Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I went for a thirty minute walk around Inglewood (a neighborhood in Calgary). Inglewood is a hub of culture, entertainment, and commerce- showcasing unique stores filled with vintage articles ranging from clothing to furniture to vinyl. The homes and shops are of eclectic styles in unmatchable designs. Filled with modern and traditional architecture and everything in between.
We braved the chilly atmosphere as we walked around. Coming from Surrey BC the other day, it’s easy to forget that the rest of our country is still experiencing winter. My wife and I bundled up, but the -16°C was felt on our exposed skin and eyes. Did you know that frozen snowflakes feel like tiny razor blades against your eyeballs? What we did see of the area we wandered was beautiful. I only took a couple of photos because my hands got cold fast when holding my phone out.
When we returned to our friend’s home, we ordered some amazing Chicago Deep Dish Pizzas. It has been years since I have had such an amazing pizza. It was warm and filling- exactly what we needed after a brisk walk.
So far, Calgary in the winter isn’t that bad. The biggest challenge I have discovered is Google Maps- every time I enter our journey to and from the Oval- it gives me a different route. I have taken half a dozen variations to get where I’m going. Perhaps it’s to avoid traffic congestion, or maybe Google just doesn’t like me. But I swear we have gone around Calgary in both directions and through Calgary– all have taken the same amount of time.
I guess that’s part of the charm of exploring a different city. Just finding new and exciting places and exploring what there is to offer.
Today my wife, son and I were driving from our home to Calgary. We left bright and early at 5am in order to get a head start on our journey. The road trip takes us through the Rocky Mountains, which is always scenic and beautiful.
Just outside Revelstoke we got stopped along the highway. Turns out they were doing controlled avalanche explosions. We ended up being held up for about an hour. During which time we wandered around getting some pictures as loud BOOMS could be heard off in the distance.
Periodically a helicopter would pass over our heads and out on the mountainside we could see small puffs of snow and smoke from where the explosions were taking place.
At least it was a beautiful sunny day while we waited. We even talked with people who were also stopped. Everyone was kind and smiley. It made for a pleasant wait, until the road opened up- then it was off to the races to make up for lost time!
The past few days have actually dipped below freezing. Which is uncommon for the Lower Mainland even in winter. We are expected to have a couple of more centimeters of snow overnight tonight, plus some rain. This creates very icy conditions on the roads and pathways.
I may not be happy about the freezing temperatures. But I really like seeing the white dusting of snow on the ground and rooftops. at night it’s especially beautiful when those Christmas lights come on.
Two of my favorite decorations are hanging from our bedroom windows. We have a couple of clear acrylic snowflakes that look like water at the right angle. Looking through them at the outside world- they manipulate the image in a similar fashion like a kaleidoscope does.
As pretty as the snow and ice may be- it can cause havoc in our lives. I find myself extra tense walking around outside. Just hoping not to slip. Driving is equally strenuous. I leave space between myself and the car ahead, but other drivers take it as a cue to squeeze in. Not cool.
I take the good with the bad when it comes to this winter weather. Doing my best to appreciate the beauty that nature shares.
Last night I hit the road to go home. Only once I was out there- I stopped on the side of the road made a couple of phone calls. I turned around and went to a hotel instead.
After I checked in, I needed some dinner since it was past 8pm and I was a hungry man. I went to the restaurant in the lobby and had a prime rib dinner. The best part of the dinner was the roasted brussel sprouts. That’s right I said brussel sprouts were better than the meat.
The room accommodated me just fine. I had a clean bed and fell asleep knowing that I was safe and warm. My sleep was broken up as I was too hot, then too cold. And in the morning the coffee was terrible and barely palatable. But at least I didn’t get stuck in the snarled up traffic trying to get home.
I am sorry to all of those who got caught in the snowmageddon that hit us. I hope everyone was safe in the end- as frustrating as it may have been.
First Snowfall of the year! You know what that meant! Getting home will take at least three times longer than usual.
Leaving work didn’t look that bad at first. But where I started we didn’t have quite the snowfall compared to when I drove eastward to get home. Snowmageddon 2022!
Much like everyone else commuting- it’s not looking good. Red routes everywhere on Google Maps and crash warnings. I’ll take my time. So I figured I’d write my blog as I wait for my car to warm up and check the traffic.
If anything goes sideways- I have extra clothes and a blanket in my car. I also have a couple snacks and water. Not that we ever get traffic snarled that bad, but who knows; it could happen.
Be safe out there folks. This snow always catches people off guard, even with repeated weather warnings!
