All posts by Alicat888

About Alicat888

Writer, Actor, Traveler, Dancer, etc. etc. Living in Vancouver, BC.

This is what’s next

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I am in a play, and we need some help!

This post is a bit of a plug, not going to lie.  The past month I have been in rehearsals for a great new musical play titled “The Chariot Cities” which will be premiering at the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Festival this September.  Much of the material is inspired by musical families such as the Wainwright-McGarrigles.  I’m both excited and nervous to be part of this project, and hope we can gather a large audience for each of the shows.  Click this LINK to our fundraising campaign.  We only have 5 days left for people to donate. 

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Conquering the Ride

We did it! My Dad and I cycled from Vancouver to Seattle over 2 days for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.   I am still recovering, and it was definitely worth it.

"Team Ward"
“Team Ward”

The weather was more or less bad, but it was a beautiful ride in spite of that.  We rode along gorgeous coastlines and through quaint, country fields.  We saw roosters and alpacas and goats and horses and cows (I love farm animals).  We got rained on (drenched, more like it) and covered in mud.  Dad had some clip issues starting out because of the mud in his shoes, and went through 2 tubes on day 2 – but we still loved it.

Our own two lanes at the border crossing!
Our own two lanes at the border crossing!

Coastline south of Blaine, Washington
Coastline south of Blaine, Washington

I didn’t think I’d like cycling with such a large amount of other cyclists.  We started out late-ish both days, which I feel was a good choice as we didn’t get passed so often, and by the time we got to camp we didn’t have to deal with line ups for bike park or showers.  Having some other cyclists and support vehicles around was actually really nice.  It kept our spirits up for the most part, and when Dad got flat tires, there were people there to help right away.  (Big thank-you to Team Finn and Dizzy Cycles!) Camp was also full of great energy, and their was a solid cover band playing til about 10pm.

Team Finn to the rescue
Team Finn to the rescue
Dizzy Cycles to the rescue! These guys know their bikes!
Dizzy Cycles to the rescue! These guys know their bikes!

The biggest mistake we made was not training enough.  Both of us were cycling 20-30km once or twice a week for the six weeks leading up to the event, but we needed to have gone out on a few very long rides leading up to the event.  Day one was 125km, day two was 114.  A piece of cake for the hardcore cyclist, but No easy feat for a casual rider.  Our bums and legs were made very sore, and yet we signed up for next year after day one.

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Can’t wait for 2015!

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Three BC Bike Rides

N. Saanich off Lochside Dr.
N. Saanich off Lochside Dr.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is coming up fast, and my training plan got delayed as I was sick for the entire month of March. I’ve gotten back on the horse (or should I say, bike?) the last few weeks, and put in 3 different 20Km + rides.

Start at Brentwood BAy
Start at Brentwood Bay

Ride #1: The first was while visiting Vancouver Island for Easter weekend.  I was staying with in-laws, and took a late morning ride on the Sunday.  It was on the verge of rain, but stunning none the less.  Starting point was Brentwood Bay (gorgeous view), end was a park in North Saanich (also not a bad view).  Most of the ride was not a bike route – Mt. Newton Cross Rd. – but is a quiet (beautiful!!) road through rolling fields so traffic was not a problem.  I then linked up to the Lochside Drive bike route which, if it was not my first ride out and I had more time, I would have just kept on going and going.  The route stretches all the way from Victoria to Swartz Bay.  I will absolutely revisit this route during my next family visit.

Driveway off Mt. Newton Cross Rd.
Driveway off Mt. Newton Cross Rd.
Mt. Newton Cross Rd looking toward Brentwood Bay
Mt. Newton Cross Rd looking toward Brentwood Bay

Ride #2: The second was a local Vancouver ride.  I decided to visit my sister, brother in law and nephews in Richmond.  My ride-mapping app unfortunately didn’t record my ride (annoying!) but judging from time and Google maps, the distance from my place near Commercial Drive to their door  is about 20km.  The Vancouver portion was straight forward, taking 10th to Ontario and following it all the way up to 63rd.  It was a beautiful Sunny day, and the blossoms were still out.  I enjoyed the Cambie bike lane under the Skytrain, although finding my way to the bridge and then to my chosen bike route in Richmond was not familiar, and quite industrial.  On my way back I shortened my trip by hopping on the Skytrain from Brighouse to Broadway, which cut about 20 minutes off my trip home.  I had to teach that eve, so didn’t have the luxury of time.

