- Delta, British Columbia, Canada
- I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Rain or Snow?
Would you prefer rain or snow for winter? I know that most of you will conjure up visions of fluffy white snow banks, skiing or snowboarding down luxurious white slopes, or going for a lovely trudge towing the kids behind you in their sled. What's the reality, though? Biting cold winds working their way under your hat or hood, frozen electrical wires threatening to slap your house dark, stamping your feet as you wait for the trolley bus that got stuck miles away because the wires froze up, trees falling, cars in ditches, and the heating bill soars. Shall I go on?
I much prefer to look at the snow-capped mountains to my north and pray that it stays there. If it rains here, it does tend to get rather dark - especially at this time of year - but I don't have to shovel it, I can easily drive to my appointments, the buses run on time, and the heating bill is reasonable.
Many people share the misconception that Vancouver is a rain-saturated city, where umbrellas are part of everyday life and the sun seldom peeks out. But the truth is, Vancouver enjoys one of the mildest climates in Canada. And all the rain Vancouver is supposed to get? Its precipitation is on par with New York and Quebec City. You can always tell a visitor - they carry an umbrella - hah! Locals just pull up their hoods if it's a bad day or else they just saunter around in and out of the stores, etc. On my way home today, the kids were getting out of school and nary an umbrella in sight.
I lived in Ottawa for about 3 years and I really did not understand all the fooferal of Vancouver's reputation. Well, the first rain in the province of Ontario enlightened me. Ottawa's rain was a driving force, coming down so hard you were drenched in less than 10 seconds. Vancouver's rain is gentle and you'd have to sit out in it for an hour to get wet.
What to do on a rainy Vancouver day? Here are some suggestions:
1. Spend the day with otters, octopi and other sea-dwelling creatures at the world-famous Vancouver Aquarium.
2. Partake in the sensory smorgasbord that is a movie at CN IMAX.
3. View masterpieces by Emily Carr and a world-class collection of other artists at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
4. Make learning fun with the interactive and fascinating exhibits at the Science World.
5. Wander the shops, boutiques and galleries of bustling Granville Island.
6. Discover the wonder and historical importance of native culture at the magnificent Museum of Anthropology. It's located on the campus of the University of British Columbia (my alma mater).
7. Feed your inner shopaholic at any of Vancouver's malls, from Downtown's Pacific Centre to the 470 shops and services at Metropolis at Metrotown in nearby Burnaby.
8. Take advantage of the glass-domed Bloedel Conservatory and marvel at this tropical paradise high atop Queen Elizabeth Park.
9. Put on a slicker and enjoy a brisk walk through Stanley Park. The rainforest canopy provides ample coverage from the rain.
10. Go shopping and celebrity hunting on Robson Street.
Anyway, the point is you probably wouldn't be able to get to any of these places if it snows in Vancouver. The streets are a slushy or slippery mess and you'd take your life in your hands to go out anywhere but your local grocery store when you absolutely have to - and you'd be slipping and sliding all the way there, too.