Remembering Vancouver 2010

It’s Olympic time again and I can’t help but think back on Vancouver 2010 – it was such an incredible experience!

The Torch Relay came through PoCo and I was able to attend before work! What a neat experience.

I also had a chance to hold one of the torches during a different event.

Since I volunteered at the Paralympics I got free tickets to the dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies. Obviously it wasn’t great as the real thing, but still awesome!

I got to attend Men’s Short Track Speed Skating with my mom. It was my first time seeing it live – so exciting!

I figured skated when I was growing up and being able to see a live Olympic event was a dream come true. My mom and I saw the Men’s Short Program.

I was super lucky to get to go to three hockey games! Kyla came from Kelowna and we went to Sweden vs. Germany.

I saw Canada vs. Switzerland with my our (kinda but not really) cousins from California. They had an extra ticket that I bought off them. Totally worth it to see Team Canada!

That same day I also saw Slovakia vs. Russia with my brother. He flew in from school in New York and it was awesome sharing the experience with him! My dad was around as well – he had been volunteering that day!

My mom and I also went to the Closing Ceremonies. We were on a total high after watching Canada win Hockey GOLD outside Alberta House.

I’ve yet to experience anything like the atmosphere of Vancouver 2010 and I don’t expect I ever will. That is unless we host again (fingers crossed.) The Olympics bring nations together and being amidst the action makes it just that much more magical.

Good luck to all the athletes representing Canada in Pyeongchang!❤


Post-Christmas in Vancouver

Christmas snuck up on me very quickly this year. Report card frenzy and university assignments took over earlier in the month and it was followed by the Christmas excitement at school. I worked right up until December 22nd this year which didn’t leave much time to explore anything Christmas related in Vancouver before the big day! 

Yesterday I decided I would head downtown to Christmas at Canada Place. I was so excited when I saw this was happening…only to find out it was the 30th year! How in the world had I been oblivious to it all these years? It was a beautiful evening and I thoroughly enjoyed all the lights and decor.

Avenue of Christmas Trees:

Woodward’s Windows:

Fun Fact: In 1993 Canada Place bought all the Christmas window displays from Woodwards when the store closed!

Canada’s North Light Display:

Afterwards I walked to the Four Seasons to look at the Festival of Trees. I only looked at the trees in the first floor lobby but they were quite impressive.

I also had a look at the 76-ft tree outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.

It really was an enjoyable day! I already can’t wait until next year. I was one day late to see the Gingerbread Houses at the Hyatt so I’ll have to make sure I see those next year. I’ve seen them several times before and I’m always impressed!

Merry Belated Christmas everyone!❤

Lights at Lafarge

Last night I finally checked out the Lights at Lafarge.  It’s the largest free outdoor light display in the Lower Mainland – they really should charge a small fee! It’s absolutely worth a visit if you haven’t been. 

The lake, which is about 1km around, is surrounded by thousands of Christmas Light displays.

The pathway was crowded but not so crowded that it was frustrating – and this is coming from someone who gets annoyed by people VERY easily (me haha.) 

There is plenty of parking at Town Centre. Although the lots may look full, people appear to be coming and going all the time so it shouldn’t take long to find a spot. Alternatively, you could take the Skytrain to Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station.

The lights are on until January 21st. I recommend popping by if you haven’t already! ❤

Nature Commitment II

Back in October I posted about my Nature Committment for my Holistic Teaching and Learning class. The semester is coming to an end so I thought I would share the rest of my photos.  I enjoyed paying attention to my surroundings. I was able to find the beauty that surrounds me daily, the beauty that I would normally not notice. My last class may be on Wednesday but that doesn’t mean I need to stop.

    Slow Down. Pay Attention. Appreciate Your Surroundings. Beauty Is Everywhere.

    Vancouver: After the Rain

    Yesterday I spent my day at the PSA Superconference in downtown Vancouver. It rained throughout the morning but the fall colours were still stunning.

    Afterwards I went for dinner with friends (also teachers) at Steamworks then walked to Main Street-Science World Station. It had turned into a beautiful night. I couldn’t help but stop and take a few photos and I thought I would share them with you! ❤

    Place-Based Learning: Malcolm Knapp Research Forest Visit

    As part of the Holistic Teaching and Learning course I am taking we visited the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge. This week our focus was Place-Based Learning so we met with our former classmate, Randy, who works at the Maple Ridge Environmental School. The Research Forest is one of the learning environments the school uses.

    We began our visit with about 10 minutes to find a spot in the forest alone. I spent the time looking at my surroundings and trying to bring my thoughts back to the nature around me when my mind started to drift. I also paid attention to the sounds that I could hear nearby and in the distance. I took a few pictures from the spot I chose.

    We then gathered as a group and Randy asked us if there were any questions we had about what we noticed. From there we headed off on a short walk to a pond. We saw two deer on the way! I wish I had been able to get a picture. When we arrived at the pond Randy gave us an opportunity to be learners with a couple activities students at the school have done. We looked at a living organism from the pond and tried to identify it. We were also encouraged to collect our own samples of water and to see what living organisms we could see. It was neat to experience this as an adult. I enjoyed seeing how groups of us worked together and what questions were sparked.

    We chatted in small groups about the idea of Environmental Education. We considered possibilities in our own classrooms and any challenges we thought would arise and any questions we had. Afterwards we had an opportunity to ask Randy any questions. My question was related to writing – “What if a student wants to write a story about a princess in a castle for example? Would she be allowed to do this?” Basically it sounded like the student would be encouraged to somehow make the environment, in this case the forest, part of the story somehow.

    Before we walked back to the parking lot I snapped a few pictures of the pond area.

    I enjoyed our trip to the forest and it has given me lots to think about. I will likely spend some time looking at how I could do something place-based with my class!

    A Little Taste of Holland: New Westminster Style

    When my mom told me she was planning to go out for breakfast with her three best friends from school and that she figured it would be okay if I tagged along I was eager to join! I think it’s pretty amazing that they have remained friends after all these years. Although I’m in my 30’s I still call them all “Auntie” and don’t plan on ever stopping. 

    My mom and I decided we would keep the fact that I was coming a secret from Auntie Debbie who was in town from Terrace – exciting! Then on Friday night I got a message from Auntie Debbie telling me about breakfast and asking if I wanted to surprise MY MOM by coming! Too funny. Auntie Janice didn’t know I was coming so there was still a surprise.

    Auntie Sharon suggested going to Angelina’s Dutch Corner in New Westminster.

    My mom and I parked by the Quay so we could walk along the Fraser River to get to the restaurant. It was such a beautiful fall morning! For all the rain we get we sure have some spectacularly stunning days.

    It was a short but enjoyable walk to Angelina’s. The restaurant was small but Auntie Sharon arrived early enough for us to get a table. I was overwhelmed by the size of the menu but I had already decided I would get a Pannekoeken as a reminder of my time in Amsterdam! I chose the Bacon, Mushrooms and Cheese. I got my choice of four cheeses – Edam, Gouda, Cheddar or Jalapeno Jack. I chose Gouda – my fave! I also added a side of hollandaise. Real healthy lol.

    Although not as tasty as the ones I had in Amsterdam, it was still delicious and I definitely plan to return. For those of you who have an Entertainment Book – there’s a coupon!

    To read about my time in Amsterdam click HERE!