Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Weekend Away

The Willing family headed over to Vancouver Island on early Saturday morning. It was a long weekend in Canada last weekend, in 1974 British Columbia decided that the residents of BC should have a holiday in August (as every other province did) and so proclaimed the 1st Monday in August to be a civic holiday, it was called BC Day to celebrate the early settlers of the province. Anyway, back to the weekend, we all arose bright and early and headed out to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. We ended up missing the 8am ferry and so waited on a grassy knoll for the 9am boat. Ben tried to take advantage of this wait to take a nap, but I guess we were too noisy for him as he kept piping up from under the sleeping bag (he was getting some strange looks from passer-bys as well.

We made it over in time for the wedding which was in Sooke. It was held in someone's backyard and it was a beautiful spot! There was a fog rolling in, but luckily we were sheltered in the yard as up on the road it was a wee bit chilly and everyone was dressed in summer wedding clothes.

Our traditional partial family photo

The reception was held in the Ranger club house and there was a lot of family there. The Willing family is quite large as Ben's dad has 5 brothers and sisters. Uncle Peter and his band provided the music and Sandra (Ben's sister), Kim (cousin) and Jewels (the bride) got up to provide the back-up for Mustand Sally. I, luckily, had gone to the bathroom otherwise everyone's ears would have suffered.

Ben's cousin, Brian (who we were staying with) is quite the fisherman, so he took us out on Sunday morning to go salmon fishing.

This is me reeling in a fish, there wasn't a lot of room to move around in the boat and take photos.

So beautiful!

Ben's parents also went out with Uncle Glen (Brian's dad).

It was amazing! We only caught Pink Salmon on Sunday, but we caught 16 5-7 lb salmon in about 1.5 hours. We were pretty much putting lines into the water and catching fish instantly. Both Sandra and I complained of sore arms the next day as our muscles are not trained for this type of activity.
We saw some seals!

We canned some of the salmon and gave 2 away but our freezer is still full of fish.

The rest of the weekend was spent with the greater Willing family at the Farm and Monday, Ben and Brian went out fishing again and managed to catch only one fish worth keeping - a Spring though, so nicer than Pink. Then we all went to the Sooke Potholes. for a quick dip before heading back on the ferry carrying our bags, a cooler full of fish and a box of apples from the Farm.

Ben wanted me to photoshop a photo of him with extended arms from the weight of the cooler and the apples, but I'm sure when we're enjoying tasty apple treats he won't be complaining.

Gotta run to go have lunch with Sandy!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Feeling hot, hot hot!

That classic song is running through my head this early Friday afternoon. Everyone is feeling hot, hot, hot in Vancouver, where it was 34 degrees yesterday and then even hotter with the humidity. I was able to spend my afternoon at Kits beach (apparently that's where all the sexy people go so I fit right in :) )

Anyways, with the temperature still high and the sun still shining, sometimes I like to take a lesson in relaxation from a master...Taz.

Feel the zen!

Not that Soot is any stranger to relaxation but his style is a bit more unorthodox.

Looks like he's ready for a day at the office, and no I did not pose him, he's this weird all on his own.

Ok, two posts in one day, I'm sure you're tired of hearing from me now. Off to get ready for our trip to Vancouver Island. Family wedding to attend, I will report next week on the shindig.


Smiles in Seattle

News! I got a job, however, my funemployment lingers on for a couple more weeks while I wait for my new colleagues to return from their vacations. I start on the 17th of August and I will be working as a Government Relations Officer at the University in a communications role. I'm stoked about the job (and about having some remaining time off - although my bank account is not as stoked).

I took advantage of this time to go visit my friend Terumi down in Seattle. Terumi and her husband recently moved house (on Saturday), and I thought I would lend a hand this week as they also have one year old twin boys to take care of. We didn't get to see a lot of Seattle - not that we wanted to spend much time outside as it was something like 105F/39C on Wednesday and it felt like we were walking through pea soup - but I did get to see a lot of smiles.

For example...

And this one...

And then there was this one...

Oh and this was a prize winner...

As was this one...

Not to be outdone by this one...

And to wrap things up...

I'm sending you smiles from Vancouver!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy (Belated) Canada Day!

Yesterday was Canada Day and it got me thinking about Canada Day's of years gone by.

You'll recall (for people who have followed this blog) that last year we hosted a Canada Day Party for friends in Sweden, complete with a tipspromenad (trivia game)that stumped our non-Canadian friends.

Hard Core Canadian Partier!

Ben and Soot are ready to celebrate!

In 2007, the day was spent at our friend's Joni and Kent's and it was a dual purpose celebration, as we also celebrated Ben's successful defense of his PhD.

In 2006, we celebrated with my sister, Meaghan and her now husband, Brock. It was their first visit to Saskatoon and we spent the weekend hanging out at the jazz festival, playing golf, and showing them the city.

Some Canada Day's were more uneventful and less memorable. The typical Canadian celebration would include a backyard/patio bbq at someone's place, and sometimes with a sprinkling of fireworks thrown in.

In 2003, we spent our first Canada Day in Saskatoon. After a weekend away camping with Shon and Josefin to Cypress Hills Provincial Park, we ended up spending Canada Day evening with our friends and neighbours, Lorne and Lisa. That was a weekend of extremes, extreme cold one night, extreme heat the next, and an extreme number of mosquitoes (a typical Canadian experience :) ). (This was before we had a digital camera so no photos to share).

