Posts Tagged With: Vancouver

A Bucket List for 2015

Dear God, let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry… have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere – be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honourable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” – Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I never make New Year’s resolutions, but now that I’ve finally settled into my life in BC, I decided to make myself a bucket list for the next year! The quote above is from one of my favourite books, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and if I have one resolution for 2015, it would be to do my best to make each day count. I feel like I’m at the opportune part of my life for self exploration and discovery and there’s so many opportunities that I want to take advantage of this year.

In 2014 I had some great milestones and adventures; I moved out on my own, found a job that I love, drove from Vancouver to San Francisco, signed up for an adult beginner dance class, took control of my physical health, and even cooked my first traditional Newfoundland turkey dinner. There are lots of days where I miss my amazing friends and Newfoundland’s beautiful rocky coast, but I feel so lucky to be living in BC and the longer I live here the more I realize there’s still so much here to discover.

It’s easy to let time pass you by once you settle into a routine, so I decided to make a bucket list for 2015 to motivate me to get out there and make every minute count. My list grew in no time, so I decided on some nice little categories to break it up. Here’s to another excellent year of adventure; I’ll do my best to chronicle it and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Maria’s 2015 Bucket List

Winter Fun
– Make a ski trip to Whistler
– Go snowshoeing
– Check out Vancouver’s night skiing after work
– Check out the skiing across the border at Mount Baker

Explore Nearby Attractions
– Go on a long weekend trip to Victoria
– Visit a winery in the lower mainland
– Make a trip to Portland with friends
– Go on the Camel Safari in Washington

Get back to Travel
– Jet off to Brazil for a vacation with my sister
– Knock an item off my long-term bucket list with a visit to Iguazu Falls
– Connect with mine and Seth’s family in Ontario

Newfoundland Roots
– Attend the Greenham Family Reunion in Twillingate
– Get up at the crack of dawn to go cod fishing
– Celebrate the marriage of two of my friends
– See Hey Rosetta! play in Vancouver

Expand my Horizons
– Learn the basics of Portuguese for my trip to Brazil
– Find a new organization to volunteer with
– Pass my law and ethics exam as I work towards my P.Eng
– Try an exotic new food that I haven’t had before
– Get creative in the kitchen
– Start a summer hooping club at work

Personal Wellness
– Keep off the weight I lost in 2014 with healthy eating
– Continue exercising at least 3 times a week
– Run Vancouver’s largest run, the Sun Run (10km)

Summer Adventures
– Put my ‘101 Walks in the Lower Mainland’ book to work
– Go hiking in Garibaldi Park
– Camp in three different Provincial Parks
– Climb the Grouse Grind
– Go biking in Stanley Park

Special Events
– Go to the Women’s FIFA World Cup in June
– Cheer on the Canucks at my first NHL game
– Go to comedy show
– Go to a concert
– See a baseball game

Categories: Life in British Columbia | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The Road Trip Begins. First Stop: Seattle

The road trip has officially begun! The group enjoyed one last day in Vancouver before catching the night bus to Seattle. We decided to just drive one way to San Francisco, so we took the bus to Seattle where we picked up our rental car.

The group spent the last day in Vancouver at Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s located at the base of the mountains in North Vancouver and features a huge swinging bridge across the river gorge, as well as a trail of platforms and bridges up in the trees. It was a crowded day, but a good opportunity to get a little bit outside the city and enjoy the giant trees! The evening was spent on the bus to Seattle where we played a spirited game of Harry Potter 20 Questions until something went wrong in the bathroom at the back of the bus and we spent the last 20 minutes of the trip holding our noses from the smell!

Fortunately things quickly improved the next day with a full day of exploring in Seattle. We started off at Pike Place Market, exploring the eclectic collection of shops that make up the market. Pike Place is arguably Seattle’s biggest attraction after the Space Needle – my favourite shops included this one that specialized specifically in TV and movie memorabilia (they have a whole aisle of just movie scripts) and a pet shop featuring items starring any breed of cat or dog you can imagine! Gills favourite purchase was a pair of socks with pomeranians on them and I was very tempted to buy coasters with my favourite breeds on them!


