Friday, April 10, 2009

Life Is Good

So it's the Easter long weekend and my husband and I are rediscovering what being a couple without kids is like. Our son is away for 9 days and so we're home alone, which so rarely happens, though it's a sign of things to come as he will be graduating high school in about a month and a half. *boggles*

We decided to spend the day enjoying the outdoors. We started off with taking Indy to the dog park nearby for about an hour to let him run around off leash so he could burn off some of his endless puppy energy. Then we hopped back in the car and drove into Vancouver to Stanley Park, one of our most favourite places.

We got there just before noon and started off by having the picnic lunch I had packed, then we set off on the sea wall. The sea wall loops around perimeter of the park and if you are walking at a comfortable pace, it takes about 3 hours to go all the way 'round. There's paving the whole way with two separate parallel paths-one for pedestrians and one for cyclists and rollerbladers, so everyone can safely enjoy the loop.

We spent about 4 hours walking. When you have a dog, everyone wants to meet you and pet your dog and of course your dog wants to meet every single dog they pass, so you're stopping and starting alot, which was perfectly fine, since we had all the time in the world.

The pic above was taken on the ocean side of the park. Someone had just carved the words into the sand and I thought that yes, life is good if you are at the park on a Friday, with the love of your life, walking your puppy. Sometimes we forget that our lives are made up of small moments of sheer goodness that we often don't stop long enough to recognize and savour.

There is an area of the park called "Lost Lagoon" and this little beggar was lurking along the shoreline watching the tourists feeding the ducks and trying to figure out if he was going to get anything or not. He didn't and wandered off into the underbrush.

I spotted this turtle farther around the lagoon. Sometimes in the summer, you can see them sunning themselves on the rocks. I like turtles.

Okay, this is a horrible picture, but it's a swan along the lagoon sitting on her nest. The park staff have cordoned it off so it's protected from tourists. There are 4 eggs in the nest. Swans can be vicious when they are protecting their young, so it's probably a good thing there's this mesh fence up.

Finally, there are signs of spring are all around. This flower is bachelor's buttons in one of the gardens in the park. They are quite small-about the size of a quarter but I love their colour-it reminds me of pink lemonade.

I'm not really sure what kind of flowers these are but after the unseasonably long winter we've had on the coast, they're a welcome site. We saw LOTS of ornamental cherry trees in bloom. We have so many here because we're on the Pacific Rim and have a very high Asian population in Vancouver. The cherry trees are Japanese in origin and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is happening now.
Vancouver boasts over 36, 000 pink and white cherry trees and there are organized tours you can go on to properly appreciate them! Believe me, they are spectacular.

This is the horse drawn trolley tours of the park going by. We did this at Xmas one year and it was alot of fun. *SO* touristy, but sometimes it's fun to be a tourist in your own town.

This is Siwash Rock, a sea stack, the only one of its kind in Stanley Park along the sea wall. It's a well known landmark in the city.

Driving home, I noticed this for the first time, near the corner by the Vancouver Art Gallery. I don't know how many times I have passed this corner and never seen it, but then again, it could be fairly new...
The Vancouver Art Gallery. Sometimes when you drive by this side of the building you see strange things advertising the current show. This display is not wild like some of the things I've seen.

Okay see the man statue on the left? Every time I go by, I want to stop and take a proper pic, but it's in such an awkward place parking-wise that unless you are walking in that area, there's nowhere to stop and do so.
Anyway, this is in front of the Buschelan Mowatt Gallery and this statue is so cool. It's made entirely from stainless steel alphabet letters, which look to be no more than about five inches tall. The way it's put together, it looks like a 3d figure of a man, but you can see right through it. Taken from this perspective, (whizzing by in a car!) you can only see the figure, but up close, you can see each and every random letter. I love this piece. I wish I owned it-it's brilliant and I never get tired of looking at it!
Here's the link to the artist Jaume Plensa's page on the gallery site and an up close pic of the piece. If you look at my pic and then the gallery pic, you can appreciate how amazing this work is.
This is part of the Vancouver Public Library. They built this building a few years ago, but I love the architecture. From this shot, you can't see how wonderful it truly is but the whole thing has a coliseum feel to it.

This shot gives you a sense of what I mean. The way it is situated on the corner is really interesting and adds to the skyline.
Here is a view of the atrium. If I weren't an artist, I would enjoy being and architect. (But alas, I am not a math whiz.) I love looking at the lines of structures, the materials they are made from and how the colours and shapes fit together. When I went to NYC, it was a feast for the eyes.

Speaking of structures, this sad little shot (again, taken while whizzing by in a car) is the 2010 Olympic's Athlete's Village. I've walked by on foot and it's really, really nice. I even walked over the pretty bridge there, that very soon, hundreds of Olympic Athletes will walk over. The village is located on False Creek waterfront and I think the Athletes will enjoy the view, especially at night.

And last, but not least, this is Indy sleeping in the back seat on the way home. He's so adorable. He insisted on stretching out across the back seat so he could have his head on my husband's jacket. How he could sleep with head and neck in that position is beyond me, but he looked so sweet. I think we wore him out finally!
So...that was my day and a glimpse of Vancouver. Sometimes it's nice to get out of the studio and get inspired by the natural beauty. We certain have a wealth of it here!


halowrites said...

what a lovely day! the pictures taken along your travels are wonderful-- I love getting a glimpse into your world. :)

the letter statue is fantastic!

sherry lee said...

A 4 hour walk?!? You have stamina!! But when you are doing something you love and people stop you to talk, time has a way of passing so quickly.

Thanks for the tour of Vancouver...I loved it when I was there oh so long ago. Stanley Park was one of my favourite spots..and now that I'm thinking of it my husband and I walked everywhere in Vancouver...never took a thinking about it, I can easily see 4 hours in Stanley Park!!

Happy Easter!

violette said...

Sounds like you had the best of times at Artfest! Cool trades.

Great pics of our beloved Vancouver.
I need to find our last e-mail so i can respond to you!


susanc said...

I just found your wonderful blog through another blog and am so glad I did! I went to Vancouver over 30 years ago and was so impressed with how beautiful Vancouver is and hope I will get back there some day.