thanks!

October 21st, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It was Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend-they have it earlier than the US for some reason…I’m sure I could easily find out why…

Anyway, I had 2 Thanksgiving dinners to attend-one with a new group of Irish people that have adopted me, and the other with my housemates. Both were a lot of fun! It was SO nice to have a proper home cooked meal (we had turkey both days). I’m pretty bored of cooking for myself and I’m longing for a meal to be cooked for me. My housemate Chad did a really awesome job of cooking dinner for everyone. We all had friends over-I think there was about 18 of us in total and nobody went hungry! It reminded me a bit of Christmas, which made me a little homesick. However, it was really nice to have people to share not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners with. For that I am thankful.

Thanksgivers

 

Amers

x

fright night

October 21st, 2011 Posted in halloween, Uncategorized, vancouver | No Comments »

Halloween is just around the corner-one of my favourite times of year! I love dressing up, I love going out, I love all the decorations & I love scary movies! Pretty much everything about Halloween I love. A fairground near my house has an annual Fright Night (it goes on for 2 weeks so it’s more than one night) where they decorate everything with scary things, have haunted houses & have actors running around in make up and costume.

It

It was fun and it really got me in the mood for Halloween festivities! Did I mention Vancouver is getting cold? I had a hat and cardigan on! Some interesting facts about the fairground (it’s called the PNE) is that it is the oldest fairground in Canada and their (wooden!) roller coaster was built in 1958!! It’s also been featured in a few movies. I didn’t really realize it before I came here, but SO many movies and tv shows are filmed in Vancouver. It’s the Hollywood of Canada! I’ve been out in Gastown some nights and the streets are closed off for shooting. It’s pretty exciting! Anyway, back to the roller coaster. I have always said there is no way I’m going on a roller coaster, made of wood, that was built in 1958. I kind of changed my mind this time and we stood in line for it. It actually broke down though before we even got to the top of the line (I breathed a sigh of relief).

Coaster

 

Halloween is just over a week away and I just decided on my costume today. Well, I think I have-vampire cheerleader. Now to find a cheerleader’s outfit that fits!

Amers

x

all the leaves are brown

October 17th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Autumn has arrived! Unfortunately for me, autumn is Vancouver means rain, rain & more rain! The leaves have turned golden orange and the temperature has dropped. I love wrapping up in scarves, hats and cardigans so I don’t mind! I do however, mind the rain 🙁 I’d better get used to it though.

My friend Bobby was visiting 2 weekends ago. He’s been travelling in South and Central America so he thought he’d stop by Vancouver on his way home! While he was here he introduced me to lots of fabulous people who have have been very good to me and have taken me under their wing! I feel like I’m befriending more & more Irish people the longer I’m here! While he was here, we went on a hike to Deep Cove-which is where I’ve been kayaking twice. After the hike, we had a doughnut from Honey Doughnuts-they’re a famous cafe in Deep Cove. The doughnut was really yummy. It had a maple glaze on it! I had another yesterday too!

People keep warning me about the cold weather here. A woman in work who is from Winnipeg-where it gets incredibly cold, said that she found the cold here unbearable. Apparently the damp cold penetrates through you. I’m worried! Time to stock up on thermals and layers! I’m just hoping for lots and lots of snow!

Amers

x

 

the end of summer

October 17th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Since my last post (the blog procrastination monster strikes again), summer has gone, autumn has arrived, I’ve got a new job and I’m going to be moving house in a month! Summer went out with a bang. Jeremy came to visit and we had a really great, action packed few days. Cycling in Stanley Park, kayaking, nice food. Just generally fun times! Vancouver had great weather that weekend too! We ate at http://corkandfin.ca/  in Gastown on one of the days. It’s a seafood restaurant and the setting is really beautiful-open bay windows & white tablecloths. I had some oysters (they have an oyster happy hour where you can buy individual oysters for cheaper). They were the nicest oysters I’ve ever eaten! They were also the perfect size for me-I find larger oysters pretty hard to stomach, but these were perfect little mouthfuls. I’m sure we did some other fun things but since I was a lazy blogger, I can’t remember now 🙂 It was awhile ago! It was cool having a visitor in Vancouver that I could show around.

