The Weekly Coastal – bullet points forever

IMG_1735.JPG

Life continues to grow and evolve on the Coast. August is in full swing. This is going to be a point form update. I haven’t been sleeping that well lately, and there’s just too much happening at the moment to put together an eloquently written life update for the week. So HERE GOES.

distrikt-workshop-25

  • Running my first BC Just Write workshop at Distrikt Movement with Jess Robson this weekend. Jess is such a wonderful, smart, awesome human, and Distrikt is such a great space, and I can’t wait to put these things together. If you’re in the Vancouver area, and still have some internal doubts over starting your next writing project, we still have a few spots, and I promise you’ll leave with the confidence to begin.
  • I’m well into my 30 Sea Days Challenge, and even though some days it’s kind of a pain, it also always makes me feel good about life. If I’m stressed or happy or whatever, biking or running to the ocean and taking a dip in the sea always makes me feel better, and also inspires a little bit of awe for the place that I live. Whether it’s cloudy or hot or morning or late, the daily time I spend in the ocean is ALWAYS an exercise in appreciating the beauty of my homeland. And it’s been really nice to have people join in either in person, or from afar, with their own daily dips. I’m thinking of going for another 30 days when the first 30 are done, but we’ll see about that.
  • I’m coming up on three months on the Coast. Holy moly. I actually can’t even believe it. It continues to be an adventure and an up and down roller coaster of days that are magical and inspiring and wonderful, and other days that are lonely and stressful and challenging. Such is any new undertaking in life where you’re working to stretch yourself and grow, amiright?
  • I think that I might have found the first speaker for CreativeMornings Sunshine Coast, which is so exciting. I’ll know more next week. But it feels good to be checking things off my list of prep for our first event. I am so nervous and excited for CM to come to this community and I can’t wait to see how it grows and evolves over the upcoming year.
  • I’ve been running more, which is so wonderful and makes me so happy. I still have a long way to go to get back to where I was, but the fact that I am able to run a few times a week is just the best. I actually feel like I can start to push myself again, which is SUCH A RELIEF after a year of on again off again injury. A lot of my runs lately have been a part of the daily dips, so they often part run, part hike up a steep hill, but I’m working on it one step at a time.
  • Jenn McRae and I checked out Coastal Community Crossfit and it was pretty great. I’m always nervous about checking out new workout spaces, because I am super picky about the trainers whose classes I take, but I have a good feeling about this one. So happy to be getting back into some strength-training.
  • Jenn McRae and I have also become managing partners at the co-working space in Gibsons – FUSE workhub – that is set to re-open in September. We have a lot of work to do in terms of the space itself, website, social media, etc etc etc between now and then. More on that in the weeks to come.
  • FINALLY made it to a CreativeMornings Vancouver event; I hadn’t been since coming back to the West Coast. It’s about time! Had a really great morning, despite having to wake up at 5am to catch the ferry, and shut the venue down having a really great conversation with a few people I met at the event. Pretty much exactly why I love CreativeMornings so much. Thanks for the best time, CMVan crew!
  • My friend Stevan was visiting from Toronto, and invited me to a really lovely pal dinner all the way up in Halfmoon Bay, and thankfully I was able to hitch a ride with his partner’s sister who also lives in Gibsons. Met some lovely further up the Coast, part-time Coasters, and re-meet some folks who I know “from around” in my youth. More people moving to the Coast all the time, and I love it!
  • OH MY GOD. Also, I got a roommate! Welcome to the Coast, Hana MacDonald! While there are definitely things that I love about living alone, I am so pumped to be sharing my space with another human again. So far, we seem to get along really well, and my giant apartment is already feeling a lot cozier and more like home.
  • I’m sure that other things happened, but it’s 1am, and I’m sleepy, and my brain is buzzing with everything else that I have to get done that is not my weekly blog post.

So that’s it for now! Sending love from the Best Coast.

Advertisements

The Weekly Coastal – Daily Dips and the Wishbone Classic

IMG_1435.JPGAugust is here!

And I’m a day late on my blog post. I blame Rosemary, who decided this weekend that the outdoors are a great place to explore for a tiny city cat, so she is now that cat that darts for the door and runs for the bushes every chance she gets. Whyyyyyyyy? I have often debated if I would let Rosemary and Thomas be sometimes outdoor cats if I moved to the country. I know that obviously their chance of death would be a million times higher, because let’s be real, they have no survival skills. But I know that Rosemary in particular would be SO MUCH HAPPIER with the opportunity to adventure. What to do?

