365 in 2014

Wednesday, April 9: Ropes on the waterfront
Wednesday, April 9: Ropes on the waterfront

Thursday, April 10: Layers
Thursday, April 10: Layers

Friday, April 11: Foggy weather is happening
Friday, April 11: Foggy weather is happening

Saturday, April 12: A cute spot of calm after eating too much at Janine's tea party birthday
Saturday, April 12: A cute spot of calm after eating too much at Janine’s tea party birthday

Sunday, April 13: Sucker for punishment
Sunday, April 13: Sucker for punishment

Monday, April 14: It's that time of year where the heater comes out of storage
Monday, April 14: It’s that time of year where the heater comes out of storage

Tuesday, April 15: Brendan was in Iceland during the financial crisis protests & saw HELVITIS FOKKING FOKK!! on a sign. His friend's mum made him a shirt
Tuesday, April 15: Brendan was in Iceland during the financial crisis protests & saw HELVITIS FOKKING FOKK!! on a sign. His friend’s mum made him this shirt.

Vancouver, Canada

Words by Brendan Schenk

Kitsilano

Before leaving there were high hopes for Vancouver. There’s just something about Canada that is quite alluring. If you forget that the government is yet another one packed full of right-wing morons bent on short term gain, the country has a charm much like New Zealand

Vancouver is a cool place. The people are really friendly. Even the bus drivers greeted us warmly every time. In Wellington that is unheard of.

The food scene is great, hell I even found a good coffee there. We stayed in the West End, which is gay-friendly central. Decorating the street were rainbow flags, and one crossing in particular used the flag instead of zebra stripes on the road. There was a parade a while back that blocked of a section of the street, which was turned into a pedestrian area with benches and tables. They decided to keep it that way. The city is massive, but our location was great. It was a short walk (a few blocks) to any of the shopping areas we wanted to hit. Just around the corner there was a community garden filling up an empty lot. Around the other corner the city changed completely as everything became residential; Amazing houses on tree-lined streets, it was hard to believe that the bustling city was all around you.

West End

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The public transport was easy and efficient; though my sister, who lived there at the time, didn’t happen to think so. Compared to what we have in Wellington, it was a breeze. Getting anywhere we wanted to go was a piece of cake. So we explored.

The Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park was fantastic. It is home to two beluga whales, and two rescued pacific white sided dolphins. Their rescue program is awesome. There’s a wall of cute pictures of the various animals they’ve helped over time, matched with equally awesome names such as Wellington the seal, or Dumbledore the other seal. I mention the cetaceans as they are the main attraction, given that there are two shows each a day showing off their various skills in the water. You can also see seals, porpoises, sea lions, sea otters, heaps of frogs, reptiles, tropical fish, and jellyfish. Tonnes of jellyfish. When we visited they were doing a special focus on the gelatinous creatures.

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After our tour of the aquarium we walked through Stanley park all the way back to our apartment. Despite its size the city is walkable, if you don’t have too many other places to go.

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Granville island was also really cool. There’s a huge market there open every day, filled with butchers, fruit stands, spice stalls, anything you can think of. Living near there would mean no supermarket shopping ever. Outside they have amplified buskers performing everyday. As such, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but the atmosphere is pretty great. The Granville Island Brewery is easy to find, and you can sample a range of their products. The beer was good, unfortunately the bartender was a bit of a dick.

Granville Island Brewery
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We took a ferry to north Vancouver at night to see the skyline from across the bay. We also visited Gastown, another area of the city that stands out from the rest, where a lot of colonial buildings still stand. The downside is there’s a tacky souvenir shop every second door, but it’s still nice to walk around. Near to there is Chinatown where there are some fantastic gardens. Unfortunately there was some big movie being shot in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden, but there’s a free one around the other side that you can stroll around.

As far as shopping goes the city has everything if you know where to look. There is some great op-shopping to be had down commercial drive. You can find brand stores on Howe Street. I’m sure there are other spots out there.

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We also visited Kitsilano, where my sister was staying, but only got a feel for the residential area, which is nice. There’s a beach nearby that would be awesome in the summer. A unique feature is the rows of large logs lined up on the sand. In the little park area nearby there’s a tall totem pole worth looking at.

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We only had four nights in Vancouver, but could have used more. The city is expensive, but who cares when you’re traveling.

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See the full set of Vancouver photos here.

365 in 2014

Wednesday, April 2: Invited to the Foxglove menu launch as Laura's +1, delicious cocktails and delicious but awkward to obtain food.
Wednesday, April 2: Invited to the Foxglove menu launch as Laura’s +1, delicious cocktails and delicious but awkward to obtain food.

