A few weeks ago I attended a Pro-D conference for language teachers. They had a draw for a prize and package and to my immense surprise, my name was drawn. This past weekend Tim and I caught a ferry to Vancouver. Included in the package was one night at the Hyatt Regency. Our room was on the 29th floor, with a wonderful view of the North Shore mountains. Well. Our view was completely obscured by rain that fell during most of our stay. The view across the street, of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, was pretty nice, though.
I'm not crazy about heights, but it was fascinating to watch (for a short time) the traffic moving on the streets below. This was during a lull in the rain.
Our package also included VIP tickets to Cirque du Soleil's "Luzia". We were treated so well. Before the show we enjoyed Prosecco and hors d'oeuvres in a private room. On our way into the show we were handed bags of popcorn, and our seats were excellent. During the intermission we went back to the private room for dessert, and received a little gift bag. I felt quite spoiled by it all.
The show was jaw-dropping. I've seen quite a few Cirque shows on DVDs (we show snippets in our French classes), but to see the performance live was a completely different experience. The grace and strength displayed by the performers is truly mind-boggling, and the crowd was gasping and awe-struck many times. The theme and costumes were all so artistic - I really can't say enough good about it all.
We had a relaxing morning in the hotel since the heavy rain convinced us to not walk along the water as we had planned. Instead, we drove out to Steveston and found a little place for breakfast. The rain stopped and we took a short walk along the harbour front before heading to the ferry.
By then it was all blue skies, puffy clouds, and brilliant sunshine. I went out on deck to take photos in Active Pass, where ferries often pass each other.
These ferries are our connection to the mainland, and are part of the highway system. It's a pleasure (usually) to ride them, too, although some people complain about the time it takes and the costs (which is not cheap!) I enjoy the ride because I can read, eat a meal if need be, or just sit and watch the scenery pass.
Home life is full of the daily routines that make up much of one's schedule. I find much satisfaction in preparing good food, keeping the house tidy (I do the dreaded jobs first - like cleaning the bathrooms), and puttering around. I bake every week, but don't often take photos of it - these are some ginger sparklers (chewy, not crisp) that were made awhile ago. There are none left, and I'll be baking something else this week.
Are you thinking about Christmas yet? I've pulled out Nigel Slater's "The Christmas Chronicles" and read a snippet or two each day. I made a stocking for our newest grandchild, and have begun making a few simple Christmas gifts. I'm trying to be realistic about the time I can devote to that, but my yearning usually overtakes the practical.
This past weekend in Vancouver is actually the second in a row that we've been away. During the previous weekend we visited my parents and siblings in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. We took a short walk on the Vedder River Canal and spied this heron perched in a tree, eyeing the river for salmon.
Closer to home we've seen a variety of birds in our garden, at the feeder, including a Northern Flicker. He's much larger than the usual House Finches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Sparrows that usually visit.
Between travels near and far, and a busy teaching schedule, I've neglected this blog, and have not read or commented as much on others as I would like. I'm hopeful that I'll have a more settled routine going forward. Thank you to my faithful readers and commenters. I appreciate each one.
How about you? Are you thinking about much? Planning for the holidays? Do tell.