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A rocky start to my journey, but all is well. The flight was fine except that an elderly woman a few rows back had a medical emergency – she was unconscious, every flight attendant was in attendance plus a doctor and a nurse from the passengers. If it had happened earlier, whatever it was, we might have had to land in Calgary. As it was, we waited on the ground in Vancouver until medical personnel came on board. I wish her well and hope she recovers.

My dear Chris was at the airport to meet me and escort me via the great new transit system to downtown. My hotel is near the park and is, shall we say, humble, very plain and smelling musty but cheap, can’t complain. But I had a terrible night with stomach cramps, wondering if I was sick or just hungry – had not had dinner and for once, didn’t have my usual bag of snacks. Also somewhere en route I lost my beautiful colourful scarf and my phone cord. So in the morning, I was feeling terrible and my phone was dead. The chaos of travel. One of those mornings.

But though it’s cold here, colder than Toronto, the sun was shining and I went for a walk, using a scarf I’d brought as a gift for Penny – sorry, Penny, it’ll be slightly used. The beach was heavenly – wish I could have taken pictures. I bought a download cord and walked along the water and over the Burrard Bridge to my friend Tara’s as arranged, a gathering before today’s Climate Change march, to find out that she’d texted not to come, she’s on crutches and can’t move. We had a visit in any case, I was glad to make her lunch and went back over the Burrard Bridge to meet Bruce at the rally. We took a coffee break during the speeches and went to use the bathroom in the snazzy new Nordstroms store where people were happily buying expensive consumer goods while the march went on a block away. And then we marched again. It felt good to be with a large crowd of like-minded people and my dear friend Bruce.

We left the march and went to visit Chris, who lives in a high-rise nearby and was cooking our gourmet dinner. In his beautiful apartment, Bruce bonded with Chris’s cat Leon, and we watched the march going down Davie Street from the 8th floor windows.

After much much walking (and marching) today, I’m in bed for a rest before going back for a big dinner Chris has been cooking all day, for me and a bunch of our mutual friends. I know this city well and it’s good to be here, passed the site of the Arts Club Theatre, my workplace for years; walked by the apartment building where my ex and I first lived, where we brought our newborn daughter home from nearby St. Paul’s Hospital which I also passed today. Such powerful memories.

Still, I have that feeling – what am I doing here in an ugly hotel room so far from home? This too shall pass. It’s shocking, for a creature of routine, to be somewhere else doing something different. Important to get out of one’s rut, and that I certainly am. Onward.



4 Responses to “Vancouver”

  1. theresa says:

    You've arrived to beautiful crisp weather, Beth! We were in Vancouver for a couple of nights, staying in the Sands/Best Western on Davie and Denman (because our usual haunts were booked up), and rambled happily around the sea wall, up Denman for a meal at the Banana Leaf, Delaney's for coffee and muffins…(Are you at the English Bay Hotel? We once stayed there overnight, booked at the last minute for New Year's with three of our offspring (well, two and a partner), and cheap, clean, but without a single ounce of charm. We just slept there and were up to head for airport with two of ours, then home, quite early, but no fun to have to spend time there…) Still, it was fun to amble over to the Sylvia after our dinner out that night and to leave our three there to bring in the New Year with hats and noisemakers while we returned to Old Charmless before our chariot turned into a pumpkin.

  2. beth says:

    Beautiful and crisp, yes, and also freezing when it's warmer in Toronto – just not used to that inversion! I'm at the Buchan Hotel on Haro, near the park – a great location, just a very plain place, but it's the musty smell I find hard. But mostly, I was not feeling well and so just wasn't up for much. Am feeling much better now, so it's all grand. I should have asked you about your usual haunts. Next time.

  3. Penny says:

    Lovely scarf Beth. Looking forward to greeting you in Honolulu. Balmy breeze and blue skies here …

  4. beth says:

    Can't wait, Penny!

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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

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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