Thursday, April 3: Blooms
Thursday, April 3: Blooms

Friday, April 4: Laura made Charlotte a rainbow cake for her (2)8th birthday party
Friday, April 4: It turned out perfectly, I think Charlotte like it :D
Friday, April 4: Laura made Charlotte a rainbow cake for her (2)8th birthday party :D

Saturday, April 5: Kitties on Laura's wndowsill
Saturday, April 5: Kitties on Laura’s wndowsill

Sunday, April 6: French toast at Baobab Cafe before open homes
Sunday, April 6: French toast at Baobab Cafe before open homes

Monday, April 7: Game of Thrones is back, ily Tyrion
Monday, April 7: Game of Thrones is back, ily Tyrion

Tuesday, April 8: I did take a selfie, but it’s awfulllll. So just imagine my shocked excited nervous pixellated face reacting to the news that the offer we put on a house was ACCEPTED

365 in 2014

Wednesday, March 26: I guess that resolve to not eat things that make us sick didn't last very long. Who I am to think of denying Brendan cake when he's sad? (And wow, another forgotten photo so soon?)
Wednesday, March 26: I guess that resolve to not eat things that make us sick didn’t last very long. Who I am to think of denying Brendan cake when he’s sad? (And wow, another forgotten photo so soon?)

Thursday, March 27: fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
Thursday, March 27: fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

Friday, March 28: The view from our cabins at the Discovery Lodge, not too shabby.
Friday, March 28: The view from our cabins at the Discovery Lodge, not too shabby.

Saturday, March 29: Mt Ngaruhoe
Saturday, March 29: Mt Ngaruhoe

Sunday, March 30: Having a fellow photographer as our road trip driver means stopping when photo ops arrive.
Sunday, March 30: Having a fellow photographer as our road trip driver means stopping when photo ops arrive.

Monday, March 31: Recovering from the Tongariro Crossing means deep heat for my knees and wine for the rest of me.
Monday, March 31: Recovering from the Tongariro Crossing means deep heat for my knees and wine for the rest of me.

Tuesday, April 1: Recovery from the Tongariro Crossing also means regularly icing my knees. This broken body!
Tuesday, April 1: Recovery from the Tongariro Crossing also means regularly icing my knees. This broken body!

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

I never thought the Tongariro Crossing was something I’d be capable of doing even if I wanted to. I guess 11 years in Wellington have trained my legs well.

When Kate decided she’d like to hike the crossing I signed up without much hesitation and I’m so glad I did! We spent the weekend at Discovery Lodge in National Park with views of Tongariro and Ruapehu and had the most glorious Saturday for the climb. I was prepared for crazy alpine weather if it hit us, but was quite pleased to not be blown around, rained on, or burnt to a crisp.

I owe a lot of my success and enjoyment of the 19.4km hike to walking poles. They were worth every single ounce of dignity I may have lost by looking so uncool, cause who was still able to lunge the next day? Me! (And then a couple of days later my knees gave out and I couldn’t walk well for two weeks, so I suppose the poles were worth even more than that because they kept my knees from giving out while I was actually on the trail.)

Tongariro Crossing - 29 March 2014
Tongariro Crossing - 29 March 2014
Tongariro Crossing - 29 March 2014
Tongariro Crossing - 29 March 2014
Tongariro Crossing - 29 March 2014
Tongariro Crossing - 29 March 2014
Tongariro Crossing - 29 March 2014

365 in 2014

Wednesday, March 19: I love the new art near Te Papa. Huge chunks of broken ceramic dishes.
Wednesday, March 19: I love the new art near Te Papa. Huge chunks of broken ceramic dishes.

Thursday, March 20: Sometimes you're sick of eating such a restrictive diet for the sake of your health so you make mushroomy pizza on wheat bases. And then you wake up in the morning swollen and sore.
Thursday, March 20: Sometimes you’re sick of eating such a restrictive diet for the sake of your health so you make mushroomy pizza on wheat bases. And then you wake up in the morning swollen and sore.

Friday, March 21: BMD egg
Friday, March 21: BMD egg

Saturday, March 22: In an effort not to miss any more photo days I've taken to photographing my dinner. At least this one won't make me sick!
Saturday, March 22: In an effort not to miss any more photo days I’ve taken to photographing my dinner. At least this one won’t make me sick!

Sunday, March 23: Grapes from Emma and Simon's vine.
Sunday, March 23: Grapes from Emma and Simon’s vine.

Monday, March 24: Rice vermicelli soup
Monday, March 24: Rice vermicelli soup

365 in 2014

Wednesday, March 12: Old school Air NZ
Wednesday, March 12: Old school Air NZ

Thursday, March 13: My card for March/April is The Judgment. Bring on the epiphanies, the true callings, and the picture falling into place.
Thursday, March 13: My card for March/April is The Judgment. Bring on the epiphanies, the true callings, and the picture falling into place.

Friday, March 14: Kate being a babe at Emma's birthday party.
Friday, March 14: Kate being a babe at Emma’s birthday party.

