Plucking petals off a flower.

crushing grapes II  9-21-13

 

 

I’m mostly excited because we already share such candor.

On this day:

In 2012 – unlocked
In 2010 – social experiments and witches
In 2007 – macaroni & cheese, and the myth of reverse racism
In 2006 – neighbourhood connections
In 2005 –  .


Paddle Splash Yay!

I’ve been making it through my life list items at a pretty good pace. I think I need to revisit and edit the list. Some things are pretty vague and like, I don’t even know how to accomplish them. For example “Allow myself to be reckless” . That is not a tangible thing I can do to check off my list, so I’ll need to think of actual things I can do to accomplish my goals and make some amendments.

All this to say that another life-list item has been accomplished!

18. Go canoeing

The weather has been beautiful lately and the kids have really been enjoying the time we’ve spent at Meech Lake. I had been thinking about renting a canoe and taking them out and thanks to Elizabeth I learned that MEC has really well-priced rentals that include all the needed gear. (Honestly – so fabulous, I really recommend renting any gear you need from them). We picked up our canoe and gear the evening before our rental and had a fun time driving home with a canoe on our car.

The next morning, we packed up our supplies and headed for a short drive to the lake and to our first family paddling adventure! I had canoed only very little and this was just a nice introductory trip for me. The kids did not have paddles of their own, which was probably a good thing, but Bobby did say he wants to paddle with Shawn next time.

As we loaded the car, the kids pretended to drive.

As we loaded the car, the kids pretended to drive.

The next morning, we packed up our supplies and headed for a short drive to the lake and to our first family paddling adventure! I had canoed only very little and this was just a nice introductory trip for me. The kids did not have paddles of their own, which was probably a good thing, but Bobby did say he wants to paddle with Shawn next time.

about to head out on the lake

Bobby and Molly, just before getting into the canoe.

Bobby was almost immediately comfortable. It took Molly a while to get used to the motions of the boat and how people’s movements affected it. While we paddled we saw people at their cottages, excited dogs and a really huge snake sunning on someone’s dock. As we were rounding a point to go take our first land-break, we happened across two young bucks having a drink.

oh dear

This is as close as we got before they moved back under the cover of trees. As we moved away, they came back to the water.

We stopped the canoe at the mouth of an inlet, through which we would need to do a small portage. We took out our gear and set up for a picnic.

We met this frog-friend while setting up our picnic.

We met this frog-friend while setting up our picnic.

A little dog was playing in the water near to us and Molly decided that she was a Water Dog and ran along the dog's route, and chatted with the dog's people.

A little dog was playing in the water near to us and Molly decided that she was a Water Dog and ran along the dog’s route, and chatted with the dog’s people.

We got into the inlet and paddled to our usual spot at Meech. We unsuccessfully set up a fort to keep the spiders and ants off us, we swam in the pond, learned about pooping in the woods, and had a snuggle on our picnic blanket before heading back to our starting point.

By the time we were halfway back, the kids were so tired/comfortable in the canoe, that they just fell right asleep.

I got to take a paddle break while The Motor was still paddling.

I got to take a paddle break while The Motor was still paddling.

I love the combination of quiet peacefulness, beautiful nature, physical activity, and teamwork that this little day trip involved. We decided to stop at the Chelsea Pub for dinner and it was the perfect spots for all of us to sit outside and enjoy nice food and company, and for some of us to get our sillies out.

I think this has been the real big spark in my want to do more camping and do some canoe camping and oh my goodness this plus my bike hoarding habit will be A Problem.

On this day:

In 2013 – oh yes yes yes
In 2011 – I got a beautiful bike – our time together was too short
In 2007 – I need to remember to use chipotle in my cooking more often.
In 2006 – I met my uncle for the first time


This is the meaty part…

…the part where I talk about the importance of this trip I took with Shawn to Vancouver.

