It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s raining again today. Someone said to me yesterday: “Welcome in Raincouver!”. I go outside early anyway, because I saw that there is a coffee meeting for startups in the city this morning. I think it might be a good opportunity to meet some more people. The bus is packed with commuters on their way to work. I think by myself how interesting it is that living in a new city can become normal so quickly. I’ve seen a big part of Vancouver now, I know where to go and already met a few people here. It’s a freeing thought to realise that you can live anywhere in the world if you want to. That reminds me of a quote that says “I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”

The meetup is nice. We’re with a handful of people working in either a creative branch or the startup scene. Time goes fast as we get to know each other a bit and before I know it, it’s 9.30am and everyone goes his or her way again to work. I go back to my new office at the Starbucks of yesterday. Because I’m often busy with work, I don’t spend as much time to study as much as I like to, so I decide to spend the rest of this morning and a bit of the afternoon to studying. Halfway the afternoon a friend texts me and asks if I’ve done some exploring the last couple of days. That gets me thinking. I’ve been focussing a lot on getting back to work and being productive that I forgot to also be a bit on vacation. I decide to take the rest of the afternoon off to do some exploring.

Waiting in the rain for the bus
Street in Vancouver
Stanley Park and Downtown Vancouver
Bakery and coffee place where the meetup is
Downtown Vancouver seen from Stanley Park
Water plane
Startup meetup
Vancouver Seawall
Totem Poles in Stanley Park

First I make a stop at the book store, because my friend talked about a book I’ve been wanting to read for years and we got the idea to read it together. I like reading a book at the same time with someone, because it’s a good motivation to keep going. I walk further to Stanley Park. That’s an island in between downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver and it’s basically one big park surrounded by water. I’m walking to the totem poles at the edge of the island, a must-see if you visit this city. It are replicas of the ones made by the native citizens a long time ago. I’m glad that it’s dry for a while this afternoon, it makes the walk more pleasant. The totem poles are interesting to see. I like it that they left this as a tribute to the original habitants of this area. The walk by the waterside is also nice, the walking path goes all around Stanley Park. I don’t follow it all round today though, because I’ve walked already a lot. I decide to take a shortcut through the forest. After a short while I see a lot of colorful lights shining through the trees and discover a Christmas winter wonderland. For Dutch people: it looks a bit like the Efteling. Lights on all the trees and Christmas figures everywhere. There is a hot coco stand and I enjoy a nice winter beverage. What a fun surprise!

Totem Poles in Stanley Park 2
Girl in Wetsuit statue
Winter Wonderland in Stanley Park
Sign by Totem Poles in Stanley Park
Lions Gate Bridge
Winter Wonderland in Stanley Park 2
Lighthouse at Stanley Park
Walking at Vancouver Seawall
Winter Wonderland in Stanley Park 6

When I’ve walked around in the Christmas Wonderland I take the bus back to downtown to find a place for dinner. Tonight’s dinner plan is Italian food. In Stanley Park I saw a advertisement for a restaurant called The Old Spaghetti Factory. I like the name, so I’m going to check out that place. It’s in Gastown and I already like it from the outside. It looks very authentic and when I walk inside I’m immediately impressed. The interior is beautiful. There is an old train and many stained-glass windows. There are old wine barrels and black and white pictures on the walls. The waitress is super friendly and not much later I’m enjoying a delicious Italian meal. Minestrone soup as starter, a big spaghetti as main course and ice cream for dessert. And that all for only 14 Canadian Dollars. It gets a bit more, because I order some delicious Italian wine with it, but still it remains very affordable. While having dinner at this beautiful place I feel very thankful. At home we often laugh about how we always talk about food, but at this moment I realize again how good food can make you so happy. I enjoy my diner greatly and on my way home I stop at a coffee place to have an espresso as finishing touch. I write a bit in my bullet journal and take the sea bus back to North Vancouver.

Drinking hot chocolate at Winter Wonderland in Stanley Park
Winter Wonderland in Stanley Park 5
The Old Spaghetti Factory 3
Winter Wonderland in Stanley Park 3
The Old Spaghetti Factory
The Old Spaghetti Factory 4
Winter Wonderland in Stanley Park 4
The Old Spaghetti Factory 2
Gastown by night

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