Each time I go to Granville Island in Vancouver, I always find something interesting. This time, it’s the colourful industrial buildings and the scenery. Here’s some shots I took while walking around.
I’m not sure what the aluminum and yellow concrete buildings are used for. Typically though, there are many artisans and small manufacturers on Granville Island. I like the contrast in colours and materials.
This is a small industrial building close to the entrance of Granville Island. It’s the workshop of Forge and Form Goldsmith.
Now this isn’t a real building, but a bird house. I know…lucky birds. It would be neat if there was a real sized studio that looked like this.
I like to go to Granville Island whenever possible. I was there several weeks ago and there’s something I never noticed before that was so interesting. When you’re at Granville Island and you look up, the Granville Street Bridge’s structure is actually quite magnificent.
This bridge connects the south side of Vancouver to downtown. Here in this photo, across the water is a downtown neighbourhood called Yaletown.
When I observed what’s around, I found this perspective. I like this view of the steel and the concrete structure.
I found some pictures from this past summer of Granville Island that I haven’t posted. I’ve written a post about Granville Island before, but because it’s one of my favourite places to go in Vancouver, I’ll be posting a few more.
I’m looking forward to warmer days, so I can go there with the boys without taking forever to get ready and getting all bundled up. They miss going there, too.
The above picture is of the Aquabus that runs along False Creek. If you take it from Granville Island to the other side, that’s the westend of downtown (which I’ve written about before). There’s also English Bay over there, a really beautiful beach. It costs $3.50 one way for adults and $1.75 for children age 4 and up. You can see Aquabus’ info and pricing here.
The dock of the Aquabus is at the back of the Granville Island Public Market. Here are the boys getting some free balloons from a staff member. A cruise and a free balloons?! No wonder they like this place.
Within walking distance from the public market is the Kids Only Market. It houses toy stores, candy stores, an arcade and games area (think mini Chuck E. Cheese) and food stands. They also hold a good Halloween event each year where there are free hot dogs and trick or treating. I would recommend going if you have young kids. See the picture here of Pax when we took him for the first time.
At the back of the market is a pond, a playground and a free waterpark. Those are Canadian geese swimming around looking for food.
I took a few days off after the Christmas rush. Enough rest though, I’m back to work today! Thank you everyone who purchased from me during this time. Your orders will be shipped out at the end of the week.
I just wanted to share a few pictures I took during my break. I wish I had taken more, but I was busy preparing for Christmas for the kids and sometimes I was just too lazy to.
It snowed 3 times this December. Two times before Christmas and another time right after. That’s 3 times more than we usually get. Most people think that Canada is really cold. I suppose that’s true for most of Canada during winter. Vancouver though is an exception. Located on the Pacific Northwest, our climate is quite mild. We don’t have very hot summers or cold winters. We are known to have quite a bit of rain. We’re 2.5 hours drive north of Seattle, so if you know what Seattle weather is like then Vancouver is pretty much the same.
This winter, we had some arctic air come through our way and it was really cold. People who live on the east coast think we’re wimps and they are not incorrect. We are not used to really cold weather and especially snow. It was havoc driving around. There were problems with getting anywhere on the buses, skytrain and public transit in general.
On Christmas Day, my husband and I took a nice walk at Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s probably the 2nd largest park in the city next to Stanley Park. You can walk pretty high up and have a nice view of the city. I didn’t get a good shot of the city, but this is the view looking down onto the garden. During the warmer months, this garden is really nice and many people take their wedding photos here. I remember when I was young, everyone who got married came here to take their wedding pictures.
It has been an incredibly busy summer in the studio. I didn’t travel anywhere. Typically, I like travelling in late Spring. There are less crowds, it’s not so hot and the airfare prices are better. It’s also around the time of our wedding anniversary, so it’s always more fun to go somewhere when we can. In the summer, I like to take advantage of the good weather we have in Vancouver and go on day trips.
Coal Harbour is one of my favourite places to walk. It’s actually just close to the Vancouver Convention Centre, which I talked about last time. In the photo above, the angular building at the back is the Convention Centre.
Vancouver has an extensive seawall. You can start at the Convention Centre, walk along Coal Harbour and for many more hours if you wanted to. You will then pass landmarks such as Stanley Park, Second Beach, English Bay, Yaletown and Olympic Village. I don’t recommend doing that in one day because it’s over 22 kms. See here for a little information I found from Tourism Vancouver.
Coal Harbour is also where seaplanes land for flights to Vancouver Island, if you need a faster method than BC Ferries. I’ve never been on it, being proned to motion sickness, but my husband went on it to Victoria once and said it’s quite the experience.
In the back, there are many tall condos. It’s probably one of Vancouver’s most expensive real estate locations. I suppose with views and amenities like this, you would have to pay a premium.
Coal Harbour looks onto North Vancouver, a separate municipality, where those mountains are. In Vancouver, you’ll know you’re facing north when you see mountains.
I was lucky enough to see a couple of mounted police near the Convention Centre. Most policemen are not on horses here. This is a rare sight.
One of my customers in London, England said that she wants to visit Vancouver and asked about where some good places to go are. I realized that I talk about some places I have traveled to, but not too much about where I live. I thought I would do a little series about my favourite, and often free, places to go in Vancouver for those interested. I actually wrote a couple of posts about Granville Island and The West End a few years back, but I haven’t really added more places since then.
One of my favourite places to go is the Vancouver Convention Centre, located at the north end of downtown right by the waterfront. It’s located by the white sails that you see in the photo above (bottom left).
