Saturday Snippets: 04.February.2017

Do you believe the old saying that, “Bad things happen in threes”? As I type this I am in yet another airport, waiting for yet another delayed and/or cancelled Air Canada flight. This makes it 3 flight woes in 2 weeks (I have one more flight next week, but according to the Law of Threes, I should be okay 🙂 ). While the Ottawa airport is fairly easy to hang out in, I don’t want this flight to be cancelled and I’m ready to get home. (Update: the flight was only delayed by 2 hours!)

This week I was at a mammography conference in Quebec. It was fantastic! I learned a lot and was able to reconnect with fellow medical physicists across Canada, and enjoyed spending a few days in the world’s largest man-made log cabin in the world (I’ve got a few pictures at the end of the post).

Have fun checking out what caught our eye in the online world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 04.February.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Conversion updates):

  • Because I was going to be gone for the majority of the week, Jonty wanted help installing the upper wall panels. It’s definitely a job that is much easier with two people. The big difficulty we had was trying to accurately map the position of the screw holes onto the wood panels. Jonty had a brain wave at 3 am one night – use a laser level to mark the centre of the first screw hole, then place the board back into place and mark the hole on the wood. It worked really well! After that the remaining holes can be found by indenting with studs in the bolt holes. It took us about 5 hours to CNC, measure and drill, and install 4 panels, which we thought was actually pretty quick! | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

  • After two months of trouble-shooting, then sending off parts and waiting for them to come back, we finally got the replacement sense-board back from the manufacturer. Jonty hooked it all back up and, guess what – it works! Like a dream! Here he is, running the laptop off of our batteries, doing some diagnostic work. | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

  •  Now that the batteries are charged and working, we’ll start to run the wiring throughout the van. Having ceiling lights wired will be pretty exciting! Hopefully we’ll also be able to start wrapping the panels in foam-backed vinyl. Moby is really starting to take shape, and each job we finish feels like one big step in the right direction.

Pictures from 04.February.2017:

I attended a mammography conference this past week. It was held in Montebello, Quebec, in the world’s largest log cabin. The place was huge! The fireplace, alone, was spectacular. The resort was built back in the early 1900’s, with logs shipped over from BC. According to someone’s cab driver, the entire building took only 3 months to build, because they employed non-union workers 🙂 It’s quite impressive.

The conference was jam-packed and we were kept busy with talks and sessions from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm so, unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of time to check out the area. We did have a few hours of free time before the conference began, and used that time to walk into the nearby village of Montebello. | 20170202-Montebello-Quebec-5174 | Travel to Montebello Quebec | Travel to Montebello Quebec | Travel to Montebello Quebec | Travel to Montebello Quebec | Travel to Montebello Quebec

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 21.January.2017

Well, this week absolutely flew by! I had a site visit early in the week and was able to visit Nelson, BC for the first time (pictures down below)! Jonty will be finishing his third Saturday welding class today, and I will be learning how to make homemade chocolate! I know Jonty really enjoys his welding classes, but I’m quite certain I win for the tastier of the two classes 😉

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online. Our Saturday Snippets for 21.January.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):

  • This week we started CNC-ing the templates for our wall panels. Nothing is completely vertical or flat in this van. So figuring out the correct curves is definitely an iterative process! | Sprinter van conversion - CNCing wall panels

Watching closely, to make sure the CNC bit doesn’t run through a screw! | Sprinter van conversion - CNCing wall panels | Sprinter van conversion - CNCing wall panels

First pass at the wheel well curve. We’ll give it another tweak before we’re happy with it.

Pictures during the week of 21.January.2017:

I was in Nelson earlier this week for a site visit. If you don’t want to drive the 8 hours from Vancouver, you will need to fly into Castlegar, rent a car and drive 40 minutes down the highway, over to Nelson. It’s a beautiful drive – I’d love to see it in the spring and fall, with all the changing colours.

Nelson is a really quaint community. The downtown core is filled with old, restored buildings and is known for its great food and coffee shops. I completely agree!

  • Empire Coffee (attached to the Adventure Hotel) has Stumptown coffee, a great breakfast and lunch menu, and the most amazing looking (and tasting) muffins, cinnamon buns and pastries. Definitely go!
  • El Taco – A quirky little place, with big portions and good prices. Tasty!
  • Red Light Ramen – If you’re looking for ramen, head here. They make everything from scratch, and their meat is all hormone-free / grass-fed / pasture-raised.
  • The Cube: They even have a little climbing gym! I went. The bouldering was hard. I totally got shut-down. I had fun 🙂 | Travel to Nelson BC | Travel to Nelson BC | Travel to Nelson BC

Exercise machines in the park! The snow didn’t stop one gentleman from getting his reps in 🙂 | Travel to Nelson BC | Travel to Nelson BC

I was able to fly into Castlegar with no problem but, as I’ve been told, there is a high probability during the winter months, of flights being cancelled. Castlegar is located in a valley, and it will often get socked in with clouds, meaning the pilots can’t take off or land. This has given Castlegar the reputation of being “Cancel-gar”.

I thought I had dodged the Cancel-gar bullet, until I woke up to this view on Wednesday. | Travel to Nelson BC

There was a good 20 cm of freshly fallen snow on the car, and the snow was still coming (they were forecasting 30 to 40 cm by the end of the day). My flight had already been cancelled and I was moved to the next flight in the afternoon.

As I was driving to Castlegar to return the rental car, this was my view over the water. Yup, there’s actually a big lake right there… | Travel to Nelson BC

By the time I got to the airport, all flights for the day had been cancelled, and flying out the next day was also looking questionable. Oh, Cancel-gar, you’ve made your point 🙂

Luckily, there was a guy at the airport who really needed to get to Toronto that day. He lives in the town, and makes the drive to Kelowna on a regular basis, so was not concerned about the “extremely poor highway driving conditions” and was happy to give me a lift. Well, if it meant getting back home before the weekend, I was all for it!