5. Travel across Canada (been right, now go left)

My history of vacations is that they have either been me tagging along with my parents — the last one being in 1999 as a “Well, I’m going to die soon…” trip planned by my dad — or have been the kind where I’m broke and staying with relatives or friends or am pregnant or have kids.

This was my first ever adult vacation, where I went and did what I wanted to do and that is a Big Deal to me. I mean, it wasn’t just what I wanted to do, Shawn was traveling with me so he had equal input, but that’s a less thrilling way of telling the same story.

I know that I can get into a super over-planner mode and that once I start, I will not stop until every single minute is planned and I’ve plotted best and alternate routes and have decided where the rest-stops will be and where we should eat and and and I did not even want to go there. We struck a deal: I would diligently scour airfare and get the best flights and Shawn would take care of all of the logistics on arrival.

I had a small wishlist:

-hug a giant tree
-go in the mountains
-go to Wreck beach

During our time there, we did all these things, and more exciting opportunities unfolded and, as we made certain choices, some opportunities were lost and that is the nature of choice. It means that we need to go back to do the things we missed out on!

 

 

IMG_5057

I get REALLY excited about flying.

I got to meet Corinna and I was SO happy about it! <3

I got to meet Corinna and I was SO happy about it! But she was totally pissed (jokes).

We saw this beautiful art before it was fully installed.

We saw this beautiful art before it was fully installed.

I got to hug this big tree!

I got to hug this big tree!

This beach and MOUNTAINS!

This beach and MOUNTAINS!

Right after my first ocean swim of the trip. I loved it! (Third Beach)

Right after my first ocean swim of the trip. I loved it! (Third Beach)

Rock sculptures

IMG_5368

At the Veder River. Shawn got in and floated down the river. I was pretty envious but didn’t have my swim suit.

This is just after the sunset that I've described below. This is so magical.

This is just after the sunset that I’ve described below. This is so magical.

Jerico Beach and MOUNTAINS!

Jericho Beach and MOUNTAINS!

The view out from UBC.

The view out from UBC.

Harisson Lake and MOUNTAINS!

Harisson Lake and MOUNTAINS!

I climbed a willow tree!

I climbed a willow tree!

Hiking in a mountain and looking at MOUNTAINS!

Hiking in a mountain and looking at MOUNTAINS!

A big log across a hot spring.

A big log across a hot spring.

IMG_5555

Within a magical mountain.

 

This was our lunch view in the town of Hope, shortly after having witnessed a man on a bicycle get hit by a taxi, and given our report to the RCMP clearly indicating that the taxi driver was at fault, and the RCMP officer trying to lead us into saying that the indigenous bike rider was at fault. Not Cool.

This was our lunch view in the town of Hope, shortly after having witnessed a man on a bicycle get hit by a taxi, and having given our report to the RCMP clearly indicating that the taxi driver was at fault, and the RCMP officer trying to lead us into saying that the indigenous bike rider was at fault. Not Cool.

In case you couldn’t tell from in the captions of the photos, every time I would see a mountain, I would point and shout MOUNTAIN! I am sure that it was charming.

Obviously, I live tweeted/instagrammed/facebooked the entire thing. If you check that out, you will see entirely different photos and anecdotes than what you see here.

Things I didn’t get photos of but were super important to me as experiences:

