Friday, March 6, 2015

Visiting Vancouver

All this snow reminds me of last winter.  We had similar cold temperatures and heaps of snow back in 2014.  But last winter I grew tired of the 6 foot snow drifts and packed up my bathing suit and headed west, back home to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Vancouver is a beautiful city at any time of year but it never looked lovelier to my eyes than it did last April.

Vancouver city skyline
While PEI was still being ravaged by winter storms I flew to a spring paradise on the west coast of Canada.  Vancouver is garden zone 8 and their spring was a good month or two ahead of ours. 

Palm trees are quite at home in suburban front yards
While my yard was still covered in snow, Vancouver was in bloom. Cherry trees and magnolias greeted me each day and I was beyond ecstatic to be able to walk around without a parka.  For two weeks Jody and I walked everywhere, taking in all the old haunts that we used to frequent when we lived here.  Stanley Park was one of our stops.  It's a major tourist attraction and a beloved park to locals.  The park is 1001 acres in total and contains a seawall, trails, swimming pool, restaurants, tennis courts, beaches and the Vancouver Aquarium. My favourite part is Lost Lagoon.

Turtles basking in the sun (Lost Lagoon)
We used to live close to the park and searching for turtles in the lake was a favourite past time.  We also spent a lot of time walking the many beaches Vancouver has to offer. You can literally walk for hours along the waterfront and when the sun is out the views are spectacular.

Cherry trees in full bloom

Gorgeous walks along the seawall
Of course there was no shortage of plants to look at.


Everywhere you looked there was plants and flowers to admire.  I was particularly taken with the community gardens I saw.  This garden on an abandoned railway has been there for years but I always enjoy visiting.


This is a perfect little hideaway from the street where people gather to dig, plant and socialize.  Plus it features this great sign.

"You know all the things you've always wanted to do, you should go do them -xxx"
A new garden I noticed in a very prominent spot was the Davie Village Community Garden.

What used to be a gas station is now green
I love love love that this garden is right smack dab on prime real estate in the city core. Who needs another office building?  Hundreds of people are walking by daily and seeing fresh food being grown. It’s insanely refreshing to see something green growing in the concrete jungle and Davie is just the community to pull this off.  Whoever made this happen I applaud you.

Looking at all these old photos makes me think of taking a trip again.  Winters are long in PEI and I'm dreaming of green daily now.  How long is it until spring arrives?

35 comments:

  1. I am hoping that spring arrives today. We are supposed to get a warming trend today. I have a lot of hope. :) Love seeing these spring pictures. Something to look forward to. I don't remember seeing palm trees when I was in Vancouver. I should go back.

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    1. There isn't a lot of palms there Lisa but they do exist. Something that would be impossible in my present garden. I am thinking fond memories of warmer times while waiting for spring to come here.

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  2. Ah, Vancouver, very far from here but still on my wishlist to visit, especially Vancouver island. Thank you for sharing these lovely April pictures.
    Here spring has arrived, we have a wonderful sunny Sunday, I go outside now.

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    1. Vancouver Island is even nicer than Vancouver Janneke. I spent many happy years there. I would highly encourage a visit. Hope you had a wonderful sunny Sunday.

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  3. Thank you for the visit of Vancouver. I looks like a fun city.

    We are actually at 50 degrees today. I can not believe it. I keep going outside to see if it really is true! An early Spring...I do hope so!!

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    1. Early spring would be wonderful. Go outside and enjoy!! I'll take any sun and warmer temperatures I can get these days.

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  4. Ah beautiful Vancouver. I went there many years ago and loved it! That garden on the old gas station site looks amazing! I think you had better book another trip. Is Richard's on Richards still there?

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    1. LOL, there's a name I haven't heard in awhile. As far as I know it's still there Sarah. Although I haven't gone to Richards in years.

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  5. Officially or unofficially? We have a mild trend and lots of sunshine this week but I'm afraid it won't last....we'll see.

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    1. Temperatures are increasing here too but I feel much the same, I just don't trust it at this point. I'll take spring in any form right now, official or unofficial.

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  6. Your pictures are beautiful. Since I have been retired, each year we spend 2 months in Victoria where we have family. We go in December and January (why then would be too long to explain). It is marvelous then (conpared to cold Ontario) but as your photos suggest, it would be even nicer at this time of the year!

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    1. Thank you Alain. Even mid-winter on the west coast would be a lovely break from cold and snow. Victoria is a wonderful place to spend some time away. April was certainly a great time to visit, not too warm but warm enough that being outside was very enjoyable and there was still plenty of flowers to see.

