Vancouver: Part One (Bloedel Conservatory)

This past Thanksgiving Antoine and I decided to take advantage of some hotel rewards and skymiles from his consulting days and skip town.  The idea was that since we celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents early in November and his parents don't really celebrate holidays, why not get out of the US and get away from the Thanksgiving/Black Friday mania.  So, we opted to spend 5 nights in Vancouver.  Sure, November is Vancouver's rainy season, but it's also their off-season...which means less tourists floating around and more opportunity to experience the city in peace.  Of course, all the locals thought we were crazy for visiting in November, but I gotta say, even with a couple chilly, dreary days Vancouver still left quite the impression.  What a great city! The downtown area is surrounded by water and mountains, it's beyond beautiful.  Naturally I took my camera, which means I took thousands of photos!  I know, I go a little overboard, but I like to take anywhere from two to six photos of one subject...I tend to fill up my SD card pretty quickly!

Since I have so many pictures to share I've decided to divide this recap into four parts.  I just want to share some of my favorite parts of the trip, since that's the best part..looking back and thinking about what you really enjoyed.  The first is Bloedel Conservatory.  It was one of the last places we visited, but it was also one of my favorites.  I've got a thing for floral conservatories, mainly because I have a serious affinity for taking pictures of flowers.  Cincinnati's Krohn Conservatory is one of my favorite places in the city, and I've visited conservatories in places like Columbus, D.C. and Chicago and been in seventh heaven!  But Bloedel is something very different, in fact, it's a pretty small place with a modest flower selection.  The most interesting part of Bloedel are the array of birds that freely wander around the conservatory; everything from finches to exotic parrots to birds I had never seen before.  None of the birds are caged, so at any moment a finch could go zipping past your head.  Although a little startling, it makes for some great picture-taking.

This guy was my favorite, he seemed very friendly.  Plus, he seemed to like hanging around the orchids just as much as I did!

Since we were staying in the heart of downtown, Bloedel was a little bit of a bus ride away, but it was totally worth it!  And, on the way back to our hotel we stopped at this fantastic place called Peaceful delicious!  If/when we go back, we will definitely be making a trip or two to Peaceful, it was possibly some of the best Chinese food I've ever had!  Also, the overlook at Bloedel offers a spectacular view of downtown Vancouver. 

Stayed tuned for round two, a hike through Lynn Canyon.


Hi, again.

We'll call this part two.

I've been here before.  Well, not quite here, but you know.  I've done the whole blogs-sharing mumbo jumbo before.  And I liked it.  It motivated me to take pictures and be active, which is a good thing for me.  But then my life kind of exploded for a I stopped.  And for seven months, I went silent.  I said my goodbyes and wasn't sure if I'd ever return to blogging.  I gave my (very few) readers a brief "goodbye" but pretty much left them in the dust to focus on the more important, real parts of my life.  So, here I am, seven months later...missing blogging.  I've missed sharing.  And I've missed living a bit outside myself.  

So, I'm back! One of the aspects of blogging that I've missed the most is its ability to push me, whether to take more pictures, try to improve the pictures I am taking, get my ass off the couch and, you know, go outside and enjoy the world.  I'm the type of person who needs that motivation, because I am just too comfortable sitting on the couch in my pajamas watching Big Bang Theory or reading.  What can I say, I'm an introvert who's happy doing little to nothing.  But, at the same time, that's just a waste sometimes.

This past year has been a little bit of a whirlwind.  I started out 2012 engaged, but by June I wasn't anymore.  No worries though, Antoine and I are happy and still living in sin with our furry children.  In a lot of ways, 2012 was a rough year...adjusting to changes in my relationship, my job and other aspects of life.  But I have every confidence that 2013 is going to be a great year.  Antoine is no longer consulting, he's found a job in Dayton!  And, we have a boat load of hotel reward points and skymiles from his days of consulting, so we have a ton of travel adventures planned this year including a quick trip to Montreal for my birthday in less than two weeks.  So exciting!

My hope is that small group of original followers will come back, and hopefully I'll find some new readers along the way.  So, stay tuned...