Vancouverites have a reputation of being very fit. So much so that the last time I visited LA, an Angeleno loudly announced at a cocktail party that Vancouver was home to the fittest people in North America. That’s quite an honour coming from a resident of the land of the beautiful. I was surprised at her statement but also smiled a little proudly. It’s a good rep to have.
So why are we Vancouverites so fit? Well, the Grouse Grind is definitely a factor. Spending a morning climbing a mountain with an 800 metre elevation will get you fit fast. But we also have our gorgeous Stanley Park Seawall. It’s an 8.8k stretch of scenic, natural beauty and we love to bike, jog, rollerblade and power walk along it.
Last Sunday was one of those perfect, hot, late summer days, so I leashed up the pup and hit the iconic seawall for a long, long power walk.
After passing the Lions Gate Bridge, Siwash Rock, on the North side of the park is the next landmark and is one of Vancouver’s special, mystical places.
The plaque in front of Siwash reads: “Native Legend tells us that this 50 foot high pinnacle of rock stands as an imperishable monument to “Skalsh the Unselfish” who was turned into stone by “Quas the Transformer” as a reward for his unselfishness.” I’m not sure that being turned to stone is the best reward for good behaviour, but, nonetheless, Siwash is a stunning and powerful place.
Next stop is English Bay and the iconic Sylvia Hotel.
Eating alone isn’t usually my favourite thing to do but Sylvia was calling my name. I could see an empty patio table with a lavender tree beside it and a view of the ocean in front of it.
If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company. – Jean Paul Sartre
I made sure The Nickster was happy, leashed up with a chew stick and then sat at the cute little lavender table overlooking the ocean. The Sylvia was originally built in the early 1900’s as a luxury apartment building and is now one of our oldest and most character filled hotels.
Another bonus is that the servers are uber-friendly. After saying hello to Nicky, my waiter and I got into and in-depth discussion about our mutual love of Yorkies and a few minutes later he was sitting down with me, pulling out his smart phone and proudly showing me his Yorkie niece, Mia and nephew, Niko. All I can say is that if you’re dining alone in the city and want to feel completely comfortable, The Sylvia is the place to be.
I settled in with a chilled glass of Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris.
And delectable crab and prawn cakes.
Dinner finished, it was time to walk the last stretch home. The golden hour was basking the bay in a lovely glow, the sun hanging low in the sky.
People were everywhere, lounging on the grass, sitting on blankets; older couples were holding hands on park benches, all staring at the sea. I plopped down on a park bench, Nick curled up to an elderly woman beside him and fell asleep.
And, in silence, we all watched together as the glowing sun sank into the cool, silvery Pacific. A beautiful way to end the day.