© 2011 jemma

What’s been happening :)

Hi there!
So what’s been happening with all of you? Anything exciting? If so please let me know. It’s always nice to hear from people.

Well, the big countdown is on. Only four weeks till we leave our humble home here in Vancouver for the big adventure east beginning in Calgary. Of course there is Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper first! So Jess and I are making the most of the few weekends and afternoons we have left here in Vancouver and filling them with fun things to do. My favourite things have been the four hour walks. Yesterday (9/3/11) we even wore t-shirts with no jackets as it was sunny and 13-14 deg!

Well let me tell you what’s been happening. Last weekend we had a big adventure! Our first trip on the Skytrain since returning to Van! We caught the train out to Metropolis at Metrotown (as explained before it’s a big shopping centre) to check it out and find a few things. It’s actually quite fun not needing to buy anything for yourself. Jess and I wandered through the centre just checking things out. Jess did buy a new Ripcurl beanie (tuque) for $18! Cheap! He now has one that fits his big head for once.

One thing we did look for but couldn’t find ANYWHERE in Metro Vancouver or even Seattle is BUTTONS! Jess just needs two brown ten cent piece sized buttons for his pants. Can we find them? NO! I mean WTF!?! Where do people buy buttons from in the city? At least Sydney has Lincraft and Wollongong has Spotlight among others, but here in Vancouver your pants must fall down. Perhaps people here don’t use buttons and their pants magically stay up? Not sure, but I will investigate this phenomenon.

– In a button related update, we did eventually find a shop out in Gastown called ‘Buttons Buttons’. It’s a great little shop full of all kinds of cool buttons. I could have bought soooo many for my little bags. We found some we thought would be good for Jess’ pants in the aptly named ‘button soup’ (a large bucket of buttons) and took them home, only to find – had Jess looked – that his pants had spare buttons sewn on them. Hmmmmmm, anyone need buttons?

Another great thing about going to the mall (any mall really outside the realms of the city) is that you get to see people just chilling out at the mall on a Saturday, going to the arcade, the rollerblading info people and my favourite…people pigging out in the food court! Jess was looking forward to lunch in the food court. It is massive – compared to what we have in Aust, even counting the Myer food hall – with everything you could ever want. Even restaurants. We were tempted by the New York fries, and A&W but in the end the old favourite wonton noodle soup won. And it was delicious.

I did buy a top. There, is had to be said. I just couldn’t act that angelic!

I think we enjoyed our trip to the mall and I am suddenly reminded of the ‘how I met your mother’ episode regarding Robin’s early Canadian singing career. Funny! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8pEzi1E5Og

On Sunday we went to Capilano.
Capilano is a high suspension bridge over a gorge. It is privately owned and operated and had what we thought were lots of nice walks etc in the park. We were wrong. It is the most overpriced, poor excuse for a natural environment that I have ever been to. The bridge is high and long, but it is annoying to walk across with 20 other people. Very shaky! On the other side of the bridge is a trout pond where every spring the owners dump 300 trout in and the otters and eagles come and feed and make them more money. Needless to say the ponds were empty when we went, the sacrifices had already been and gone.

The only good thing is the tree top walk. It is the only exciting thing there, besides the actual fir trees, with some being 1500 years old or more. Other than that I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Lynn Canyon is better and FREE!

To make up for the sadness from Capilano – I am smiling in the photos, masking my true feelings – we walked to the village of Edgemont for some lunch at the bakery. I am now officially addicted to cinnamon buns. They are so delicious and the icing…YUM! They sell them at Blendz. Very handy!

From the village – and to work off the cinnamon bun – Jess and I walked up the road (hills) towards Grouse Mt, where I remembered seeing a dam when we were on the bus. We walked and walked, checking out the real estate with mixed reviews, and me all the time telling myself I wasn’t dreaming when I saw this place. Eventually we made it and it was well worth it.

The dam is Cleveland dam. It is pretty big, but Jess and I were more interested in the spill way and the views of the gorge.
The guy next to us was so happy to be there that he spat in the water. Way to show your emotions!

Around the dam are lots of hikes. We got a map and planned our return to Capilano to catch their free shuttle back into town. There is a 4 hour hike Jess and I are going back to do in a couple of weekends time, but on this day we did a short hike on many of the different trails that led to the salmon hatchery.

On our way there, we passed a lot of the older growth trees. A lot of the trees are new growth, as most of it – even the tallest tree in North America – were logged here. We even met Grandpa Capilano, one of the oldest, widest, biggest trees I have ever seen.

The salmon hatchery is a place where – as the name implies – they make salmon babies to be released in the wild. It is not salmon season yet, so there were little babies ready to go, and soon the adults will return up the river to their DOOM! Or in other words lay and fertilize eggs and die, and then get eaten by a bear, eagle, otter or another savage creature – namely humans by the amount of fishing line snagged on the trees. It was cool to see massive salmon skeletons all over the rocks. I thought however that if I worked in the hatchery I would feel sad that something I created had to die within view.

From the hatchery we walked through the forest once more on our journey back to place where dreams go to die (Capilano Suspension Bridge). We saw people fishing in the rapids for who knows what because we could see nothing in the vast expanse of the river, and thought up companies that we could create to do with the river. I said a jet boat, but we both agreed the area was to pristine for that. A zipline would be cool too.

Once we were back in the city, after a tumultuous bus ride home, where the guy had taken a fancy to Jess and I and spoke loudly to us the whole way home, completely ignoring everyone else in the bus and the road a few times, Jess and I walked to our favourite beach near our house. Although it was cold, the sun warmed our faces and Jess ate a hotdog. A proper street one. His second if truth be told, as Japadog was his first.

We then walked to our favourite bridge where you are sadly guaranteed to see a raccoon – they want food – and the squirrels. We went there because although we had paid $80 that day, we had seen no animals. Not even when we were hiking. As Jess said, it was like Noosa where we had walked for hours to see a koala, when there had been one in the car park the whole time. As the old saying goes, there is no place like home.