I started a new job 3 weeks ago at the stadium here in Vancouver-BC Place. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s definitely helping me feel more at home here now that I have a job that’s a bit longer term (I hope). I’m also moving house at the start of December. Living with 5 people is getting a bit tiresome, and I also want to try to get a little closer to Downtown. Living in the suburbs can be a bit frustrating on nights out if I have to get a taxi back alone. I’m looking forward to the change-I’ll be living with 2 Irish girls in a basement suite. I viewed the place on Friday and I got a good feel from it. The girls seem fun and they were really friendly-offering me a cup of tea, OF COURSE! ClichĂ©! I’m not particularly looking forward to packing up my stuff, but I don’t think I have too much. I have a few friends with cars so I’ll enlist one of them to help me bring everything. I really miss driving I realized today. It’s been 4.5 months! Actually, that’s a lie-I’ve driven a little in Portland, but not much! I need to look into getting an international drivers licence and maybe rent a car for a weekend trip.

It’s taken 5 months, but I think I’m finally totally settled in my new life in Vancouver…for the time being anyway!

Amers

x

boring jazz & lemon heaven

September 8th, 2011 Posted in alpacas, outdoor activities, vancouver | No Comments »

Last weekend ended up being a pretty fun weekend. I was busy from Thursday through Sunday which really kept my mind off missing everyone at home. On Thursday night, I went back to the local Mexican Restaurant El Barrio (http://www.elbarrio.ca/). They have live music there every Thursday, and it’s kind of become a bit of a tradition now (does 4 times count as tradition?). This particular Thursday was Jazz music and to be honest, it wasn’t great. I was really tired after work, and the music was pretty mellow…so much so that I almost fell asleep. Friday was pretty chilled out, I just stayed in and watched Kill Bill with my housemates. I hadn’t watched it in ages, and I had forgotten how much I like it. My favourite scene is the fight between Uma Thurman & Lucy Liu in the snow.

On Saturday, my housemate Rob drove us to Lynn Valley River. We just sat by the river, and the boys jumped off some rocks into it! It looked freezing though, so I gave it a miss. I just posed (badly) on a rock for a picture next to the river!

Sunday brought the PNE. If you live in Vancouver, you’ll know what the PNE is. Everyone talks about it, and asks if you’re going or if you’ve been. It stands for Pacific National Exhibition and it’s about 10 minutes walk from my house. I decided to check it out-it was a roasting day, and I wanted to do something outdoors. The PNE is basically a fairground which also has lots of food stalls (serving mainly deep fried food), livestock shows (including a piglet race squeeeee!) and an exhibition that sells everything from the TV infomercials. It is basically a day out where you spend lots of money, quickly. It was nice to walk around, and we got cute little mini doughnuts and delicious fresh Lemonade from a company called “Lemon Heaven”. I’m not really into going on scary fairground rides so I avoided those but it was definitely a fun day out. I don’t think I’d be in a rush to go back though. One of the highlights of the day for me was getting to see Alpacas in the flesh (my only experience of them is their wool keeping me oh so warm in winter). They didn’t seem very sociable-probably too busy listening to “My Bloody Valentine”.

Alpacas

Emo Alpacas

By Sunday night I felt pretty happy that I’d squeezed the most out of my weekend. I even got a bike ride in on Friday afternoon and discovered a cute little park near my house. Once I realized it was Sunday night and I hadn’t missed home at all over the few days, I started to miss home…

Amers x

autumn {fall} want

September 8th, 2011 Posted in fashion, wants | No Comments »

I’m still not quite sure where I’m going with this blog…it’s a good way for me to keep track of my gallivanting overseas and also keep my friends and family in the loop. I do however want to share some “wants” from time to time and this week my want is:

Thigh Highs

Thigh High Socks

This website gives some great ideas on how to wear them-

http://www.collegefashion.net/fashion-tips/ask-cf-how-do-i-wear-thigh-high-socks-for-fall

