Saturday Snippets: 12.August.2017

How was your week? Nice and short, if you were in Canada, celebrating the long weekend! There was a lot going on in Vancouver, with the fireworks and Pride Parade, and climbing and van work… Yet, somehow it still felt quite relaxing!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 12.August.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • The behind-the-scenes look at Alex Honnold and his path to free soloing his most recent climb. He definitely prepares for these routes, years in advance, but I still can’t wrap my head around him climbing without a rope!
  • While diving down the instagram rabbit hole, we came across Harvest Hosts. Have you ever heard of them? For a (very small) annual fee, you can park at these farms or wineries or museums around Canada and the USA. When we eventually hit the road in Moby, I think we’re going to sign up! And perhaps we’ll start with this road trip, as our first adventure 😉
  • Why people don’t return their shopping carts. What kind are you?
  • Doesn’t this watermelon and halloumi salad look amazing?
  • Who remembers Nutri-Grain Bars? I have fond memories of stocking up on these bars before high-school band trips (yes, I was in the band). This homemade version looks like a much better option, though!
  • Why being near the water really does make us happier.

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Breakfast by the water:

  • We had our first breakfast in the van, down at the beach! On Monday (the long weekend), we decided to pack up all the things we would need for breakfast, and headed down to the beach to make everything down there. We don’t have water hooked up yet, so we had to fill the kettle before we left the apartment but otherwise, everything was made in the van. Coffee was ground, water was boiled, cornbread was toasted, milk was kept cold… all in Moby! It may not have looked like a very special breakfast, but it felt that way to us. And it makes us want to get the water tank in ASAP, so we can really start enjoying it!

Water Tank:

  • Our 45-gallon water tank and heat shields arrived the other week, and we finally started putting it together this week. The tank fits right under the sliding door step on the passenger side and, with all things van-related, Jonty had to fabricate the mounts for it. This involves drilling additional holes in the van, and making hangers and braces to mount the tank.

  • It’s a dirty job, being under the van, and we’ll be very happy when it’s over (Jonty, especially!). The only good thing is that the weather has been dry, so we don’t have to deal with lying on wet, dirty cement (just dirty cement!).

  • We finished off the week with drilling another hole up through the van floor, which will be the access point for the water line into our sink! Very exciting 🙂

Pictures from the week of 12.August.2017:

On Sunday, after a morning of training at the gym, we headed downtown to take in some of the Pride Parade festivities. We got down there near the tail-end of the parade (we caught the last dozen or so floats), then meandered and around and enjoyed people-watching! It was an afternoon that was good for the soul – people of all shapes and sizes and ages and ethnicities, just happy and enjoying the atmosphere and festivities.

With the fires in the BC interior still burning, the smoke has finally made its way over to the coast. Vancouver has been under a layer of smoke for nearly two weeks. We walked back over the Burrard Bridge and stopped to take a look at Sunset Beach, where they were having the post-Pride-Parade-Party (say that 3x fast!). You can definitely notice the smoke when you look out over the water and the city.

Hopefully the rain that is forecasted for Sunday will help with this.

Happy Weekend!

July Photo Challenge: URBAN ART recap

July has come to an end, and so has my monthly photo challenge. It was my month of URBAN ART and tried to find the best and the brightest art that our city has to offer. If I’m honest, I could probably have spent a full year, photographing all the great art around town!

So here’s my URBAN ART recap for you.

The July Photo Challenge took me…

… from mural-wrapped buildings to painted silos…

… from city beaches to prairie landscapes …

… from life-sized sculptures to larger-than-life sized displays…

… from native art to modern art…

… from fun typography on buildings and structures.

And just like that, we’re into August and a new challenge word! This month is all about HAPPY and you can check out the details here.

Happy picture-taking!

Saturday Snippets: 05.August.2017

The first weekend of August! How are you spending your long weekend? The weather is still supposed to be nice and hot, although the last few days have been very smoky.

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 05.August.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • The annual Arc’teryx Climbing Academy was held in Squamish a few weeks ago. It’s a week-long festival filled with lectures and teaching and climbing. Here’s a few pictures from a photo competition they held that week. Yup, we have a beautiful backyard to play in 🙂
  • This looks like my kind of summer pasta salad – heavy on the tomatoes, lighter on the pasta.
  • A few weeks ago, I had my first piece of watermelon in ages (like definitely more than 10 years). Crazy, I know. Now I can’t stop thinking about eating more watermelon! This salsa sounds fantastic to me.
  • Be still, my dog-loving heart! These pictures made me smile from beginning to end (especially the Mosey the Bloodhound).

