It has been a languid, lazy spring. The weather has been nice so I’ve been hanging out at the dog park, reading some dense books that I have always meant to get through and riding my bike a lot. But we have found a home in Seattle for July 1st – two weeks from now – and suddenly things are happening fast. Luckily we have handlers who are dealing with almost every detail for us so instead of freaking out, I am calmly just taking pictures down off the walls and unplugging appliances we’re not using. The movers are coming today to do an inventory and then they will come and pack everything up in 2 weeks and then we will have a few days of camping out with our animals and without our stuff and then we will be living in America.
There are many other details that need to happen in between all of that and of course a looooooong list of stuff to do after we have arrived but that doesn’t matter…soon all of the waiting and dragging out the process of the past year will be at least mostly over. The career will still be dragged out until the end of summer because once I get my visa I will still need to get employment authorization – a process that takes 3 months. I really wish I had known that detail when we started this process, but it seems that there are still many more days ahead of riding my bike and reading and hanging out at the dog park. Or alternately, I may run away to Japan for a couple of weeks. We’ll see.
In the meantime, there are people to see in Vancouver, things to do and especially places to eat. I finally climbed the Stawamus Chief, something that has been on my “must do” list every summer since I moved back to Vancouver in 1999. How embarrassing, but also what a great hike. I’m sorry I waited so long to do it.
In a similar vein, I have also been eating at a ton of “new” restaurants this past month in an attempt to try them before we move. Almost none of these are actually new restaurants, but rather places that I’ve been meaning to check out over the years. A couple of these I have been roller coasters of emotions – delight and astonishment (something that hasn’t happened in a while with me and food) at how good they are, and then utter despair that I didn’t go earlier. Via Tevere, Hog Shack Cook House, Laksa King and Octopus’ Garden in particular.
Between my food blog and my constant quest to check out new and interesting things, I think I am a pretty good ambassador for Vancouver. I go to art galleries fairly regularly and am at the Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Aquarium pretty frequently but as part of my volunteer work at the Museum of Vancouver, I got to take part in the Vancouver Tourism Challenge last month.
I went to so many places! Of course, I went back to all of my favourites but Matt and Riley and I also took a trip up to Hell’s Gate Air Tram and I went to all of the gardens (Van Dusan and Nitobe are gorgeous) and up to the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre. I made a point of going to everything I hadn’t already been to (except for the BC Sports Hall of Fame which I just cannot get excited about) and I also tried to ride my bike to as many places as possible, so that kept me busy.
It’s a great program and I learned a lot. As well, it has primed me for checking out all of the Seattle galleries, museums and such. I already have been to many of them (and actually have already applied to volunteer at SAM) and I’m looking forward to exploring a new city.
Somehow we managed to sneak in a trip to Victoria too.
Although I’ve been on the island a lot in the last couple of years, I haven’t been able to make it into Victoria proper. I have fond memories of Victoria from going to university there and I really wanted to go and check some things out, see some people, and do some diving on the Breakwater. Rushed and moved around as it was (originally we had planned to go on Easter) we didn’t end up doing much other than eating and drinking and walking around, but that suited us just fine.
Riley had a great time too. 🙂
What I’m reading and listening to:
- Storytelling is a magical, ruthless discipline
- Secrets of the Stacks
- The Shipwreck Hunter
- The Dangers of a Single Cover: The Acacia Tree Meme and “African Literature”
- The Ship-Breakers
- Frommer’s Japan Guide Book
- Why Game Developers Keep Getting Laid Off
- The Psychology of Your Future Self
- Make Time
- My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
- The Wayfinders, Wade Davis
- Why Yelp Probably Won’t Lead to Your Favourite Burrito
- Badly Behaved Dogs
- What is America? Ronald Wright