November 21, 2015
I was still half asleep when the sound of the first siren went hastily by in the streets below our hotel on Burrard Street. The voice of an lively city is so familiar to me and I knew instantly I was going to love it here. It seemed to possess some of the elements and qualities that I love so much about New York, just more accessible in many ways. Kind of like that distant aunt you hear so much about, the one you know you are going to love just by the sound of her voice over the phone.
We arose that first morning with the prospect of some nicer weather moving in our way, perhaps even some blue skies. Something we’d so hoped for during our two days off in Downtown Vancouver. The previous days traffic and construction battles on the way into town left my shoulders extremely tight and the remnants of the pain were slowly moving into my head as well. I peered through the narrow opening of the drawn navy curtains and spied a light drizzle. A peaceful sight compared to what we came through the day before. We were delighted to be here and it was time to stretch our legs. I popped an Advil and let in the light.
I love a good walking town. The type of place you can just wander about aimlessly in search of, well, whatever the city wants to throw your way. Issa had been to Vancouver many times before, but myself, not since childhood. So with at least some directional influence we finished a early in-room breakfast, made a quick stop at the Starbucks in the lobby and headed out the door.
We must be getting use to this getting wet stuff, since once again like the night before we opted to not stop to find an umbrella to shelter us on our walk, we just simply didn’t care. The warmth and the muggy air seemed to wrap around us like a blanket, only further revealing the freshness of the rain. We headed up Burrard and kicked a right down the ever popular Robson Street or as we later named it, shoe alley. Half way down the block of this main shopping artery the rain slowed. The ground began to fall away under our feet. Downward, then downward and downward again. I was sneaking peeks across the narrowing avenues to my right and I could make out the clouds slowly pouring over the surrounding mountains, like melting whipped cream into the water below – coaxing us to come on by to say hello.
By the time we reached the water, the streets had taken us up one huge hill and down again. Spilling us onto a very active sailing, cargo moving, cruise ship departing, airplane landing, public pathway, sit and watch the sky go by, sell your art and get in a quick circuit training session in type lookout spot. Inhale. The whipped cream sky by this point had completely smothered the mountains in front of us.
I’m not quite sure what it was that I heard first, the large Alaskan bound ocean liner yelling out as it slowly backed up or the insect like buzzing sound of the tiny airplane coming in for a water landing right in front of the bench we were occupying. We just sat there, so still. The sun finally broke and with it our silent serene state. We were up and about once again.
This was just a glimpse into how the rest of the day turned out. By 5:00 we had blue bird skies, tired feet, Issa with a sore back from a strain the day before and huge smiles on our faces. Dinner, a movie and exhale.
The next day we woke to clear skies. It stayed this way for the entire day. Off to check out the local bike shop and then a stroll down Broadway. Dinner at Sala Thai with lovely Courtney would conclude day two.
What else can I say except that our time there just flew by. Much like NY there is so much to see and do that you need to live there to really experience all that Vancouver has to offer. Funny thing about a city like this though, if you aren’t careful with your time, it can disappear as quickly as the Winter sun. Up until the night we arrived, the days seemed as long as the roads we were riding. It’s funny how time can seem to play tricks on you, I always say. There is something about riding that really puts a perspective on time and how we spend it. Every moment you are on the bike you have to be so very present. You aren’t worried about what is to come or what has passed. You are just in the now. Manipulating time in some way. Travelling through your own life, your own space and time in complete control of how it plays out. Something we all need to do and can do more diligently everyday.
With this thought, I began to pack up for the next days ride and looked forward to some fresh air camping the following night.