Monday, April 29, 2013

Road Trip

Eclipse Bookstore - The greatest place on the planet!!

 1104 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225


This place is AMAZING. And I found it by complete accident. I was driving around Bellingham a bit lost trying to find the bookstore 'Village books' when I drove by this place and it caught my eye. For starters I could tell it was a second hand bookstore and personally I love those kind more than the more commercial bookstores. Second hand bookstores are usually always owned and run by people who genuinely love and know their books well. The chap at the front desk was welcoming but quiet and kindly answered my first question "Err, how is this store organised?" I had a bit of a happy heart attack when I first entered, and I literally gaped when he said there was a downstairs. I got the feeling he wasn't the most organised person based on the fact there were huge stacks of books everywhere along the floor, but in a way I thought it was done on purpose and I liked it very much. Kinda like an Aladdins Cave of books. 
It was a pity I was starving and needing the bathroom after all the driving and border stuff I did just to get into the US, cos I didn't stay there as long as I would have liked. Heck, theyd do very good business if their upstairs was a bed and breakfast because I would have happily stayed the night lol just to spend hours or days in that store. 

Another thing I was impressed with was their American History section. It pretty much filled up most of one side of the downstairs section. I saw books that all looked really interesting (except for the typical George Bush and Clinton biographies hahaha). I saw a book that was a volume of the diaries of the Explorers Lewis and Clark that looked facinating. A lot of books on Washington history (can't say Ive ever explored the topic personally). But since Washington State is their home which Im sure their proud of their history, it must be very rich and interesting and might tie in quite a bit with British Colombian history maybe?

I would have liked to have bought more books, but in my rush to leave and find some food I bought one book that caught my curiosity the most:

After I sadly left Eclipse Bookstore, I drove around some more and finally found the Village Bookstore in the Historic village of Fairhaven. I found a carpark easily enough (and was free! woohoo!), and at the right time I looked down the road a bit and saw this:

A double decker bus! In the US of all places! But then again, only in the US would they take a bus and turn it into an outdoor dinner. So I walked up and the chalkboard out front said 'Alaskan Halibut Fish and Chips' It was as if they knew a hungry New Zealander was comming! I tell you what, those were the best damn deep fried halibut Ive had in my life. It tastes completely different to New Zealand fish but certainly not in a bad way and the filet was small (I guess halibut is a small fish?) but it tasted lovely and fresh. Their chips could do improving (definitely not up to the caliber of Lyttleton fish and chips) but they were pretty decent. And they served it with some very tasty homemade coleslaw and tartare sauce. I almost wish I had a pineapple ring or hot dog to go with it because I was really hungry! Lets just say I bet the the elderly couple nearby probably thought I was a glutton by the way I shoved it all in my mouth.

Here some more pictures of the surrounding buildings in Fairhaven.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Road Trip!!!

Nothing special I know, just a meander into Bellingham, Washington. My agenda is as follows:

  • Drive into US, stop in first town (probably Blaine) and get myself a map book and some cheap gas!
  • Continue driving til I get to Fairhaven, Bellingham. Where I spend a few hours at Village Books and the Historic Village.
  • Drive to Bellis Fair Mall in north Bellingham - checkout the Target store there and use my staff discount card - woohoo! Wander around the other shops.
  • Leave Bellignham and drive north to Lynden. Visit their Dutch museum and bakery. Have lunch.
  • Drive back to Canada via Sumas on the border and continue onto Abbotsford and stop at the Christian bookstore 'House of James'. Definitely do some shopping there.
  • Drive back home via Mission on the Lougheed Hwy.
7th October 2011 (repost)

So, this is a map of the multiple cities within the Greater Vancouver area with the region of British Colombia highlighted in green. The main cities are:

- Vancouver    
- North Vancouver     
- West Vancouver
- Richmond     
- Surrey     
- Langley     
- Burnaby
- Port Moody  
- Coquitlam   
- Port Coquitlam
- Pitt Meadows   
- Maple Ridge  
- Delta  
- White Rock

The main river is called Fraser River which goes forever more in another direction to the North East (I think). To view a bigger version of this map click on  the link below

Steven and I currently live in Port Moody (highlighted in red) with his parents. Its quite a small 'city' that just surrounds the end of what is called Burrard Inlet, that arm of water that comes from the Pacific. Its very pretty and more like a village than anything else. The one thing I love about the multiple cities is that you don't feel like your in a mega city thanks to the huge portions of natural forest in and around the cities. Port Moody as part of the Tricities (along with Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam) are known as Pomo, Coco and Poco). Soon, Steven and I will be moving into our flat in Port Coquitlam and because its such a mouthful to say Im relieved to used the name Poco. It sounds quite neat.

This is a fantastic photo (taken by Mike Chow) of what the north end of Port Moody looks like where we are currently living. Just a small neighborhood with a little beach and this huge expanse of forest behind it that never stops until you reach the arctic :D

 This picture is of Newport Village. This is pretty much the center of Port Moody where all the main businesses are, majority of which are too posh for my tastes. But if anyone in the family is desperate to get milk quickly, they usually go to the grocery store here which looks quite rustic (but expensive). Reminded me of what Big Fresh looked like in Chch. Theres also clothing stores, busineses and of course takeaways and Starbucks.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Iced coffee for warmer weather!

Iced coffee and iced tea have both quickly become my favorite drinks while living here in Canada. I think its definitely an American influence and although Im not a fan of corporate American food I do love discovering their homemade style of food and drinks specific to certain states.

Now that my two winters (in a row) are over finally! and the cherry blossoms have come out and the weather though still a bit volatile has faithfully provided me with some absolutely superb days that has totally renewed my good opinion of living in Vancouver I can return to drinking cold drinks. My husband of course being from Manitoba, thinks cold weather is the best for cold/frozen drinks esp a slurpee and didn't understand why I couldn't stomach a iced drink during the winter. Why he thinks so I don't know, I think its a bit weird.

So anyway, as a happy member of pinterest I recently started to peruse pins re to cold drinks and being a coffee lover I found this fantastic recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
which I happily recommend. At first I thought she was crowing just a bit too much at her recipe but then I made it (specifically with the condensed sweetened milk) according to her instructions, then I waited over night. Thankfully I had a sunny day waiting for me the next day, I poured it into my mug, took a sip, looked stunned for a bit then looked at my drink and did a Joey rendition of "How you doin?" LOL. Seriously its THAT good.

The only down side had nothing to do with pioneer woman or her fab recipe but my own ignorance. Being from NZ, I had no idea how much 8 quarts actually was (the amount resulting from the recipe). Ive discovered it really is a lot!! So if like me you don't have a spare tank lying around like this lady to keep all that beautiful liquid in, its probably best to divide her recipe by 2 or 3....

Happy Spring!!