Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Le Crocodile…wonderful as usual.

We took Richard and Grace out to Le Crocodile last night to thank them for all the work they did clearing out Ian's apartment.  It was a fabulous dinner and a great evening.  They all had the Chef's Tasting Menu and Richard added the foie gras which we all got a bite of.   I felt it was just too much food for me so started with the lobster tempura and scallop appetizer and then the sable fish.  I thought I might have room for dessert as I was very tempted (as always) by the lemon tarte and sorbet but decided to nibble some of Jim's dessert.  I could barely manage that!

$85–Chef’s Tasting Menu

Smoked Albacore Tuna with Seared Golden Scallops
Ginger Sweet Pea Soup
Grilled Asparagus with Saffron Tagliarini Pasta
Fresh Yellow Foot Chanterrelle Mushroom
Confit of Duck Leg, Cariboo Tenderloin and Italian Sausage
served with Truffle Apple Reduction
Champagne and Grapefruit Sorbet
Warm Mango Souffle
Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake and Nougatine Ice Cream

 A few glimpses of the food…too busy savouring to take photos of everything!

 I love these shoestrings….always a "gift"  from the chef.

And always the same ending….we barely had room for these last night.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Changes on Denman

I was surprised to see Tanpopo closed….it's been there an age.   I always did wonder how you could make a living with "All you can eat sushi"  especially given the low prices and the amount of food we saw people eating.  We were lately mainly going to Denman Sushi for their bento box.  That is now Kitaya but seems to offer pretty much the same menu.  Also,  Pizzalita is closed.  We will miss their cheap pickup special but other local pizza places have a better product so no real loss. The Raincity Grill is closed for renovations and we are guessing they are taking over Pizzalita's space.

There is a new restaurant called Fusion Bay,  Vietnamese food.  Will have to give that a try.

And where we get our shawarma is still there of course….two places for that.  There were three right beside each other but one closed.

And they could never take the Laughing Men away from Vancouver….

End of an era…

Rainy day program...

Off for a morning swim then homemade French onion soup…

Photos from Paradise….aka Palm Springs

 Glenn Hessel

Hal Castle

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Patron Saint of Liars"

"The Patron Saint of Liars" by Ann Patchett

I picked this up at a book sale in Palm Springs and wanted a paperback for the plane so began it then.   I loved Bel Canto and was particularly interested in this since it was her first novel.  It's pretty darn good as a first novel….not as amazing as Zadie Smith's "White Teeth"  or Ann-Marie Macdonald's "Fall on Your Knees" but a very good read all the same.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lunch at Las Margaritas….always special.

Just about everything today for weather….rain,  sleet,  hail, sun.  Good day….well,  everyday is a good day to go to Las Margaritas.  It's great in the rain and gloom and great in the sunshine.   We each had our usual…wonderful!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Has it really been 50 years...

We had an old school chum of Jim's and his wife over today…Brian and Susan.  I didn't really know Brian in school but we have all reconnected because of our connection with Nicky and Stan.  Nicky is Brian's cousin.  We had a wonderful time together and they go to Palm Springs  for three months and stay close to where we are in PS.  They live in Kits Point in Vancouver which is very close to us so we really look forward to seeing them again.

It has been rainy today but now the sun is out and we have the most amazing light….only where we live in Vancouver do you get such wonderful light.   Wow, wow,  wow!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A day on "the drive"

We took our car in for servicing so did our usual going to Commercial Drive.  Lunch at Nick's then wandering.  Morgan the cat was there doing the usual sleeping and no reaction to petting.  We were pleased to see her since she wasn't there the last couple of times we were on the "drive".   And pleased to see the  Canterbury Tales Bookstore was still in business.   We half expect to see our favourite bookstores out of business.  We picked up an Ian McEwan we didn't have,  "The Innocent".  The setting is Berlin when it was divided.  We wen't through Berlin when it was divided so I'm already interested in this story and McEwan usually doesn't disappoint.

Impossible to disturb!

This "Parklet" is new I think…hadn't noticed it before.   Nice space for people to sit.  It takes up a couple of parking spaces.

Canterbury Tales Bookstore.

Missing my Palm Springs book group

This is a email from Kathy,  our leader,  who does a wonderful job!  

• The next session of the All About Books group will be Wednesday, May 13, at 2 p.m. in the conference room in the HOA office.  All Canyon Sands residents are welcome.  May’s focus will be on books that those in attendance are currently reading. 

