Saturday Snippets: 29.April.2017

Goodness gracious – the last weekend of April! I feel like I’m in denial. Maybe because it’s only started to kind of feel like spring in the last week. One more weather fact for you, because we’re Canadian, and apparently it’s all we talk about 😉 On Monday, Jonty sent me the rainfall update for April: as of Monday, Vancouver has had 170 mm of rain in April (the average for the month is 67 mm), and we still had a week to go! However, the sunshine gods must have been feeling sorry for us, because we’ve had more sun than rain this last week of April. Hopefully this is a sign of weather to come?

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This was another week of planning and prototyping, but we’ve officially entered cabinet-making season 🙂

The Cabinets:

  • The first half of this week was all about the hinges. What type of hinges are there, what kind do we want to use, do we want to fully cover the 80-20 or not, how can we attach the hinges to the 80-20, what hinges will work with 1/4-inch thick cabinets, etc, it’s all non-standard…
  • The second half of this week was all about the latches. Once we figured out the kind of latch to use on the cabinet doors, we then spent a bunch of time trying to figure out who sold them in the lower mainland, to see them in person.
  • Good news is that we think we have answers to both questions! Jonty used some cheap-o $3 hinges from Home Depot, to prototype attaching them to the 80-20. It involves drilling holes in the hardware, but we think it’s going to work! We also found the latches we want to use, at the local Marine store (which is closing their Vancouver store shortly), so picked up one to try (at a 25% discount!).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - upper cabinet hinges

  • We picked up a few sheets of 1/4-inch Baltic Birch and started making the cabinets! The bottoms of all the upper cabinets will slide into the grooves of the 80-20. The cabinet fronts and sides will fully cover the 80-20 frame. Jonty was able to blitz out 4 cabinet bottoms and 4 cabinet fronts on the CNC machine yesterday. Now we just have to stain / seal them, and attach the hardware and we’ll have usable storage space!
ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion.

Pictures from the week of 29.April.2017:

Last Saturday we were climbing in the competition, but Sunday morning we spent an hour wandering around downtown Victoria, to snap a few pictures before it got too busy. Victoria has a very walkable downtown area, and I absolutely love the old brick buildings!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

Happy weekend!

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!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20170202-Montebello-Quebec-5174

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Duncan, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Day trip to Victoria, BC

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

Vancouver Island Getaway: Postmark Brewing and Belgard Kitchen

Island Hopping – Part 3

We took a few days off last month and headed over to Vancouver Island for a mini-holiday to celebrate our wedding anniversary. You can read about our previous stops in Part 1 and Part 2!

We continued our drive through the Cowichan Valley en route to Victoria. In all the years I have been going over to the Island for work, I have never driven that stretch of the highway before. The constant drizzle didn’t help the views, but under better conditions, I think it would have been a pretty drive.

We had no concrete plans for when we arrived in Victoria, only that we knew we would have a few hours to kill before checking into our hotel. The first order of business? Consult Google for the “Best Donuts Near Me” and find out that the top two contenders are Yonni’s Doughnuts and Empire Donuts. Yonni’s was the closest, so Yonni’s it was – and with a good Americano, it hit the spot 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island Getaway, Yonni's Doughnuts, Victoria BC

With the weather improving and Jonty able to walk a bit further, we decided to take a little tour around the Legislative Building, as it was pretty close to where we were staying, and just a stone’s throw from the donut shop!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, BC Legislative Building, Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, BC Legislative Building, Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, BC Legislative Building, Victoria BC

There were tours running every 30 minutes, with the next one started in 5 – perfect timing! I didn’t see any signs disallowing photographs to be taken, and nobody stopped me after I snapped the first one, so I just continued 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, BC Legislative Building, Victoria BC

I think this was my fourth legislative building that I’ve toured over the years, and while they all have similar qualities, they are all quite unique in their own way. Jonty and I were the ring-leaders for question-posing, and I think our tour guide was appreciative of that – I expect it can be fairly monotonous, giving the same tour, if nobody asks questions.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, BC Legislative Building, Victoria BC

We checked into the Marriott Victoria and were surprised to find we had been upgraded to a penthouse suite for our anniversary, overlooking the harbour! It was a great room, with a beautiful view, and made a wonderful surprise!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island Getaway, Downtown Harbour, Victoria BC

After we settled into the hotel room and checked out the complimentary concierge lounge (ooh, swanky!), we mapped out a few of the local craft breweries in our vicinity that wouldn’t require a tonne of walking for Jonty on his crutches. We stopped in at the Hoyne Brewing and Driftwood Brewing Companies before quickly realizing that Victoria doesn’t really have the same zoning regulations as Vancouver, so many of their really small craft breweries don’t have “tasting rooms”, where you can sit down and enjoy their beer. Instead, we sampled a few tasters at each place, bought a few bottles to take home with us, and got a few recommendations of other places to try.

We stopped in at Moon Under Water for a flight (they were having an event, so we couldn’t stay very long) and Swan’s Brewpub for a meal (it was okay, but perhaps a bit too commercial for what we were looking for), and finally onto The Churchill, which was exactly the type of place we were looking for!! With a cozy atmosphere, a long pub bar, and a bartender with the right amount of crack-a-joke-then-leave-you-alone vibe, it was perfect.

The following day we caught the ferry back to Vancouver and, again, we were treated to beautiful blue skies and gorgeous views.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, ferry ride, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, ferry ride, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Island getaway, ferry ride, Vancouver BC

Since we made it back to Vancouver in good time and we weren’t ready to finish our anniversary getaway just yet, we finished up our vacation by going to Postmark. They were just changing over from their brunch menu to their dinner tapas menu, so we enjoyed the ambiance and setting sun over a drink or two. We love the ambiance of this place – it’s an old warehouse building with very high ceilings, reclaimed wooden beams, and a great place to people-watch while eating really good food.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Postmark Brewing and Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Postmark Brewing and Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Postmark Brewing and Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Postmark Brewing and Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver BC

It was so nice to get out-of-town and explore our province, without a plan or agenda. We were reminded of our three-month road trip and how much we loved that experience. Hopefully 2016 will bring more of the same!