I buy a pair every Autumn/Fall in the hope I can pull them off, but I never end up wearing them (except to fancy dress parties). I’m not sure if my legs are long & slender enough, but a girl can dream. I love all of those outfit ideas, especially the “Rock Collection Dress” from MadCloth.com. Check out their blog-  http://blog.modcloth.com/

Maybe after a few more cycles & kayaking trips I’ll be rocking out in my thigh highs in Vancouver…

Amers x

 

 

 

geek party

September 8th, 2011 Posted in fancy dress, parties, vancouver | No Comments »

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a leaving party for a friend who had finished her year visa here and was heading home. She decided to have a geek themed English tea party. The result was this:

geeks

squares

 

I LOVE fancy dress/themed parties. This one was particularly fun as I got to play Mad Libs for the 1st time! Needless to say, we substituted ever blank for something filthy and hilarity ensued when they were read out by a Canadian guy doing a fake British accent (he ended up sounding like a wartime news reader). We also drank Pimm’s from teacups, how civilized!

Amers

x

sia at the commodore ballroom

August 23rd, 2011 Posted in gigs, sia, vancouver bars | No Comments »

After a week of early starts, Friday could not come soon enough! I was wrecked. A friend of my parents was in town visiting her son, so they took me out for dinner on Thursday night. It was nice to get a free meal and also meet the woman’s son! Hopefully I can catch up with him & his friends in the next couple of weeks. They seem like a lot of fun. I slept in on Friday and got some chores done before going downtown (on my bike) to try to get some work clothes. I’ve been finding it hard to find clothes I like over here, and I’m sure I’ve already mentioned how much I miss Topshop. If I haven’t…I MISS TOPSHOP! It was a roasting day, and it was so nice to get out on my bike. I’m not sure how long the cycle downtown is, I must check next time I do  it. It’s all downhill though, so it’s a lot of fun!

I picked up the things I needed, ate a delicious veggie hotdog for lunch and got the bus back. I needed to figure out how to bring my bike on the bus with me so I thought this would be as good an opportunity as any. There is a bracket on the front of buses here for bikes. You pull it down, if it’s empty and put your bike up on it. You then clip the bike in. It was actually harder than it looks, but I think I have it figured out. I had Shelley, my housemate helping me this time so I’m not too sure how I’d do if I’m on my own. At least the bike is pretty light, it would be awkward trying to get my steel framed Dawes Duchess up there!

Vancouver Bus Bike Racks-http://www.velo-city2012blog.com

 

Friday night, I had a ticket to see Sia Furler at The Commodore Ballroom in Downtown Vancouver. I didn’t really know that much of her music, but she did the vocals for Zero 7’s album “Simple Things”, which I knew & liked. The Commodore is a cool, quite intimate venue and it has about 6 bars so there are no lines! She is a pretty quirky character, and apparently has had some medical issues so she’s retiring from showbiz as she’s sick of being famous! Vancouver was the last gig of her tour which was pretty cool. I really liked the show. She has a nice voice, but one thing that annoyed me was I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I didn’t know the lyrics of her songs before going to the gig, and I definitely didn’t know them coming out of the gig! No idea what she was singing about! She was chatty & whitty between songs and did an interesting cover of Madonna’s “Oh Father” which I liked.

Sia at the Commodore Ballroom

Sia-The Commodore Ballroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the gig, we went to Peckinpah, Gastown http://www.peckinpahbbq.com/ , one of my favourite bars in Vancouver-I don’t like BBQ sauce, but theirs is like a bottle of BBQ heaven. I could actually drink it.

The night ended with Shelley & I singing “More Than A Feeling” & doing air guitar in the taxi. 🙂 Success!

