In our first few days here in Vancouver I blogged a handful of times (here, here and here) in an effort to record in a stream of consciousness sort of way, to write as it was happening and share initial and immediate impressions and so on. Now, 2 months and a a little bit into it, and I’ve had more time to acclimate and really take it all in.
Turns out we were right–we do love it here. I may have said it before, but it’s such a great feeling to know you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. I don’t know how long we’ll be here or if this will become really and truly home for us, but I’m enjoying it too much to really worry about that. What I know is that it certainly feels like home, right now. I talked about an energy that this city has when we first got here, and it hasn’t disappointed. I’m not saying every day is fireworks and excitement, but there’s something to be said about a place filled with artists and expression and movement. It just lifts me up, and has the tendency to inspire.
A few impressions on my impressions from when we first got here, and a few new ones as well…
1. Yep. That darn 12% sales tax is still in effect. The overall expensiveness of this city is still alarming at times, but I’m slowly getting used to seeing cheese priced at $8. More importantly, I’m finding my little spots and stores I like to hit depending on what’s on sale. Normally, I wouldn’t shop around at 5 different stores. I’m not an extreme couponer (although I tried to be for awhile) and the extra dollars here and there weren’t worth dragging the kids in and out of their car seats for an entire day and in between naps. But, because we can walk to so much, it’s so much easier. And, we get more exercise and fresh air. It’s a win-win!
2. This is not related to Vancouver in any way but since we’re on the subject of food, I’ve discovered these fruity jelly people shaped things at Whole Foods that are to die for. It doesn’t help that Whole Foods is a stones throw away, I eat them way too much.
3. In the case that something is not a stone’s throw away, we’ve taken the train (aka metro) several times, which Evelyn and Theo love. We even get to take alligators (Evelyn talk for elevators) down to the trains. Talk about excitement! What has shocked me though, is that the train system is based on the honor system. You literally can walk past the pay machines and get right on a train. You don’t have to put your ticket in anything to get by any gates, you just have to try to evade the occasional green jacketed officer that may or may not ask to see your ticket. Would this EVER happen in DC?! I think not.
4. Another shocker, and I hate to say it, but I have not even really missed Target. I’ll get the occasional twang of nostalgia whenever I see ads (there are not Targets here, but there are commercials for Targerts here?) on TV, but for the most part, I’m surviving just fine without it. I did visit Zellers once, it’s not terrible but it’s no Target.
5. Smithe street is pronounced with a long I, so for those of you forgetting your first grade grammar rules it would be pronounced like writhe. Definitely do not pronounce it as you would pronounce the film in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie became Brangelina.
6. I’ve not heard nearly as many ‘ehs’ as I have expected to hear.
7. It’s still raining. But when the sun comes out, man do people get excited. I am definitely one of those people.
8. Getting my SIN (equivalent to SSN) was super quick and easy, thankfully. Expecting to encounter a DMV-like atmosphere, I was very pleasantly surprised when there was no line when I walked in, and the people working there were even nice! Next up is the license, stay tuned.
9. Toopy and Binoo. This is the weirdest cartoon I’ve ever seen. A misshaped, ugly mouse and some odd white creature make up this show. Never seen it on in the States, but Evelyn loves her some Toopy and Binoo. The tune is quite catchy, I find myself sining it while I cook and clean.
That’s it for now. Feeling comatose as I sit on this couch, need to stop staring at screens and get moving! Too bad it’s raining. ciao!
Kitsilano Beach. Just a short drive or a 30 minute walk along the sea wall. Is is not gorgeous?!