Leaving Vancouver

Towards the end of October, things got busy. In the month of October, every weekend was filled with social events, and the days leading up to the departure date was packed as well. I was getting stressed out with packing and cleaning the entire home; paranoid that I was missing some important document or the currency exchange place didn’t have enough Australian dollars. I was getting tired and more nervous as I’m slowly packing my comfortable Canadian life away.

We had a going away party at The Pint, a local bar in Vancouver with a group of our closest friends. Prior to The Pint, we headed over to Metrotown for a League of Legends tournament… I kid you not.

But, it was a pretty neat experience to see a community of League players gather around and have some fun. It was also pretty nice to see how excited the guys were to participate in the tournament. I think they came in 3rd place…

Also, side note: I will forever hold it against the guys for inviting me to join their League team and then they all voted to withdraw their offer a few minutes later.

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Missing these girls while I’m writing this post!

After the tournament, we all went out separate ways to get ready for the going away party.

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As the night rolled on, it was such a nice heartwarming feeling to see the love and support surrounding us. It was a little bit of a shit feeling to see all of this and then reflect on some of my friends that weren’t supportive of my move overseas.

Like any other bar on the weekends, this place closes at 3am. We were at the back of the place and as the night progressed, we were being pushed closer and closer to the front of the bar until we realized they were closing for the night. All of us couldn’t believe where the time has gone – like, seriously?! It was already 3am?! It still felt like 11pm when we were all huddled outside trying to get cabs back home.

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All in all, it was a fantastic going away party and at one point, I was sitting on the Skytrain and telling Dan, “I can’t believe we’re on our way to our going away party…”.


Fast forward to Halloween weekend. Our friend, Tiffany, hosts the annual Halloween party. Since Dan and I were packing and cleaning out our house already, we downsized a lot and since we were moving, we were trying to save money so it wasn’t realistic for us to buy a Halloween costume. Luckily, Tiffany keeps all her Halloween costumes and lent us her couples costume of TJ and Spinelli from Recess.

Prior to the Halloween party, Dan and I were busy throughout the day packing, cleaning, and driving back and forth from my mom’s place to ours. My mom’s garage was housing all our furniture so we got lucky enough to not have to buy storage or sell off our goods.

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Those three blue suitcases? That’s everything we’re bringing to Australia!
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Our bedroom, empty like the first day we moved in.

It was such a bittersweet moment as we cleaned out the place. This was our first home together, and we lived in such a prime location. It was a bit more expensive now that I look back at it, and we blew a lot of our money because of the convenience of the location, so… I lowkey do look forward to moving out to a cheaper place when we return.

Dan and I wanted to relax a bit before the Halloween party so I think we called it around 4PM. We only had half the kitchen and bathroom left to clean the next day. Since we cleared out all our furniture, we crashed at our friend’s place until our departure day and they were amazing hosts to us.

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TJ and Spinelli

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The Nun is a beautiful and wonderful lady named Nicole. We first met back in our going away party so I was super excited to see her again because she’s just a gem! She’s honestly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. And it’s such a shame that we met only when we were leaving!

I’m not a fan of Halloween but I agreed to the party as it’s one of the last social events for the group. Also, because I had to put zero effort into costumes, haha.


To top off our social events and busy weekends, our friend, Carolyn, wanted to send us off with her famous hot pot dinner. I’m serious guys – you haven’t experienced hot pot until you had Carolyn’s.

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It felt like the Thanksgiving dinner we never had this year as a group because all of those that mattered to us were in the room, sharing a very good dinner.

But, additional sidenote: THANKS TO WHOEVER WAS DIPPING THEIR CHOPSTICKS INTO THE POT AND SPREADING THE SICKNESS AROUND BECAUSE WE’RE ALL SICK FROM YOU!

 

My 25th Birthday

The Big two-five

Oh my gosh, is it even worth blogging about it if it’s well past my birthday already? Like seriously, haha. It’s already November and my birthday weekend was back on October 20th.

But, it’s my blog and I want to document this day and share it with anyone who bothers to stalk this blog. Also, it’ll be amusing to see anyone wishing me a happy birthday because at that point we both know you didn’t read this entry at all 😛

Friday, the day before my birthday, my fantastic colleagues decorated the office and took me out for lunch. We ended up going to this Vietnamese place where I ended up getting my usual vermicelli bowl with spring rolls. Oddly though, I like my vermicelli to be dry so I never pour the fish sauce that comes with it but this place dumps it in for you so by the time you reach the end of the bowl, the spring rolls are all soggy and the sauce overpowers everything.

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After lunch, we also indulged in a delicious ice-cream cake from DQ! Ice cream cakes are my absolute favourite and I love how the team caters to the person’s interest rather than a generic cake. We had a new girl start with us and she’s from Ireland and never had an ice-cream cake before!

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I was told I’m holding the knife wrong… let me be, please.

On the 20th, Dan took me to see the Titanic Exhibition. I’ve been a Titanic fan for ages so finally being able to see a museum was a dream come true, considering I’ve missed several other ones when they were in town.

The exhibition boasts that you can touch the actual iceberg that hit Titanic buuut… I’m a little bit sceptical on that claim. I did touch it for the sake of it. No photography was allowed but it was an overall great experience to see artefacts and replicas from the ship. The only downfall was the tickets were $20 each and I honestly didn’t feel the museum was worth $20, to be honest.

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After a quick breakfast break, we started our drive up to Whistler Village. I hate to admit it but as someone that was born and raised in Vancouver, I’ve never been to Whistler. Dan surprised me on a trip up to Whistler because we were moving soon and it’d be great to see it at least once.

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Always eating…

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We arrived in the village about 2 hours later. We didn’t plan anything so all we did was stroll around the village and checked out some shops. I did end up finding a cute bear shirt for Caelen which made me pretty happy! We also had some delicious ice cream from Moo.

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I felt we were lucky enough to head up on a sunny day in fall, but I’d love to come back to Whistler in the winter and plan some activities. It was so last minute, the drive up to the village was nicer than the actual village itself.

After parading around the village for some time, we eventually started heading back into the city for dinner at The Keg.

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Ordered the sirloin oscar – steak with scallops and shrimps.

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To end the night off, I had a nice relaxing massage.

All in all, my 25th was very quiet and low key, which is exactly what I wanted. Is it selfish to want to spend your birthday with your boyfriend only and not with a group of friends? I just hate having to plan a group dinner and getting all dolled up for no special occasion!

So far, 25 has been good!

2018 Vancouver Pride Parade

It’s that time of the year again! Last weekend was Pride Weekend in Vancouver and in seek of something free and fun to do, Dan and I decided to go to the Pride Parade. I haven’t been to the parade in years and Dan has never been to one because they never had a Pride Parade in Nanaimo.

Before the parade, I went to the gym for a quick session before meeting up with Dan.

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The calm before the festive.

I wanted to visit the parade a bit earlier to get some good seats but we also didn’t want to stand around waiting for the actual thing to start. We grossly underestimated the parade because we arrived just a few minutes before the scheduled start time and the streets were packed! I told Dan that in past, I used to go up Robson Street so we started making our way towards the middle of Robson Street only to be smushed like sardines in a can. It was so disgusting that we couldn’t even move for minutes. Eventually, we only got out because people were pushing us from behind. We decided to take an alternative route and head towards the end of the parade route – luckily, we got there in time to catch the parts of the parade we missed due to being crammed on that one block.

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I didn’t take many photos as I anticipated (seriously, bloggers’ problems, right?) and we also didn’t stay to watch the whole thing. I caught a few of my friends’ Instastories and the parade was still going on hours after we left.

It was a fun atmosphere to be in and celebrate the different type of love and people we have in our society. Dan enjoyed it very much as well.

After the parade, we went home and relaxed for a bit before heading out to dinner. We decided to make it a Date Day and splurged for a dinner outside. We went to Biercraft which was 20 minutes walk from our place and that was also Dan’s first time to Biercraft as well. I used to live right next to it and been craving it lately… unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as the location I used to live next to.

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We both ordered a French Onion Soup (I liked The Keg’s much more but Dan enjoyed this one a fair bit) as an appie. Dan got his delicious Mac n’ Cheese with bacon bits and pulled pork (I think… lol) and I got the steak with frites. They had mussels which I wanted but it was super expensive compared to Captain’s Boil. I don’t know what happened to their Dinner Special but back then they had oysters and steak for $35 or so? Mmm… I haven’t had oysters all summer this year!

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All in all, we had a great long weekend last weekend. I missed it very much! It was filled with some nice festivities and relaxation 🙂

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Powell Street Festival (Japanese Street Festival)

If you haven’t heard yet, Dan and I went to the Powell Street Festival last Saturday. This is our second time visiting the festival, and our first time since returning from Japan.

We nearly forgot about this festival happening until we were both bored out of our mind Saturday morning and decided what’s something that’s fun and cheap to do for the day and the internet suggested this festival.

Our sole purpose was to eat some takoyaki and catch some performances. So, of course, by the time we arrived at the festival (only an hour or so after opening and it was JAMMED PACKED!), we beelined to the famous takoyaki stand. The line-up and wait for the food wasn’t too bad.

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So, I personally think that Japan has ruined takoyakis for me… not because Vancouver doesn’t have authentic and yummy takoyaki, but because I think I overdid it when I was in Japan. I’ve never eaten so much takoyaki in my life than during that two weeks in Japan! I mentioned this to Dan as well after I couldn’t finish the remaining three balls and he agreed as well.

(At one point during the trip, we ordered a deluxe takoyaki for dinner and needless to say… it was a huge waste of money and I think that was the breaking point for us.)

After the food, we walked around a bit more to check out the booths and attractions. We skipped the merchandise area in an attempt to save our money because I had a feeling I’d be tempted to buy something. The booths were more or less the same as last year.

We walked across the field and found ourselves watching some performs set up Japanese drums on the stage. Dan and I decided to wait around to catch the performance.

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So, I can’t recall the group that was performing the drums but it’s a famous Canadian drumming group made up of women. They were the first all-women drumming group in Canada, formed in 1990.

My favourite performer was this little old lady! She was so adorable, and really rocking the show. I mean… when I’m at her age, I only wish I would be half as fit as her.

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After about 3-4 songs, we decided to call it and check out other things. Saturday was blazing hot and I was sweating like mad just sitting on the grass and watching a performance. Dan didn’t do too well – his shirt was just soaked in sweat from sitting.

We stopped by a gyoza place but didn’t feel like grabbing anything so we ended up driving back home and stopped by a Booster Juice.

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Later that evening, we went over to Stephen’s place to catch some UFC. It was a great Saturday, but waaaay too hot. If you haven’t visited the Powell Street Festival yet, I suggest doing it next year (as it’s over now). The food is good and cheap, and the performances and attractions make it fun. Best of all, it’s free!

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Lynn Canyon Hike + Kevin Hart Show

Last month (I know, this is so overdue, lol), Dan and I finally decided to get off our lazy butts and do a small hike up in Lynn Canyon. The only reason why I even suggested Lynn Canyon was because it’s been years since I’ve been back and I sort of wanted to do a suspension bridge but didn’t want to pay like $40 for the one in Capilano.

Getting to Lynn Canyon without a car is painful! The first time I was up there, my friend had a car but since Dan and I rely on car-share, we decided to take public transit instead because car-share doesn’t go up with North Vancouver and it wasn’t worth it to pay for it hourly as we hiked.

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We went early-ish in the morning to avoid the crowds and the hot sun. I couldn’t recall what time but I’m thinking 10am to 11am-ish? The only crowd we experience was this family of tourists but aside from that, the park was nearly empty and the bridge wasn’t too crowded!

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A little into our hike, we found a beautiful river stream!

(We later found a decent little lake where people were actually taking a swim).

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And of course, we had to take a selfie at the bridge! I don’t know about you but I get nervous around things like this when I’m holding something valuable. Like, it’s less about the height and more about someone bumping into me and making me drop my phone into the stream below, lol.

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After our hike, we decided to splurge and have a lunch out. We were nearby the area of Anton’s so we settled for having pasta for lunch, which was fitting since I was starving. Anton’s is one of those places famously known for huge portions – they even reward you if you manage to finish your dish in one sitting. Dan has a big appetite and he typically leaves the restaurant with leftovers.

Plus, for only $15 for a plate bigger than my face… it makes a good meal or two for me!

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Who here loves white sauce more than red?!

Later in the evening, after filled with pasta and some relaxation, we headed out to catch Kevin Hart’s Irresponsible tour. This was my second time catching Kevin Hart and Dan’s first. I remember the first time I caught him live, he was performing at The Orpheum where the stage was more than half the size at Rogers Arena. Like, The Orpheum is where the Vancouver orchestra performs and Rogers Arena is where our hockey is played… so you can see how he’s grown drastically.

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Last month, a sunny day like this was very rare in Vancouver. It was rainy and cloudy throughout the month. So naturally, we had to soak up as much sunshine as possible before the show started!

Kevin Hart’s tour had a really strict cell phone usage policy. The moment you sit down at your seats, you’re not allowed to use your cellphone – not even to check the time! During the time we waited for the open acts and Kevin to come out, Dan and I were watching other people use their cellphones and security coming over to them. Much to my dismay, no one actually got pulled away and kicked out of the arena… although one girl got taken out but she came back momentarily.

The security was so adamant about this no cellphone policy that one security guy came up and asked if my watch was a Fitbit and if it recorded videos… like, seriously? For those who aren’t aware of Fitbits, the interface remains turned off but sometimes when you flick your wrist or something (eg. to read what time it is), the screen lights up. I guess when I was applauding one of the opening acts, the act of clapping turned my display on momentarily.

Kevin didn’t come on until an hour or two later – I think he had about three opening acts? But, when he did come on, he was AMAZING! Kevin Hart is one of my favourite comedians so I got extremely excited to see him live. He was full of energy, his jokes and stories cracked me right up – my cheeks were hurting so much from smiling! My favourite one was his story about hiding guns around the house, LOL and his Tokyo one – only because Dan and I returned from Japan a few months ago and somewhat understood what he was going through.

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Sold out show!

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The only time we were given permission to use our phones was at the end of the show.

Don’t you just love my phone quality? LOL.

All in all, it was such a great date day! We had ourselves a neat little hike with a small suspension bridge, followed by a soak in the sun and catching the Kevin Hart show!

A Day at the PNE

The Fair at the PNE is an annual fair that is opened during the last few weeks of August and September. It’s also tied to Playland, Vancouver’s amusement park that opens a few months earlier than The Fair.

(Fun fact: while writing this entry, I found a trivia fact about Playland. It’s the oldest amusement park in Canada…. oldest!)

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday (insane that Canada is that young, eh?), visitors pay only $1.50 to enter the park if they’re wearing red and/or have a maple leaf. Dan wore his only red t-shirt and I have a maple leaf tattoo.

After years of not attending, coming back to The Fair and Playland brought back a lot of memories, mostly from my youth. The rides, the foods, the venues – all reminded me of my childhood days when my Dad would bring my brother and I to Playland and we’ll just hit all the rides while my Dad waited patiently or lined up in other rides for us.

We decided that we only wanted to check out a few rides, mainly the classic wooden rollercoaster and a few other casual rides. We opted not to buy the general pass for all the rides because we weren’t in the mood for the majority of the rides, and to my disappointment, Playland decided to get rid a lot of rides so the amusement park downsized quite a lot.

Just about to ride the wooden rollercoaster, the oldest rollercoaster in Canada!

The last time I was on the rollercoaster was when I was a kid with my brother. The steepest drop nearly flung me out of the seat and I was gripping on for my life. It was enjoyable, nonetheless, but it really scared me to the point where I was cool to skip the ride for the next few times. That day was the first time I rode on the rollercoaster since my childhood.

The drop was just a reminder of my childhood fear. I was gipping on the bar like my life depends on it – I flew off the seat but wasn’t as high off the seat as when I was a kid. Dan was acting cool and taunting me but eventually took his arm off me and gripped the bar as well.

Aside from the wooden rollercoaster, we also rode the Musical Express (which is my favourite ride), and some kiddie swing ride.

Dan trying to win me a stuffed animal 😛

During our time at the Fair, we also checked out the marketplace where I got the comfiest leggings a woman can ever wear… more on that later, though.

We caught the SuperDogs show and the RCMP Musical Ride. I didn’t take much footage of it, and I sort of wish I did so I can share it with you guys… but, basically, SuperDogs was the cutest thing ever – just a show of talented dogs doing obstacle courses. There was this one dog that eventually called it quits and just stole one of the wooden sticks and ran off stage from the owner.

The RCMP Musical Ride was a performance by the RCMP on their horses. They’ll perform amazing choreography while riding their horses.

There was also a farm in The Fair as well and we caught a selfie with the cutest goat! They had a pig race going on around the time we stopped by as well. This farmer trained a pig to act and perform like a dog – playing fetch, kisses, and calling it by its name… very cool to see!

So, happy Monday and have a great week! I miss the fun of Playland and The Fair already (although, my wallet wasn’t too keen on that day)…

Why I Want to Leave Vancouver

I dislike Vancouver.
I mean, it’s still my home city, it’s the only place in this world I’d call home, but I’m not in love with it anymore. No amount of clear blue ocean and mountain views can make me fall in love with this city again.

Whenever I tell someone I’m planning to leave after graduation, they’re usually shocked and ask why. I think a lot of people can see me living out my life in Vancouver and honestly, that’s not as bad as it sounds. There’s nothing wrong with staying in a city your entire life if the city is that damn good. My typical answer for wanting to move else where is “job opportunities and I’ve lived in Vancouver all my life, I want a change”.

That’s only half of it.

The real reason is the fact that Vancouver haunts me. Every inch of this city.
It’s the city where I got my heart broken, where I’ve messed up in so many directions, where I got friendships that are so tainted.

Nearly every place in Vancouver is associated with bittersweet memories with people that touched my life, one way or another.

I do want a change. But I want to “start over”. I want to leave all this behind and “begin again”.
I fear that I might not succeed in the new city. I fear that I won’t be able to find new friends or even a relationship in the new city. I’m afraid that I need help but I’m so far from my friends and family. I’m afraid that I’ll be homesick and start missing Vancouver again.

I don’t mind the struggle but I don’t want those fears to happen. I don’t want to return to Vancouver knowing I failed in “starting over”. I mean, in a way, I got nothing to lose. If I don’t succeed, I can always return back to Vancouver with support from friends and family.

My dream place would in New Zealand. Where? I’m not sure yet, but NZ.
A part of me wants to remain in Canada because, well, Canada is the best country in the world. If I choose to stay in CA, I’d choose between Edmonton and Nova Scotia.
My last choice would move down the America. Everyone knows Canadians got beef with Americans. If I ever do decide to head south, it’d be either Seattle or Portland (OR).

I got three years to think of everything. I got three years to see if Vancouver will be my home forever. A lot can happen in 3 years, a lot that I wish would happen but probably won’t. I don’t even know.