  1. Biking through the city, it is city just regular city. But then I would look up ahead and there was what seemed to be a pop-up forest! Like, boring buildings to either side and then the street I was on suddenly starts having these giant giant trees flanking it and they block out all light and I need to sing the words “Magical Fo-Rest!!!!” the entire time I was biking though it. There are many streets like this.
  2. Being in the ocean, up to my nose, being one with the waves and facing the shore and my arms were being a part of the surface of the water and I would feel the suck-back because a wave was coming up behind me and it would lift me up and just BLOOP out from my arms and continue toward the shore and it felt like I had the power to shoot giant waves out from my soul and toward the land.
  3. Experiencing the sunset at Wreck Beach for the first time. I was sitting naked in the sand, reclining on a giant log, facing the ocean and distant mountains. There were a bunch of people who had been there for a while already, playing instruments, chatting, and having a good time. As the sun began to set, everyone started playing their music together, while facing the sun. It felt to me like they were playing for the sun itself. The music was softer and calm but as the sun got more red and the sliver remaining got smaller, the music intensified, and people all over the beach made joyful, exuberant exclamations. As that sliver disappeared, people cheered and clapped and shouted, the music reached it’s climax and then subsided. I declared this to be The Perfect Place.
  4. I realize that most of these have to do with the ocean… I was swimming with real live seals! Shawn and I went to the beach on our last full day and, on our first swim that day, there were two seals checking us out about 10 metres away from us. They seemed just as curious and just as reluctant to get closer as we were. They made seal noises — we pretended to make seal noises. They are my Seal Friends.

This trip will have forever changed me. I learned some important things about myself (yet another post to make), I experienced things outside of my already-lived experience, and I learned new and important ways to be with my partner. Now I’m excited about future travels!

On this day:

In 2012 – delayed gratification
In 2010 – yeah…. access to bike paths was not my impediment
In 2009 – a different kind of vacation
In 2007 – Those things still annoy me – the bike thing less so, maybe only 13%
In 2006 – I’m really hungry right now and seeing this dinner I made is NOT helping.


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Wherein Tiana writes about cycling in Vancouver

Shawn and I recently spent about a week and a half in and around Vancouver. This trip was a big deal to me for many many reasons and there are lots of facets that I want to blog about.

This post is about my experience of the cycling culture in Vancouver.

At the start of spring, Shawn suggested that we arrange to use bikes around Vancouver and I loved the idea. Immediately, I started looking into bike rentals and into the cost of bringing our own bikes along.

Bike rentals start at $50/day per bike.
Flying with bikes costs just over $300 per bike (return)

It became clear that buying a couple cheap, used and generally in serviceable condition bikes was the answer. On our second day in town we started looking for used bikes. It turns out, there aren’t many actual shops that sell used bikes, Craigslist reins supreme in the area, but doesn’t work well for two people looking for an immediate purchase. On our first evening in town, I saw a couple walking on the sidewalk chatting and bringing some pretty nice custom bikes with them and I figured they’d have some good info. They suggested two different shops, both close to where we were staying. It turned out that one of the two had what we were looking for.

We ended up at Our Community Bikes and lucked out on one serviced bike and one as-is bike and some sweet people giving a friendly discount deal to a fellow Women/Queer/Trans night facilitator. We left that place with two working bikes that only needed a few minor adjustments to suit our needs for the remaining 10 days of our trip.

bikes

So… What do I want to say about bike culture in Vancouver?

There are bike routes everywhere! Not only are there dedicated bike paths, but there are entire streets that are dedicated bike routs and cyclists just go on them in huge gangs, all over the place. That was such an amazing feeling, to be totally safe and travel as a group among strangers. Any cars just kind of deal with it. At small intersections there are roundabouts where those on the bike route have right-of-way over the cross-streets. At major intersections there are stop lights that are activated by a crossing button right there at the side of the road, where cyclists can reach them! And then, it isn’t a super long wait for the light to change, it’s practically instant.

It seems clear that cycling as a commute option has been well integrated into the city and the entire time I was there I super duper enjoyed cycling as an option. I didn’t feel like there was the animosity between drivers and cyclists like there is here in Ottawa. In fact, cars often stopped in busy roads to let us cross if we were not at a controlled intersection, or they paused long enough at stop signs to let us go through without having to stop of slow for them. It was so super chill and lovely.

sign

 

On this day:

In 2012 – moving out – selling stuff
In 2009 – “those mini squash that remind me of crowns for hand puppets”
In 2008 – ” I can now manage showering regularly and feeding myself for the most part.” (insert something about solo-parenting here)
In 2007 – dead bodies in my mouth
In 2006 – public transit gives me Feelings – for real
In 2005 – not into it


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