It’s 4:15am and Theo and I are hanging out in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, taxi’s lined up outside in the dark, hotel workers waiting for their day to start. Yesterday was a long, long day. The kids did pretty amazing though. Matt and I were more at our wits end than they seemed to be. They slept when they could, ate whenever we shoved food in their face to occupy them, and of course Theo pooped as soon as we got in the air on our second leg. When we actually arrived in Vancouver, we still had about an hour and a half of lines and immigration issues to sort out. For some reason I wasn’t thinking about this, so as soon as we landed I was thinking we’re home free. But still, the kids did great on that part too since they could at least run and crawl around while we waited. They both passed out in the taxi on the way to the hotel, and even transferred into the lobby still asleep. I wish I could’ve gotten a picture of Evelyn; matt had just lifted her entire, upright carseat out of the taxi and stuck her in the lobby, and there she sat, sitting up straight, head drooped over, fast asleep, as the lobby buzzed with workers, model UN students here for a conference, and a myriad of other interesting looking people. Maybe it’s because this is all so new and exciting to me, but everyone, and everything, does look interesting.
Then again, maybe not.
Our taxi driver, who has lived here for 10 years, said this city is the best place to live. He said it’s beautiful and multicultural. The man who delivered our bags to our room, who has lived here all his life, said the same thing. He stopped what he was doing to show me, from our floor to ceiling window showcasing the city, all the different things I would need to check out and explore. And there are a lot. They are not the first people to tell me that Vancouver is a wonderful place to live. But hearing it from longtime residents of the city made it more validated I guess, and having been here for less than 24 hours, I can see what they mean.
Some of my first impressions of this city…
1. Not only is Vancouver beautiful, it’s incredibly vibrant. It’s so alive and teeming with an energy I can’t really explain. But it’s a very good energy, that much I can say.
2. Everyone has been so friendly. This was something I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting unfriendliness, but people go out of there way to say hello to me. I’ve had several extended conversations with complete strangers. I quite enjoy it, but I just don’t feel like that happens very often back home.
3. Something I was expecting but wasn’t excited about: prices! Everything does seem to be more expensive here. Matt and Evelyn went out yesterday about 5 (I think?) to get some pizza. She had been asking for pizza all day, and I had been promising it to her, so off they went. I didn’t know they’d come back with cheese and dough worth $30 apparently. They also came back with a new hat and 2 umbrellas.
4. Which leads me to another first impression: everyone carries umbrellas around here! It was fun to drive into the city and observe all the different patterns and colors that people carried. Another fashion accessory to play with:)
5. I need to make sure to hold onto my change because dollar and even 2 dollar coins exist here. No more throwing it into the change jar!
Not very many first impressions but it’s what my tired brain can think of right at the moment. It’s now 6:14am and Theo is fighting sleep as I push him in the stroller while taking breaks to type. I imagine he will crash again just as Evelyn and Matt are waking refreshed. Which is perfect since we are all in one hotel room. Theo slept in the bathroom in his carseat last night! It’s an inconvenience, but there are worse things going on in the world.
All in all, I’m excited. Very excited. I love that we will be living in downtown Vancouver, where we can walk everywhere and go to farmer’s markets and parks and even the beach! Although I think my idea of a beach is not quite what is on the coast here. But that’s the fun in it. Lots of new things to see. I’m also overwhelmed. It’s a new city, new people, new everything. Lots of change. Something I usually initially shy away from, but in the end I always end up happy I embraced the change.
Love and miss everyone back in the States! Will hopefully be getting set up with a new phone, or at least a new plan, soon. For now the wonderful internet will be my means of communication.
Have a lovely day! Till next time…