Overnight there was a light dusting of snow that fell. The sudden drop in temperature and weather changes came as a bit of a surprise. Last week’s windstorm and torrential rainfall was already challenging. The snow and cold temperatures made me realize that I needed to wrap our palm tree in order to save it for next summer.
The brisk air and chilled sky made the city skyline in the distance a bit more visible. With a lovely mountain backdrop, it hardly seemed real. Especially to be able to see it from our backyard. I expect to see more snow on the mountains as the season gets colder.
Over the next few days it should be sunny, but cool. After I protect our palm tree, I’ll be putting up the outside Christmas lights before it gets really miserable outside. That way when December is upon us- I can enjoy the lights as darkness takes over most of the days as we approach the Winter Solstice.
Appreciating the season can be tough. Finding the moments that can bring you pleasure or working towards them is challenging. I like the end result and try my best to accept when I can’t control something- like the weather.
Looks like there is a possibility that rain will be here for Halloween night. It’s not the first time it has rained on October 31st. I do recall a few times having to take an umbrella out to keep the kids dry. But the excitement of free candy kept them going.
As a kid, I lived in Alberta and had to suffer a few snow filled Halloween evenings. Winter jacket and snow pants covered the costume, or you got a baggie costume and draped it over your outfit. It didn’t matter because you knew what you were pretending to be. And you still got candy!
I couldn’t imagine being an adult in my 20’s attending a Halloween party in Alberta like that. Especially since most people showed up at our parties in their “sexy” outfits. I imagine it would look like these.
Again, using your imagination and a Sexy Ghostbuster is pretty amazing. I’ve seen one.
My wife and son have arrived safely in Quebec. They have a couple of days to explore before the speed skating competition. So that’s what they did.
Throughout the day my wife sent me random photos. None were really the type that people share while on a vacation or trip. More just things that she found interesting or humorous- and sent them to send me.
I am a little unsure as to why she shared a picture of kale dumped on the side of the road. Or why she felt it necessary to send a picture of snow the height of a car. In fact, when she sent that to me, as I am here in Vancouver, it began to snow shortly after I received the text. We can all blame her for the snow arriving here! Sorry friends on behalf of my wife.
However, amongst the random pictures of things, she did send me a smiling selfie of the two of them. There was also the obligatory poutine meal picture. So I know they are happy and well fed on this trip. Hopefully she will share some other pictures of more interesting adventures and I can pass them on to everyone else.
Overnight we had a healthy dumping of snow again. This time, my wife was ready for it. And she was excited too. Not like her considering how she prefers warmer temperatures.
Two days ago- a small electric snow blower was delivered from Amazon. My wife was so excited about it that she didn’t let me get any unboxing photos. She also assembled it herself with great glee while I was at work. I think she bought it because it was called a “Snow Joe”.
Again, she was so excited to use it that she asked me to call her when I was off work at 6am. That way she could clear the driveway before I got home. The foot of snow was gone for my car to back into the driveway. She demonstrated how amazing the “Snow Joe” was and I quickly finished the rest of the driveway before the neighbors were even awake. That’s right, I finished after my wife was satisfied with herself.
For the amount of pleasure this blower brought my wife, and the ease at which we cleared the driveway, I’m surprised we hadn’t bought one sooner. Although in our last home, the trees helped keep our driveway clear. (I’m pretty sure all those pine needles and small branches would’ve damaged this machine.)
I also think the neighbors are a bit jealous now at how quickly our property cleans up. Sweating with a snow shovel is no more! Do you use a shovel, snow blower, or private company to do the dirty work? Let me know in the comments.
The other morning I was outside in the backyard admiring the peace and tranquillity that the snow had brought for New Year’s Day. Something astonishing happened to me though. An icicle came into view.
This surprised me because I rarely see icicles in the Lower Mainland. I am aware that they have been known to occur. But I don’t notice them to ever be this size. Usually they are small and are gone in the blink of an eye. That warm weather and rain thing normally diminishes their existence rather hastily.
As I walked up to the shed to take a closer look, there was an entire row of icicles hanging down. The sight reminded me of my youth and living in Edmonton. I would lay in my bed and stare out the window at the edge of the roof. Numerous icicles would be growing there over the winter. Their size increasing as winter went on. Then decreasing as spring would roll in. Icicles in Edmonton lasted much longer than they do in Vancouver.
Those memories of watching icicles form and vanish triggered numerous other youthful memories. Snow banks blowing into the corners of the yard against the fences. The way those banks would freeze on top and become strong enough for a five year old to walk on. We would dig out small tunnels and little caves inside. Keeping the smooth top as a roof.
