Welcome to expat update #2. Week 5 wasn’t too exciting. In between job hunting I explored downtown Vancouver and on Wednesday I went to Moose’s Down Under, an Australian pub to watch the State of Origin (a very big game of rugby league in Australia). I met up with a group of Australians I met on the Meetup website, which is a great site for finding people with similar interests. It was as if I had time travelled back to Australia when the game started, and I wasn’t complaining.
Definitely my favourite week so far! The sun finally shone on Saturday, and it was beautiful to see. I spent my morning doing a Tour Guys tour of Granville Street & Gastown, which was a great way to learn a bit more about downtown Vancouver’s history (yeah, I’m a nerd). I loved walking into Gastown and being surrounded by such beautiful old buildings.
The tour guide mentioned she was doing another tour that evening of West End & English Bay, and seeing as I had no plans I tagged along for that too. I followed this up the next day with a walk along the Seawall taking in First Beach, Second Beach, English Bay, a little bit of Stanley Park and Coal Harbour. I have really enjoyed these walks and plan to do a few more this summer.
And then it was Canada Day. With fellow expat Kate I had so much fun exploring a few different suburbs of Vancouver in search of my room (it’s perfect!). We also visited Canada Place during the day and then for the fireworks. We even had time to check out the not-so-Canadian Canada Day Parade. I love being able to experience national celebrations in other countries.
On Wednesday we watched the Australian breakfast program The Today Show broadcast live from the Vancouver Convention Centre. We were there the entire time (3.5 hours) and got our mugs on Aussie television more than once. It was great getting texts and Facebook notifications from friends and family back home saying they saw me on TV with my kindergarten-grade sign. The hosts were all very friendly as well (not so much Lisa) and I got some great photos. And my new favourite mascot? Fin of the Vancouver Canucks. I don’t know who is hiding under that whale head but they sure made me laugh.
Our next adventure took us to North Vancouver, where we wandered the markets at Lonsdale Quay and walked the suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon, before exploring the Twin Falls and me getting numb legs from sticking them in the water.
This week also saw me go back to Granville Island, have my first Walmart experience (I may have fell in love) and visit Commercial Drive for the first time, but definitely not the last.
I went to my first Vancouver concert this week — Jimmy Eat World and City and Colour. Dallas Green mesmerised me from start to finish. I backed this up the next day with a trip to Playland. I am not one for scary rides, but I had a blast here. My housemate and I also went to the International Summer Night Market, which had so many food stalls to choose from. It was my kind of market.
Kate and I then ventured out to Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks, which are both great beaches. I couldn’t believe people were swimming in the water though, it was so cold.
I rounded off the week with the last State of Origin game at Moose’s and another trip over to North Vancouver for a spot of cheap shopping and market-ing. Oh yeah, and I FINALLY GOT A JOB! I am now an official employee of Starbucks up the road from my place. So after two months my life is looking like it is finally sorted.
See you next month from sunny Vancouver,