Cambie Skytrain Bike Bridge
Cambie Skytrain Bike Bridge

Ride #3: My 3rd ride was with my friend who is also doing the RTCC in June.  We took it easy, as my legs and shoulders were feeling pretty tight.  It was a relaxed ride from East Van out to Jericho Beach and back.  We chatted and stopped a couple times along the way, and of course took advantage of sitting out at Jericho Beach for a snack break.  The 10th ave bike route is one of my favorites – the tall trees creating a leafy canopy for the entire East portion of the route. We lost track of our route just before Alma, so on the way back we took Seaside and hopped up to 7th for the West portion of our trip.  Vancouver lacks consistent signage on it’s routes, and construction can be a pain.  For the most part it’s great, but as soon as you want to skip from one route to the next, it can get a bit confusing the first time around.

Jericho Beach
Jericho Beach
East 10th Ave Bikeway
East 10th Ave Bikeway

Next on the menu will likely be Wall Street in East Van, one of my favorites, then finding our way out towards S.F.U.

If you have any suggested Vancouver routes, let me know in the comment section!

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If you want to donate to the RTCC, CLICK HERE for my personal page.

 

 

Cozy Victoria Weekend

Easter weekend Jeff and I visited the island for a half family, half chill-out weekend.  On the Sunday we checked into an amazing little carriage house I found through airbnb (have I mentioned how much I love that site?).

This place was perfect.  It was just behind the parliament buildings and only about a 10 minute walk from downtown.  We ended up spending more time in our little mini-house than I expected.  It was so cozy and cute with it’s own little kitchen, and a mini staircase up to our loft bedroom with queen sized bed.  It even had a little gas fireplace on the main floor.

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When we did manage to tear ourselves from our hide-away, we pretty much just meandered around town.  Day one we had a late lunch/early dinner at Cafe Mexico.  I loved the atmosphere here, the food was decent, service was friendly – although a little forgetful.  Maybe our server was new.  It didn’t really matter after our double margaritas.

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Day two it was a little overcast and we decided to check out Miniature World.  A full on tacky tourist choice.  We were entertained.  I think the admission is a bit steep, but it didn’t seem to keep people away.  I have a vague memory of a miniature world I visited with my family when we were in either Holland or Germany.  That one was definitely more impressive than this one – more of a fully conceptualized outdoor setup. This one had different displays, put together by various individuals at different times, and with different models.  Best part of this miniature world, in my opinion, was the train from Vancouver to Toronto that faded to ‘nighttime’ for 30 seconds at a time.

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For lunch on Day 2, the sun had started to come out, so we chose to eat on the heated patio of 10 Acres.  A downtown restaurant that sources mostly from their local farm.  I felt like we were in a Portlandia episode.

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Night two we visited a good friend, ordered in pizza and hung out.  We left the next morning, late, and took our time to get to the 1pm ferry.  The sun came out for us and we were able to enjoy an hour on the waterfront in Sydney.

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All in all it wasn’t the most adventurous of weekends, but it was exactly how we wanted to spend our time. Chill and easy.

Planning and Dreaming

I’ve been under the weather for too long, and hence, have not done much or gone anywhere.  Sitting in bed has, however, allowed me to plan out our short summer vacation (Luckily we have a Toronto wedding as an excuse to travel!! Thanks cousin!!) and lust over listing after listing on Air B&B.

In June, Jeff and I will be staying (hopefully) 2 nights in East Harlem, 2 nights in Williamsburg (confirmed), 4 nights right downtown Toronto, and the remainder of our Toronto time most likely in Roncesvalles with a best friend.

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I can’t wait.  I love city neighborhoods.  I love cities.  And Air B&B feels like the best invention since ride-sharing.  I just hope that it’s not somehow outlawed one day due to pressure from big hotels.

Low Maintenance Whistler Afternoon

This weekend Jeff and I stayed a couple nights at the Executive Suites in Squamish for the sake of getting out of our apartment and avoiding the temptation to work, clean and/or watch way too much Netflix.  We were mostly successful…. well… partially successful.

Sunday we slept in, lazily made our way up to Whistler with the thought of ice skating and/or cross country skiing.  Both of us were uninterested in having an itinerary filled weekend, so taking it an hour at a time seemed to work.  We stopped into La Brasserie for lunch (super cozy and kitchy), then, thanks to a very helpful Info booth woman, were directed toward Green Lake for some pristine oh-so-Canadian ice skating.

Green Lake was the highlight of our non-action packed weekend.  We put on our snow pants and bad-ass ice skates we got for Christmas, and enjoyed the perfectly clear lake, sunshine and mountains.  This experience actually topped skating at Idabel Lake (in the Okanagan) which is always a highlight to my winter.  I don’t know if I can handle skating on an indoor rink ever again.

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