Monday, 24 August 2009

Fairs and Movies - 17/08/09-23/08/09

This week there really isn't much to tell. Man working sucks hehe. There is an endless supply of money and I don't have to work, yeah right!!

Monday to Thursday were working days for me and we didn't get up to anything really.

Friday morning I finished my night shift and had a sleep till after midday. Tonight we packed up our picnic blanket and chairs and headed out for a night at the movies, outdoors. We stopped for takeaways on the way and then headed to Connaught Park, to watch UP outdoors and on Big screen. There was quite a turn out. Once again I really enjoyed this movie, still pulls on the heart strings the second time and I shead a few more tears. We'll have to keep an eye out for more outdoor movies its such a great idea.

Annually, PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) a non-profit organisation, runs a 17 day summer fair at Hastings Park. In 2010 it will have been running for 100 years. The fair has heaps of shopping stalls, food and drink stalls, rides, entertainment and of course candy floss. The entertainment included a dog show where different dogs would jump over things and run through things, a car show, Celtic dancing show, and a Lumberjack show. They also had other animal shows however we skipped these ones. They also had different bands playing, the final band was a tribute beetles band, they were very good. Then finally they finished off with a musical/dance pyrotechnic show, this was awesome with fireworks, clowns, old bicycles and lights. It was very well done and we really enjoyed our day. We were here for about 12 hours, Cam described it as a cross between field days and the big day out.

No spoiler involved in the next paragraph. Yesterday we didn't really get up to much. Only interesting thing really was the movies. I can't believe how packed it was, we got there an hour early and had to join a massive cue to get into the movie, turns out we were able to get a good seat, the cinema was completely sold out. We went to see District 9, had heard only good things about it. We came out not really knowing how we felt about it, if you go to see it remember to keep an open mind, very weird and not like anything I have ever seen. Trust Peter Jackson to put some money into this kind of movie. Overall I think all three of us liked it.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Holidays - 10/08/09-16/08/09

Nothing much to report this week. It turns out summer has decided to end for this week. It has turned cold well max of 18 degrees and the rain has decided to start for a little while.

Monday was my second day on my own at work and this was a really good day, nothing too different seemed to pop up and I had a really great team of people to work with. Its great during the day there is lots of support on and always at least one senior person you can turn to for help. Also these senior people don't have patients so its a little easier to ask for help. We'll see how I like it after a really busy day though.

Tuesday was my last study day as such. It was a surgery study day so really relevant for me and it helped for working on the ward. We also got to meet a few of the doctors, physios and other health team members which was nice.

Wednesday we booked a flight to Vegas to join Jacki on her holiday, a bit impulsive but they had a seat sale on and only had 3 seats left on one particular flight so we bought them. Will only be for 2 and a half days so may have to go back another time. Very exciting though.

Thursday tickets went on sale for Pearl Jam in Vancouver, well the presale anyway but unfortunately we weren't quick enough, we will have to try for the public sale to see what we can get. Another average day at home, was a bit cooler here, decided to do some more baking.

Friday we managed to get tickets to Pearl Jam and pretty good seats if you ask me, so can't wait for that show on September 25th 09, woohoo!!

Friday we went to the Museum of Anthropology which according to our book is one of the 1000 things you need to do before you die in USA and Canada. So another tick off our list. The museum is part of UBC which is the University of British Columbia, it used to be on the same site however it is now just across the road. The museums collections, exhibitions and programs are renowned for giving incite into the cultures of indigenous people from around the world. It holds many ethnographic and archaeological objects, many of these originate from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Some of these objects include totem poles (or story poles), carved boxes, bowls and feast dishes. The museum also has sections on pieces of gold, silver, wood, ceramic and other materials. It was very interesting and once again we were just in time for a free tour which went for 1 hour. Its great to catch these tours as they show you the things which are the most relevant or significant, it enables you to hear a bit about most things and then you can go around and take a more detailed look at what interests you. Totem poles (story poles) are carved by the indigenous people of British Columbia. They are made out of red cedar and are used to tell a story or to identify which tribe/community they are from.

There was a room full of European ceramics which was bought over by Dr Walter. C. Koerner, who made his money in Canada in forestry, this whole collection was his own and there were 600 pieces collected over a span of almost eighty years. Not really my sort of thing but there was a really cool tiled stove which is still used in Europe as a source of heating.

The exhibition at the moment even has a touch of kiwi, it seems we pop up more than I expected over here. The exhibition had photos taken by a kiwi photographer who had taken pictures of Samoan families or communities in New Zealand. These photos were showing the culture of getting tatau (tattoos) within the Samoan community. Not a lot to read but the photos were interesting.

The last room we looked at on the tour was the Bill Reid Rotunda room. Reid is from the Haida community, he was originally a jeweler however became a sculptor and painter after learning about his first nations history. His sculpture called "The Raven and the First Men" which is made out of yellow cedar is in the museum. This depicts a moment in the ancestral past of the Haida people when a Raven, a wise and powerful yet mischievous trickster, has just found the first humans in a clam shell on the beach and is coaxing them in and out. This man has 7 honorary doctorates from different universities, seems pretty smart if you ask me.