Saturday, March 15: Another party, another shiny dress.
Saturday, March 15: Another party, another shiny dress.

Sunday, March 16: These bracelets have been in place the whole time I've known Brendan. Some from our trip to Asia, but many from before that.
Sunday, March 16: These bracelets have been in place the whole time I’ve known Brendan. Some from our trip to Asia, but many from before that.

Tuesday, March 18: Dammit! Another year where I don't manage the 365 challenge it seems. Fog has been rolling in and out of the city.
Tuesday, March 18: Dammit! Another year where I don’t manage the 365 challenge it seems. Fog has been rolling in and out of the city.

365 in 2014

Wednesday, March 5: Pretty sure my skin hates it when I soak in hot water.
Wednesday, March 5: Pretty sure my skin hates it when I soak in hot water.

Thursday, March 6: No enhancements needed.
Thursday, March 6: No enhancements needed.

Friday, March 7: Snuggles with her favourite Brendan.
Friday, March 7: Snuggles with her favourite Brendan.

Saturday, March 8: With a hike through the Tongariro Crossing planned for the end of the month some training was needed! From Karori to Mt Kaukau where my usual training ground of Mt Vic looked like a tiny hill.
Saturday, March 8: With a hike through the Tongariro Crossing planned for the end of the month some training was needed! From Karori to Mt Kaukau where my usual training ground of Mt Vic looked like a tiny hill.

Sunday, March 9: Snaggle tooth puppy.
Sunday, March 9: Snaggle tooth puppy.

Monday, March 10: A two track mind this week: Phoebe and sunsets.
Monday, March 10: A two track mind this week: Phoebe and sunsets.

Tuesday, March 11: We explored the botanical gardens after dark at Power Plant, part of the NZ Festival. It was truly brilliant.
Tuesday, March 11: We explored the botanical gardens after dark at Power Plant, part of the NZ Festival. It was truly brilliant.

365 in 2014

Wednesday, February 26: Brendan goes back to school next week so I had the honour of taking his ID photo (we went with one against a plain wall with a shirt on). A few days later he shaved his beard off :(
Wednesday, February 26: Brendan goes back to school next week so I had the honour of taking his ID photo (we went with one against a plain wall with a shirt on). A few days later he shaved his beard off :(

Thursday, February 27: So fluffy and full of love.
Thursday, February 27: So fluffy and full of love.

Friday, February 28: Sometimes the perfect Friday night is Pretty Little Liars and a snoring puppy.
Friday, February 28: Sometimes the perfect Friday night is Pretty Little Liars and a snoring puppy.

Saturday, March 1: The end of an excellent night of games and BBQing with friends.
Saturday, March 1: The end of an excellent night of games and BBQing with friends.

Sunday, March 2: Riding through time.
Sunday, March 2: Riding through time.

Monday, March 3: Bedroom with a view.
Monday, March 3: Bedroom with a view.

Tuesday, March 4: Fat Tuesday at Thunderbird. Wine, gumbo, and beignets while listening to a an awesome duo.
Tuesday, March 4: Fat Tuesday at Thunderbird. Wine, gumbo, and beignets while listening to a an awesome duo.

365 in 2014

Wednesday, February 19: With three lactose intolerants and two gluten avoiders in the house this is the most friendly pizza around.
Wednesday, February 19: With three lactose intolerants and two gluten avoiders in the house this is the most friendly pizza around.

Thursday, February 20: Fog rolled in from the bays for the second night in a row to cover the city and disrupt flights.
Thursday, February 20: Fog rolled in from the bays for the second night in a row to cover the city and disrupt flights.

Friday, February 21: It's opening night of the NZ Festival & so The Big Bang rehearsed in Civic Square to prepare for their show including 200 young drummers, Strike, and Kora. It sounded SO great.
Friday, February 21: It’s opening night of the NZ Festival so The Big Bang rehearsed in Civic Square to prepare for their show including 200 young drummers, Strike, and Kora. It sounded SO great.

Saturday, February 22: I finally got to see a game of Fighty Mans in action (Warhammer 40k). The little models are so detailed! (and lovingly painted by Brendan)
Saturday, February 22: I finally got to see a game of Fighty Mans in action (Warhammer Fantasy). The little models are so detailed! (And lovingly painted by Brendan.)

Sunday, February 23: The best bit of housesitting. Having a warm dog snore on your bed.
Sunday, February 23: The best bit of housesitting: having a warm dog snore on your bed.

Monday, February 24: Bed time prep - clean face, hair up, checking if I've taken a photo today.
Monday, February 24: Bed time prep: clean face, hair up, checking if I’ve taken a photo today.

Tuesday, February 25: Snacks that made the puppy grumpy when I wouldn't share.
Tuesday, February 25: Snacks that made the puppy grumpy when I wouldn’t share.