Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer has arrived!

I have completely neglected my blog (and dishes, and laundry) for the past few weeks as the weather's been so gorgeous, warm, and sunny, I haven't been motivated to spend more than 20 minutes at a time on the computer. And who wants to hang around in their stuffy apartment when the summer beckons outside?

Temperatures in Vancouver have been in the mid-20's Celsius (70's-80's Fahrenheit) for over two weeks now so out come all the summer dresses, the shorts & t-shirts, and the beaches are packed. In addition, the sun hasn't been setting until after 9pm with twilight carrying it until 10pm - the joys of life on the 49th parallel. All in all, the long-anticipated Vancouver summer has arrived, and honestly? It's about time!

So far we've started our summer with a bang! Last week we took a 3 day getaway to the nearby Sunshine Coast to stay at our friend's cabin north of Sechelt.

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We took a canoe ride along the Sechelt Inlet fjord, discovering hidden coved beaches in Mount Richardson Provincial Park - beaches only accessable by boat. We visited the quaint fishing village of Gibsons which most know as the film location of the old Canadian TV series, the Beachcombers. We even ate lunch at Molly's Reach!

Back at the cabin we spent hours on the deck eating cheese, sausage and bread while drinking Okanagan wine, admiring the hummingbirds, mason bees, and neighbourhood dogs that visited the garden. This cute retreat gave us a little taste of a perfect slice of coastal BC paradise - it was hard to come back home to downtown!

But city life in Vancouver certainly has its perks. This past week we've been having weekday evening bike rides around the seawall.

We'll pick up dinner from a little Lebanese shwarma shop on Denman and then we'll sit on a log at English Bay watching the sunset as harbour seals frolic in the water. Everyone seems to be out at English Bay in the evening these days - many large groups of friends with hidden stashes of beer; young ESL students - Brazilians, Saudi Arabians, Koreans, Japanese, Swiss, Taiwanese, Mexicans, Germans - adjusting to independence in a foreign country like an unofficial frosh party with many a flirtacious laugh. And then there's couples like us, happily chilled out, watching the sunset over Bowen Island, momentarily forgetting about the city behind us.

Weekends have also been adjusting to the summertime spirit. There have been Friday night drinks with friends and colleagues on the Section 3 patio where we somehow racked up a $1100 bill. This was followed by quick dash into the Railway Club to catch upcoming local bands. Hungry, we vanished into a nearby 24hr Tim Horton's for a bagel & creamcheese only to discover a parked limo outside. 10 minutes later we were in that limo going a spontaneous ride around Stanley Park to admire the stars. And that was just Friday.

Saturday we took it easy and enjoyed a walk around downtown's Robson Street to pick up some much-needed summer clothing. Lunch was at my favourite - the Vancouver Art Gallery's Cafe's patio - a hidden oasis terrace of flowers, birds, and classical music on Robson and Howe. Appropriately, out evening took us to the Orpheum Theatre to see Benjamin Hochman's performance of Mozart's Jeunehomme concerto followed by the VSO's performance of Prokofiev Fifth Symphony. Craving dinner nearby, we strolled down to our regular haunt, Subeez, to chow down on basa linguine, cobb salad, and wine. Life is rough.

Sunday we took the Aquabus across False Creek to Granville Island to pick up some ingredients later for dinner. We called up our friend Adam who suggested drinks on the patio of the Arts Club Backstage Lounge - a Granville Island institution. We were there drinking caesars and wine until 6pm before picking up some fresh salmon, halibut and, gai-lan and went back to our friend's apartment in the West End where he cooked us the most amazing dinner. We all ate on the balcony overlooking the English Bay sunset while listening to Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, and Willie Nelson.

When I think I'll have some down time to write a little entry, I always get whisked away elsewhere and the blog neglect continues. So I do apologize, but I haven't forgotten.

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