Lighthouse Park

I’ve lived in Vancouver for twenty plus years now and until this day I’m still discovering beautiful new places hidden within our amazing city.

Yesterday my fiancé and I, upon the suggestion of a Vancouver hiking guru, trekked to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. I had previously heard of this park and had seen it by boat but have never fully hiked around this area.  Driving through Ambleside and Dundarave I realized we really never frequented this area and spotted some gems (like the Savary Pie Co.) I’d like to check out in the future.

Lighthouse park was a good 10KM drive past Park Royal on Marine Drive. It was a long stretch but boy was it worth it! The parking lot wasn’t full, which is always a nice sign. There are actually various entrances to trails from the parking lot but we chose to climb all the way up to the ‘lookout point’ first. From there we took the Valley Trail then veered off through the Arbutus trail. The paths aren’t as clearly marked as I’d like – it was an adventure in and of itself trying to determine whether we were walking the trail or creating our own! Overall the hike took us about 2 hours with beautiful waterfront views. The terrain was rocky and some parts were muddy but there were some knolls or lookout points where you can venture out to the rocky boulders bordering the water.  It was a beautiful day nonetheless my only tip for anyone interested in this hike is to consider your timing. Returning to Vancouver through the Lion’s Gate bridge took us almost as long as it took to hike.

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5K for ChildRun

It’s been about a full year since I’ve done any form of actual running. Due to my hip injury, which provides me with significant pain just from walking or standing all day long, I haven’t ventured outside to run. It wasn’t until my first RMT appointment when I felt miraculously healed that I registered for a small warm up run (this was before my Osteopath told me not to avoid running). I stubbornly pushed through with it anyway, of course I was taking it easy as it was a fun run mostly to support research for childhood cancers at BC Children’s Hospital.

I probably ran 2KM straight before I started walking from just being out of shape and then ran on and off for the rest of the race. My hip started acting up half way through though and so it was really mostly walking. My mom had been hesitant for me to do this as I have had my hip issues; frankly I guess I should have waited more. And while I didn’t run it all or ‘race’ to the finish I still was quite overwhelmed with the feeling of accomplishment towards the end. When I arrived on site that morning I already felt as if I belonged to part of a community. That morning there were crowds of people running around with tons of children and it felt like we were all here for one reason that we shared close to our hearts.

When you have a loved one pass away too soon it takes an emotional and mental toll on you as a person. And when it’s a disease, you somehow feel as if you have a little bit of control over the success of treatment. There is that little bit of hope that resides depending on the disease and the support that exists for research. And while I’ve lost my little cousin to cancer I refuse to let my hope of finding a cure diminish. Every aspect of my life has been affected by his loss. There is not one thing I do that does not reflect living life to my very best and most genuine self.  And while I know that I myself can’t fund a whole research team, my small acts of fundraising and raising awareness is bound to ripple into a tide of change.

2K and Arbonne

This morning I ran 2 km on the treadmill at the Steve Nash Fitness Club at City Centre. I had been off running due to my hip injury as per my osteopath and physiotherapist but lately I haven’t felt the typical pinch and pull from my hip since my RMT appointment. So I decided to run a 5K for the BC Children’s Hospital this weekend. Yes, probably not the wisest decision I’ve made … but it was made from the goodness of my heart!

Anyway, this morning I ran a whole two kilometers !! It wasn’t forced and I did a good 30 minute warm up including stretches, weight machines for my legs/hip etc. I was pretty sweaty but it felt so good! I forgot how great it felt to run! And since I wasn’t full out running I could measure and assess my breathing. So aside from all the huffing and puffing of everyone around me I felt so calm.

After my workout I showered (of course) and used Arbonne’s  Restorative Day Cream, Liquid Primer & Perfecting Liquid Foundation. I just recently was told about the amazingness of Arbonne so I had to try their products. I loved the texture of applying the primer to my face. It felt so much like silk! The perfecting liquid foundation was also quite easy and didn’t feel like I was adding chemicals to my face. It provided such light but solid coverage! Both felt so smooth to put on and a great alternate to my tinted moisturizer.  If you’re in Vancouver and want to give them a try let me know and I know just the person to connect you to!

They don’t call it Burnaby North for nothing.