If you’re going by public transportation, this is a very easy place to get to. You get off at Waterfront Station (last stop westbound) on the Expo Line when taking the skytrain, our version of an above ground subway.
The Vancouver Convention Centre is also Vancouver’s cruise ship terminal. This is our major port if you’re taking a cruise to Vancouver, of course, or if you’re embarking on a journey along the Pacific Ocean. Going north to Alaska is very popular from here or south to Seattle, San Francisco and Hawaii.
I love seeing these beautiful ships dock. There are so many groups of people from all over the world, excited about their explorations. I’ve never been on a cruise. I get motion sick and am a bit claustrophobic. I know it’s a big ship, but the fact that I can’t get off it for days scares me. At least with flying, I know I’ll be off the plane in a certain number of hours.
A travel agent once told me, “You haven’t lived until you’ve gone on a cruise.” I guess I haven’t lived to that extent…lol. Anyhow, for now I’ll just imagine how grand it is to be on a cruise ship.
It’s always busy when you have kids and run a micro-business. I always feel the need to make the most of my time. If I’m going to the post office, I might as well get groceries. If I’m going for a walk, I should get something else done along with it.
Today, I thought I’d go wild. It felt like Spring in Vancouver and I told myself that I will just take a leisurely walk and get a coffee. That’s it.
I think this simple pleasure is harder for a lot of people these days. Multi-tasking is a way of life in cities. Today, taking this hour off while my mom and the kids napped was really invigorating. I actually strolled, breathed fresh air and looked around me.
I took a few shots (ok, it wasn’t just a walk and a coffee) while I walked to Cartems Donuterie in Mount Pleasant.
Sitting, sipping coffee and staring outside the window are part of the finer things in life. I really have to do this more often…
1. Facing north walking in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood where my studio is located. That brick building down there is a private Catholic elementary school. You’ll also notice that the backdrop are the mountains and one of them is the renowned Whistler Backcomb.
I made the Petite Purses available for sale this past summer. With an online business, taking nice photos of the bags are important. However, we always have to plan whatever we do around the kids. My husband and I usually take them wherever we go and that includes taking photos.
We decided that the Woodward’s Building would be a good place to go. First, it’s a nice location and more importantly, there’s something for the kids to do to keep them busy.
Here’s Christian taking some test shots, while Pax was playing with Nol.
My husband helps me take the professional shots of the bags usually. Our goal that day was just to get 1 good photo of the Brown Petite Purse on me to show the relative size of the bag. We’re always multi-tasking, so we’ve got our eyes on the boys while trying to get the shot. We got this one, so we did what we needed. Then it’s time to let the boys play.
The Woodward’s Building is a good place to have coffee and hang out. The bottom of the building is commercial and the floors on top are residential. There’s a mini-basketball court inside and a long winding staircase that goes up to a school and the residence. As you can see, the staircase can help burn off some energy.
Sorry it’s been a while since I updated the blog. It’s been difficult keeping up with everything with little sleep. Nol is 9 months old now and he hasn’t been sleeping well because his 2 bottom teeth are coming out. Other than taking care of the kiddos and keeping up with orders, I’ve fallen short on updating the blog. I plan to change that this summer though and show you more often what’s going on around the city and in my micro-business world.
The weather is getting warm in Vancouver, around the mid-20s celsius. There’s a few events going on in the city and the first one my family and I went to this weekend is Italian Day on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. Traditionally, this area is known as “Little Italy” with Italian cafes and restaurants. However, in recent years, Commercial Drive has been gentrified and you will find a variety of different businesses there.
It’s my first time at Italian Day and it was a lot of fun. There were a lot of people there and it got pretty crowded. It was nice to walk on the street though, since 13 blocks were closed to traffic from Broadway to Venables Street.
This is a beautiful little cafe we passed by. I love the white exterior and the brick wall interior.
This Portuguese vendor was grilling sardines on a huge charcoal barbecue. (I LOVE BBQ!) It seemed like the most popular food stall with a long line up.
I just want to thank George, of Revolver Coffee for modeling the waxed canvas field bag in charcoal grey. Revolver Coffee is a family-run artisanal coffee house located in the Gastown area of Vancouver. My husband, Christian, goes there often and is friends with the owner, Tarry. They share a sick obsession that involves vintage and new cameras. They meet at Revolver to talk about, swap and sell cameras amongst themselves and a few other usual suspects in the city.
My boys and I went to Greek Day on Broadway this past weekend. It happens only once a year and this is an event that has been going on for over 40 years. The turnout was amazing. About 100,000 people came out for this, that’s almost 1/5th of Vancouver’s population!
Broadway was closed from McDonald to Blenheim Street, in the Kitsilano neighbourhood, and there was plenty to see. The grills were loaded with skewers of lamb, chicken, and pork. I love barbeque and it smelled great! There were also plenty of other vendors selling clothes, jewelry, ceramics and other gourmet foods.
It’s a great event and I’ll definitely be back next year for it.
This past Sunday was Father’s Day and also Car Free Day Vancouver. There were several neighbourhoods participating (Commercial Drive, Kitsilano, West End and Main Street), where streets closed down to road traffic and people were able to roam the streets to check out the festivities.
The boys and I went to the Main Street Car Free Day event. There was a huge turnout and it was a lot of fun. 21 blocks were closed to traffic, from Broadway to 30th Ave. There were a lot of food vendors, artisan goods, entertainment and lots to see. There was also free ice cream, paella and fake pony rides for the kiddies.
This event only happens once a year. I would highly recommend going if you’re in Vancouver during mid-June.