Evening Walk

Spent my first full day at home in my new place, and decided to go for a little post-dinner walk. It was pretty beautiful out, and there were a million salmon berries roadside, so I ran back home and grabbed my camera, and a container for berry picking.

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Goodnight, Moon.

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Week 6 – Living on the Coast

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Week 6!

Reminder to myself to take notes throughout the week, so when it comes to Monday night, I don’t forget most of what happened in the week before. SO WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK!?

I continue to miss Toronto, and am starting to plot a visit. I know! I’ve only been gone for a month. What can I say? Especially now that summer is here, I am dreaming about late night patio beers, and hot summer sunset Parkdale runs, and art parties, and Humber River bike rides. City dreamiiiiiin’!!

Also getting extra excited to move into my own place, because it’s happening this coming week! Eeeeeeeeee!! Really excited to do some nesting, and get all homey, and find my groove. Also, excited to not have my cat’s litterbox in my bedroom. Woo! I am pretty sure that at this point Rosemary and Thomas have resigned themselves to thinking that staying in one bedroom is just their life now, and they are wondering why their mom hates them all of a sudden. I can’t wait to let them loose in the new apartment.

Over the past week of craigslist and varagesale scouring, I’m also mostly set for furniture and things. I picked up a Rattan couch in perfect condition, a really great rug, a dining room table and chairs, a side table, and some lamps. AND a lovely woman who has lived on the coast for years and years and is moving to Toronto to be closer to her daughter loaded me up with a car full of kitchen things, and plants for free. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! SO THANKFUL.

Had another coworking day with Jenn this past week, which was so nice. Got to talking about community building in all sorts of exciting ways, and it got me pumped to get to know the coast better in the months to come, and to get involved in some of the community building initiatives that are already underway up here. Followed this up with a bike ride to Secret Beach, where some preteens asked me if I had an “extra beer”; I wasn’t drinking one beer, so I’m not sure where they thought my beer stash was, but I admired their gumption. WAY TO BE BOLD, PRETEENS.

The next day, I was on post-daycare Theo pickup duty. It was a little last minute, so Theo was surprised when I showed up at daycare instead of his mom. There was a tiny bit of apprehension until I let him know that 1) we’d be heading to the Gibsons Market to pick up some treats, and 2) I’d be giving him a shoulder ride there. Giggles ensued. I came to get him on my bike, which we left at daycare, since Clayton was coming to pick us up downtown (by downtown, I mean the one main street in lower gibsons. ha) later. I promised Theo that next time I would ride his mom’s bike, so that I could put him in the kid seat on the back to ride home, which I am sure I will live to regret, because home is UPHILL.

ANYWAYS. We went and got icecream and maple smoked salmon, and then we hit up the waterfront where we smelled flowers, threw rocks in the water, and said hi to some geese.

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That weekend Auntie Nico came to town, and we had some good backyard hangs, and a a pretty great impromptu dinner at the beach with pals, which of course involved a fire, and a dip in the sea.

PS. When you have a chance to jump in the ocean, always do it.

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Living on the Coast – Week 5

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Week 5.

It’s official. I have now been on the Sunshine Coast for just over a month.

This week I had a big case of the feels missing Toronto. I miss my old roommates Steve and Aaron, and my coffee shop haunts, and summer runs with Parkdale. This weekend especially, Toronto is into full summer, and watching everyone run the Toronto Waterfront 10k on social media gave me all the missing feelings. I wish that I could teleport back just for a week to go on a few crew runs and have some late night patio beers with pals. Why are flights across Canada so expensiiiiiiiive.

The Coast has gone into a little spell of Junuary, and I’m getting eager for super summer and swims in the sea.

The moments when I wasn’t having little longing pangs for Toronto though were pretty good.

Wednesday I had a really great working hangout with my new friend Jenn McRae, who is also a freelancer who is new(ish) to the coast. She has exactly the kind of house you would picture on the Sunshine Coast, with a long winding forest driveway, and a living room that looks over the beach. We worked in the morning, then took a mid-day break to grab some food at The Basted Baker and do some thrifting, then worked some more and had some dinner and chats. Hurray for co-work dates! It is so nice to be making connections with other people to work with.

On that note – I’ve been thinking more and more about my eventual plan to open a co-working space here on the Coast, and in the upcoming week I’ll be digging a little deeper into what that could look like, and making a business plan. Hurray! In the meantime, I’m searching out a venue to do a weekly co-working drop-in to gauge interest and figure out what next steps could look like. WORKING TOWARDS DREAMS, GUYS.