The fences would also create a row of icicles. So would the deck railings, sheds and rooflines. As kids, we would break them off and have sword battles. Or we would throw snowballs at them, trying to knock them off. We kept ourselves entertained in the snow.
The icicles that were here the other day are already gone. Melted away. As quickly as the memory I just shared popped into my head, it faded just as quick. The weather is turning and changing so rapidly these days, I may not see more icicles before next winter.
Today was the first day all month that I slept in. So I took it to the limit! I got out of bed at 12:15 to start my day. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even want to start the day. But I’m glad I did.
The snow made the views from our home even more magical than before. It’s moments like this that make me appreciate the world. I just stood at our window in awe and stared out into the distance.
The sky, the snow, the trees, the mountains, even the skyscrapers shone in an icy blue. I’ve said it numerous times before, but I don’t think I’ll tire of these views any time soon. The fact that it’s what got me out of bed is impressive on it’s own.
What gets you up from bed when you really don’t want to? Share that inspiration with me!
Ten days ago I was hoping for A White Christmas. My wish came true. Waking up to seeing snow covering the ground, and still falling, brought joy to my heart.
Our oldest arrived early in the morning to join us. I was still in bed when they arrived. It was nice to see them talking with my wife by the window as the snow fell. First thing in the morning, we opened gifts as a family. That felt good as well, just being together again.
After gifts and breakfast were done, we all headed outside to see the snow. I brushed off our palm trees and the kids shoveled the driveway. It didn’t take long, so the two youngest grabbed the toboggan to enjoy the hill up our street. For a sled from the mid-60’s it has held up quite well.
Having a white Christmas in our new home helped to make it a special day. For the first time in almost 50 years, the house my wife’s father built is not in the family. Emotionally, this holiday season was going to be a tough one for all of us. But we had a lot of smiles and good laughs celebrating in our new home.
I hope everyone else had a good Christmas with family and friends. Be safe out there if you have to travel.
Last night we had a bit bigger of a snowfall than there was earlier in the month. I saw a ton of pictures and videos on social media about it. So I had to share mine.
Our backyard gave me the perfect emoji. The pool is showing the emotions that many adults feel. Sure, the snow is pretty. But it’s still snow.
I love the white dusting on the ground. It always makes me happy inside. Even driving in the snow is fun. In January 2020, we had a big snowfall, so I took the kids out and we did donuts in the snow in the Honda Element: Read about it here Snow Day Snow Way!
Not everyone like the snow. Many people live in the Lower Mainland BC because of the mild winters. Normally we get a few snowfalls throughout the winter, nothing major. So when the snow happens, I thrive in it.
Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia means we generally have rain for Christmas. It’s been a few years since snow has fallen on Christmas Day. But nature has been teasing this region a bit more this year than ever before.
A gentle dusting of snow occurred this past weekend. It was here and gone so quickly it felt like a bit of a let down.
I missed the snowfall at the start of December, but our son sent us this picture. Weather reports are teasing that snow on Christmas Day may happen. If it happens, I cannot wait to see the winter wonderland out our back windows. The best part about a White Christmas is staying inside bundled up and warm spending time with those whom you love.
I’m hoping all of our kids will be here for our first Christmas in this new house. But I’m not holding my breath for it. Our oldest has gone off on their own with little communication back to us. With a vagueness that only a 19 year old can possess- my wish for a White Christmas with family may only be half fulfilled. If it came down to it and I had a choice- I’d choose family over snow.
But I don’t get the choice, I just get to accept that what happens, happens…
After the chaotic snow storm on Monday, we did get power back on early than anticipated. That was a good sign. Until we began checking the yard for branches.
The snow and ice decimated our yard. After almost four hours of cleaning up the carnage, I’m out property was beginning to look better. It was a group effort, and I really thank the kids for all they did over the past few days.
I climbed up on the roof after to assess what the trees had done. There were two large branches above our living room, but luckily no damage to the roof. On the other side, above my wife’s studio was a different story. A three foot branch speared into the roof.
Quite the sizable hole remained. It seemed much larger than the one from a couple years ago- check out Roof repair if you want to see that damage. My son offered to help with this repair, so I took the opportunity to show him what to do and explained why it needed to be done that way.
Now we wait and see how the repair holds up. The last time was great- no leaks. We also need to wait for some of this snow and ice to melt so we can really clean up the yard. But we are all cold and tired. Time to relax and get ready for Christmas Eve Eve. Or Festivus if you wish.
Oh man. It’s been cold in the Vancouver area lately. An unpleasant type of cold. The kind of cold that only the rest of Canada experiences. Hey Winnipeg-come get your weather, it appears to be lost.
