Vancouv-her | The Tale of a City Girl in Vancouver: Part 2

DAY FOUR: 18,345 STEPS

I survived Grouse Mountain! I (surprisingly) am able to still walk this morning, after my hiking adventure. Which is good since there was more walking in store for me today. Went for a short little walk this morning to the beach again, then spent the afternoon relaxing in my favourite spot followed by a little more work and some writing.

In the evening, I got to experience a tradition that my boyfriend has with his mom. Every summer the two of them go to Bard on the Beach, which is a large Shakespeare festival. Starting the evening tradition with delicious bagel sandwiches, using real Montreal bagels of course (not the rings of dough you so commonly find in Toronto), and then on to the beach for a short walk before the festivities begin. This year, the play that we watched was Pericles. I am not a very big Shakespeare fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the play because of how they used their space. Throughout the first half they used one simple sheath of fabric and their bodies to create a boat, an ocean wave, a table, a horse, an alter, and a screen for a bedroom scene. With a little creativity, thinking outside the box, and using what the actors had available to them, they were able to make the sheet really come to life for each individual object that it needed to become. It’s nice to be included in these traditions that he’s had with his mom for almost twenty years, it’s almost like I’m a part of their little family now!


DAY FIVE: 15,018 STEPS

Today, the biggest seagulls I have ever seen attacked me. Well, that isn’t exactly how my day started. It started with an early trip to visit the boyfriend’s Grandmother for the first time. I was forewarned that she had absolutely no filter, which is really my favourite type of person. We took a little trip over to Granville Island for lunch – the usual salmon and assorted seafood – followed by a stroll with the boyfriend through all the little shops.

Granville Island is pretty adorable if I do say so myself. It isn’t really quite an island though, since a small pond with a little bridge is all that separates it from the rest of Vancouver. This is definitely the place to be if you’re artsy and crafty like me, but not so fun when you don’t have any funds to purchase some of the amazing pieces of art. And the art is not your standard paintings; there are sculptures, fabric shops, wool shops with looms, ceramics, sculptures, photography mounted on glass, and so many other amazing pieces of “livable art”. The whole concept of livable art is probably one of my favourites, since that’s how I view interior spaces in general. What is a more livable art form that the one that you live in on a daily basis!

Our day was capped off with a double date dinner at the boyfriends’ friends’ apartment. A simple dinner – with you guessed it, more salmon. I came to realize that although rent in Vancouver may be high, hard to believe since rent in Toronto is pretty high too, the living space in these houses and apartments are quite a bit larger than those available in Toronto. I guess that’s another nice perk of Vancouver living, besides the mountains and all that fresh air of course!


DAY SIX: 9,427 STEPS

Not much to report, since I didn’t particularly feel like doing the usual walking everywhere we possibly go today. So instead, we had a nice simple day, relaxing outside on the front porch (in my usual spot of course) catching up on some work and some writing, the perfect opportunity to write down (while I still remember) all Vancouver adventures thus far. Definitely one of the better perks on owning your own company is that you can do a lot of your work whenever, and wherever the mood strikes you.

Then it was off to an early bird special with the boyfriend’s grandmother for Shabbat dinner. His grandmother was so worried about me coming into her apartment because she though that I would tell her to rearrange everything, which is a common thought for many people. The purpose of a space or a home is that it functions well and feels comfortable for those that live in it. My job as a designer is to enhance that feeling so that the space functions as well as it possibly can. The important thing about a space is that it’s right for you, that’s why any good designer gets to know the client first – so that they know what’s right for them. His grandmother, in fact did just fine all on her own, she even picked out a small accent colour in a throw she had to add accent pillows to her sofa. Colour me impressed! She also had some great antique pieces, although I don’t think she would consider them antiques. One piece in particular that I loved was this beautiful wood desk with a cutout detail going along the top surface of the desk. Maybe one day I’ll be able to inherit such a beautiful piece to have in my own home.

Later in the evening we met up with some friends at Jericho Beach for a quick dip before the sun went down and to watch the sun set. If you’re ever in need of some gorgeous inspiration, you should try watching a sunset with mountains as the backdrop. Sitting on the sandy beach for an hour watching the sun go from pale blue, to a soft peach, to a bright yellow and vibrant orange is so peaceful and calming to your soul. Every time I spend any extended time in nature I always feel refreshed and inspired to take on whatever challenge comes next. Once the sun was down, we went on a hunt for some more delicious sushi. I wanted to get as much of it as I possibly could before I went back to Toronto. We found this tiny hole in the wall place with nothing but a little graffiti sign leaning against the building that read “Su Shi” on it. But holy moly was it good sushi!


DAY SEVEN: 8,177 STEPS

Today was the first time that I attended Synagogue, which was a very new experience for me since I grew up Catholic. My boyfriend and his family however are Jewish, and being Jewish is very important to him and his mom. It was important for them to be able to share something that was so close to their hearts with me. The synagogue itself was quite small, but very beautiful with large chandeliers, blue and white etched and stained-glass windows, and old wooden pews circling the entire room.

After synagogue, the boyfriend and I were off for a day with all of his friends. Another thing that was very important to him was me meeting – and of course getting along with – all of his friends. And I'd say it was a success! We spent the afternoon at a barbeque, then a craft cidery, and then a restaurant. My boyfriend planned the visit to the craft cidery for me because I really enjoy cider, but he ended up enjoying it more than I did! We also thought that it would be more of a pub to sit and enjoy the cider, but we were very surprised when we arrived at a warehouse. Apparently they’re just starting up so they only do sampling of their product, but host big events at the warehouse every few months.

I myself enjoyed the restaurant more. Some of that was because the building itself was Platinum LEED Certified, which basically means the building was designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. One of the ways it does this (and that it shows off to it’s patrons) is with their some of their water supply. There are plaques mounted above each of the toilets in the bathrooms (and presumably the urinals), sharing the information that the water supply in the toilets and the landscape sprinkler system are all supplied using rain water.

After spending all afternoon eating, and drinking, and laughing with good friends (new and old), it was early to bed for us, since we would need to get up early for a very full and busy day in Victoria.