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Friday I ventured into the city to tell a story at Record Club, a storytelling night put on by the organizers of RainCity Chronicles that is themed around a specific album. This month’s album was Janet Jackson’s Control. Though I have hosted many many times, I have not given any sort of actual talk since university so I was nervous. When Lizzy Karp first invited me to share a story I had no idea what I would talk about, but said yes. Then when I sat down to brainstorm, it just poured out of me. I talked about being a perfectionist, and the need to be in control, and how running gave me a place to learn to be present and give up control. It brought me back a little to my first time hosting CMTO when Steven Artemiw talked about the ugly side of running. And it further reignited my love of running, and how it has changed me for the better. I practiced a million times, and was the most nervous getting on stage, but it all went smoothly and being done was THE BEST feeling. Hurray! The whole evening was pretty magical – the stories were so well curated, and another new pal Joni McKervey was also speaking. The atmosphere was super cozy and friendly, and it was the best. Afterwards, went to The Emerald with a few pals then crashed on Matt Milligan’s couch. Pals pals pals!

Met with my friend Nico for bfast before jumping on the ferry to head back to the coast.

I biked to and from the ferry – the ride into Langdale is super chill and lovely. The ride from Langdale into Gibsons is ONE GIANT HILL. Not gonna’ lie, I walked up part of it, because fixed gears are not made for this kind of hill riding.

Some old pals were visiting their parents in Davis Bay that night, and I decided that I might as well bike there too. Which was fine, except that I missed my turn off and biked 20 minutes out of my way, also up an enormous hill. :/ Whyyyyyyyyy. I keep just re-assuring myself that all of this cycling, and bike hiking up hills will lead to me being a super amazing cyclist again by the end of the summer. We had a lovely dinner, and drank drinks, and caught up, and had a marshmallow fight in the backyard. It was late, so I crashed at their place. In the morning, their mom made us the best giant breakfast and they gave me a ride home (no biking uphill for almost an hour hurraaaaaaaaaaaaaaay).

Sunday was all about naps, and then J made a really lovely dinner for Father’s Day.

Then on Monday, I went for a run that was not by myself!! YAAAAAAY. I went for the best run along the waterfront with Grace Carter, and baby Jo. We’re going to make a habit of running every Monday, and I am so happy to have a running pal again. Running alone is nice and all, but running with a partner is just unlike anything else. I couldn’t be happier, and I can’t wait for a many more runs in the future.

I took fewer photos this past week, so this post is pretty light on the photos. Gotta’ remember to take out that camera! More next week.

Life on the Coast – Week Four

IMG_0561.JPGWeek 4 is in the bag. Holy moly. I can’t believe that it’s been almost a month.

Spring is slowly giving way to summer. I’ve been running more, which feels amazing. I can’t even begin to tell you. Still only little short guys, but I feel pretty certain that I’ll be able to start adding extra KMs on soon. I can feel longer distances coming!

This past week led to a last minute housing change, as there was a hiccup with the first place that I had taken. Not to worry though! Serendipitously, I ran into the owners of another place that I had seen and had been thinking about, and they hadn’t rented it out yet! Hurrraaaaaaaay. Why? Because everything is always working out for me.

I went and signed my lease yesterday. My new landlords are also new coasters, who are currently just up here on the weekends doing renos. They’re both landscape architects, and just seem like really great people, who I will probably end up hanging out with when they’re in town. I’m moving into my place on July 1st.

Other nice things this week:

I found a Danish teak table for my livingroom for 25 bucks. I also found some really cool vintage Japanese pottery mugs and saucers + cream and sugar set for 10 bucks. And also a really great straw panama hat, becaust coast life. Keep your fingers crossed for me finding the perfect sofa in the next few weeks! For reference, this is the vibe that I’m aspiring to.

J’s parents, Paul and Carol, put together a surprise celebration for Jac and Clayton’s wedding anniversary, which was a picnic dinner on a little boat coasting around the Gibsons harbour, and a few pals were invited along. It was the most lovely surprise for all of us. Again, I’d been feeling a little, “ok but now what?” and then this happened and it was like, “ok now what is that your life will be filled with beautiful pal and nature surprises plus lovely food, that’s what”. This was seriously the perfect coastal evening.

Post boat ride.

Littlest Jo was NOT HAVING IT with this wheelbarrow ride.

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It was Theo’s birthday party. A whole bunch of pals came in from the city, and J and Clayton hosted a really lovely backyard BBQ. Again, nice hangs, great people, delicious food, plus Theo and pals being completely pumped about a party.

I volunteered for the Puddle Jumper Classic. It was just a little short shift, but a good first glimpse into the running community up here on the coast. Some dudes from East Van Run Crew were up for the race, and we had a little chat about run crews, and it tugged at my heart strings and made me miss Parkdale. I miss that feeling of running with a pack. And I miss my run fam. It’s easy to forget a little how far away you are and how long it’s been when there’s social media, but it’s summer and I miss those hot summer nights speeding down Richmond Street back to the Gladstone.