So Saturday was another free event in Vancouver. It was 40 years since Woodstock so Kitsilano (Kits) decided to put on a 40 years since Woodstock, summer of love, car free street day. They had 4 stages with bands playing 60's music and the street was full of old 1950/60's cars which were awesome. They also had some stalls, shops were having sales and off course food and a beer garden. It was a nice day to walk around and look at things, there was not as much to see as other days we have been to however the music was great and the bands had done well to dress up in 60's gear.

We had invited Emily along a new friend of ours from work, we had a drink at Kits and then decided to head into town for another drink, we had come this far and it was only early in the evening and dinner time so we decided to continue on for dinner and a few more drinks. I enjoy the frequent martini, margarita and cocktail specials they have each day. It was a good day and evening. Spontaneous drinks and evenings are the best.

Nothing to tell for Sunday just a relaxing day.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

BC day, Apartment searching and new people - 03/08/09-09/08/09

Another public holiday in Canada, I think its great the way they have done it here, there is a public holiday pretty much every month except for 3 months. It just so happened that I had this one off as well. We didn't do too much this day just thought we would take it easy. Apparently there is a world police and fire games which happens every 2 years that happens all around the world. There are about 50-70 countries competing depending on what site you read. Basically it is police and fire people, correction officers and customs officers that compete in many events such as: athletics, ice hockey, rugby, shooting, swimming and many other sports. All events are free, we decided to head to Burnaby (a city within the greater Vancouver area) to watch the track and field athletics. The main events we could see were long jump, running, and high jump. We mainly watched long jump, some of these people could jump really far, in the 18-25 group one guy jumped 6.98 m, considering they don't do this for a living that's pretty far considering in the Olympics they get to mostly 7.5m some up to nearly 9m. I thought they were pretty good.

After this we decided to head to the Night market at Richmond. It was a bit frustrating really, we had heard the night market was great and that they were looking at moving the venue, so we have been looking at the official website for the last 2 months which keeps saying check back for the new location of the night market. However the night market has been going since May yet the website continues to tell us its not on, turns out you don't look for the official website you go to a completely different one, ah annoying. Any who we decided to go, it just so happened the bus that runs to the market from where we were happened to be was full when it arrived, and the next bus was 1 hour away. With Cam having a dead battery on his phone we had to wing it, we walked to another bus stop. One bus trip, one train trip and then 3 more different buses later and about an hour or 2 in time, we arrived at the market. The funny thing was that the people that had obviously waited for the next bus to arrive where we started from, were walking out of the market as we walked in, should've waited. Oh well it was a good trip and wow we can't believe how helpful bus drivers are, we even had one which stopped past the bus stop to get us further.

Anyway the night markets were ok, I'm sure I have seen better, maybe being a public holiday it wasn't as busy as normal, perhaps we will have to go back once the website tells us it is open hehe. They did have some nice different foods, Cam had a nice squid and prawn skewers and I had chicken skewers and some curly potato with seasoning (these were yummo!!). However it was quite expensive. They did have some really cheap things at the stalls though, we did resist a few things.

Tuesday and Wednesday we didn't really get up to much, back to work for me so I'm usually pretty tired, and only get home at 8pm ish.

So we thought hard about our living situation. It appears that our lease agreement actually said that if we wanted to extend our lease past 31st August then we had to do this by June 30th. As it was now the start of August and we had not extended it we though we better look at new apartments. I'm sure if we wanted to stay where we are we probably could, but decided we have had enough of collecting other peoples mail, getting calls all the time for someone else, never being able to get hold of the landlord and living in complete clutter. We checked out Craig's list, like trade me and discovered that all of a sudden there were heaps of apartments for rent that were furnished, turned out to be perfect. So Thursday, Friday and Saturday were spent looking at apartments, in 3 days we looked at about 8 different places. We did have difficulty trying to decide on one as we actually found about 3 really nice places. One would only lease for up to 3 months which was not great for us as that would bring us up to just before the Olympics so that crossed that one off and the other was subletting, which he wasn't allowed to do so another cross, which left us with the one we have accepted. It means we will be moving in to town, first time to be moving by public transport which should be fun. We move September 1st ad will be there for 11 months.

Friday night we went out for drinks at the winking judge pub in town. One of the girls from work who started at the same time as me has just arrived from London and doesn't know anyone over here, so we invited her out for the evening. Just had a quiet few drinks, it was a great evening. We'll have new friends in no time.

Saturday night I rung home for the first time, it was Dads birthday in New Zealand but the day before for us. It was great timing as I got to talk to Mum, Dad and Vanessa. Was great to catch up on all the gossip and hear some familiar voices. Yes we were home on a Saturday evening, but I had to work the next morning at 7am and it was my first day at work on my own.