After exhausting the market, we made our way along the waterfront towards Seattle center to see the EMP Museum and the Space Needle. We were pleasantly surprised to find the place in full swing celebrating the Seafair when we arrived! Apparently Seattle hosts the Seafair every year to celebrate the warm weather and summer season. There were tons of tents set up giving out free stuff and there was performers in the middle of the square. We made the most of it and enjoyed free brownies and granola bars while watching the most bedazzled troupe of dancers! It turns out the entire event was sponsored by Alaskan Airlines and we had a good laugh at the hats they were handing out!


The EMP Museum proved to be everyone’s favourite part of the day and we all agreed it was the best value for money. The museum is housed in this huge multicoloured metal building and stands for the “Experience Music Project”. It had exhibits on music, sci-fi, and pop culture. Mel’s favourite exhibit was the sci-fi exhibit, but the rest of us favoured Fantasyland. It highlighted some of our favourite films and movies, including Harry Potter, the Wizard of Oz, and The Princess Bride! The museum had some great exhibits on popular artists to come out of the Northwest, as well as an exhibit on music videos.

We finished off the afternoon with a bit of shopping and went to the top of the Space Needle in the evening. It was a beautifully clear day, so we had a great view of Seattle with the scenic Mount Rainier in the background. Overall it was a very busy day, but we feel like we accomplished a lot. We finished with an enjoyable walk back to the train as the Seafair Parade serenaded us with lively music one block over!

Check out Gill’s second vlog summarizing our last day in Vancouver and our day in Seattle. Next stop: Portland!


Categories: American Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rain for Days: A Whirlwind Tour of Vancouver

It’s been an adventurous start to the trip for Melissa, Gill, and Karen! Unfortunately for me, while they’ve been out exploring Vancouver, I’ve been working, but I am now officially on vacation! The trip had a bit of rocky start – Gill and Mel got detained in Montreal for several hours on their way here and as a a result of having to get up at 4am (11:30pm PST), they were exhausted (and starving) when they finally arrived in Vancouver 14 hours later.

There was no time for rest though as we had already purchased tickets to see the Shrek Musical outside at Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park! In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best idea to go see a show the same day everyone arrived, but we were optimistic about it! Even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits as we made our way to the Park and at first we viewed the free poncho’s that were provided for the show as a novelty. But as the show started, the drizzle turned to rain, and the rain turned to heavy rain and before we knew it, it was pouring! The musical was quite good, but I can’t lie, watching anything in the pouring rain is pretty miserable. When we heard the sound of distant thunder just before intermission, we decided we’d had enough. We grabbed our free hot chocolates and decided to head for home.


Fortunately, the second day in Vancouver was a huge improvement over the first and included a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, a bike ride in Stanley Park, a walk around the downtown waterfront, and shopping on Granville Street and Granville Island! The group started the day with the Aquarium, which everyone enjoyed, but thus far it seems Gill and Mel have been plagued by whiny children. They were forced to tolerate a screaming child kicking the back of their seats on their 6 hour flight to Vancouver and then at the Aquarium they had to navigate the hoards of children’s camps that frequent the Aquarium in the summer. Although an educational summer camp on marine life might benefit Gill who mistakenly refers to the porpoises at the Aquarium as “portopussies”!

After a disappointing lunch of “creamy” spinach soup (it was so terrible I was forced to listen to a detailed description of just how awful it was), the day picked up with a bike ride through Stanley Park along the seawall. I’m told this was the highlight of the day and everyone was enamoured of their bright green rental bikes! The photos are courtesy of Melissa’s instagram account, but judging by Karen’s ability to text and ride in these photos, we think she might be after Mel’s title of social media guru and internet junkie!

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The day continued with a trip to the waterfront in downtown Vancouver where you can take pictures with the Olympic Cauldron and this giant pixilated whale of a piece of art! I finally joined up with everyone at Granville Island and we did a little bit more exploring before heading back to my house for an earlier night. Since we won’t be together for our birthdays this year, we had a little birthday celebration to finish off the night!

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But the real treat for this blog post is the youtube video below! Gill has been hard at work capturing our trip in video format – you should really be impressed because she editted this entire video on her iPhone! Enjoy!


Categories: American Road Trip, Life in British Columbia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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