Beautiful British Columbia

Every time I’m away from BC for a long time and come back, I’m so amazed by the natural beauty here. There are so many massive, dense forests, with tree tops that are invisible from the ground because they tower so high into the sky, and the hundreds of giant mountain tops surrounding Vancouver and the lower mainland that fade off into a blue mirage off in the distance. Everything is so lush and green in the summer, which is kind of special since most of the year everything is rainy and dull grey… but then there are always the evergreen trees, and of course the moutains too but they start to  turn white as they become snow peaked.

you'd think the 1/2 way mark is inspiring, but it's actually quite devastating because you think you've been walking forever already

A friend I met in Antarctia was in town, a self-proclaimed pengiunologist, and we decided the touristy thing to do was hike the Grouse Grind, a famous 3km, 3000m elevation gain trail – also known as mother nature’s stairmaster. The record time is something like 28 minutes, but most do it in 1.5 hrs, and Tom had a bet to do it in under 50 mins. The stake was just a beer at the top and he didn’t quite make it with a 57 min. finish, but we hiked it with Tom’s friend’s little nephew, an 11 year old who finished in 41 minutes, so Tom lost more than just one beer, perhaps also a little ego bust. I was happy with 1hr 19 minutes, and the view from the top was totally glorious and worth all the sweating and temporary regret.

the Grouse Grind Sky ride that took us back down the mountain, with a view of Capilano behind

I spent the weekend nights in Vancouver and went out to Library Square, a popular night club frequented mostly by university students, and saw so many old friends from UBC, as well as  randomly ran into a group of people I went to highschool with in Chilliwack.  Saturday night was even more spectacular, as I got last minute tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show ‘Kooza’ which always delivers as an intesne, impressive, sensory overload of acrobatics and clowning. I went with a business friend of mine who sent me an email a few months back asking “bentley or aston martin?” and sure enough, he picked me up in his DB9 that he ended up buying on my recommendation.

i got to drive :)

i got to drive 🙂

Whenever I’m back in Vancouver, I commit to only eating Sushi or Tim Horton’s since I can never get anything quite like Vancouver sushi or timmy’ ho’s  when abroad, and after the show we appropriately decided to get some sushi. However, we had to play the role of James Bond and went to the fancy schmancy Fairmont Hotel for our sushi instead, and paid four times more per roll than we should, although it made us feel VIP enough to compensate for the crappy (but cheap) seats we got last-minute to Kazoo.

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