As I just said Sunday was my first official day at work, I was all on my own. They were really nice to me and I got an easy patient load, still makes me laugh that I only get 3 patients and very occasionally get 4 depending on the patients. Turns out 2 of the patients were what I have cared for in the past so that was good also. Only thing was that everything that I haven't experienced on my orientation days happened to pop up, Murphy's law I guess. For a first day though I must say it was pretty good, it happened to be more quiet that usual and everyone was very helpful. You just have to share the questions around different people hehe, so they don't get sick of you. I think once I get used to the hospital system and policies I will really enjoy it.
This evening we went to our new apartment to sign the lease. Our new landlord is very nice and friendly, also she lives in the building so at least we won't have a problem getting a hold of her. We'll post some photos when we have some.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Hot weather, first concert, and fire works - 27/07/09-2/08/09

So the weeks are starting to go really fast again now that I'm working and we have stopped doing so many things. Its a bit strange really, normally the holidays go quicker than working days but that doesn't seem to be the way at the moment.

The weather this week continued similar to the last week, it has been so hot, temperatures this week hit the highest recorded temperatures in Vancouver. The airport temp said 34.4 degrees but the temp monitor in the city area hit 40 degrees. Some areas around Vancouver got even higher, I'm sure I had no sleep or very little for about a week.

Anyway Monday was one of these hot days and we decided to head to Stanley Park and sit under a tree in the shade after I had done a little study at work for our teaching sessions. Its nice just sitting watching into the port area of Burrard inlet, watching the boats and planes coming in and out, as well as the people walking around. We lazed around listening to music and people watching. After this we headed back home for a relaxing evening.

Tuesday was another work/study day for me. While at work I had a text from Cam saying that he had something planned for us at 7pm so not to organise anything to do. After getting home from work I was trying to guess what on earth it could be that we were going to do. Since we don't really have any friends in Vancouver as yet that we hang out with, my closest guesses were the movies, dessert as we had already had dinner, or the police and fire games which are happening at the moment. It was much better that all of these put together.

They had made tickets cheaper for a Blink 182 concert which Cam bought so this was where we were going. A very nice surprise as we have had so many tempting concerts to go to but have had to say no. The supporting band happened to be All American Rejects, one of my favourites, this band came to New Zealand to play before Simple plan however we found out about 2-3 hours before the concert that they had cancelled. This band was the actually reason I wanted to go. So finally I got to see them. There were 2 other Canadian bands who performed first then, All American Rejects and then Blink 182. Its been about 7 or 8 years since I had seen Blink 182 at the big day out and they were just as good as when I saw them then. Dammit (the song) was awesome live and was their last song, I had actually forgotten this was there song. All American Rejects were also awesome. Overall a great evening and a great first concert in Vancouver.

This was awesome, look closely at the photo on the right and you will see the drummer playing the drums while the platform he is sitting on is up in the air, he moved all around the stage and the flatform also spun round. Looked really effective.

The next day I had work in the morning, after I finished I wasn't up for anything, I was stuffed. Thursday was another work day and we didn't get up to anything.

Friday was my first official pay day in about 2 months and we went shopping, it was great. I have wanted to go shopping in such a long time. Unfortunately we still had to be careful with how much we spent but both of us ended up going home with a pair of shoes. Mine were for work so not that great but still shopping and when you work 12 hours on your feet, comfort is important (yes Pam it is). Can't wait for the next time!!

Annually Vancouver has a HSBC celebration of light. This is where 4 countries compete with a fireworks display over 4 nights over 2 weeks, eg wed, sat, wed, sat. They have a barge in the middle of English bay, which is off the beach near downtown. Thousands of people camp out having picnics, swimming and playing in the park all around the bay, waiting for the fireworks which start at 10pm. Each display goes for about 30 minutes and are amazing. Normally the countries do there thing on the first few nights and then on the last night they all let of a display. However this time they didn't have a finale, the different counties did their display on different nights. The 4 countries involved were Canada, South Africa, England and China. We happened to go on the last night only, which was China and they won this year. Turns out we picked the right night.

We decided to make a night out of it, pack up a picnic and head to the waterfront around 6pm. We had our cheese and crackers, ham, eggs, potato salad, tomato and caramel cake for dessert while watching the sunset behind the mountains in the distance. It was extremely picturesque, about the 3rd or 4th time we have seen the sunset here. I think its about time for a sunrise. The fireworks were very good, I think these were a little more subtle than some of the other nights but still good especially for the last couple of minutes. We decided to walk home after this as the buses were packed and there was heaps of traffic, turns out we made the right decision, we walked for about 15 mins and never had a bus go past.

Sunday was another warm day, today we headed out to watch the Gay Pride Parade in the gay and lesbian area of town. Turns out Vancouver is very open when it comes to this population. To be honest I was expecting a little more glitz and glam with the parade. They had some floats, people on bikes (some naked), people marching with signs etc, but it wasn't as out there as I was expecting. I think some things freaked me out more than it did for Cam which was surprising hehe. We didn't stay for long and headed home.