Wednesday was my aunt’s birthday dinner at Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria on Hastings in Burnaby’s north side. As it had been a great weather week I decided it would be fun to commute via bike. After Google Mapping the location from my home on Renfrew and Broadway I thought 8 km wouldn’t be too bad as I had previously biked from Kitsilano around False Creek to English Bay and back for a total of 22km. What I failed to look at was the inclines of the route I was to take. After just ten minutes or 2 km into the ride I was already dry heaving from the hill getting east of Renfrew.

An hour and ten minutes later I arrived at Fell and Hastings sweaty, out of breath and basically not ready to party. Fortunately we were late and were immediately greeted by my family members, handed sangria to drink and swarm of food came. The sangria was nice, not too sweet and not too alcoholic. The food varied, some dishes were over salted I thought but in general I was starving and devoured all of it. My favorites might have been the calamari, Carne flat bread (I drizzled some of their garlic extra virgin olive oil over it) and dessert! The Budino made of Butterscotch pudding, chocolate mousse, salted rosemary caramel, honeycomb crumble was probably one of the best things I’ve ever swallowed in life. Soft, creamy, sweet and salty – I wanted to eat the entire serving by myself. If there’s anything I would suggest having there it would be the Budino.

And just like dessert the bike ride back home was all down hill – well mostly. Actually, it really wasn’t BUT the heat of the sun was no longer beating overhead rather it was replaced with a beautiful sunset and from where we biked you could see downtown Vancouver with hues of pink and purple overcast.

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Extreme Air indeed

On Sunday we decided to check out the Extreme Air Park in Richmond. It seemed like fun so why not. Upon arrival, it was swarmed with children – should be expected. We did hope and pray that it wouldn’t be AS packed since it was the long weekend and that most people were out in the Okanagan, South of the Border or up in Squamish/Whistler.

 
They gave us these brightly colored yellow socks with grips on the soles, I was excited already. Upon entering the park it was pretty much a multitude of trampolines and then further down a narrow hallway was a trampoline with a foam pit, half pipe and dodge ball court! Of course with all the children jumping and flipping I was more worried I would knock someone over. It was good fun though! We purchased 1.5 hours but an hour would have been enough. I did so much jumping and throwing my hands up in the air I was sore and felt my brain was also mushed around by the end of the day. So while I definitely suggest checking this place out, just proceed with caution!

The Cycle

Last night I went back to Open Door Yoga for the Yin class with Sadie. I have truly come to appreciate this form of yoga as my mental thoughts race a mile a minute most days. Sadie again was a phenomenal instructor. She asks us to hold our poses and feel the different ligaments in our bodies that we don’t normally pay attention to. I came out of the class feeling stretched, refreshed and mentally calm.

It’s so important to take time out of your weekly schedule to practice calm and stillness. Every second of our daily lives we are inundated with things that require our attention whether its driving to work, working in front of a computer or trying to plan our errands and attempts to workout. And when our days don’t require us to work we try and take advantage of the freedom by planning activities to do, coordinating with friends and end up mentally exhausted by the end of the year!

I fall into this bracket of people who constantly need to do something. It actually takes effort for me to relax and I’m not the only one. I have friends who need to occupy every minute of their day to ensure they are productive with their time. I’m not sure if it’s a distraction mechanism or just their endless energy but by the end of the week or the month they’re feeling miserable that their efforts haven’t amounted to anything. That’s not to single them out as I myself have also felt like this. I work for months on end without a breather and towards the end of it am unhappy, probably from lack of sleep or real relaxation, and deduce that I’ve progressed to nothing. It’s an easy cycle, I find, today with everyone trying to work hard for a living but we are deteriorating ourselves!

I’m hoping that an hour of stillness and mental calm (along with some stretching) each week will end my cycle.

Open Door

Last night I went to my first Open Door Yoga class. It was a wonderfully relaxing experience. The yin class was taught by Sadie in their Kerrisdale location who I thought was a great instructor, educational yet enlightening. It really is one of my most favorite classes to date. I’m not sure if it was from the ambiance of the room (no concrete) with windows overlooking green lush trees and a nice cool breeze or the spacious rooms but I really did feel relaxed and open.

Unfortunately after class I looked at my phone and saw a text message from my landlord letting me know that this Thursday and Saturday there would be an open house which caused mental chaos for me. I had no idea what that meant besides the fact that I need to somehow give him a spare set of keys and clean my place in the next two days with my crazy schedule. What are tenant’s rights in this case? I have a fixed one year lease which I understood can’t be broken. Unless there is a mutual agreement? Help?