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  7. Ah, yes, this is the time of year when I long to escape winter and visit spring. One year, I left Maine in late March with snow still on the ground and went to Paris for two weeks, arriving to warm temperatures and flowers blooming everywhere. By the time I got back to Maine, the snow was gone.

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    1. That sounds like an absolutely fabulous trip Jean. Perfect timing too. Spring lasts so long in this part of the country. Nice to get a head start somewhere else.

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  8. Memories sustain us through difficult times, Marguerite, and the beautiful recollections of your trip to warmer climes during a difficult winter are very uplifting. Spring WILL arrive soon! In the meantime, let's dream on. Great pictures. P. x

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    1. Thanks Pam. This is the time of year when I start fretting about winter ending. I'm so ready for spring, it's hard knowing I will have to wait at least another month or two before we have real spring in these parts.

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  9. If I remember right, it was a job/s that brought you and Jodi to the East coast, but I bet there are lots of times in late winter when you wish you could pack your bags and move back. It would be so nice to have such an early spring!
    There must be tremendous pressure from development on that community garden in the heart of the city. It is nice to think that such a green space gets enough public and political support that it continues to flourish.

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    1. Sometimes I wonder if we made the right decision coming east but then I remember how wonderful our new home is. I miss the short winters but PEI has its own charm.
      I think what impressed me the most about the community garden is, as you say, the pressure they must be under to develop it in a more profitable way. I just love that it got the support despite the economic pressures.

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  10. Marguerite girl .. I too was wondering why on earth you settled in PEI and are you maybe regretting it .. a little ? I know living in Vancouver is very expensive even for all of it's beauty. We lived on Vancouver Island .. Comox .. it was beautiful. Some times we think of it again (when dreaming we won the lottery ? haha) ... This winter has been brutal and I think we are all so tired and fed up on it ... we start to dream. Your pictures are wonderful and that green space is a dream come true for those people, I so hope it never reverts back to anything commercial .. green spaces are so needed for peoples sanity and health.
    Very pretty post by a turtle spotter !
    Joy : )

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    1. What brought us here Joy was the ability to have our own home. We love our community, we have a home we both enjoy. I have a garden, Jody a workshop. I miss short winters but there is a lot to be grateful for in PEI. A home of our own simply wasn't possible in BC. BC is a wonderful place but the cost to live there has driven out many residents. I moan a bit at this time of year but overall our move east was a good one.

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  11. We had a wonderful trip to Vancouver a few years ago. We spent a whole day in Stanley Park. We also loved Victoria and the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! It's very easy to spend a day in Stanley Park isn't it? So much to do and it's close to everything.

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  12. My mother visited Vancouver briefly and fell in love with it. She said it reminded her of Cape Town. Mountains and sea.

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    1. That is definitely a big draw to Vancouver. It's incredibly picturesque with the mountains in the background and surrounded by ocean.

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  13. So beautiful!!! I really want to visit Vancouver someday :)

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    1. I hope you get the chance Keith. It really is a beautiful spot.

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  14. Vancouver being my home town it will always hold a spot in my heart. And this year they say it's even warmer...one of those no winter, kinds of winters.

    My friends were reporting snowdrops in January again....meanies.

    Jen

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    1. I've been hearing the same Jen. No snow pack right now and the bears have already started to waken. it's unreal how early spring is this year for them. I have some concern though about the drought they may be facing later in the summer.

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  15. Everyone I know says how wonderful Vancouver is ... I would love to go! It must have been bliss to slip from the grip of winter into a gentle spring, winter can seem like a very long battle some years. We have been lucky so far in the uk as it has been very mild.

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    1. It really was a great way to end my winter last year. By the time I arrived home the snow had melted. Hopefully you get a chance to visit Vancouver some day. It really is a lovely city to visit.

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  16. The best antidote to the winter blues is to pack up and go someplace warm! I confess I have to think a bit about Canadian geography, but now I remember than Vancouver is close to the state of Washington, so I assume it has the same mild climate as the states in the Pacific Northwest. Palm trees certainly don't fit my image of Canada otherwise:) Love that big community garden, too!

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    1. Rose you're absolutely right. Vancouver has the same climate as Washington State. In fact, it's a temperate rainforest. So they receive a lot of rain in winter and very little snow.

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  17. I hope you get a chance to have a peek at my post today :)
    Wishing you a wonderful week!

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  18. What a beautiful place to visit in the spring, thanks for letting me tag along. And the quote on the container is so true :-)

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  19. If you're going to live someplace other than Vancouver PEI would be the first place I'd pick!

    The picture of the Vancouver skyline against the water is beautiful.

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