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This was a busy week for the old Mobester.

Bed:

  • The bed is finished, and we’ve got a mattress sorted out, too!
  • We ended up using steel strut u-channel along the window side, and two half u-channels spot-welded together to form the centre I-beam. Jonty CNC’d mounts to hold the wooden slats (from Ikea, trimmed down to fit our width) on one end. Along the centre I-beam, we used industrial-strength velcro to hold the slats in place. And, so far so good! There is still some deflection of the steel beams when we lay on it, but it’s consistent with what Jonty calculated there would be, so we’re happy with that.

Kitchen / Galley:

  • We finally decided on our oven, and bought it on Monday. We went back and forth between a convection microwave, or a convection oven. In the end, we use our oven waaay more than we use our microwave. And when we were travelling before, we definitely missed being able to bake / roast / toast things. So we went with the Breville Smart Oven Air convection oven (we got a fantastic deal on it!).
  • We’ve been using it in the apartment this week, to see if it was going to be a good fit for us. So far, we’ve toasted bread and buns, made homemade pizza, baked bread and roasted veggies. And it’s been fantastic! We’re super happy with our decision! Now we just need to build it into the van 🙂 If I’m honest, I might be a little sad that it can only be used in the van!

  • Jonty has also wired up two more electrical sockets above the countertop. These will be used for general kitchen appliances, laptops, charging phones, etc.

Water tank:

  • Our 45 gallon water tank arrived earlier in the week, and the mounting process has just begun. Pictures to come, when it’s all done!

Happy Long Weekend!

Prairie Skies and Train Rides

A few weeks ago, I flew home to Saskatchewan to surprise my Mom for her 65th birthday. My Dad and brother and I had it all planned out. We made sure to NOT tell the nephews, because we didn’t think they could keep the secret 🙂

I flew in on Friday night – Dad had to make an excuse to get Mom to leave my brother’s place, so that my brother and his family could pick me up from the airport!

On Saturday morning, we headed out to a restaurant for breakfast, and waited for the birthday girl to arrive. The surprise was exactly as I hoped it would have been. The look of recognition, then confusion, then shock, then realization (all within a second or two)… Then the tears came (for both of us!). It was priceless 🙂

For Mom’s birthday in the evening, my Dad had booked the entire family on the Southern Prairie Railway train ride through southern Saskatchewan. The train starts in Ogema (a bustling community of 400 people, about an hour southwest of Regina) and travels to Horizon or Pangman, depending on the tour. We did the evening train ride, which heads out to Horizon for a “Settler’s Dinner” in an old church (aka a classic Prairie Church dinner, complete with an epic pie table).

On the way out to Ogema, we had to wait for road construction, so had a few minutes to snap some pictures of the local scenery.

Once in Ogema, we had a bit of time to kill before the train ride started. So, we checked out the main street of Ogema, played on the wooden train structure, and had a peak at the restored train engine that would be whisking us away through the prairie fields.

The Southern Prairie Railway is completely run by volunteers – the two train conductors (one driving the train, one punching tickets) were both retired CP Rail conductors, and another woman (a local from Ogema) was our tour guide. She pointed out bits of info about the area as we were passing through the countryside.

The train ride took about an hour to get out to Horizon. We could either walk over to the church for dinner, or take a school bus. With three young nephews who had energy to burn, we chose the walk 🙂

The train ride back to Ogema showcased a perfect prairie evening – big, open skies and a setting sun.

It was a great weekend to spend with the family!

August 2017 Monthly Word: HAPPY

Well hello, August! Are you in full-on summer mode, like we are? We’ve been soaking up the sunshine and have enjoyed a July filled with climbing, vacation, birthday celebrations and exciting van progress. And with that, My Month of Urban Art has come to and end. I’ll share the full photo round-up in a few days time.

August Month of HAPPY

This is the month when the West Coast usually shines. The days and nights are warm, and we still get daylight well into the evening. If you’re like us, and enjoy the warm months more than the cold, then I’m sure you’ll find many things that put a smile on your face.

So, I’m dedicating August to my month of HAPPY, and I would absolutely love to see what puts you in a good mood, too! If you’d like to join in, please do (as many or as little photos as you’d like). I’ll post my findings on various social media places – Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter,  tagging #MyMonthOfHappy and #MyMonthOfAugust.

Here’s to a month of HAPPY!