I was at a dance class last night.  At the beginning of the class one of my amazing teachers humbly asked us to each tell our name and one thing we love about Vancouver. Having only a few seconds to think about it, compounded by the fact that I was feeling a bit down in the dumps at the moment and adding that it was pouring rain outside… I said “My name is Leslie and I love the rain”.

Truth is, I do like rain. Do I love the rain, though? Not as sure. I just couldn’t think of anything else at that moment. And, that is why these rituals are so very important. By the time everyone else had said what they love, I too was reminded of some of the blessings I have derived from living in Vancouver. Yes, it does rain. It rains because Vancouver is in a would be rain forest. It would be, if all the trees hadn’t been removed over 100 years ago. In fact, it was once part of one of the very few temperate rain forests on the planet. This rain that creates months of ‘dull’ is the same rain that gives us the lush seasons filled with green and flowers that no one else in Canada can enjoy in the same abundance. This is the same rain that washes our dust away and keeps our Vancouver sparkly for all to see. Anyway, it’s all good if you have good rain gear.

Sure it rains here, but, only a 20 minute drive gets my daughter to the bottom of the Grouse Mountain Gondola where she can go up above it all and snowboard to her hearts delights. I pick her up and she smells like she was visiting heaven, fresh with ozone, and she has healthy colour in her cheeks. This is the same mountain that we enjoy, as it’s lights twinkle in our night sky. The same mountain lets us know that winter is here, by turning white, and that summer has finally arrived, by turning brown and green. Alway being carefully watched over by the Lions just to the north/west.

The sea air that comes wafting in from the Pacific helps us to keep perspective and to appreciate the water and its great power, as the tides go in and out with the moons. Each changing tide uncovers new hidden treasures. Living on the ocean I have met many people who sail and have even had the opportunity to join some of them on sailing trips. On a sailing trip you may be fortunate enough to spot a whale, a sea lion, or any number of other creatures.

The cultural diversity of Vancouver is just wonderful. With it comes the variety of restaurants, dancing, music and events. Anywhere you go in Vancouver you’re likely to hear a variety of accents, and see different types of dress. When I first moved here, I was fairly closed minded about trying different foods. I came from a small city in Ontario, where the most exotic culinary experience I had ever had was Chinese food from the China Doll Restaurant and Tavern. Now, I enjoy all kinds of foods from every country any time I feel the desire. There are so many great restaurants in  Vancouver, that it’s often hard to choose.

The night life here is really fun too. I saw 3 live bands last weekend alone, and will see Raphael Saadiq tomorrow night. There are all kinds of dance things happening all over the city. I like Cuban Salsa and there’s alway something I can go to every weekend if I want to . The Georgia Straight is a good place to look for up coming events in Vancouver , and it’s free. Often, I can be found enjoying the night life from my apartment. I have a fantastic view of Vancouver from my couch and the lights sparkle and twinkle and help me to remember the huge number of wonderful people and things to do that this city holds.

This is my favourite time of year… the street in front of my apartment is lined in cherry trees that are in full bloom. If it’s a sunny morning you could swear that it had snowed over night, before looking out the window. The light is so white from the blossoms.

Cherry Trees

I live very close to a crow rookery and every evening when the sun goes down the crows flock over my place enroute to their night spot. Crows are such amazing birds. If you head down to the rookery at sundown it’s just like a scene out of ‘The Birds‘. I wonder if Alfred filmed that in a similar area.

 

I probably shouldn’t go ahead and post this because it’s likely that I’ll kick myself for forgetting something. I just write off the top of my head, so, I often miss points that I later wish I had thought of.

Oh, yeah, did I mention the fact that there are bike routes all over the city and that you can actually ride all year round in Vancouver?

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