Monday, September 19, 2011

Walk the Walk

When you live somewhere, it's hard for you to really play tourist in your living locale.

Usually, traveling just entails going from one place to the other-- you're not really stopping to stare at the people, observe the local sights, wander aimlessly from place to place.

Because my aunt and I were in town visiting my cousin, Liz, the three of us took a brisk stroll through the little square footage of ALL OF DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER one day. No big deal. (Tell that to my legs.)
That awesome building behind my cousin and auntie is a LIBRARY. Compare with the lovely library in my hometown:

It was nice to spend the day with my aunt and cousin. Liz even got to explore places she doesn't normally visits.

I learned that when I finally toured LA that us locals can really miss out on some real gems.

Gems like this beautiful Vancouver wall with a giant Heineken ad! Truly a treasure.

We really liked that wall. :) It made for great picture-taking.

After miles and miles of walking through downtown Vancouver, we finally hit our destination: the Science World (apparently, I enjoy science centers when I travel)
Post on our fabulous time getting our geek on coming soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Step At A Time...

One thing I love to do when I'm traveling is go hiking. Indulging in nature is sadly a rare treat in my hometown of Los Angeles, where it's apparently more vital to sit through three hours of traffic than to trek across rolling hills.

I knew the serene Vancouver outdoors would be a perfect place to go hiking and made plans with the Vancouver Native and his bunches of friends to do the deed.

Vancouver Native groaned the first moment he heard I wanted to go hiking. Yet, he suggested the most challenging slope of all-- the Grouse Grind.

Grouse Grind was probably not the best choice for a hike to take when you want to get reconnected with old friends. My conversation with Vancouver Native (aka D), whom I haven't seen in over a year, went something like this:

Janice: huffing and puffing
"Hey (huff) D, so, uh, how ya been?"

D: (silence but not really 'cause he's huffing and puffing)

Janice: D?

D: (nods head, huffing and puffing)



Eventually, everyone started trekking at their own pace. Sometimes I was in the front, sometimes, I was trailing behind.

I started thinking about my friend Michelle's post from awhile back where she noted the importance of looking at your feet in your walk in an age of looking up.

I'm a dreamer. I imagine big things for myself and for the people around me. I want to reach for the stars.

But at the same time, I need to focus on my own footsteps, one after another, on the steps of life. I need to take in the moment, knowing that sometimes I'm going to be struggling to climb another step, gasping for air. Other times, I could be on a roll, moving as fast as my legs can take me, pushing through the little boy in front of me (just kidding, I would never do that...)

At different points of my trail, I will be in proximity with different people. There were the group of boys blasting rap music on their iPhones that we took a break with at the 3/4 mark. There were the cute Asian family whose littlest boy could just barely climb over one step but was still shuffling through.

After a little over an hour (nearly two hours for *ahem some people), we made it to the top.

Look at that view.

I think only when you get here will you appreciate the entirety of the journey, the ups and the downs, the slippery rocks and the water breaks.

And even all the people who've journeyed with you.

That was a philosophical hike, huh? Don't worry, food and drinking posts coming soon!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vancouver, Vancouver, Vancouver

You are one fine beast.

With your moody clouds...
And your quaint streets...
And your cleanliness...
And your lit nights...
And your interesting holidays (the Saturday I was there, it was "Zombie day," where hundreds of people dressed up like zombies and roamed around the streets)...

And your quirky little quirks (and once again, the moody skies)...

And your beautiful beaches (and the people who don't seem to tan)...

And... did I mention the moody skies yet? (I'm kind of in love with moody skies, if you can't tell)

I made the most out of my 3-day jaunt up north. Can't wait to share with you more stories and pictures in the next coming days!