About Me

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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.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beautiful Day in Paradise

It's finally coming back to me. Yes, I do live in "paradise." What a fabulous weekend we've had here in Vancouver, with balmy temps up into the 20sC. It's my sister's birthday tomorrow, so today we celebrated at Seasons in Queen Elizabeth Park. Here is a photo from the window of the restaurant. Do go and look at the Seasons link for more photos. It's definitely worth the click.
Poised at the peak of Queen Elizabeth Park, this glass-wrapped restaurant offers stunning views of Vancouver’s shimmering city skyline, North Shore Mountains and Pacific Ocean.

Queen Elizabeth Park started its life in Vancouver as something else entirely - a basalt quarry. The park is situated on Little Mountain whose summit is approx. 500 feet (the highest point within the city of Vancouver) and is an extinct volcano. At the turn of the century (1900) it was quarried for its rock to build Vancouver's first roadways. This area was also the site for two holding reservoirs for the City's drinking water.

The Canadian Pacific Railway owned the land but sold it to the City of Vancouver in 1928. In 1930 the BC Tulip Association suggested transforming the quarries into sunken gardens.
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth dedicated the park on their visit to Vancouver in 1939. From that point over time it was transformed into Canada's first civic arboretum. Then in 1948, Deputy Superintendent William Livingstone put his full attention and the combined talents of his dedicated Park Board horticultural staff, to the task of transforming the site.

Examples of all the native trees found across our nation were planted along with many exotic species to create Queen Elizabeth Park, as we know it today. The quarry gardens were designed by Bill Livingstone and unveiled in the early 1960s. The smaller North Quarry or dry garden was undertaken to commemorate the City's 75th Anniversary. I can remember my parents taking the whole family for an outing to visit the park when I was just a little girl. At the time, I was a bit bored looking at flowers, but I must admit to being awed at the size and scope of the place.

Queen Elizabeth Park is the second most visited park in Vancouver and holds within its perimeters some of the most beautiful public gardens anywhere. Its recreational offerings are diverse and include golf, tennis, lawn bowling, disc golf, an extensive outdoor arboretum and the indoor Bloedel Floral Conservatory, the residence of over 100 free-flying birds of various species. That's the birthday girl, patiently waiting as I took scads of photos. You can just see the mountains behind the conservatory.
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s 'counterpark' to Queen Elizabeth Park. While Stanley Park is at sea level, surrounded on three sides by water, Queen Elizabeth is completely landlocked. From here, visitors have sweeping views in all directions across the city to such faraway places as Mount Baker to the south-east, the Gulf and San Juan Islands to the south-west, Vancouver Island to the west, and the Coast Mountains to the north. I took the following photo of our famous Lions to the north of the city from a point in QE Park.

There are a couple of sculptures near the restaurant where we dined. They overlook the city with spectacular views. The scuptures are of one man who is taking a photo of three others who stand with their backs to the view. Everyone who visits the park gets their picture taken with these statues. It absolutely de rigeur for tourists and locals alike. So, here I am:

I'll post more photos of the park when ABC Wednesday reaches the letter "Q" - I have a lot of photos showing the beautiful sunken gardens, the Japanese garden, and lots of spring flowers just coming into bloom. I might even go back and go right down into the quarry gardens to get more shots of the tulips, rhododendrons, hyacinths, etc. when they're at their peak. I can hardly wait to show you the shots I got of the fountains - at full height.

On a personal note, it was atop Little Mountain (as we called it then) that my new 6 foot tall husband and I decided to do a bit of necking one night after being out for dinner. Parking was free then, and lots of young couples would go up to admire the view – and each other. That night was beautiful – crystal clear, warm, and very romantic. Perfectly lined up with lots of other cars, whose occupants had the same idea we had, we settled ourselves for a bit of kissing in our little 1970 Datsun, stick shift between us. Suddenly, my husband started screaming. He leapt out of the car and started jumping around on one leg. Uh oh! Cramp! I started laughing until tears were streaming out of my eyes. When he finally got back into the car, the moment was gone. So we laughed our way home to the real thing on a comfortable queen-sized bed.

21 comments:

Paulie said...

Thanks for the tour. . . one day I am going to get up to that "other Vancovuer!"

leslie said...

Well you MUST let me know so Josie and I can take you around!

Mental P Mama said...

Vancouver has been on my list forever, and this makes me want to visit more. Great story about the leg cramp! Memories are wonderful, no?

kissa said...

Tou cetainly sell your city it looks ever more beautiful with each photo. Cramp, small cars and romancing - happy memories there!

granmal said...

From your pictures it is a beautiful place - Happy Birthday to your sister.

Tai said...

I watched a HUGE lightening storm from there once, it was spectacular!

Josie said...

Sooooo, you and your husband used to go up to Little Mountain to watch the submarine races, hey???

*heh*

The restaurant up there is fabulous, isn't it?

leslie said...

Actually, it was the guy I was engaged to "before" my husband with whom I'd watch the submarine races - down at Third Beach. lol

Josie said...

Leslie,the whole point of submarine races is that you can watch them anywhere. *heh*

david mcmahon said...

Not familiar with Queen Elizabeth Park, but I spent time at Stanley Park in 1999.

Ellee Seymour said...

It certainly looks stunning, I would love to visit one day.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Always enjoy your photos and tour of "paradise".

Dave said...

I have a nephew in that neck of the woods and a daughter who plans on moving there in a couple of years... I may be over there sooner than I think! :-)

Country Girl said...

Oh, how lovely! Happy Birthday to your sister. Loved the story about the stick shift.

The more I read your blog, the more I want to see Vancouver . . .

Trubes said...

What a wonderful post Leslie I have really enjoyed reading it. The pictures are stunning.your Photographic skills just get better and better.

Di.xx

Gledwood said...

I would love to go see that "other Vancouver" ...too...

Sandy's Space said...

I love the last paragraph!

mrsnesbitt said...

This is what i love about ABC Wednesday, the chance to read the posts and discover so much out there and about each other. It also shows pass overs between our lives. We visited the famous monastry in France back in 2000. What an adventure. I should write it in a book! LOL! Still I will be sharing our next adventure, Isle of Man TT......................not long to go now YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

meggie said...

Thanks for this tour with you. Just love the photos of you, with the statues.

Lilli & Nevada said...

What a great trip you took me on, i love you fitting right in with the statuets Loved it

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, I enjoyed the tour, too, Love the photo of George and Elizabeth and those of you with the statues. I'm still laughing at the story at the end - glad it ended happily!