Monday, August 1, 2016


OMG - it's August 1st ALREADY!!!  I can't believe two months have passed since I visited Mel in Vancouver.  I am starting to feel the travel itch again, so to sustain me until the fall,  I'm going to post some of the photos you haven't seen yet to remind me of an adventure that seems like it happened oh-so-long ago....

I stayed in a beautiful apartment via AirBnB and the photo above is the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room.  It has been about 20 years since I was last on the west coast, and there are certainly a lot more high-rises now.  Housing prices in Vancouver are outrageous, and I could never afford to live in a place like the one I stayed in.  My hosts were easy to get along with and very helpful and it made my visit so much nicer knowing I had a comfortable, friendly place as a home base.

The second night I was there I took a walk down to the water where you can catch one of the cute little Aquabuses that will take you over to Granville Island.

It looked like it might rain, so I decided to just do a short trip around False Creek.  It was nice being out on the water, but soon the wind picked up and the skies grew very dark so I cut my voyage short and arrived back on dock just as a thunderstorm hit (which are apparently rare occurrences in Vancouver).

I met Barbara, a lovely woman who follows my blog (and Melanie's) for a drink at the historic Sylvia Hotel, where I stayed the first time I visited Vancouver in the late 90's.  The hotel lounge has a gorgeous view of English Bay, and I had an excellent cocktail (something with tequila and cucumber, I think).

A couple of friends had requested I bring them a pebble from the English Bay beach, so after I left Barbara, I headed to the beach (it had just started to rain, which was to be a theme for my trip) and caught this photo of a heron.
If the weather had been nicer, and I'd had more time, I would have like to have spent more time on the beach.  I find looking out onto a body of water to be very relaxing, and the beach, which was more shells (I'm assuming zebra mussels?) contained some interesting critters if you took the time to look.

 The Vogue Theatre on Granville Street opened in 1941 as a first-run movie house - its original appearance was restored in 1998 and now serves as a space for the performing arts.  The theatre is  home to the Vancouver International Jazz and Film Festivals.  Further down the street you can see the marquee of the Orpheum theatre, built in 1927.  It is now the home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  The city I live in could learn something from Vancouver's willingness to restore and re-purpose old movie theatres.

The iconic John Fluevog shoe store on Granville Street, the oldest of the existing Fluevog stores

I think this poster was advertising a brewing company, which I wouldn't usually take any interest in, but I liked the artwork.

Recalling a tasty meal with Melanie at the Cactus Club Cafe that finished with a serving of their impossibly delicious Caramel Chocolate Mousse (warm caramel foam, crunchy sponge toffee, velvety chocolate mousse).  We were tempted to lick the dishes.

Downtown Vancouver is a mix of old and new buildings, and the gentrification of formerly affordable neighbourhoods, particularly on the Eastside, which has a large, low income population, has resulted in the wealthy and the poor living smack-dab up against each other.   On my way to meet Melanie for brunch at the Acme Cafe on East Hastings street, I decided to explore the neighbourhood and after walking along a block populated by rundown rooming houses and hotels, I turned the corner and found myself in front of the Versace Home Store.  

On my way to brunch on Sunday I took note of the public toilets that are a common sight in downtown Vancouver.  The idea of going down a flight of stairs into a dark, underground passage in order to relieve oneself doesn't sound like a particularly safe, or pleasant experience, particularly at night. 

I had a lovely, if all-too-short, time with this delightful trio of bloggers at brunch on my last day.  Left to right: Sue (A Colourful Canvas),  Melanie (Bag and a Beret), and Louisa (Damselfly's Delights)

The back view of Sue's marvelous coat, handmade by her talented self

Melanie gave me this funky Asian cotton robe that she had personalized with a sketch of the two of us on a piece of fabric she sewed onto the back.  Unfortunately it's been way too hot here to be able to wear it.