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I had my first impromptu hangout! My one single friend texted me on Friday to see what I was up to and we went and grabbed last minute beers at Persephone. Hurray! It was so nice, and also funny to have a “Friday out”. Deciding what to wear on the coast is kind of funny, because my first thought was, yeaaaaah, wear your black tunic/smock thing, and your camel jacket etc etc etc, and just no. Pretty much take any outfit that you might wear out to dinner with friends in the city, then underaccessorize, sub out one interesting piece of clothing and add birkenstocks. We also ran into another person who I know while at Persephone, who joined us for a drink. Making paaaaals.

Sunday night ended in another farm field pizza oven potluck, with the usual pals, and a few other new coasters who I had not yet met. All around nice people.

I was asked if I was single and would be interested in being set up on a date. And because I’m actually so curious about what dating will be like here, I just said yes. I didn’t even ask for any details. And then how do I write about the dating experience up here? It’s a small town, so do I just keep it to myself? Keep posts vague? Part of what’s different about my experience compared to a lot of others is that I didn’t move up here with a partner, so it feels like something that I should be documenting, no? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ TBD.

Even in this week’s post, I’m already doing a teeny bit of small town censoring just in case. Because small toooooooowns.

I’m giving a talk this Friday, and I am so nervous.

More to come.

 

 

Week Three

IMG_0380Week three was a little trickier than the first two weeks. It was the first week that I felt a little squirrely, and nervous, and a bit of “how am I going to do this”. Which is fine. These kinds of feelings come up in every move. It just means that it’s time to start figuring out my Sunshine Coast routine. While I’ve gone for a bunch of walks and bike rides, I haven’t really explored a ton of trails yet, and I think that part of my weekly routine for the rest of the summer is going to be finding some new hike or trails to explore once a week. I’m going to start doing headspace every day again, and going for short runs at least 3 times a week (foot issues permitting). It’s also maybe time to look into where I might be able to host a Wednesday Writing//Coworking Wednesdays type morning here in Gibsons.

I need to add some structure to my days. I love and am so thankful to stay with friends, but I am also eager to move into my own place in the next few weeks to start setting my own schedule, and habits, and such. On the other side of that, I’m also nervous to move into my own place because won’t I get lonely? It’s not necessarily the easiest to just swing by someone’s house on the regular, or to meet up for a quick coffee. I mentioned in a previous post that 99% of the folks who I know up here have small children, so their routines are a little more set or also subject to naps and things going as planned. Plus I’m still new. Patience, right? All of these things will take time.

To counter my mild antsy-ness, Friday night, I went and read over beer at Persephone Brewing. Then I went into the city on Saturday for Sunday Cider’s first Summer Sizzler, and it was great. Hung out with Matt Milligan, and ran into a lot of folks who I hadn’t seen in ages and ages, as well as some other Coasters.

 

Afterwards, MM and I went to La Mezcaleria for dinner, then did a quick swing by Dude Chilling Park before I realized I had to leave or risk missing the last ferry back to Gibsons. I left East Van at 8ish, and didn’t make it home until 11pm and it was the first time that I wished for a car. That being said, I still feel the need to emphasize that though the commute was long, it was still 100% pleasant. I got a snack. I read. I watched the sun set over the ocean. It was fine.

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Sunday was spent catching up on emails, and some work projects. Then today I finally filed my GST for the first time ( a teeny bit late) and ended up with a bit of a not great tax surprise. I won’t get into that here, but uggggggggggggggh. Ended the day with sushi in the park and then icecream on the waterfront, because this little guy turned 3 today.

I can’t believe how big he is. And how much I love his goofy grin, and his funny little bouncy run. If for no other reason, I am so glad that this move back to the coast will allow me to be more a part of his life as he gets bigger, and that he’ll know me and that I’ll get to teach him things, and walk him to school, and take him to the park and all of those things that aunt’s do. Happiest birthday, Theodore.

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More lessons learned so far.

Certain groceries and eating out are more expensive than on the mainland. This one should have been obvious, because of course they are. Cheese and tofu are more expensive. Hummus is RIDICULOUS. Farm fresh eggs are cheaper. Most produce is about the same.

People are v friendly. Also because of course they are. It’s true what they say about people banding together in smaller towns, and supporting each other, and wanting to chat, and just being super kind.

It is hard to eat out on a Wednesday. A pal and I tried to go out for dinner on Wednesday night and made the rounds at 4 different places before finding somewhere to eat. Lunitas was closed. The food trucks at the breweries aren’t open on Wednesdays. We went to Absolutely Thai, which is apparently really good, but it would have been 45 minutes for food. So we ended up at The Gumboot. Apparently most things are only open Thursday – Sunday, so good to know for the future!

Not really a lesson, but so excited for all of the different coast berry seasons. I used to eat all of the salmonberries, and huckleberries, and thimbleberries in my youth, and they’re all slowly blooming and coming into season and I can’t waaaaaaaaaaaait.

PS. This type of signage is a regular part of my life now.

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