For now, I just went and spent a bunch of money on new toys and cat grass and things in an effort to make the indoors a teeny tiny bit more appealing. Caaaaaaats.

What else?

This week has been a lot of meetings. Meetings about projects that aren’t public yet, but that I’ll be able to share publicly very soon. Projects that will take me deeper into the Sunshine Coast community, and that I am so incredibly excited to get off the ground.

IMG_1470.JPG

Week two of daily dips was great, but also more challenging. Not because I’m not into ocean time every day, but because there have been a few days that I’ve wanted to go for a run that didn’t involve the trek back up from the beach, or a hike away from the water, and I don’t really have time to do both. What I am super loving is getting to know all of the different beaches in and around Gibsons. You wouldn’t think that there would be so many in such a small town, but so far I’ve been to 7. I’m starting to feel more comfortable just jumping into the water, and also just feeling incredibly lucky and blown away every single day that I am living in such a beautiful place. Like I actually can’t believe sometimes that I am living a ten minute bike ride from some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to, with the clearest water, just nestled into a landscape filled with mountains and forests. NOT BAD. The other thing that I’ve noticed that’s a nice little touch is that most of the beach access points have a single bike rack. Thanks, SCRD!

Attended a team meeting of volunteers with Evening Rounds, and it was nice to hear everyone’s vision and thoughts on speakers that we could have in the year ahead. Health cooooomms. Most people there were from a strict clinical or research background, so I’m excited to bring a bit of a different skillset to the table, and to work to bring in people from outside of traditional healthcare groups. Designer/writer/tech/etc pals! What topics would interest you in healthcare? What could get you excited about collaborating with a clinic or health research team?

More things. This weekend was the first Annual Wishbone Classic. Ian and Miranda, along with Brett and Ash, hosted a huge coastal jam that included a pig roast, lawnmower races, and a slip and slide/pool carved out of dirt and a tarp. It was an epically wonderful day, which gets a little fuzzy around sundown and ended in a 3am bikeride home with my pal and party dad Matt Milligan, who was visiting from the city.

IMG_1515

Late Sunday morning we went to Molly’s Reach for hangover bfast which apparently ends at 11am *cry*. I got a veggie burger, and Matt ordered tacos, which actually came on small pitas *double cry*. Lesson learned! Lunch was followed by an afternoon beach hang with swims and ciders before Matt hit the ferry home.

As much as I’m into my summer of cycling in a small town, hot damn am I getting eager to get a car. I would still rather not, but when it’s the difference between taking an hour and a half to get to a meeting, and 20 minutes to get there, that’s a lot of time. Not having a car also makes it tricky when pals who aren’t cycling visit, because then the only option is to spend a million years walking everywhere. Plus, recycling has to be dropped off at a depot, not picked up, so hot damn do I have a lot of recycling in my apartment at the moment. Car times soon. Licence times soon.

Until next week!

 

 

 

The Weekly Coastal

IMG_1313.JPGSo many things have happened this week.

Found a roommate, who will be moving in at the beginning of August. Got some exciting work-related news that I’ll be sharing soon. Met with some great community builders out here on the coast, and getting to learn the lay of the land a bit more. And I got through my first week of #30seadays. A few days were challenging, especially the overcast ones, but it has actually been so incredibly nice to make it a priority to go in the ocean. I love it. It’s also been a great excuse to get pals together at the sea most days. “Have you done your dip yet?” When pals know that you’re going to the ocean every day, they start to come with you.

I posted about this on my insta, but my true goal in this challenge is not just to get into the ocean, but to build up the bravery to REALLY spend time in the sea. I love the water. I love floating. I love swimming. But the sad truth is that when I get out into deeper waters, I’m still pretty overcome with fear that something in the water is going to “get me”. What if an orca attacks me? What if a seal sneaks up on me and bites my leg? What if there’s an octopus? What if there’s a sea monster? What if?

My dream self is a woman who wakes up early, runs to the sea, and then does solo lengths when everything is still quiet and peaceful. Preferably, these solo lengths will not be accompanied by near-crippling panic that something from deep in the ocean will attack me, amiright?!

I’m hoping that this habit of going into the ocean every day will slowly eat away at that irrational sense of panic, and that I’ll be one step closer to being that woman.