For the first time ever, the water on our downspout chain froze. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen ice formed from our roof or eaves ever. It’s not right!
Someone can come and take this snow and ice away any time now. Our two days of winter are over. I really hope it doesn’t last much longer. Not experiencing snow and ice is the main reason we stay living in the Lower Mainland.
Yesterday we received a good dumping of snow that School was cancelled. Our side street is always neglected by the snow plows which sucks. Driving in or out of our home is tough. But our neighbor across the street is always Determined to plow the snow every year in order to get out of his driveway for breakfast. He saw my kids shoveling our driveway and decided to come over and use his tractor to clean up our driveway a bit faster. This made my kids happy.
Later in the day, our daughter took it upon herself to make him a thank you card. She also included a couple of packets of hot chocolate for him. She wasn’t asked to do this. Which means that my wife and I have instilled a great set of values on our children.
Kindness and compassion are paramount when it comes to being a good person. Doing it without cause or applause is a much greater feeling as well. (Chances are my kids won’t read today’s blog). I think we’ve done a pretty bang up job as parents that’s for sure. I’m also really happy that our neighbors are such kind people as well.
Today our children, as well as many of my friends’ children, are getting to experience a “Snow Day“. The snowfall finally hit us in the Lower Mainland yesterday. So many schools are shut down for today.
I can see why just looking at my yard. Our side street isn’t plowed at all and even though the driveway was shoveled, it’s already half a foot deep again.
Some areas are worse hit than others. I left work at North Vancouver this morning and the roads were pretty decent. But by the time I had crossed the river and drove into Langley, it was getting treacherous. I’m glad my kids are having a “Snow Day“.
Having a “Snow Day” means four things will happen to my kids.
They will play in the snow.
They will warm up by the fireplace.
They will enjoy a warm beverage.
They will play video games.
It should be a fairly enjoyable day that will make the kids exhausted by dinner. Just in time for them to start complaining about shoveling the driveway again.
Hope everyone out there stays safe and enjoys the snow!
Last night we found out that the schools would be closed for today. This extended the children’s weekend by a day. Not really a big deal for us since my wife works from home and I don’t work until this evening. We made the children go to bed at a normal time last night. Then we allowed them to sleep in. I think they needed it.
They are outside playing in the snow and burning off energy. I’m guessing it will be an early night because they will be exhausted. I’m also happy that our oldest enjoys shoveling the driveway. We pay her $5 every time she does it. If she asked for more, we’d probably agree to it. (She really needs to work on her negotiation skills.) Two feet of snow isn’t easy to shovel…
Unfortunately, I don’t get a “Snow Day” from my work. Trains still need to keep moving and customers need to be serviced. I don’t mind. Keeping products moving is vital to everyone’s way of life. There are customers relying on those goods to make it where they need to get to.
I first began working for the railroad in winter of 2007. I experienced firsthand working in the snow and cold overnight. It never deterred me from doing my job. Quite the opposite. It made me appreciate the warm spring and summer months that much more.
So I’m bundled up and off to work. A chilly night lays ahead with more snow forecasted. Perhaps a 2nd Snow Day will occur for the children… but the trains need to keep moving.
A friend of mine, from two lifetimes ago, shared a news article mentioning the great snowstorm of Vancouver back in 1996. I remember that one. Sort of. Here’s what I do remember:
There was a lot of snow.
There was a lot of drinking.
There was a lot of stupidity.
Man were we stupid. My sister’s boyfriend at the time had a 4×4 truck. I had a sled, a rope and some beers in me. Out on the snow covered main roads we went. I was dragged behind the truck riding a plastic sled drinking a beer in nothing but jeans and a t-shirt. Straight through a red light at full speed, followed by a sudden turn and brakes being slammed. Before skidding under his truck, I leaned to the side and flipped over. Thank goodness for the fresh foot of snow on the roads.
A few days later was New Year’s Eve. I was sick with the flu- maybe something to do with the sled and not being dressed for the weather. But, we still had a party at our home because my parents were snowed in elsewhere at the time. Even though I was sick, I still drank in excess. It was the best/worst New Year’s ever. Hot NeoCitran and sparkling wine make for a unique cocktail. One that I have never gone for again.
The snow this year isn’t nearly as bad as we’ve had it in the past. Sure, it sucks to get around in. But my kids love it. Most kids love it. I love it. It reminds me of my childhood in Edmonton. I’m ok that we only get these snowfalls every few years. Usually we suffer through rain. The man-child inside of me is hoping that we have a true white Christmas this year. That always adds beauty to the moments.