In 2002, I was in San Sebastian, Spain on Canada Day. My best friend, Alex, and I were travelling around Europe. We met up with some other Canadian travellers and the "Canadian Contingent" hit up some bars in that town, complete with maple leaf pins and tee-shirts from home.

Yesterday, Ben and I had a laid back day complete with some sunbathing and a walk down to the windy beach. We ended up at a bbq hosted by our American friends, Kristie and Dave (yeah, go figure that it was left to the Americans to organize the party).

So Happy 142nd Birthday Canada (I know we're so young!). And to all my American friends, Happy 4th of July to you too!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bear with me (get it?!)

Hej hej,

So, we went camping at the beginning of the month and we had quite the adventure. We ended up driving about 3 hours north of Vancouver to a very beautiful and mountainous area. We stayed at Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park. This is what greeted us when we entered the campsite:

We met Yogi and Booboo the next day:



Needless to say our camping trip was a wildlife filled one. We had a nice time though and for more shots from our trip you can check out my flikr photostream

It is now June 23rd as of next Wednesday, July 1st (Canada Day) I will be officially unemployed, or should I say "funemployed". I saw an article in the Globe and Mail (a Canadian national newspaper) about how more and more gen-xers are extending their periods of unemployment because they find the time off so rewarding. I'm betting Ben hopes I don't take on that attitude :) Seriously though I'm looking for work but plan to enjoy at least the end of next week at a more leisurely job search pace.

Hope all is well with you!
Kram Erin

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Better late than cherry???

Hey There!

Remember me? I'm ashamed to look at the date of my last post - it was in April and here we are almost at the end of May! This past month and a half has been a month of ups and downs. Thankfully we seem to be on an upward motion at the moment :)

In April, we managed to escape for a weekend in Kelowna with our good friends Joni and Kent from Saskatoon. It was a nice, albeit cloudy and somewhat cool weekend. For some shots of that weekend click here.

What else has happened? Well, I won't bore you with down bits - but I did pass my 30 year mark. Yes, I am now officially out of my 20s. I can't say that I was really affected though. I got many b-day wishes including a treasure hunt sent all the way from Sweden that had me wandering around my neighbourhood with a ladle. Guess where I ended the Swedish bakery around the corner from my house where a princesstårta and other treats were waiting for me! (I was just thankful I didn't actually have to dig in the park with my ladle!)

Yes, I know I looked a little dorky (having thrown on some jeans after our baseball game) but I didn't mind, I did score a cake out of the deal.

Ben and I also celebrated our third wedding anniversary, an occasion that was marked by slightly undercooked burgers at a local pub. (Don't worry we sent the burgers back and got fresh ones.)

We have been playing softball - well Ben has been playing, I've been attempting to play. My sister and I are also playing on a soccer team together, and we were both a little sore after playing our first game. And when I say a little sore, I meant we could barely walk for the next 3-4 days. Thankfully we are both doing a bit better now, having played 4 games so far. Ben and I have also been gardening in our community plot. I will take some photos of it soon, and show you how it progresses. So far the only drama has been that someone stole some of our flowering plants. Boo, hiss! But we planted some more and they are still there.

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for - the story behind Vancouver's cherry blossoms.

So I had to do a little digging (thanks to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website) and it turns out that it was way back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s that the Vancouver Park Board staff initiated a number of significant ornamental tree plantings. In the 1930s, the mayors of both Kobe and Yokohama, Japan presented the park board with 500 Japanese cherry trees and gradually the city began to move away from the large, long-lived trees (i.e. Elms, Maples and more) to smaller, ornamental trees like flowering plum, cherry and crabapple. They did this because they "gave better value in colour and decorative effect, but also saved damage to the sewers and pavement". In 1990, a street tree inventory counted that nearly 36% of the cities 89,000 trees were represented by flowering plum and cherry trees. Now there are more than 130,000 street trees so the flowering population is surely higher.

If anyone ever has a chance, Vancouver is a beautiful place to be in mid-April to May, and I tried to take some photos but they just don't do the trees or the tree-lined streets justice.

I had to throw in a rainy day photo as this is how we normally see the trees.

These last three photos are actually of a magnolia tree (I think) but I have been seeing more and more of these around and I think they are beautiful!

That's it for now, time to get dinner started, I hope to be more mindful of my blogging in the coming weeks. We are off on a camping adventure soon so hopefully I'll have something to write about!

Hugs to everyone,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's been a busy spring!

Hej Hej,

It seems like this is becoming a familiar mantra but man, have we been busy! Not only has spring sprung with all its chores: gardening our community garden plot, soft ball practice and more, but we've also had the added fun of having our extended family visit from Japan.

We've been hanging out with our new nephew, Jake.

Reading and playing with nieces, Maya and Amy

Going on a day trip to Stanley Park!

And a family vacation to Whistler!

See I was there...I'm finally in a picture. I didn't go skiing though, P. and I were the babysitters so the ski photos are courtesy of B.

And if that wasn't enough excitement us women (Y. is not in this picture) went to the India Arie concert last night (way past my bed time). She was fabulous and I highly recommend her concert to anyone who enjoys soul/funk/r&b style music.

I know this post doesn't have a lot of substance, but I'm feeling like these guys after all this excitement so it may be time for a nap.

Next time I'm going to post some photos of Vancouver's beautiful cherry blossoms so stay tuned. I can feel the excitement already :p

Ciao from Vancouver,