Amers

x

 

 

 

a river wild

August 18th, 2011 Posted in rafting | No Comments »

Saturday was rafting day! I’ve never been rafting before, but living in Vancouver makes it hard to not want to do these kinds of activities. I had booked to go rafting with group on the Chilliwack River. Chilliwack is about 1.5 hours drive from Vancouver. I think one of the major appeals of Vancouver, is that it’s so easy to take weekend trips outside the city to places where you can do lots of outdoor things. The scenery on the way to Chilliwack was gorgeous. We passed lots of huge farms with acres of corn fields. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t know what the security would be like once we were out on the river so I don’t have any photos. Once we got to the rafting centre, we were actually running late so we had to rush our lunch, hurry into our (disgusting) wetsuits and get moving! Since I’ve never been rafting before, and I don’t exactly love being in the water-river or sea, I picked the more scenic trip that had less rapids. The stretch of river was 14km long and there were rapids at intervals rather than constantly. It was such a fun day out! I’ve never really done an activity like that before, and it was really exhilarating. I was totally out of my comfort zone at times, terrified of falling into the river. But the combination of fear and adrenaline made me feel really alive, and honestly I felt like I’d really accomplished something afterwards. Especially because near the end, before the biggest rapids, we were given the option to get out and walk back to camp. I was really tempted, but decided to not take the easy way out-something I very often do.

Not Actually Me (photo courtesy of Chilliwack River Rafting)

Unfortunately, the daughter of the owner of the rafting company dropped their camera into the river so there is no photographic evidence of my rafting trip! Oh well, I don’t think it’s something I’ll forget in a hurry.

Have you done anything recently that really took you our of your comfort zone? What last gave you that adrenaline rush that really made you feel alive?

Amers

x

alibi room

August 17th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Since my last post I have managed to get a job! It’s only a 5 week temp job, but it’s something! Really glad to have money coming in!

I’m working in BC Children’s Hospital just doing admin stuff. Not very exciting, but as I said it’s $$$! It’s  a little bit depressing being in a children’s hospital. Even though parts of the hospital are happy places, I keep seeing kids in wheelchairs, incubators & signs to “Embryo Pathology”. There’s also an area that has tiles on the wall commemorating babies that have died, 🙁 All those things are really sad and it kind of reminds me on a daily basis that whatever problems I might think I have, they’re nothing compared to what some people have to deal with.

I discovered a cool bar/restaurant in Gastown on Thursday night. 3 of my housemates and I decided to go downtown for a few drinks so we went to Alibi Room http://www.alibi.ca/ They had a pretty decent beer menu and I had a glass of the tastiest cider I’ve ever had. I can’t remember the name now, but next time I’m there I will need to take note of it. It’s so light and fruity-it almost looks like white wine. Very refreshing!

Alibi

Alibi Room -via lisatemes.com

On Friday, which is the start of my 3 day weekend (I only have to work Mon-Thurs in my job),I bought a bike! It’s a Trek hybrid, and so far I’m loving it. It’s a lot different to my steel framed, dutch style bike I have at home! It has proper gears and is much lighter so it’s easier to get up the Vancouver hills! I bought it over on the North Shore (I live on the South Shore) so the cycle back was a bit gruelling in the baking sun, but it was great to get out on a bike again! Once I have a few pay cheques, I’m going to kit it out a bit with mudgaurds, a rack for the back and maybe even a pannier. I don’t think I’ll get a basket for this one, but I did get a bell & a bright pink helmet! It’s a boys bike, so I need to give it some girly touches!

I met up with some friends on Friday night (2 of which are Canadian’s I knew from Dublin who are now living in Banff-Aaron & Christine). We returned to Alibi Room for some of that cider 🙂 and stayed there for most of the night. Aaron’s brother joined us-he’s in a band called Brasstronaut http://www.brasstronaut.com/ who I’ve seen play in Vancouver. Their music is really cool & interesting. After the Alibi Room, we tried another few locations, but the lines (queues) were massive everywhere. I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve been out in Vancouver and I’d forgotten about the wait to get into bars & clubs! Very annoying. We ended up in a really lame, pretentious bar called Diamond, where the staff were rude and the drinks were expensive! I won’t be returning there in a hurry.

I am loving my 3 day weekends. I should probably make the most of them while I can as I doubt I’ll find another job that has that luxury. The only snag is that I have to get up @ 5.15am for the 7am start! The Friday feeling I get on Thursday though is totally worth it!

Amers

x