One dimension of the discussion will be how individuals choose their books.  At the April meeting, participants received a copy of “Your Reading Personality,” a quiz developed by BookBrowse.  (See attachment.)  To take the quiz and have it scored, go online (  This material will start the conversation about book selection.

• Palm Springs author Irene Tritel shared her rich experiences as a writer and reader at the April 8 session.  Irene described the evolution of her novel, Rosie’s Gringo Palace, as well as her upcoming short-story collection, Twisted Shorts.

Also, Irene recommended another Palm Springs author’s novel—Phyllis Greenbach’s The Blessing and the Curse.  Phyllis will lead a discussion of her novel at the May meeting of the Rancho Mirage Library Book Discussion Group.  If anyone is interested in attending that session on May 8 at 10 a.m., contact Kathy Hug by May 4.  (See contact information below.)

• Monitors for the Canyon Sands Lending Library are Patti McCarron for April, Karen Bourdase and Bonnie Ewing for May, and Kathy Hug for June.  Monitors are needed for July and August.

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.
–Jorge Luis Borges, writer (1899-1986)

 I took the quiz and got:

The Eclectic Reader

You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

West Coast weather….

We were out in shirtsleeves today under cloudless blue skies….now a storm got up.  Derek's coming over for pizza night.  He'll be blowing in soon…

These para sailors are having fun.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another beautiful sunny warm day...

And great sunset last night.

A great selection of ATC's!  I've been missing my monthly Christmas presents….

Sunday, April 19, 2015

We did escape the Sun Run...

One of our black leather recliners had a problem and Mobler fixed it for us.  The part was ready so we drove out and also walked through Ikea…always interesting but didn't buy anything.  We did have lunch there.  A first for us.  Jim had the 10 Swedish meatballs and mashed pot and gravy and shared my haddock and chips.  I had a bit of his too.  Very good!

Then,  a bit of a rush for me to get to my Artist Trading Card group but I made it for the trade of cards and picked up lots of good stuff.  And really nice to see everyone and have a good chat with  Susan.   I'll post photos of my goodies tomorrow.

I'm always fascinated by things on a small scale.  These are the furnishings for an apartment of under 600 sq feet. I would say there is more storage space than any house I've lived in.  Now,  our condo in Palm Springs has an incredible amount of storage so that doesn't count. Recently,  micro condos of 385 sq ft sold out in minutes in Vancouver.

This is a little play stove in the kid's section.  Loved it but nothing could compare to the play stove my wonderful father built me out of four wooden cheese boxes stacked in a cube,  lids from paint cans painted black for stove elements,  and empty thread spools for turning the elements.  My absolute favourite toy ever and it didn't cost a cent!

Jim and I both loved the circus tent for kids.

I parked in a different place today and noticed these two bocce courts in Victoria Park and folks speaking Italian.  Jim was very interested and will probably come down with me next month and see if he can play some bocce and speak a bit of Italian.  Always lots of things of interest for him on Commercial Drive anyway.

Sun Run today

Tens of thousands participating today under warm sunny skies.  It's really great to see so many people enjoying themselves.   Since these runs are in our front yard,  we have tended to be a little annoyed about being captive by the road closures,  the music and cheering when we just want to read our paper in peace and quiet.  But,  heh,  it's not asking too much to share our paradise.

And we have it all figured out.  We both have our noise cancelling head phones on.  I'm listening to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville,  drinking coffee,  and reading my paper in peace.  We even moved the car last night so we can escape before Beach Avenue is opened up again.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Seagulls floating and an amazing sunset

We just love to see the seagulls enjoying themselves on the wind currents.  They just have fun after they've probably stolen hot dogs,  fish, etc.  They don't work hard but play hard for sure.  Now,  the crows are doing their usual…kind of worried and thinking ahead.  They are much more intelligent but let's go with the gulls...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beautiful night for Cloud 9….great tapas as usual.

Wings,  dry ribs,  calamari…and the calamari was especially good.  New supplier apparently.

Great Blue Herons

I took some photos of the heron nests today…soon the leaves will be hiding them.  I was interested to see some squirrels chasing each other up and down the trees and jumping from tree to tree.  The metal bands keep the raccoons out but I see the squirrels can just sneak under them.  I wonder it they are a hazard to the eggs or the new chicks?