Snow on Seymour

Unlike this weekend, last weekend was crisp and clear and beautiful. The Artist and I went to Mount Seymour to get our first glimpse of the fluffy white stuff.

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It was my first winter hike and I’m glad I had on a pair of good hiking boots for it!

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These little grey jays, or whiskey jacks as they are often called, were a common sight along the trail. Not shy at all. (Nevertheless, I was still pretty thrilled one landed on my hand).

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We climbed about halfway to the first peak so we could get this view of Vancouver rising through the fog.

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The sun was out and it felt great to be enjoying the outdoors on the last weekend of November.

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On the way down, we stumbled upon these folks with their makeshift toboggan run. The Artist gave it a go while I carried our backpacks down.

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A few slips and tumbles later, we made it back to the car and warmed up with hot drinks and an oh-my-gosh-I-cannot-believe-how-good-this-book-is book at Andrews on Eighth that I will blog about next week, so stay tuned!

 

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Lingering in Lonsdale

Today was a spontaneous Friday. I found myself running some errands downtown and was finished by mid-morning. After having read a few chapters of Wild by Cheryl Strayed on a small patch of grass near the Province building where office workers were taking their lunch break, I glanced at the ramp leading from Waterfront Station to the Seabus and thought, In all my years living around here, I’ve never taken the Seabus. I’ve never even been to Lonsdale Quay. This is ridiculous!”

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So I changed that. I got on that ramp, purchased my two-zone ticket, and boarded a vessel that I thought would be more like a ferry where you can go out and walk about, but it’s entirely contained, and passenger-only. It really does feel like a bus on the sea.

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View of the North Shore mountains from the seabus.

It’s a quick 12-minute journey across Burrard Inlet to North Vancouver where the boat docks at Lonsdale Quay. Apparently my parents did take my siblings and I here when we were little. My sister and I picked out a few items from their miniature dollhouse store for the ones my dad was building us, but I have no memory of it.

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There was no dollhouse store. What I did see was a kitchen store, a soup place, Kin’s Farm Market, a sugary sweet confectionary, a few ladies and babies clothing stores (not combined), an artisan wine store, jewellery booths, souvenir shops, restaurants, and a take-out food area with seating along the pier.

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The Soup Meister looked tasty, except not on a 26 degree day.

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View of the indoor seating area at the south end of the market.

It was charming and the best part about it? It wasn’t crowded and overwhelming the way that Granville Island’s Public Market is. I didn’t get lost and saw everything in an hour and a half’s time, lingering in some clothing stores and in the excellent gift shop/artists’ collective Favourite. So yes, it is a lot smaller than Granville Island’s market but it has a great atmosphere and is nice for something different.

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These people were actually playing gigantic games of chess and checkers.

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And they had this public piano in an awesome blue.

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Lonsdale Quay: I will visit you again.

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Doughnut peaches from Kin’s Farm Market.

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View of the two-storied market, bathed in light.

Andrews on Eighth

If I lived in North Van, I would probably come to Andrews on Eighth a lot more.

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This neighbourhood coffee shop filled with old-world charm is the perfect place to grab a coffee, a sandwich, and sit outside and read a good book, chat with friends, or watch cyclists ride along East Eighth St.

The owners also run a catering company in the back of the building, The Banqueting Table, and that’s how the Artist and I discovered this gem. We both loved their food whenever we attended conferences at Regent College, so when we asked the question, “Who should we get to cater our wedding?” the Banqueting Table was the obvious choice. We also loved the fact that they’re a non-profit organization that hires single mothers and women wanting to re-enter the workforce. Their website states, “Women learn job skills and regain self-confidence while preparing food and catering to a variety of events.”

Apart from their social justice bent, they have amazing food at really reasonable prices. The service is excellent too. They did a fabulous job with at our wedding and we still hear from people how much they loved our buffet.

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The coffee shop opened in 2012 but the building it is tucked away in was built in 1912. The heritage feel of the building adds so much to its charm. Isn’t it lovely?

I can’t speak to how good their coffee is (since I don’t drink it), but they source their beans from North Vancouver Moja Coffee which specializes in fair-trade, organic coffee beans. (The Artist likes it, says it’s “clean.” I didn’t know clean was a word to describe coffee. Anyway).

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The Banqueting Table makes sandwiches & pastries for the coffee shop, and while there’s not a huge selection, what they have is tasty. The turkey-cranberry sandwich with stuffing & spinach tastes like Christmas and is one of our favourites (pictured in the first image, at the top). Also on their menu are croissants (including breakfast ones), muffins, and paninis.

If you’re ever in the area or need caterers for a big event, I’d highly recommend them. Andrews on Eighth is located at 279 East Eighth St and open 7am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday.