I’m just back from a few days spent in Vancouver. Vancouver has always held a special, almost mythical place in my heart. Growing up on the east coast, and having spent a good portion of my adult life within walking distance of the harbour in Halifax and never too far out of sight of the Atlantic Ocean, the coast on the other side of the country always appealed to me. I didn’t make it out to Vancouver until I was 39 when my wife and I stretched out a work trip and spent a week falling in love with the city. Even before that trip, I had often dreamt of Vancouver. Truth is, I was in love with Vancouver before I had even set foot in the city.
Before I started dating my wife, I had a reoccurring dream over a few years involving her that had Vancouver as the backdrop. In the dream, I was standing by myself in Stanley Park on a perfectly sunny day (ok, statistically unrealistic for Vancouver, but the mind creates what the mind creates). It was later in my life, I had moved there for some unknown reason, and although there was lots of activity in the park, there was a bubble around me with everyone else off at a distance. Then, from around a bend along the seawall, this beautiful woman I knew from Halifax would appear and walk toward me. She smiled ear to ear, hugged me, sat down with me on a bench, and we started off on a long conversation. As we talked in the dream, I’d see waves crash and the peaks of mountains behind her in the distance, and I’d wake up, saddened that the conversation had come to the end. Those dreams were the start of me falling in love in real, conscious life with Jodi, and were also where I started to fall in love with Vancouver.
Fast forward to today – I’ve been living in Saskatoon for almost six months, and aside from a glimpse or two of the St. Lawrence from Montreal and Quebec City back in the spring, I haven’t been around a large body of water since moving out here. These last fews days have been good tonic. I’ve walked along Coal Harbour, taken up residence on a few benches and stared out over the water and the towering mountains just off in the distance. To cap it off, travel karma delivered me a hotel room with this view. Seriously, a million dollar view:
I spent a night with the window open, a delicious west coast beer in hand, and watched the activity on the harbour, just like I would do back in Halifax. I may not have an ocean at my doorstep anymore, but I have one of my favourite cities in the world a short two hour direct flight away. Vancouver and me, we won’t be strangers.