Sunny Thursday.

March 31, 2011

Today was sunny and beautiful! We were meeting people in Gastown for lunch at Meat and Bread, so we got there early and had a constitutional with Dexter.

I think it's crazy how much this neighbourhood has changed since I was a kid. We used to stay with my grandma who lived very close to Chinatown and this area around Hastings was incredibly rough. It's still far from perfect, but like I said... it's totally different now.

Dexter made friends with hipsters.

Then we wandered over to Yaletown and ogled the bright and shiny bike lanes.

Finally we had to get to our lunch locale where I had a crazy pork sandwich.

Dexter had grilled cheese.

And the place was busy busy busy. Thanks Nate, for the recommendation!

Then we went riding along the ocean-side! Don is being a super dad and is doing all the Dexter towing while we're here. I very much appreciated it when we were riding out of Granville Island and uphill.

Speaking of Granville Island, we stopped in briefly to buy Dexter-friendly fruit, and doughnuts. Riding makes me hungry.

After the aforementioned hill we arrived at Vij's for dinner.

But they don't take reservations and it was an hour and a half wait - so we went to Rangoli next door. They were great and brought Dexter a snack naan while we were waiting for everybody.

Dave and I both had the lamb and it was so good.

The ride home was fantastic. Downhill all the way. Non-busy bike lane streets. And the weather had turned cool, but not cold. An excellent end to a very food-full day.

What really impressed me was how our friends Jhen and David took transit and beat us home!

Stanley Park.

March 30, 2011

Our day actually started out with dim sum in Richmond with some of my relatives. The sky train actually goes right there, but the rainy weather kept us car-bound. Bah! Had we more time in the morning perhaps we could have gotten organized, but the bikes needed air and a little attention after their exposure to the elements on the road trip over.

In any case, we motored out to Richmond and filled our bellies with delicious things.

These dumplings were gigantic. I didn't know such a quantity of shrimp could fit into a little dumpling.

Then we headed off to Stanley Park, with a stop off at Caffe Artigiano.

And hey, no stopping and idling! Turn that engine off.

I haven't been to Stanley Park since I was a kid, with my parents! We had tons of extended family living in Vancouver so it was customary for my family and I to visit at least once a year.

Don took this photo of me, as a tribute to the Emily Carr exhibit we recently saw at the AGA.

There are many scenic lookouts. And because of the damp weather it wasn't the least bit busy. We had the park to ourselves.

Here is the Lions Gate Bridge, going into North Vancouver.

And the beaches. The one big thing about Vancouver that we love is the ocean. It just can't be beat.

We like the sound of the waves.

We came across a kid's park that has a vintage fire truck.

I'm not sure how Dexter felt when all these other kids showed up to start playing on it.

I was busy with this thing that spins around and around.

Dexter did his fitness routine.

Then it was time for supper at Rosie and Matt's! They are dear old friends of ours.

Yummy snacks.

Fresh flowers and pop up story books for Dexter.


And we got to see newer friends too. Hi, Kelly.

And we ate strawberry shortcake for dessert on homemade sweet biscuits, and drank bubbles. Miss Rosalie knows how to host!

It's funny that we used to come to Vancouver all the time to visit my plethora of aunts and uncles. Now that I'm all grown up there is still some of that, but I'm dragging my own family across the border to see members of my extended urban family.

Hey, they say that families that eat together, stay together!

Bike Lanes.

Guess what I saw a lot of today? Bike lanes. They're everywhere!

Going both ways.

Wide and luxurious.

Along the beaches.

And towards Burrard bridge.

Some of the lanes are separated with little planters too. It's very simple, but looks effective.

I am also very jealous of the many trolleys running all over town. They're so quiet!


Girls and Bicycles just had its third birthday, and coincidentally, we are back in Vancouver where I first started posting. The first photo of me on the Amsterdam on this blog, was taken in gastown.

Don was kind enough to make sure we had a sturdy apparatus to transport our bikes to Vancouver via road trip.

Then we stopped off at elm for muffins, coffees, and on-the-road sandwiches.

Ran into Ashley.

And off we went. West through Alberta, through the mountains, and into B.C.

