Going, going … (Haven’t they left yet?!)

Going, going … we’re just about gone … we’ve divested ourselves of almost everything not necessary for our trip: the red Echo has been sold, the bikes have been put away in storage, the skates and remaining clothes and accoutrements not needed on the voyage will go into the locker tonight. Marsha has graciously agreed to help us transport one more carload of stuff downtown and then, that’s it until the plane to Hawaii tomorrow at 6 pm.

Three things I’m going to miss about Vancouver:

1)    The Seawall

My favourite place to be, summer or winter, whether cycling, skating or walking.

This 25 kilometer stretch of pavement running around Stanley Park, through Yaletown, past Science World and the Olympic Athletes Village,

past Granville Island to Kits Beach is fabulous rain or shine (but preferably shine).

Along its length we can make stone sculptures, learn about mason bees and urban gardens, see wildlife such as seals, otters and eagles, drink beer and eat appies,

fish, collect bottles, make pottery, display art, strike a pose, dock a boat,

protest,  and dance, all in the same day if that’s what’s desired. We can also see the Google Mapping bike in action:

While downing a beverage at the Pirate Pub, we can also observe the top seven Seawall Faux-pas:

Not wearing a helmet while cycling (or skating): this one is a no-brainer – if you have an accident and are unfortunate enough to hit your head on a curb, even at a slow speed, your brain may be no longer. People seem to have no idea of the damage even a seemingly small crash can make – think pumpkin split open on the ground and wear your helmet. The helmet will not protect you if it’s hanging from your handlebars or in your basket.

Wearing a helmet but not having it done up: see above. The helmet will not protect anyone in an accident unless it’s done up tight around the skull.

Wearing a helmet, but having it on backwards: this one’s a funny-looking faux-pas. Make sure you know how the helmet is supposed to be worn.

Riding too fast, with no hands and no helmet: see above

Not obeying the posted signs: For most of its length the seawall is divided, one side reserved for pedestrians and the other for cyclists and skaters – keep to your own side! That pedestrians are oblivious to or deliberately disregard these signs is a major source of frustration for cyclists and skaters, especially skaters, for whom safe paved paths are a must (especially since there are so few of them around). Ditto cyclists – keep on your own side.

Unleashed dogs on the loose: I love dogs; I have a dog, too – but don’t let Fido run free along the seawall. He’s a loose and dangerous canon to skaters and cyclists into whose path he may unexpectedly run.

Blocking the path with your bike, your kids’ bikes, your stroller etc.: don’t be oblivious. If you’re going to stop, get off the path so that those behind you have room to get by and won’t run into you.

2)    Food

Of all the places that I’ve been Vancouver has the best food scene. As a result of its multicultural mosaic, the restaurants here are very varied and fantastic. Within a half mile radius of our downtown condo, we can eat excellent Chinese (check out the pleasant Restaurant on Davie between Granville and Seymour), Thai, Japanese, Indian, Asia Fusion, Korean, Mexican, Continental, Italian, German and more.

3)    Fun

Although Vancouver sometimes gets a bum rap as No-Funcouver, there are lots of ways to have summer fun in this town. So far this year, we’ve sampled grand street parties (Hello Game 5), Summer Solstice Festival, sailing, nighttime urban skating, cycling the many bike paths around the city, Luminaires Lantern Festival, Canada Day Parade, Means of Production Art Garden Party, Zombie Walk, and the PNE, just as a sample.

A big thank you to everyone who’s helped us on our way and a special shout-out to Doug, caretaker of our beloved beast Brubin the dog, and Marsha, caretaker of our much-loved cat Aran.

See more pictures here.

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