Of cousins, forest fires and soccer

IMG_6356 (1024x765)1) papa’s gardens at Riverside

Back in June I paid a visit to London to see the family before venturing onwards to Toronto for a stopover to do a little work and connect with friends. Unlike previous years, Toronto was not stifling hot and humid the week I was there, and thankfull so!

IMG_6357 (1024x765)2) so pretty IMG_6358 (1024x765)3) more of the gardens

IMG_6384 (1024x764)4) dinner with the Cousins, Richard and Blee, at Gusto101 in Toronto IMG_6385 (1024x765)5) coming in from a meeting in Mississauga one afternoon I caught glimpse of the new Pearson Airport Express that is now in place in time for the Toronto PanAM Games

IMG_6410 (1024x778)6) visiting with Lady Sarah and Sir Phil

iends (1024x892)7) visiting with my old work colleagues out at Mary K’s in Scarbrough

Meanwhile back out west, the sun continues to shine and we seem to have Toronto’s weather with plenty of warmth (days regularly in the high 20s and a couple where with the humidex it’s been 33 or 34C). Unheard of. There are rampant forest fires north of the city and a stubborn one over on the Sunshine Coast in Sechlet which, this week, with a change in winds, blew the acrid smoke right downtown. Wandering outside is not fun, the sun’s been blocked out, it’s hot, the air smells of hickory smoke, and your eyes and throat tingle. Thank god we have air conditioning, which is a rareity in condos in British Columbia.

DSCF1960 (1024x832)8) wowza, look at how eerie it is with the forest fire smoke in the city

DSCF1961 (1024x768)9) looking out on to False Creek from the condo first thing Sunday morning

Thankfully the smoke didn’t descend until after Canada Day, and we did venture out to Canada Place to watch the noon salute. Even False Creek Ferries got into the festivities with a water ballet of their boats first thing Wednesday morning. So cute!

IMG_6435 (1024x749)10) False Creek Ferries water ballet

IMG_6434 (1024x765)11) there they go … DSCN9978 (1024x768)11) that same morning I looked out and saw this! …. if you look at 1 o’clock from the top  of the Seawall lamp, you’ll see a person in False Creek … swimming!

DSCN9979 (1024x768)12) here s/he is! Now, with the heat we’ve had since the beginning of May, the last place I’d be is swimming in False Creek as the e-coli counts have been, well, off the scales!

I landed back in Vancouver in time to see Canada take on England at BC Place in the quarter finales of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This was a great game and a tough one as whom to cheer for… do I wave my Canadian or my Great Britain passport? In the end, I cheered for Canada but wasn’t all that knackered when England won (and third overall at that!).

IMG_6416 (765x1024)13) G and I head into the stadium

IMG_6419 (1024x765)14) great seats with a great view of the pitch

15) here are the teams warming up

IMG_6423 (765x1024)16) time for God Save The Queen and O’Canada

Sunday, Cousin Ora arrived from Ottawa, via Seattle and we spent the day with her, dim summing first at Chef Tony’s in Richmond (reputably the best dim sum in the city but I’d beg to disagree with that moniker). After getting her settled at her hotel, we headed out cycling to Prospect Point making it back to the condo in time to watch the World Cup finale where Japan put on a honorable performance but sadly came second. Security was tight at the game as the PM was in the house and the Mounties even had snipers camped out on the roof above the VIP entrance/exit.

IMG_6449 (765x1024)17) Cousin Ora climbs to Prospect Point

IMG_6452 (1024x765)18) hazy view from up on top

DSCN9980 (1024x768)19) wasn’t sure if I was going to be shot even taking this photo from the condo!

On the way back from dinner at Minami, we stopped in at Jack Poole Plaza where the City had the Olympic Flame lit up to honour the athletes and last day of World Cup.

IMG_6459 (1024x765)20) Jack Poole Plaza with the Olympic Flame lit!

21) video of the action

IMG_6462 (1024x765)22) the Fox FIFA broadcast centre … gotta love them Americans paying the City of Vancouver millions to drop their tent here

IMG_6464 (1024x765)23) from the roof of Catcus Club Cafe, looking west to Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains … smoke envelopes all

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