It's cold out there.

But frosty can still look pretty.

And now we've arrived in Vancouver where things are actually green!

More Vancouver and bikey adventures to come in the following days! Stay tuned while G&B is on location.


March 28, 2011

Today is Girls and Bicycles' third birthday!

To celebrate, I just ate that pink strawberry cupcake on the right, to commemorate my very first post. Funny, how something I wrote three years ago still resonates with me today.

I couldn't find my little birthday candles so you get three pictures of three lovely things.

May Girls and Bicycles continue to be sweet like the cupcakes above.

Fresh like the mini oranges below.

And green.

Sometimes I wish I could be more like other blogs. More technical. More organized. More bikey.

What these three years of blogging has taught me is that it's funnest to write and post about the things that feel natural to me. Although I do love riding the bike, what I find even more important is what riding has awakened and reinforced in me:

Love for my community, friends, and family.

Riding a bike and using active transportation may seem like a cheesy way to "change" your life, but when you start doing it (despite its ups and downs) you start to notice a smile on your face and joy in your heart.

I don't see why the most desirable lifestyles always seem to require the prerequisite of a motor vehicle (or several)... I don't subscribe to this line of reasoning and I challenge you to question it too.

Girls and Bicycles is meant to show what life is like for one girl and her bicycle.

Thanks to all you visitors who make posting so motivating and fun! Here's to three (or more) years!

Around Town.

March 26, 2011

This is my favourite photo I took yesterday - a girl on the bus with her mom, talking to other bus patrons about school and stuff. The vibe on bus 7 was very happy!

But we've got to rewind to earlier in the day when my best friend Chrissy and I went out for lunch at Tokyo Noodle Shop.

What makes Chrissy different from other friends of mine? We have been besties since grade 1! And have continued to maintain a very close friendship through all our years of school, into and throughout University, and even when she moved away for med school and then moved again for residency. Now she's back in Edmonton and we haven't missed a beat.

Also, Chrissy is my first bike friend. On the days she didn't ride to school (junior high) she would hop on my rear rack after school and I would double her home. After picking up little sister Sable from school, Chrissy and I would reconvene to ride over a few neighbourhoods to watch our crushes play street hockey.

After tea and lunch we went strolling on Whyte ave where we saw other girlfriends doing the same.

I introduced her to the Taiwan bubble tea place in Old Strathcona.

Then we hit up Crave at their new location.

The place looks great!

Both Chrissy and I have company this weekend, so we needed to stock up on treats to spoil our guests.


Chrissy got cute little minis. I got full-size. That's just how I roll.

Back at the bungalow Chrissy was reunited with her twin girls. Sometimes I look at Dexter and I can't believe I gave birth to a baby. Whoa! In Chrissy's case she gave birth to two in quick succession. WHOA.

There was making of granola and putting babies to sleep, then it was time to switch gears.

Later on, Lisa and I hopped on the little bus that comes right around my place.

And we miraculously connected to another bus that took us right across the street from our destination. By the way, Sable, does my bag look at all familiar?

Hopped off the bus at 99 Street and waited a long time to cross the street (it's one of those major arteries where pedestrians are forced to wait for extended periods of time).

Went to Bibo.

It was packed.

But there was plenty of room to stand or perch on the tiny stools (if you were lucky enough to get one).

We entertained ourselves.

And enjoyed some Friday evening refreshment (that's me in the mirror)!

Soon enough, Dave and Jill came to join us.

And Tom too.

After a while it was time to go outside and next door to Culina for supper.

And I saw this poor car getting towed away. I took the bus, so parking was not a problem of mine. Phew.

I ate duck.

Don ordered the wine.

Culina customers were merry.

Don was a champ and rode from downtown, up a pretty epic hill on his one-speed mountain bike. He was very disappointed in me since I decided to bus and then scored a ride home with friends who were heading in the same direction. Alas, he had to ride home alone.

But the most impressive thing was he got home mere minutes after I did. Dude is fast!

I've heard that the 99 Street area is going to get a road face-lift this summer. Let's hope the disruption doesn't effect people coming to enjoy themselves in this little alcove!

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