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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just Around the Bend on The Sea Wall

As I drove through Stanley Park late this morning, I wish I could have had three hands. I would consider myself to be a safe driver, and unfortunately couldn't bring myself to hold my 3lb camera while behind the wheel. The air quality this morning was bizarre, and quite photogenic. It wasn't quite fog, it wasn't quite mist, but it was heavy whatever it was. Beams of light shot through the forest canopy, piercing the morning gloom. I took a drive until I reached the Northern most section of the seawall where it was about 11am, and the dewy ground finally had a chance to see the light. It was at this opportunity that the Sun decided to work it's magic and turn the dew into heavy air. Bikini can be seen here with this morning's 'fog' in the distance

We walked only a short distance down the seawall, but took in the scenery along the way. The ocean was surprisingly clear today. I would compare it to the waters I've snorkeled in the Caribbean. Clear, sandy, and almost    turquoise in color; both dogs took an interest right away, although Roy appeared to be a little more nervous than Bikini. If it wasn't for my numb hands, I would have seriously considered taking a dip. I still have to keep reminding myself that it is in fact still January, in Canada. This unseasonal weather has me thinking crazy apparently.
As we strolled along the seawall, we came across small trickles of waterfalls, squirrels, seabirds, and giant man made things. Ships the size of small islands seem to effortlessly cruise by. I've always thought Vancouver was a leader in marrying nature's beauty with man's necessities; the planners have sewed them together almost painlessly.
The SeaWall is a great place to be. The scenery changes through five major personalities; Gastown turns into Coal Harbor, which then turns into Stanley Park's rock faces and playful beaches, which then turns into English Bay's vibrant side, followed by Yaletown's trendy wall. It encompasses the entirety of downtown, and has soaked in the personality from all four corners, plus the North Western side which is strictly Stanley Park influence. Some parts are more dog friendly than others. Second Beach for instance is a no-dog zone, while Coal Harbor, Gastown and Yaletown all offer sea-side dog friendly parks.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Morning Kitsilano

I've always praised Vancouver's City Planners. The no highway thing is great, but the many parks and outdoor areas in and around the city is one of my favorite plans they've put fourth. For us dog owners, there are plenty of places to take our pooches off leash, one of my favorite being Kitsilano.
Reasons why I love this place range from the scenery, to the beach itself, to it's relative nearness to downtown. The best part about it is the fact the Granville Island Ferries will bring you across from downtown, dogs included, for less than five bucks! Every time I go, there are so many dogs socializing on the beach and adjacent grassy area; it's a great time for all.

The dog's just love it here.
While Vancouver's many hiking trails allow for adequate exercise, this beach in particular allows them to socialize with local doggies. Games of chase, fetch, and butt sniffing are hard to escape. Don't come to this beach if you're looking for some one-on-one time.
It's great in the summer, as right around the corner there are vendors selling hot dogs, people playing volley ball, and the occasional drum circle.

Bikini and Roy avoided the water for the most part today, thank god, but that doesn't mean they didn't manage to get filthy. Poor Roy has trouble keeping other dog's slobber off of him. I had to snap a portrait of his goobered face....

Although they didn't swim, we found a log that was absolutely fascinating. As Bikini tugged and pulled at this piece of driftwood, I took a moment to look around. It's 10am near the end of January; the sun hasn't had time to warm the beach, but yet, it's surprisingly warm. There are dogs playing in the water and cherry blossoms on the trees. Someone pinch me. . .


Today was a good day for both the dog's and myself. An early start to the day proved to be a lot of fun. I got some good shots, they got to play, and now I can write with the peace of snoring dogs
.I love my dogs.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Dog Day... At Lighthouse Park

Today we took the dogs to Lighthouse Park in West Van. Honestly, this was no January weather, this was Spring. As I took a closer look at the deadened trees, small tinges of green seemed to creep up the bark similar to veins. This means Spring. Soon these veins will feed the leaves of summer, and I'm excited. We walked on dry ground towards the ocean.

Even in the shade of our temperate rain forest, I felt the warmth of summer's sun, but it wasn't until we reached the sun drenched beach that I really was able to appreciate our first day of Spring, sleeveless.

Bikini was able to finally take a dip in the water after a few dormant months, hibernating in our skybox we call home.
After chasing a stick for a few lengths, she was able to dry off by means of the sun.

Lighthouse Park has lots of walking trails. Some are great for dog walking, others aren't. There is a lot of Sandstone, which can be slippery, so many of the trails are enjoyed best in the sun. There are a ton of secluded spots for picnicking or just getting lost in. Easy trails for the most part. I recommend giving it a shot.