bookclub

I really enjoyed meeting the ladies in the Daytime Bookclub and discussing "The Paris Wife"...a book I really liked and so did all the others.  They are certainly very organized for the books and have a few interesting "rules"....must be at least 6 copies at the library,  first hour is social then the discussion begins, you don't have to have read the book.

The venue was in a lovely part of Kits on 6th Ave with lovely old homes and fabulous mature trees.

For the current reading list they are trying to tie the book to a holiday or interesting idea.

Daytime Book Club 
Reading list August 2013 onwards

  • August 21 (BC day)
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, 2008 514 pages (Humaira) 7 copies, 2 Audio book & eBook
  • September 18, 2013  (Sept 2 Labour Day, Sept 21 International Day of Peace)
A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter's Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring by Nahlah Ayed 2012 (Pauline Beasley) 28 copies 

  • October 16, 2013 (Thanksgiving)
The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart (Lynda & Nicola) 6 copies & 3 audio Cd

  • November 20, 2013 (Nov 11 Remembrance Day)
Ghosts of Europe: Journeys through Central Europe's Troubled past and Uncertain Future by Anna Porter, a Canadian-Hungarian, 2010 (Pauline). 6 copies 

  • December 18, 2013 (Xmas)
             The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce 2012 (Humaira) 61 copies & 5 Audio Cd
  • January 15, 2013 (NewYear)
The Host by Stephenie Meyer 2008 619p (Rose) 19 copies & 7 audio CD & 10 DVD

  • Feburary 19, 2014 (Family Day)
The Kashmir shawl by Rosie Thomas, 2011 (Ursula) 6 copies

  • March 19, 2014 (March 8 Women’s Day)
             The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, 2011 (Ursula) 16 copies & 3 Audio      

  • April 16, 2014 (Easter)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield,  2006 (Lynda) 10 copies & 4 Audio 

Celebration of Light barge arrives

Got up this morning to see that the barge for the fireworks has arrived.  This photo was taken from our balcony and as always there is this optical illusion that it is directly in front of us.  When you are at English Bay it seems directly there as well!  First fireworks aren't until next Sat but there is lots of set up.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Light Between the Oceans"

"The Light Between the Oceans" by M.L. Stedman

This is a choice for Vancouver Newcomer's Evening book club.  Written by a woman born in Western Australia and now living in London and is her first novel.

I found the story very engaging and impressed that it is a first novel.   She really does the setting of the lighthouse well.  And a fascinating moral dilemma.  Recommended for sure.

I don't think I mentioned another book I was impressed with as well.  A new mystery writer for me....a Cuban now living in Canada,  José Latour.  I really liked his "Havana Best Friends".  Excellent depicition of modern Havana.  I started another one by him, "Havana World Series".  I couldn't really get into it.  So,  maybe this won't be a new mystery writer for me after all.

I am looking forward to reading J.K. Rowling's mystery and it should be coming up at the library soon. I got on the hold list as #2 since I read about it in The Telegraph the day before it became big news in Canada.  There are now 262 holds and only 3 copies.  I'm sure they'll be ordering more but I think they'll be hard to get.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Royally spoiled by Donna and Neil...

We had a wonderfully warm swim in Donna and Neil's pool,  followed by appies and wine,  chauffeured to Minerva's Restaurant in the Kerrisdale Village,  then treated to raspberries and ice cream afterward.

Minerva's does Greek and Italian food and has been around for a long time.  It certainly deserves its reputation.  Everything we had was excellent and everything I saw around us looked terrific as well.  I took home half of my lamb souvlaki (done to rarish perfection) so lunch today.  Jim,  of course,  managed to finish his very copious chicken parmigiana which was also served with spaghetti bolognese so he was in double heaven.

A perfect evening...thanks so was great to see the both of you!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Rio Brazilian Steakhouse

Linda talked about doing a meal like this on a cruise so we were intrigued since this steakhouse opened about a year ago on Denman.  Seemed like a good idea for Jim's birthday yesterday.  It was a fun experience with the Samba dancing and fellows doing gymnastics. The location is good and views of the mountains and Stanley Park since it is on the second floor.

 I can't seem to eat a lot of meat these days so small bits of various things worked well for me and Jim got a real meat fix!  The roast pork, sirloin steak, and ribs were the best.  The salad bar had a super selection of things along with paella,  prawns,  mussels, and salmon.  I didn't even taste any of those things but Jim had some and they looked pretty good.




 The idea is they keep bringing these skewers of meat and also roasted meats on carts.  You have a read and green card to put on the,  keep it,  stop a while.

The entertainment.