Summer Photoblog

Interesting. I've been re-reading my last post and I must admit it seems like a lifetime ago since it rained...I don't know what I was complaining about! *slap on the wrist for me*

July in Vancouver has been one of the driest on record (hallelujah!) In fact, only 0.6mm of rain has fallen since July 1st, which is in stark contrast to poor old Ireland which has seen its wettest July so far with 245.2mm of rain falling in Valentia, Co Kerry, which is traditionally the wettest place in the country. That's nearly 10 inches people! Some unfortunate areas even experienced twice the average rainfall and - for Ireland - well, that's saying something!

It really is such a pity that we're hit with such bad weather over there, as it really is the only downfall to the country (excuse the pun...oh and apart from the debilitating recession which has been one of the worst in Europe, with another 8,000 people joining the dole (EI) queue (or should that be "line-up" as I know Canadians don't say "queue"...yet another linguistic idiosyncracy I've come to learn here, the hard way!) last month, taking the official unemployment figure to 452,500 people on benefits, which is up 34,400 on last year...hmmm, the less said about all this the better for my wee country!)

A case in point of the importance of the weather was my parents' recent trip to this side of the world to see me, their prodigal daughter. They came for the whole month of July, and so did the sun! They couldn't get over the faultless blue skies and gentle breeze that greeted them every morning as they took in all the sights that beautiful BC has to offer. To say they were happy to be away from the dreary weather back home is putting it mildly!

They arrived on their first day to slightly chillier conditions as we met in Whistler for a weekend of après ski and...après ski! Yes, we sampled all the wondrous marvels of this wonderful village, apart from the slopes as it was July after all! However, the snow was still there on the mountains and we even got in a cheeky little snow fight (i.e. my boyfriend Simon pelted me and my unsuspecting folks with snowballs!) The Peak2Peak ride on Whistler Blackcomb was fab and we even soaked up a pint in the sunshine overlooking the postcard perfect doll-like village below.

Then it was back to Van city where I introduced the 'rentals (they're not just for Christmas, they're for life!) to everything that made me fall in love with this place - Capilano Suspension Bridge and its environs.

The ultra chic Granville Island just a stone's throw away (mmm, Bridges' fish 'n' chips.)

The historic Gastown where of course we just had to take an obligatory pic at the world famous Steam Clock, in addition to frequenting some of the Irish pubs around there (we even fit in an Irish trad session..who'd have thunk it?!)

And their home base for their stay, Yaletown, which blew them away. My Mum in particular absolutely fell in love with David Lam Park where she sunbathed every day and watched the world go by...heaven for her.

And we even made a jaunt to the lovely Victoria where we spent five (freezing) hours looking out for baby Orcas, and losing ourselves in the mini displays at Miniature World!

Finally, we squeezed in a camping trip to the awe-inspiring Harrison Hot Springs where we soaked up the rays, floated on the water, ate lots of overcooked meat and generally loved life as one big happy family together again!

Really, it could not have gone better. This trip made my parents realize pretty instantaneously upon setting foot on land why I could not come home after the year. I'm incredibly close to my parents and, as their youngest of four (and the only one yet to be married or have pressure so!), they'd much prefer if I was closer to home and, at least, without an eight hour time difference between us and, oh, over four and a half THOUSAND miles!!

Now, it's just us and all we have left is the memories till we see each other again...which may be sooner than we think if Skype has its way!!

Vancouver, we love you.

(Oh and check us out featured in The Sunday Independent national newspaper at home, and The Argus newspaper from my hometown of Dundalk, Co.Louth, talking about making a new life in Canada. My home paper uses an embarrassingly old photo of me from the time I worked there, but I guess all publicity is good publicity, eh?!)

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