Farewell to Vancouver

Sitting in the Departure Lounge enroute to Shanghai.  I notice that my handwriting seems a bit odd—maybe my compression flight socks are squeezing my motor skills at the cellular level.  Or maybe my arm muscles are fatigued from yesterday’s aquafit class at the local YMCA.  Or maybe it’s just the fatigue from the bag drag from our apartment at 777 Burrard Street, Vancouver to the airport.

So, a farewell to Vancouver which has been so comfortable for us at the apartment level, the city level and the cultural level.  The apartment was perfect- had a great bed, hot water on demand, a dynamite 5th story street view and location, location, location.  You laugh about the hot water but if you chose to visit us in Moscow during the summer you wouldn’t have had hot water.  So for us it’s always a treat rather than an expectation.

Last night we had our farewell meal at Won More (corner of Denman and Davie) with the best Kung Pao chicken I’ve had since our Beijing days.  Home cooking just like our Chinese cook used to make.  Won More is a hole in the wall I’d put on everybody’s list.

As a city Vancouver is an A+.  It has mountains meeting the sea which makes for a fabulous horizon.  It comes with the Wolf Seal of Approval for honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, baptisms, funerals, divorces, vacations, and training towns for launching global adventures.  We learned a lot at this stop.  We learned to take a lot of pictures which I will edit at the next stay.  I plan on trying one of those photo books with Shutterfly so that when I get to the nursing home I’ll have visual clues for my previous life.  I figure in my demented state the memories will seem new to me—every day.  And if you are my roommate it will seem new to you—every day.

We learned so much at this stop and had such fun

  1. Connecting with the locals: watching the Canucks lose (again) in the Stanley Cup, watching a local theater and symphony production, celebrating a bank holiday (Victoria Day)
  2. Navigating the incredibly clean public transport where it’s normal to hear passengers yell their thanks to the bus driver.
  3. Relearning riding a bike thru Stanley Park; I only knocked over one sign.
  4. Remembering the importance of curiosity and the generosity of helpful, engaged store clerks, restauranteurs, librarians, waiters, people on the street, YMCA participants, congregations.
  5. Figuring out that distance can be diminished with time and effort. It’s a learning curve for our computer/phone connections. (The Chinese have blocked Google which means another hill to navigate).

City Planners take note.  We’ve come to the conclusion that a city adjacent to mountains and coast with great amounts of green space and a superior public transport makes for happy people!

Vancouver, I’ve got nothing but love for you…

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