Summer 2010

Chuckwagon Races at the Calgary Stampede

Glacier skiing with Chris

Our summer did not include a lot of travel. We mostly stayed around Vancouver for a change. We did make a trip to Calgary to experience the Stampede for the first time. To my surprise I learned that the “sunniest city in Canada” actually gets more rain than Vancouver in the summer. Afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurence and we experienced a dramatic one. Leanne and I were about 5km apart both having visited old work friends. She was going to walk to where I was, but I insisted on driving over to pick her up. Shortly after she got in the car torrential rain started to pour followed by damaging hail almost 3cm in diameter. We just made it to the hotel parkade minutes after it started. We heard stories of vehicles covered in dents. The afternoon of the previous day we had gone on a long bike ride all around the city. We were fortunate the hail did not happen then. Stampede did not leave a favorable impression on us. Four horses died during the two days we were there, and the booths at the fair grounds actually move on to the PNE in Vancouver later in the summer. It does have its moments though and the exhibitions would be fun for children.  We also enjoyed our time there meeting up with family and we took the opportunity to revisit Banff and the scenic Canadian Rockies as well.

Leanne and Drew

The summer had a lot of great moments the best of which involved the expansion of our families. Our first nephew, Drew, was born to proud parents Sarah and Kevin. As well, my brother and his wife had a wonderful wedding and we are happy to welcome Candice to our extended family. We also had a large family gathering to celebrate the diamond anniversary of Leanne’s grandparents.

I spent a boys weekend in Whistler for Chris’ stag. I went glacier skiing and zip-lining. That weekend will forever be remembered for the story of the person who didn’t make it back to the condo seven of us were sharing. Chris and I hunted for him in the middle of the night eventually finding him lost and sick beside the river. Good times.

at the Lincoln Memorial

We also met up with old friends at Harrison. It is always great to see them and a shame we don’t get together more often. Our lives are very different and we have become a surprisingly diverse group, which often leads to enjoyable, but charged-up conversations. Leanne and I were the only couple without children. While the others camped together we were the snobs who took off at night to have a romantic stay at a nearby resort, loving our time in its hot spring pools. While a bit embarrassed by our choice, we were happy to avoid packing up tents in the rain.

Boating around Vancouver

Mostly, we enjoyed some amazing weather in Vancouver. We love it here in the summer and had missed it the previous two years due to travel. The days are long with up to 16 hours of sun light. We did numerous bike rides and visits to the beaches. We also got out on the water. We had plenty of nights out with friends taking advantage of the best food and cocktails the city has to offer.  I enjoyed getting on the motorcycle for a few rides. Amongst other things we went to a great play, Glengarry Glen Ross, and a classic rock concert, Aerosmith.

I did a work trip to Washington D.C. and while walking past the park in front of the White House three helicopters flew in together before one separated and flew directly above me before landing on the White House lawn as the US President, Obama, returned home. At the time I thought this was likely be the closest I would get to the so-called “most powerful person in the world”, but little did I know that I would actually end up seeing him give a speech in person from less than 50 feet away a month later. More on that in another post.

We have travel plans again, and are looking forward to our next trip.

The wedding of Givoli and McWilliams