Archive for November 2002

auckland

and i’m here, it’s saturday just before lunch, i haven’t had a chance to shower or change since I left Canada and I’m feeling decidedly grimy. Still, being half way around the world is an amazing feeling. From the journal this morning:

Auckland is not at all like Vancouver, in it’s palm trees and grassy hills it looks like a temparate carribean catering to the well-heeled of the sailing world. Of course it is greatly unfair to judge a city on the basis of it’s harbour, still, the harbour is where I sit, so it is here that my impressions of Auckland will be formed.

I’m sitting in an open air patio facing a square looking out to the boats and quay. Everywhere are white masts, kiosks advertising harbour cruises and race souveniers. The world’s premier sailing race, the America’s Cup, the tourists who’ve paid thousands for the pleasure of seeing some of it, and me. I’m just here by luck.

Across the water little girls in Irish costumes skip about promoting a show. I’m sitting here at an Irish pub having breakfast watching them. The Irish pub and culture seems to spread everywhere, but perhaps only in the southern hemisphere do the pubs serve a perfect espresso. Breakfast was creamy scrambled eggs on toasted french baguette with baked tomato and pesto, a side of spinach, and two cute little sausages of unknown animal origin. $11.50. I suspect thing in New Zealand may be a bit pricey compared to home (confirmed – every shop I’ve been into has been priced far above my budget. The dollar may be worth less (.78 cents CDN), but things cost much more.)

more to come from Dunedin, please excuse spelling or grammar, at this point I’ve not been to bed in about 31 hours…
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a weekend away II: retreat from the city

from my journal, 3rd november 2002 … it’s breakfast and I’m sitting at the table looking out over a frosted field that quickly meets the mountains surrounding the valley…. the coffee I’ve been nursing throughout the morning is now empty. Cory ventured out this morning while I was in the shower and took pictures of geese and flowers covered in frost. We did nothing last night, drank a bottle of Tinhorn Creek, played othello, just relaxed and removed stress. I needed this.

… On the way back from Pemberton we took a logging road up to Callaghan Lake. Cory had been up there before with Derek and wanted to show me. He’d forgotten how long up a drive it was, just over 15 km on a rutted logging road in an aging jetta took a jiggling 45 minutes. Although we didn’t spend more than twenty minutes at the lake, it was well worth the effort to get there. Cory got a couple of fabulous shots and I walked a little ways around the shore balancing on rocks. And I realized “it’s good for you to walk on uneven ground”, in both the ankle-strengthening and soul-boosting ways. We were meant to walk on natural rough terrain rather than paved smooth surfaces. I can’t remember the last time I lept from rock to rock, it must have been at Robert’s Creek months ago…
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why winter will be okay.

It’s a beautiful day here again, but it’s supposed to be the last of the wonderful days between now and May; the rain starts tomorrow. It is hard to complain, the weather has been exceptional this fall and we’re now faced with a shortage of water if it doesn’t start soon. Plus, if it’s raining in Vancouver, it’s snowing in the mountains. I’m not really keen to do a lot of snowboarding this year (too crowded) but I am really looking forward to snowshoeing. For those of you who haven’t tried it, snowshoeing is the most fun you can have for the least amount of skill. It requires the attitude of a ten year old (you have to be willing to run around and jump in snowdrifts), gives you the best workout without you really noticing, and gets you away from the fast paced routines of normal life. I can’t wait, so if it rains, it’s worth it.

Anyone a whiz in the kitchen? I need a good cold remedy for a chest cold, I have a sick father-in-law on my couch at home who’s feeling a little less than great. Jim’s visiting from Saskatchewan and we need to get him back on his feet so he can enjoy the trip.

We had a magical night up at the bed and breakfast in Pemberton. It’s at the Pemberton Valley Vineyard (we didn’t get a chance to try the wine) and it’s set up as three private suites with exterior entrances. The best part is the log cabin walls, as you lie there in bed, you really do feel like you’ve gotten away from your normal life. Some b&bs have the interaction with the family as part of their charm, the place we go on the sunshine coast is much more traditional with the guests sharing common space with the family. That’s great for a fun trip, but when we needed to just relax and be comfortable, nothing beats your own space. The only tricky part can be booking a room – this place is really popular during the winter months as it’s only 30 minutes from Whistler/Blackcomb. Right now we’re in shoulder season, there’s not the hiking crowds of summer and there’s thankfully not the foreign ski resort crowds of winter. The mountains belong to the locals for these cold fall months, and I love that.

My meeting on friday with my supervisor in Sidney went well and was super productive. We outlined a lot of areas to work on and sorted out some important issues that were causing oodles of trouble with the conceptual part of the model simulation.
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a weekend away: pictures and words

We spent a romantic weekend away at a bed and breakfast in Pemberton. We read books, played board games, watched hockey on TV, and did a wee bit of exploring… full details and pictures will be posted Monday night when we’ve more time.
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