After brunch Mel and I took turns posing against a graffiti-covered wall by a parking lot, and managed to smile despite the aroma of urine that wafted from the pavement.  I gave Melanie the "corset" t-shirt she's wearing here and I love the outfit she put together around it.  A corset, skulls, polka dots, stripes, and a red patch on her butt - it doesn't get any better than that.   Spending time with Melanie inspired me to be more creative with my own outfits and experiment with my makeup (I loved my blue eyebrows and have been occasionally incorporating a more subtle version into my daily look).

Unfortunately, it's not possible to have regular visits when most of your friends live in other provinces or other countries.  If I won the lottery, one of the the first things I would do is go and visit all my blogging friends, and then fly them all to New York for one massive photo shoot!  Keep your fingers crossed!


  1. If you win the lottery, come visit me! I really wish I could have been there, but not only the housing is expensive here, try living on an island and paying the time/money to get off it. I love seeing all your pictures - so many favourite places of mine as well, especially the original Fluevog store (I used to go there back in the 80s and drool over the boots that I couldn't afford). And great to see Sue, Mel and Louisa again! Awesome post, Shelley!

  2. Buy tickets regularly! LOL That is our retirement strategy.

    That dessert you had started to make me drool all over my keyboard. I'm heading to BC and will be visiting Mel soon, I think we may have to make a pitstop just for that dessert. I'm hoping for a little less rain than what you had, but I know how that goes in BC.

    I adore that robe Melanie added the patch to for you.


  3. awww, it makes me want to go back there too. And we still haven't met yet. Are you going to make it to LA for Anne's meet-up the first week-end in December? I sure hope so.

    1. I wish I could get to LA for Anne's meetup but I'm already booked to go to New York at the end of October and the budget won't cover another trip so soon after that :(

  4. August already? It can't be - who do I call about that?

    Oh, this post is everything that I love about your blog - your exceptional reportage. When I see my city through your eyes I want to live here! Hahaha. Such great memories of your trip, I can still see them on my hips. Sigh. When I see you in front of the dessert, that makes me think of the drinks, and the party, and other drinks, and the other dessert... Blue brows, photo shooting, laughing our heads off.

    And now you are a local star here as well. Can't wait for the next visit!! I love that corset T-shirt!

  5. What a fantastic travelogue, it makes me want to hop on a plane right now to drool over that splendid architecture. The Sylvia hotel looks utterly gorgeous and I love Melanie's customised kimono and Sue's incredible jacket.
    There's a fantastic Victorian underground loo that's been transformed into a vintage clothes shop in Spitalfields. xxx

  6. Granville Island was such a magical place to visit! My mom and I deemed Cactus Club Café the best place we ate when we where there for the Blogger Meetup in Vancouver.

  7. Thanks for a fabulous tour! I'm so loving this blogging world (I had no idea before I joined it what fabulous, awesome, amazing women I'd meet) and one day hope to meet them in person too. I love your shoot with Melanie and that dessert sounds yum... xx

  8. So happy that you posted more of your adventure in Vancouver. Beautiful shots, especially of you and Melanie. Creating memories for ourselves is one of the most wonderful things we can do for ourselves, I think. You're doing a great job of that! xo

  9. It seems as if you had a lovely time in Vancouver, Anne. It is a beautiful city. My brother in law and his wife live there and we visited in 2000. We had a fabulous time and have many happy memories of it. We want to go back maybe next year.

    I loved the coat with the cartoon of you on it; hope it cools down so you do get the chance to wear it. It would be a shame for such an unique garment to languish in your wardrobe.

    Hope your week is good


  10. Apologies, Shelley, I typed in the wrong name!

  11. lovely memories, such a fascinating city!, and love to see a blogger meeting, particularly when you and Mel are both involved!! extra coolness!!
    Now you're my (second) favorite person all over the world to win a lottery prize! I would visit all of you just to chat (in my ridiculous english) and have fun!

  12. Lovely photos and beautiful outfits! Thank you so much for sharing. :)