My travel-saviour was easy to talk to, and the 4-hour drive to Kelowna went by quickly. Our views from a pit-stop in Greenwood made me grateful that I was only a passenger, and didn’t have to make the drive myself. | Travel to Nelson BC

This area of the Kooteneys was beautiful, and I’m excited to go back… in the summer… with our 4×4 Sprinter… 😉

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 31.December.2016

Holy moly, can anyone else believe that we’re at the end of 2016 already? One year ago, we were wondering as to whether we would be in The Van and on our travels. Jonty gave it a 50% chance, I thought around 75% and Jonty’s brother an optimistic 90% chance. While we’re definitely not on the road with a finished van, we’ve made reasonable progress. We’ve told everyone it WILL be finished in 2017, so now the pressure’s on 😉

We spent the holidays in Saskatchewan, with my side of the family, and had a wonderful time. The week went by quickly, with lots of visiting and eating and drinking, and very little time online. As such, I’m anticipating another Saturday Snippets that is light on the words and heavy on the photos.

So here are a few things that caught our eye online in the word of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 31.December. 2016.

And now for a few holiday pictures.

Checking out the prairie landscape, from above.

Christmas was filled with stocking and Christmas sweaters and backyard ice hockey. A Christmas-day birthday and just-because cinnamon buns. A few tasty local craft breweries and lots and lots of coffee 🙂

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!

Victoria Day Trippin’

Last month I was travelling regularly for work, heading to the far-reaching corners of BC! Just kidding, not that far: a few days in Duncan and Victoria mid-month, then up to Powell River a few weeks later.

I think September is one of the best times to travel in BC. The weather is generally good and the crowds are minimal, with the kids being back in school. | Day trip to Duncan, BC

When I travel for work, I always get the earliest ferry from Horseshoe Bay, in order to get to my first site visit at a reasonable time. I don’t want to jinx it, but in the 10 years that I’ve been taking the trip, I’ve had a poor-weather crossing only once or twice in September.

More often than not, I’m treated to the glow of the rising sun and the outline of downtown Vancouver and Mount Baker in the background. It’s definitely worth the 4am wake-up call. | Day trip to Duncan, BC | Day trip to Duncan, BC

My site visit in Duncan usually takes a full day, and I’m often pooped by the end of my testing (hello, 4am wake-up call!) so there are no pictures to show off this quaint little town. One of these years I’ll get my act together!

On these annual site-visits, I usually stay overnight in Nanaimo before heading back to Vancouver. (I shared a few pictures from that visit last year, as I was waiting for the ferry). This year, however, I needed to make a stop in Victoria, which made for a nice change of scenery! The weather was fantastic and I had the morning to hang around in the downtown harbour before catching the ferry home. | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC

I stayed at the Capital City Centre Hotel. I’ve stayed there several times for work, and I’d highly recommend it. It’s within walking distance to the waterfront and all the downtown amenities, but the prices are lower than if you are staying in the heart of downtown.

Perfect for a Pearson 🙂 | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC

I was right in the middle of my monthly photo challenge, so many of the photos are slanted toward My Month of Buildings. The architecture is nicely varied in the downtown area, so I can’t really complain! I love the brick and old plaster and vines crawling over the store-fronts. | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC

It wouldn’t be a trip to our Province’s capital city, without a walk around the Parliament Building! The last time we were in Victoria was almost a year ago, for a little wedding anniversary get-away. Jonty was still on crutches and I remember him eyeing up all those stairs, wondering how badly he really wanted to go on that free tour inside. He was a trooper, and we both enjoyed the tour. Oh, how quickly the year has gone by! | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC | Day trip to Victoria, BC

I really do appreciate having a job that allows me to travel around the province a bit; it’s just infrequent enough that I still get excited to go to some of these places when those times of year roll around. | Day trip to Victoria, BC

Where to stay:

Where to eat:

  • Red Fish Blue Fish: An outdoor (seasonal) eatery, selling tasty sustainable fish and chips, with a view.
  • Jam Cafe: A great place for breakfast and lunch! I ate at the bar (the best spot, in my opinion) and had Green Eggs and Ham. Really good. Just be prepared to wait, if you don’t get there early.

Where to get a good coffee:

  • Parsonage Cafe: I found this place during my last visit. They serve homemade muffins and scones in the morning, and you can get a great bagel-and-lox sandwich at lunch. | Day trip to Victoria, BC

I’m working on the photos from my trip to Powell River, so stay tuned!

March Photo Challenge

Well, another month down, and I feel like we’ve officially entered spring on the West Coast. I really enjoyed the March Monthly Challenge of LIGHT. My favourite time of day is at sunrise / sunset and I was happy to be able to capture a few of those. Springtime in Vancouver can be a bit hit-or-miss, in terms of the weather and we definitely had our fair share of rain this year, but it wasn’t all grey and there was a good chunk of sun, too!

So what did my March Month of LIGHT look like?

The March Photo Challenge took me …

… from stormy ferry rides to sun-drenched ones…

… from light-roast coffee to light-malt beer…

… from artificial light to natural light…

… from shadows to reflections. | March light | March light | March light

And just like that, we’re into April!

I shared my new monthly word(s) already, so you can expect my social media feeds to be filled Walls and Doors. If you’d like to join in the fun, that would be awesome! If not, just looking at pretty pictures works too 😉

I’ll be tagging them all with:




Happy picture-taking 🙂