Friday night, Jenn McRae and I tried to “go out” and learned some lessons about going out past 8pm on the Coast. All the brewery food trucks are closed by this time, so we went “downtown” to grab sushi and take it to Gibsons Tapworks with us. It might not be the norm, but this Friday night Gibsons Tapworks was the place to be for 20 year olds. We ended the quiet-ish “night out” getting nachos at the Black Fish, and were home probably by 10:30. NEXT TIME – go out earlier, ladies! Persephone seems to generally be the place to be if you want to hit up somewhere lively. Though we’re told that when there’s an event on at the Roberts Creek Legion, that that’s a good choice too. And I’ve also since been told that Smitty’s stays open later on Friday nights as well.

I wish that I’d taken a photo of my makeup/outfit for the evening but didn’t get around to it. Getting dressed was also a serious battle of city vibes vs coast vibes. I had to take my outfit down a notch a few times before heading out the door, and it was still sooooooooo city. I couldn’t help myself! I haven’t yet built up my collection of casual linen tunics, so city vibes it is!

Some pals were visiting Clayton and J’s this weekend, so there was another big pal dinner, and some v good friend dips Saturday night.

Finished off the week having some beers with Ryan Griffiths at Persephone and getting advice on buying old cars. There’s a chance that an old Mercedes wagon might be in my future, but we’ll see what the mechanic says. It’s just so pretttyyyyyyyyyy.

Other things:

I need to add some structure to my physical activity. A new crossfit gym opened in Gibsons that I’m going to check out this week, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I love it.

Adding more run partners into the mix, because I need all the motivation that I can get. If I want to make this 100k a reality next year, it’s time to get on it.

I have to say, as much as I am loving life on the coast, freelance hustle has been getting to me HARD this week. While I love the freedom and flexibility, and so many things, sometimes it would be so nice to just have a job that I go to and get a paycheque from regularly. Freelancing is exciting, and exhilarating and challenging and wonderful, but let’s be real, sometimes it is also so anxiety-inducing and exhausting. Just thought that I should throw that out there along with all of my “OMGGGGG BEST LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE” posts about long table dinners and ocean swims.

That’s all for now, friends. More updates next week on The Weekly Coastal.

The Weekly Coastal

Weekly updaaaaaaaaaate.

The weeks are flying by; it’s true. I can’t believe that I have been back in BC for almost two months.

As promised last week, I’m kicking off this week’s post with some photos of my new home on the coast.

The walls are v bare at the moment, but waiting on picking up some frames to start hanging things rather than using my usual lobster clip approach. For two weeks in, and not having moved with any furniture, it’s coming together pretty well! I basically scour CL and VarageSale every day for bits and pieces that could work. This past week’s find was a teak coffee table for 50 bucks. Not bad! There seems to be a trend at the moment of older retirees selling their houses and getting rid of EVERYTHING, so it’s not too difficult to pick up some pretty great stuff if you keep an eye out, and you have access to a truck. Next up, learning basic furniture refinishing skills.

Coastal moments this week

There were chicks. Little tiny adorable baby ones. Ian and Miranda got Theo an incubator with eggs for his birthday, and some of the chicks hatched this week! I died.

I realized that this really beautiful tiny hike is super close to my house. MORE HIKES. I need them. And not just because they’re beautiful! I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to do my first 100km in 2018, and regular hikes will help me to start to build towards this. Not gonna’ lie, I’ve been thinking of hiking up Elphinstone by myself, but am also a tiny bit afraid of bears? I used to hike a ton, and have never been too worried about bears before, so not too sure where this fear has come from, but whatever. Just bring a bear bell with you, Altaira!

It was Jac’s birthday. I didn’t take any photos of this, but it was a backyard, bistro light, taco potluck feast that included a million amazing taco fillings, plus some fresh from the ocean crab. It was also a super pal fest, and was just the loveliest evening.

Running with Grace had become a regular thing, and schedule’s willing, we’re going to sign up for this adorable 10k in August, and also probably a longer trail race in North Van in the fall. Woo! It feels sooooooooo gooood to be running regularly again. Getting back into it, but also trying not to push too hard, because I am done with these fucking injuries! On that note, discovered that the rec centre had 2 dollar dropins weekday afternoons, which is amazing. The rec centre here is actually the best (last time I went, there were two grandmas playing pingpong in the atrium); it’s a v well stocked gym, and at this time of the day, it’s usually just me, one or two jock dudes, and a bunch of seniors. THE MOST CHILL GYM EXPERIENCE OF ALL TIME.

I also finally feel like I am getting work days on track, and started properly reaching out to folks about getting CreativeMornings Sunshine Coast up and running. Thank goooood. It feels like it shouldn’t have taken this long for me to kind of start finding my groove, but the settling in process has been slower than expected. I don’t know how I thought that I was just going to hit the ground running straight into organized work days, and new CM chapter set-up while also searching for a place, and sorting out my life, but that was my expectation.  Turns out, some things take time.

