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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

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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

IMG_1213Two-monthaversaryyyyyyyyy. I can’t believe that I’ve already been on the Sunshine Coast for two months. In some ways it feels like it’s been forever, and in others it feels like it could not possibly have been that long already.

Week in review! Once again, I did not take as many photos as I should have. It’s just something that I’m not in the habit of doing, that I need to get over feeling awkward about. Get over iiiiiit. Also, tbh when I’m cycling somewhere, sometimes I can’t be bothered to stop on the side of the road/path to grab my camera out of my bag.

Last week, I FINALLY went on a run to the ocean, and I wished that I’d worn something appropriate for swimming because the water was so nice when I dipped my feet in. This was a good reminder that a big part of why I moved here was to spend more time in the sea, and I haven’t really taken proper advantage of that yet. Soooo… to make it a habit to spend more time in the water, I’m doing a little 30 day ocean challenge for myself – just meaning that every day for the next 30 days, I have to go into the water. The exception being if I am in the city for the whole day. Ocean tiiiiimes. To help facilitate this, I bought some bikini bottoms that are appropriate for running in so that the run home post-dip isn’t the worst ever.

Social life wise, it was time for another Sunday Cider Summer Sizzler, which is always a great time with great pals (and their adorable children).

I had a one too many afternoon ciders in the sun, and crashed hard around 10pm. Thanks to Meagan, Ayma, and Amy for hosting me in their lovely home in Strathcona! Again, no photos. Whyyyyy. Had such a nice catch up with these ladies, and their house is a dream. Had a really wonderful bfast hang in the morning, before biking to North Van for a lunch date with Nico at Budha-Full.

My original intention had been to take transit there, but when I looked it up on Google Maps, it took the same amount of time as biking and in that case, I’ll choose cycling almost every time. And the bikeride there was actually so pleasant. The entire way was on a bike route, and even going over the bridge I did not really have to deal with car traffic for even a minute. I forget sometimes how amazing the bike infrastructure is in Vancouver – even if it’s not separated bike lanes, there is always a convenient route off of the car path mapped out for bikes. It’s so nice.

Had a great lunch, and as we were wrapping up, Jess Robson walked in. Paaals.

J-Rob and I had a shoot planned at The Distrikt for our upcoming writing + yoga workshop (details to come!!), and apparently we were on the same vibe that day lunchwise, but also we showed up wearing matching outfits without prior discussion, so way to go us. Cannot wait to run a workshop with this lady.

Finished just in time to get dropped off for the 4:30 ferry home (thanks Jess and John!)

The next day, I had some more errands and meetings and things in the city, so went in early and mostly did some running around for the first couple of hours. In the afternoon, toured BrainStation’s new Vancouver space, and had a chance to chat with the Vancouver GM.

Again, quick trip home but not before grabbing an Oyster Burger from the takeout window at Olive and Anchor’s take-out window. I’ve been missing the abundance of Buck-a-Shuck places that I’d become used to in Toronto, and discovered the O&A does these M-F from 3-5, which is good knowledge to squirrel away for future Horseshoe Bay ferry waits.

Not a ton else to report this week. The roommate hunt is a little slower than expected, but I’m not too worried about it.

The Coast, and freelance life, continue to be a slew of lessons learned every day, but they’re good lessons. Trying my best to be present for all of it.

 

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.

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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.

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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

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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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