Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Spring is Here...FINALLY!

Oh man was that a long winter! It felt like the longest winter of my life...except for maybe that time I lived in Scotland! but the good news is the sunny days are just about starting to outnumber the rainy days which is a cause for celebration in itself! Although as shown in the picture above...the rain is always lurking somewhere, and it certainly hasn't gone away completely! 

Not only that, but we have been blessed with lots of blue sky days recently...

and springtime in Vancouver means CHERRY BLOSSOMS and lots of them!

and in case you don't follow me on facebook or instagram, or you've been living under a rock then you might not have realised that I LOVE cherry blossoms trees!

So I have been snap happy all over the city every time I come across some! which is literally every other block! Our neighbourhood in South Vancouver has some especially great ones so we've been taking lots of walks to enjoy them as I know it will be short lived.  One night I headed over to Kitsilano, I was meant to be meeting up with Byron but I got sidetracked by some cherry blossom lined streets and ended up being late! When he called me and asked where I was he said he knew I would have been cherry blossom hunting! I just can't help myself! 

Spring evenings also mean it's been staying lighter later! So we've been able to play more! 

We went to La Taqueria Taco Shop with a couple of friends to try their tacos which are gaining quite a rep around Vancouver! I was pretty excited about their Jarritos Soda's too - I do love a pineapple soda! 

We were impressed with their tasty tacos.  The Al Pastor one with pork and pineapple was my fave, but I think next time I'll give the Mole a miss - the chocolate and chicken combo just wasn't working for me! 

In other news, Byron had his last lecture a few weeks back and then a week of exams and now he just has a field trip to finish and then he is all done at UBC! It seems like it has gone crazy fast! 

The weekend he finished his exams, yes he had an exam on a Saturday - who does that! we headed to Queen Elizabeth Park on a sunny evening.  We don't really have any good parks round near us, and it always seems a bit crazy to hop 2 buses just to go on a nice evening stroll but since By didn't have any work to do for once there was nothing stopping us! 

I LOVE that place! I loved it in summer (when we first arrived, in autumn, in winter...and I'm completely loving it now spring is here! 

I've never seen these crazy flowers before but they reminded me of pineapples...and I like them!

It was approaching sunset...

so there was a lovely golden glow making all the flowers look even more magical!

I loved the shape of this imperfectly formed cherry blossom! 

I love how many amazing sunsets we've had recently! It is getting me SO excited for the many more we have to come with summer on the way!

Speaking of summer did someone say milkshakes?

I've been wanting to try The Templeton on Granville for aaaages, based purely on the fact that they had a large milkshake selection I wanted to check out! 
The fact that each booth came with it's own real working jukebox was an added bonus! 

I picked the key lime flavour...because have you ever been anywhere that has served key lime milkshakes? I haven't, and so that had to be rectified! They got my seal of approval for serving it in the silver cup...but it could have been thicker in my milkshake perfectionist opinion!

By is pretty much always happy with what he orders! 

My burger more than made up for my milkshake disappointment though! Not only was the actual burger served with pineapple salsa which was a nice twist, but I upgraded my side to poutine because I just can't get enough of the stuff - it was delish! 

Last week, By finally hiked the chief in Squamish! as a little post exam celebration! with his friend from Bangor Uni.

The trail starts off at the base of Shannon Falls...

and then progresses through the forest.

There are 3 different peaks...I think this was the view from the first one, and then you just keep climbing...

It looks so scenic and beautiful in all the pics, I was sad I missed out!

To get to the third peak you had to use chains to help you along the rocks!

They made a furry friend at the top...

and this was the view from the 3rd peak! So awesome! Hopefully we will get to go back and do it together at some point before we leave...preferably when there are less clouds around!

On Saturday night we headed out on a Jerk Chicken quest to The Reef.  Our friends Cassie and Peter were craving some Jerk, and By and I didn't need much persuading to join them! Remember how much we used to love Jerk Friday's at Chinson's on the island?

We don't usually order starters when we go out to eat or 'appies' as they call them here! Is that a North American thing or just Canada? I'd never heard of it before! Funnily enough at The Reef they referred to them as 'Small Tings' but anyways...when there is Jerk Poutine on offer then we bend the rules! Jerk Chicken Poutine?! 

You know I love poutine anything! So crossing two of my favourite foods together was either going to be dangerous or wondrous.  Fortunately it was the latter! If I ate there again I'd just order 3 bowls of this and nothing else! It was amazing! 

After our small tings, they brought us some complimentary Johnnycakes with mango and coconut butter! These were so delish as well, like a fried cornbread doughnut! I could have gone home without even needing a main course and I would have been perfectly happy! 

By went for the straight up Jerk Chicken with Rice 'n' Peas - of course! It wasn't quite in Chinson's league but then this is Vancouver and not Turks and Caicos! 

I had a Jerk burger with pineapple and yam fries! 

Our friend Brock had a Jamaican roti, which was jerk curry wrapped in a flatbread! 

Afterwards we were feeling like some kind of chocolatey treats! Luckily Sweet Revenge was only two doors down!

and their chocolate treats filled the dessert sized hole in our stomachs perfectly! I had an amazing chocolate gateau filled with ground hazelnut and raspberries.  

Kristen's chocolate mousse cake tasted pretty good too! and I didn't snap a picture of By's mammoth sized double hot chocolate! 

It was such a fun place to end the night eating decadent over the top treats...and drinking tea! and we love our Vancouver friends so much! I'm trying not to think about how sad it will be to say goodbye when we leave! 


  1. gem, your pictures are incredible. i want to see those cherry blossoms!!! when is your road trip down here?!

    1. Thanks! They have been even more amazing than I could have expected! We don't have planned dates yet, but we're thinking somewhere between July 2nd and July 23rd because July 24th is the day our return flights back to England are booked for. So we're hoping somewhere in that time frame to make a 2 week roadtrip down the coast, we'll prob be somewhere in Oregon for 4th July, so in Cali sometime after the 6th/7th. I know that might co-incide with your Bear Lake family time! but if it doesn't we would absolutely LOVE to see you!