What else? I keep meaning to mention – people on the Sunshine Coast apparently loooooooooooooooove PT Cruisers. LOVE THEM. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I see at least 4 PT cruisers a day. In a town of 5000, that is a whole lot of PT Cruisers.

I drove this week. It feels super weird to be my age and learning to drive for the first time. At least in Gibsons, the speed limit doesn’t really go over 50, and unless there’s ferry traffic (the rush that happens when people are getting in from the ferry, or trying to speed their way to make the ferry) then the drivers here are super chill.

Ended my work day doing a little writing at Gibsons Tapworks, then chatting a bit with the bar tender and some other Gibsons beer scene folks who I’ve met before. It was just a small moment, but walking out afterwards to grab my bike and head home was one of the first times that I’ve really felt local. Not just like, oh, I live here now. But like this is a part of my routine, and this town is my home. It was pretty nice.

IMG_1170

 

Coast Vibes – Week Seven

IMG_1097.JPGLate weekly post, post-long weekeeeeend.

So what are the main things that happened this past week on the Sunshine Coast? For one, I moved! Wooooooo. I finally have my own place. I am so so thankful to have pals to stay with while getting settled in in Gibsons (thanks, Clayton and Jacqueline!) but holy moly does it ever feel good to finally be doing a bit of nesting and settling into my own spot. It’s a 2 bedroom, and I still need to find a roommate, but I decided to give myself the month of July on my own.

I didn’t take any furnished photos (whyyyyyy) so I won’t share apartment things in this post, but I’ll maybe do a mid-week update to show what it looks like.

The day that I moved in, I went into the city for the day and donated blood, had a meeting with Miranda Cyr of Evening Rounds, and got a haircut with the one and only Marleau. I also ran into a pal both on the ferry into the city and on the way back, which was pretty nice.

It was a pretty long day, and when I got home the cats were nowhere to be found. Nowhere. I looked for 20 minutes. Usually even if they are hiding, when I get home, they will come out of hiding, or at least give a few meows. Nothing. Aaaaaand, then I found Rosemary. She had crawled into a hole in the wall and gotten stuck there. WAY TO GO, ROSEMARY. Thomas, as it turns out, was just chilling quietly in a drawer. J came over to help me figure out what to do. Being the generally non-handy type, I didn’t know what I could saw through drywall with a bread knife, so saw I did. It took a few rounds before Rosemary could get herself out. WHAT A JERK. My landlords are currently on vacation, and it would have been nice if my first post-move in communication had not been “hi! I had to cut my cat out of the wall. ps. is there asbestos in the drywall??” (there wasn’t).

Now, hole in the wall free, the cats are the happiest ever; I’m pretty sure that they were convinced that they would be living in one room for the rest of their lives, and all the space is making the giddy. That, and being able to hang out with me wherever I am in the house.

Woo!

Other things

  • I had a visit with my downstairs neighbour and it turns out that she and her partner are serious ultra runners! AHHHH. This is so great. I can’t wait to pick her brain more about ultras, and to learn more about the trails up here, and the running community.
  • Jenn McRae is staying! Hurraaaaay. My one single lady friend was going to maybe be moving away, and now she’s not moving, so yaaaaaay.
  • Went for a trail run with Grace, which was great until I bailed, and effed my ankle again a tiny bit. Noooooo. It’s a bit tender, but I’ve been icing, and stretching, and ibuprofening, and I think that it’s going to be ok.
  • Matt Milligan came to visit. Pals. Pals. Pals. It was just for day, but it was so nice to have a pal come in from the city. We just had a chill day of beers, bike rides, and beach hangs. Nothing helps a place feel more homey than hosting.

    IMG_1119

I think that I’m going to start breaking these posts into twice weekly updates. As it is, it feels like too much of  drive by, where I kind of skim the surface of what life had been like. Amiright? MORE DETAILS.

Aside story. Mail here is delivered to group boxes, instead of to your front door. They’re little tiny boxes. A few weeks ago I had a package delivered and thought I’d have to go all the way to the post office to get it. But no, instead, when you get a package, the post-person puts a key in your mailbox to another larger mailbox to get your package. Neat right? I didn’t take photos at the time, but ran into my neighbour at the mailbox when she was getting a package. IMG_1063

That’s all for now.

Week 6 – Living on the Coast

IMG_0836.JPG

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.

IMG_0895

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.

IMG_0966