Monday, October 31, 2011

English Bay

Vancouver's West End is one of the densest residential neighborhoods on the west coast - although in the last twenty years some of the city's other districts may have pulled ahead.  There's a remarkable combination of old and new, of houses and apartment buildings, of tree-lined streets and commercial strips.  And then there's English Bay and Stanley Park.

I took a quick lunchtime walk down to the Hotel Sylvia and the beach.  I bought a latte at Delaney's and sat on a bench in the rain.  It was very pleasant and very different than those summer weekends when we've stayed at the Sylvia and watched the fireworks with 300,000 other people.

Previous posts:  English Bay 2008, English Bay 2006

West Vancouver

We've come up to Vancouver many times over the years, but I'd never seen much of West Vancouver - except looking across from Stanley Park or looking down from the Lion's Gate Bridge.  What a great place for a late afternoon walk and a sunset.  I took the bus from downtown to Dundarave, then walked back to Ambleside Park before catching the bus back for the rest of the poster session.

As usual, there is a slightly more shoreline-oriented version of the Vancouver trip over at Gravel Beach.

False Creek

The conference took up most of the days, but there was still time to get away now and then.  I guess ultimately I'd still rather walk and ponder a shoreline, than talk it to death in a downtown hotel.
We actually had a planned field trip Monday afternoon to the Olympic Village site on False Creek, but I also made a point of walking down to the water in Yaletown a couple of other times during the meeting - one of them for sunrise, one at lunchtime.  There are lots of interesting stories and lessons about urban estuaries, coastal management, public access, and shoreline development here, but there are also just lots of cool things to look at.


Amtrak Cascades

On the trip from Seattle to Vancouver, it's important to be on the left side of the train, since that's where the water is.  Wander down to the cafe car for coffee while the train inches through Everett, since the switchyard scenery isn't as interesting.  Ideally, plan your trip for a season when the sun has already risen while you roll along the Sound between Seattle and Everett -- it was pretty gray on this trip until we got north of Marysville.

Don't miss Shipwreck Point between Edmonds and Mukilteo (not in these pictures), Rock Point Oyster along Chuckanut Drive, or the white rock in White Rock, BC.  Look for eagles near Crescent Beach - not many today.

It takes four hours or more on the train, less than three in the car (even if border is slow), but the train is just plain more relaxing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sculpture Park

The forecast was cold and rainy with snow lines in the mountains threatening to drop to below 4500', so I gave up on thoughts to go backpacking this weekend and decided to work on the kitchen instead.  But Saturday afternoon, the painting was getting awfully frustrating, all the more so because the sun was shining.

I fled the house without a clear plan, but somehow I ended up on the waterfront for a wonderful hour and half in which I completely forgot about patching plaster and rinsing paint brushes.