Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Olympic Line Streetcars - Jan 22

Friday was a gorgeous day with sunshine and warm temps for January. I was on my way to the Seattle Travel Show, but had some extra time before leaving Vancouver. The previous day had been the grand opening of the Olympic Line - Vancouver's new streetcar system that will operate during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
I decided to take the streetcar for a spin. What a ride! I was not the only local having an adventure that day. Multiple parents were pushing strollers and showing off the streetcar to the kids. Other lucky residents playing hooky from work like me were enjoying the beautiful day.
The Olympic Line connects the Athlete's Village and downtown Vancouver with Granville Island. From downtown, I hopped on the Canada Line to 2nd Ave/Cambie. As you exit the train, you literally walk across the parking lot to the new Olympic Line station. From there it is a quick 3 minute smooth and quiet ride to the fabulous Granville Island Market. Best of all, the ride is FREE! Leather seats, clean and sparkling new, and a bit of adventure makes for a fun travel experience.
I only wish the streetcars were a permanent part of the Vancouver transit system. So much more fun than riding the bus, and extremely energy efficient running on electricity. I can just picture these sleek quiet cars whisking visitors and residents along the existing tracks on the North Shore. What a beautiful ride it would be along Marine drive from Lonsdale Quay to Park Royal and then to Horseshoe Bay. Oh...a girl can dream, can't she?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snickett Park - Jan 18, 2010

So, it's the middle of January...the heart of Canadian winter. Well as you can see from these photos, there are only the smallest patches of snow remaining at the very top of the mountains. Look closely...it is still there...only at 1,000 meters or more.
Here along the beach of the Georgia Straight on the Pacific Ocean, temperatures are about 12C (54F) and every couple of days we get this gorgeous sunshine.
Overnight, we had just had huge storms with gale force winds and heavy rain. This coupled with high tides created lots of debris along the shore, though you can't really see it here. Most of the rural areas were without power for hours as crews repaired the lines and removed fallen tree branches.
Meanwhile, many people were out to celebrate the sun, the warm temperatures and one of those many picture perfect days here on the Sunshine Coast. Maybe the storm was nature's way of reminding us to get away from the computer and the office and to get outside to appreciate her.

These pictures are from Snickett Park which is a popular seaside trail in downtown Sechelt. Dog walking is an extremely popular activity here. Others finish off the walk with a friendly conversation on the many park benches taking in the spectacular view.
Here is to more days spent outside...at least for part of the day.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Polar Bear Swim - Jan 1, 2010

I started off 2010 with a goal of taking in as many Sunshine Coast festivals as possible this year. First up, the annual Polar Bear Swim at Davis Bay on New Year's Day. No ice and snow in sight this year, just a little wind and light rain. Too warm for any hypothermia but still a fun time for all involved.

The event kicked of with a few brave soles under the age of 12.

They were soon followed by a crowd of adults of all ages who braved the high tide and cool waters.

I think I will wait until summer to dip my toes in the ocean. Davis Bay is the largest public beach on the Sunshine Coast and a very popular destination. It sits at the mouth of Chapman Creek making it great for salmon fishing.