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sun to rain

Yesterday at the Air Canada check-in counter at LAX, as I handed over my passport, the woman said, “Going to?”
“Toronto,” I replied. After a few minutes, she said, “No. Vancouver.”
Oh yes. Vancouver. Where – guess what – it is cold and rainy and very very grey. But stunningly beautiful.

My last day in L.A., Suzette drove up the Pacific Coast highway to Malibu. All the way, she told me stories of various movie star adventures on this highway or in the houses along the shore. We had lunch outside at a picnic table at Malibu Seafood, a dive that served the freshest swordfish I’ve ever tasted. And on the way back, she kindly offered to stop at my kind of store – T.J. Max, the American equivalent of discount-rich Winner’s, where I finally found the cross-body leather bag I’ve been looking for in Toronto, Washington and Austin.

Later, we all decided to go for a walk along the beach to the Santa Monica pier, but the wind was so powerful, we could hardly move. We made it to the end of the pier, shrouded against wind and sand in scarves, like Bedouins, and on the way back, stopped at the luxurious Casa del Mar hotel for a drink in their elegant salon overlooking the water. There’s nothing like a grand old hotel. Heaven.

That night, I took my hosts for a gourmet dinner at one of the hottest places in town, Gjelina’s, where we had a series of little plates – an artichoke grilled with a divine sauce, a mushroom pizza drizzled with truffle oil, a pasta with raclette and leeks – be still my beating heart. And for dessert, something so creamy that I wanted to order a large jar and take it home with me. Did not. My pants are too right already, and I only brought two pairs.

That night, on their large-screen TV, we watched one episode of a marvellous British series called “Shakespeare Uncovered,” in which British stars explore Shakespeare’s plays. We watched the lovely Joely Richardson discuss “As you like it” – with clips of her ethereal mother Vanessa Redgrave as Rosalind, the role that made her a star – and “Twelfth Night.” The best kind of TV. And then, an episode of “Girls” – I’ve wanted to see it because of all the buzz, and don’t have HBO. Well – I can see why people are talking about its frank exploration of the lives of young adults. Won’t become addicted, though, I found the heroine whiney and boring. But then, Suzette assured my judgmental self, I hadn’t watched the characters develop.

The next day, of course, the sun was shining and the temperature expected to rise precipitously. Hated to leave that beautiful spot, its endless beach, the generous hospitality of my hosts. But … time to fly. To Vancouver. Where the fierce stony presence of the mountains ringing the city brought tears to my eyes. Since my arrival yesterday afternoon, a weak sun has been trying to pierce the clouds, without success, and today, it’s dark and rainy. But it’s spring here in full force, everything blooming, cherry blossoms, magnolia, daffodils – the city could not be more beautiful, even in its shroud of grey. I’m staying in my dear friend Bruce’s little apartment right on English Bay – he’s in Florence, so though I will miss him, I’m thrilled to have my own pied a terre in the convenient West End. Had supper with my beloved Chris, who was remarkably calm heading for a preview of his autobiographical show – he calls it “memoir theatre” – that night.

And now I’m heading for breakfast with him. I lived in this city for 8 years. It’s home, too.

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2 Responses to “sun to rain”

  1. Unknown says:

    And isn't it a remarkably average April Vancouver day today? I'm contemplating cocooning on the couch with Naomi Klein's 'Shock Doctrine'…or painting my toenails while watching some cheesy romcom, more likely.

  2. beth says:

    And then the sun comes out, and there's nowhere else on earth so beautiful. It's a wonderful city.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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