It was an amusing few weeks in Vancouver after I got back with Connell. The winter weather was definitely starting to set in, and honestly, I had gotten pretty tired by this point, it was nice to take a break and ‘live’ rather than travel for a bit. Funny thing is though, I wasn’t actually technically staying in Vancouver! Connell was staying at his parent’s beach house in Point Roberts, which is technically in the US, and I was crashing there with him! I say technically because it’s a peninsula that’s below the 46th Parallel, which was supposed to be US land, BUT it wasn’t actually connected to the continental United States. In order to actually go further into the States, you had to leave the States first, go into Canada, and then go back into mainland Seattle. And Connell was living and working here (making that valuable US $$$) but had to cross the border and back every day to go to school! And the funniest thing is that I technically entered illegally! I hadn’t thought to bring my passport, and had left it at Rose’s house when we left for the Island. So, after much explanation at the border, on why I was trying to cross without a passport, I guess the border guards felt so terrible for my smelly self that they just let me cross. The fact that I couldn’t actually enter the actual US from Point Roberts probably helped in my favour too. But now I guess I get to say I entered the States illegally once!
It was a fantastic place to stay though. As you can imagine, the peninsula is right next to the water, and there were some really beautiful bluffs that we would explore when it was nice out.
We also played a lot of ping pong and watched a lot of movies. Studio Ghibli was well represented, with enthusiastic viewings of Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle.
I mentioned that the weather was starting to worsen, and there were many days with very thick fog, which, now that I’ve actually moved to Vancouver, I’ve realized AREN’T that common! But on the nice days when Connell was at school, I would drive into Vancouver proper and explore around.
I spent a day at the Vancouver Aquarium, another day going up the Grouse Grind, and a couple of days just wandering around the city. It was actually kind of saddening to see the aquarium exhibits and the grizzly bear on top of Grouse after I’d seen so many truly wild animals on this trip. It’s definitely changed the way I see and experience zoos and animals in captivity in general. But Vancouver itself is just so stunningly beautiful, all along False Creek, in Stanley Park, and from up on the mountains.
I also went and feasted on Chinese food in Richmond because it had been FAR TOO LONG. I had not gone without decent and conveniently available Chinese food for so long before.
It was also during this time that I got a random text from Rose asking if I wanted to go see Paramore! in concert! Apparently before her trip to Hawaii, she had just won a radio contest and gotten 10(!) last minute VIP meet and greet tickets for Paramore! and was wondering if I could join. I had no plans so of course I said yes! And it was really fun! But I definitely felt a bit older as the crowd seemed to be made primarily of much younger, and more enthusiastic teenagers. But we had fun anyways!
Also Colin Mochrie, the famous Canadian on Whose Line Is It Anyway was giving a talk at Granville Island for a Writer’s Workshop and I somehow managed to get a ticket. So funny.
So yeah, it was two weeks of random adventures and a lot of fun, but unfortunately, the time did come for me to leave. But on that morning where I said a sad farewell to Connell, and packed up my car again to start the long trip back home, Vancouver gifted me with a spectacularly sunny day. I snuck up to the top floor of this building on Broadway, and managed to get the panorama of the city I had wanted:
The fact that 5 years later, I am now living in Vancouver definitely speaks to how much I enjoyed my time here. I’m really happy to be able to call this place home, at least for now. But there’s still a long drive back to Toronto, and many more adventures to be written about in the 5 years since visiting!