Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pinch Me Quick!

I know this post is some what late but we have had a hectic but very enjoyable time in the last week and I'll share it with you now. So be warned this is a long post and lots of pictures!

My hubby has been in discussions about a new job position and things are looking good. The General Operations Manager invited  both of us to come over to Vancouver this past week and stay in the corporate suite. We didn't know what to expect so I packed *everything* and booked the dog into a kennel and reserved our ferry ride over!

We had a very early start and arrived mid morning into the Vancouver downtown Coal Harbour area  and this is the entry to our high rise building:

The condo is way up on the 23rd floor complete with 24/7 concierge.  The building looks curved and is curved!

The Callisto
I have a few pictures of the inside for you. Briefly, it has two bedrooms. two bathrooms, laundry, computer room, living/dining room and kitchen and is roughly 1200 square feet over all.

the Condo (3 walls of glass windows are behind and beside me!)

King sized and comfy!
This bed was like sleeping on a cloud! Despite it being so large, we still somehow kept running into each other. Why is that??

The ensuite bathroom was huge and very enjoyable!

Have Vertigo?
The patio is accessed from both the bedroom and the living room. The glass railing sure tests your 'dizzy factor' ! I found that if I held the rail top I was good. I only had an issue if I stopped to think about it, so I quit that right away!  I needed to pick up some groceries (COFFEE!) and so headed downstairs and across the street to the local neighbourhood grocery store.

Urban Fare
Here I'm sitting at a restaurant bar above the grocery area eating a late lunch and below me is a rainbow of colour. Flowers, orchids and some of the nicest produce I have ever seen. So I headed back with my two bags of goodies, put them away, and then started taking pictures of the view!

Sea wall walk and Marina
This is the board walk along the harbour. Those dots are people! (click to enlarge) The blue glass is the high rise next to us.

Westin Bayshore Hotel; Cardero's Restaurant
If I pan outwards more, then you see the Westin Bayshore Hotel. I can recall it being quite famous in the 70's for housing billionaire recluse Howard Hughes for almost 2 years, late in his life. I guess he liked the view too.

In front with a wavy roof line is Cardero's, a waterfront restaurant that we dined at one evening. The seafood stirfry we had was yummy!  We had strolled there among people out walking their dogs (lots of dogs in the downtown!), runners and joggers, tourists like us all enjoying the evening and admiring the boats. When we walked back the sun had set and the city was lighting up. Trust me, its never dark in the city at any time of night

Vancouver Rowing Club set in Stanley Park, on Coal Harbour
Back to the view: beyond the hotel, you can see an older building on the edge of Stanley Park. This is the Vancouver Rowing Club. I saw many rowers out getting some practise in over the days we were there.
Many years ago....I attended a function at the Rowing Club and can tell you its a classic inside as well as out.
It had that classic 'British Gentlemens' Club' feel to it.

paddle wheeler Constitution coming in
Then there were the boats, yachts and other craft on the water!  Here's the paddle wheeler coming in with a load of tourists who have enjoyed a 2 or 3 hour cruise on the harbour. That vessel really moves! I was surprised by its speed.

which one would you choose? (which one can you afford is more like it! The dinghy!)
In this image, there is an outlying dock for larger boats. I thought the yacht with the small boat tied along side was  big until the sleek one showed up! There was a crew of five or six and they literally rolled out a red carpet onto the dock. We watched four or five passengers get off and walk to the top and get into taxis. They looked like normal folks to me.... but clearly not. (the little house up high on stilts is actually sculptural art)

cruise ship on her way!
Then came the cruise ships! This is one of the Norwegian Cruise Line vessels heading out with a whole load of happy people on board. Most likely going up the coast to Alaska. There was another cruise ship but I didn't have my camera handy and it was gone when I got back. I left it on the table after that!  There were freighters coming and going blasting their horns... and the 9 o'clock gun that blasts every night at, well strangely enough, 9 o'clock!  If you enlarge the cruise ships picture (or any of them in the post to see detail better) you will see a small structure on the point of land on the left. That's a little house built over a traditional cannon. It sure caught me unawares the first night!

Saltspring Air flight
Twice a day, for what seemed like hours, there was a steady parade of float planes taking off and landing. They are ferrying passengers between Vancouver and Victoria, Vancouver and Saltspring Island and other places as well. You could see them coming about 3 minutes apart and landing right in front of the building. Yes, there was some noise but its much the same with cars. Some you hear, some you don't. It all depends on the engine and where they landed. It wasn't bothersome and added to the image of a city being 'alive'.

modern terraced building
Then there were the buildings and unique views of them from this height. I don't think I had ever looked at them quite like this before or admired them as large 3D art forms. One thing I noticed was the liberal use of plants and gardens to bring nature into the city and soften its harder edges. Here's a terraced building up the street at Hastings and Jervis streets.

street level town homes
There are town homes at street level with rooftop gardens. Not seen in this shot is the children's playground which was much in use. Children living and going to school in the heart of a business downtown area. It challenges the suburbia concept doesn't it?

the green egg 'dome'
Below was what looked like a flat egg where this man was playing with his dog; to the right with a glass roof is an indoor pool for the building next door. I never saw anyone in there swimming.... pity! Later when we walked to Cardero's for dinner, this flat egg is actually a large green dome and sits over the underground parking complex.

That's a gym waaay up there!
Bruce pointed this place out to me! At the very top of a high rise way off to the east, is a large gym and fitness centre. It must be at least 30 stories up as it was way up above our heads.Those are tread mills you can just see at the edge of the window. Even breaking a sweat here is different!

Sunset over Vancouver Island's mountains in the west

We saw three marvelous sunsets while here. Those mountains off in the distance are on Vancouver Island. I tried some night shots to show all the city lights but I'm not a proper photographer. I use all automatic settings and left that up to hubby. He got some fantastic shots at night but his computer is misbehaving right now or I'd share one with you.

We had a full day off together and so headed to Granville Island!
Diane Sanderson's Silk Weaving Studio
This was one of my key places to visit as I have just about used up my 30/2 black silk. I bought a cone of black silk and also a cone of 20/2 bombyx silk. That was it... and that was damage enough! I just wandered around taking pictures.

Now isn't this a sight for sore eyes!
This area seems to be for visiting weavers to get a fix of yarn and colour. There was a variegated silk warp being threaded on the Louet Megado.

Bombyx Silk Moth
There was a terrarium with silk moths; some in cocoons. Not sure if they were spinning and going in, or just coming out? Big hit with the kids that came in.

I found Bruce and we headed over to another building called the Net Loft and I was going to browse at Maiwa. They sell dye supplies.  I looked around and while everything looked wonderful, I decided that I should use what I have already. Then I found the bead store!

a rainbow of beads!
Yes, I have lots of those too but picked up some Japanese Delica beads in cream and an unusual green that will be for my current project on my Louet Spring (to be shared soon).

We bought lunch and sat outside watching the people and boats to'ing and fro'ing. Sea gulls everywhere and then we noticed that the gulls had a plan. Rather than wait for scraps to be thrown (which is discouraged as it feeds rats too), they now wait on the roof line and watch people come out with plates of food. If they see an open style  plate, they dive bomb the person! Four or five birds all flapping around their head (seemed like ten!) and out of three attacks, it worked once. A poor teenager dropped his plate of chinese style rice and chicken and everyone was in there scrapping over the scraps! Even the pigeons and starlings were jostling for position.  Smart!  So you aren't feeding us anymore? well,  we'll take it all then! If you have ever watched the movie 'Finding Nemo' then you'll understand the seagull chant " mine, mine!"  

False Creek
If I had to name this picture, I would call it 'Motion' as people were on the move here constantly, by many means.

Marina and Granville Street Bridge

Meanwhile, some were sitting still, including the boats. That's the Granville Street bridge that the market and grounds sit under.
Sheraton Wall Centre

We were in town another few days and visited with family and more business meetings as well. These are some shots taken on the fly from the car with my mobile phone camera. I liked the reflection of the building in the glass of the newest tower in Vancouver, the Sheraton Wall Centre. The reflected building is the old BC Hydro building where I got my very first job at age 18 after coming back to Canada ...oh, so many years ago!
Its now been converted into downtown apartments. The outside still looks the same, except maybe not in this photo!
The bridge deck through Stanley Park
Then it was time to head home. I was not in a hurry to leave! I could have stayed even longer....I liked this 'lifestyle' but granted I can't afford it..... The trip home was long and hot as we didn't have reservations on the ferry. I was thinking of that other ship.... it was clearly waiting for me and no line up either!  

"Nova Spirit"  owned by  BC Billionaire Jimmy Pattison
The job looks very promising but we must wait some more till we know for sure.....


LA said...

What a beautiful city to visit. And, you got to visit some of your favorite kinds of shops!!!!

Michele said...

Thanks for this insight into the wonderful city of Vancouver. I'm a new reader of your blog, considering buying a Louet Spring soon, hopefully anyway :)

Carrie said...

This post makes me miss home more than ever. I'm glad you guys had a great time, everything looks amazing!

Beautiful photos!

barbara said...

Susan, What a wonderful tour of Vancouver, down around Stanley Park and many other places. Wow, it has been years since I lived out West - and the city has sure changed - though it is as beautiful as ever. Thank you for sharing - you make a wonderful tour guide - I feel I was right there with you. Oh and the colors in the weaving studio and the beads - wow!!!! Weaverly yours ... Barbara

Life Looms Large said...

Looks spectacular!!!

Sending spectacularly good job vibes your direction! (Well, for your hubby of course!!)

The yarn shopping made me drool!


Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

I've never been to Vancouver so I enjoyed seeing it through your eyes. We've been away from the city so long (DC) I had forgotten what a really big city was like. Definitely a place to visit when up that way.

Marion B. said...


Silvia said...

I'm mightily impressed. What a city an the location you stayed.
Good luck for the job.
Viele Grüße Silvia

DebbieB said...

Fantastic photos - thanks for sharing! Good luck with the job.

Lynnette said...

You really were in the heart of everything! Such great vistas' from your balcony....and so wonderful that the weather cooperated. I was in Vancouver a week earlier and the forest fire smoke masked those lovely views.

Spinning Out of Control said...

Wow...very nice pictures!

dorothylochmaben said...

Hi - what a great post ! I just loved seeing so much of vancouver and all those photos gave me a real sense of the culture. Would be great to put it top of the places to visit ! A trip on that cruise ship would have done the trick for me !
The silk studio looks so good with wonderful colours ! I thought the beads were amazing also.
A wonderful trip, so glad you both had a good time.


WOW!! What a great looking city. Good Luck, with the job for your husband, how exciting.

Annie said...

What a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing.
I loved the pictures of the silk shop!

Gjeani said...

Great! if all city's were like this I wouldn't even mind living in one. Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures. Next time we go to Alberta we have to take a trip to vancouver too.

bspinner said...

All I can say is "Wow". Amazing condo - Amazing city. Thanks for taking us along.

Anonymous said...

Susan, your pictures captured the spirit of what I love best about Vancouver. It's been more than a year since my last visit (our friends sold their flat in West Vancouver, so we don't have a free place to stay any longer), and I miss it so much. Thanks for sharing your stay and beautiful views with all of us!

Louisa said...

So fun to see my city from a different perspective! Great photos, Susan. And best of luck to Bruce on the job prospect.