I was going to call this post ‘6 weeks to go’, but I thought I’d work out how many days it actually was until we moved back to the UK. As I’m crap with maths, I just Googled ‘how many days until 18th March 2014’, and I was pretty shocked to see that it’s only 43 days! I can’t believe we’ve been here nearly a year, and I also can’t believe that in a little over 6 weeks, we’ll be back in the UK. Naturally I have mixed emotions about it. On one hand, I can’t wait to see family and friends again, to find another flat to make our home, get some cats (woohoo!), and get an Xbox One! On the other hand, I’m going to miss Vancouver massively. I’ve never lived in a city before, and for me Vancouver is just the perfect city to live in, it’s not too big, it’s not too small, the scenery is beautiful and there is so much to do. But, we were never going to stay here forever, and so it’s not really home.

We finally booked our flights home last night. We’ll be flying with Air Transat again, leaving at 7.55pm on Tuesday 18th March, and arriving around 2pm on Wednesday 19th March at London Gatwick. We also have our San Francisco trip booked at the beginning of March which we’re both really looking forward to. I think we needed that before we came home, a nice trip to take our minds off the fact we’ll have no job, and nowhere to live when we get home – fortunately we’ll be staying with my Mum until we find somewhere.

As I mentioned in my last post I went to a Canucks game with people from work recently, a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Nashville Predators. Natalie and I then went again, likely for our last Canucks game whilst we’re here, to see them play the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks lost this one 4-2, and in fact they’re just doing shite all the time at the moment, they’ve lost 7 out of their last 10 games. Despite the loss, the game itself was awesome! We managed to get a good deal on some lower bowl seats, and we were only 6 rows from the ice! Here’s some pictures from the game.

Finding our seats before the game

Finding our seats before the game

Sitting

Sitting

National anthems before the game. I think I know more words to 'O, Canada' now than I do our own national anthem!

National anthems before the game. I think I know more words to ‘O, Canada’ now than I do our own national anthem!

Refs stopping a fight, the bastards

Kevin Bieksa on the ice!

Another face off

Ryan Kesler

Jason Garrison

Jason Garrison

Rogers Arena with the lights down

Rogers Arena with the lights down

This was the first play of the game and everyone was going for each other, we saw a fight shortly after this

This was the first play of the game and everyone was going for each other, we saw a fight shortly after this

A view of Rogers Arena

A view of Rogers Arena

Canucks score

Canucks score

Face off

Face off

Our man, Zack Kassian

Our man, Zack Kassian

Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo

We’ve also finished our snowboarding lessons. We went up to Grouse Mountain on Friday night to get some more practice in before the lesson on Saturday. There had been about 10cm of fresh snow which was nice, although the recent good weather meant that they were still pumping out the man made stuff (which you’ll see in the video below). It was so nice being up there in the evening, the runs were much less busy, and the views over the city at night were amazing.

Snowboarding at night

Snowboarding at night

Here’s a little video of me snowboarding at night. It felt faster at the time!

 

We were both pretty sore by the time we got home, and we weren’t particularly looking forward to doing it all again at 9am the next day. We got a good sleep and made the journey up to the mountain the next morning though, and our group was much smaller than previous weeks. One guy had hurt himself so badly he couldn’t carry on, some girl didn’t even bother turning up (she wasn’t picking it up so much have just given up), and so Natalie and another girl pretty much ended up getting a private lesson, which was awesome. Myself, a guy called Don, and the other girl’s husband, Alex, ended up kind of doing our own thing. Natalie made some good progress as she was able to get some proper attention from the teacher, and we realised that a private lesson at the start probably would have been more beneficial for us both. I finally left the green run and tried going down some blue runs, which I did alright on, bar a couple of falls.

The view of Vancouver from the top of the Skyride

The view of Vancouver from the top of the Skyride

View from the top of Grouse Mountain

View from the top of Grouse Mountain

Unfortunately the lack of fresh snow made the conditions pretty crap. There were lots of areas of hard ice, which were difficult to keep control on, and often ended up with you falling on your arse on what felt like concrete! After the lesson we had some lunch and called it a day as we were both pretty bruised by this point. We definitely want to go again, probably to Cypress Mountain next time, but only when we get some fresh snow. It’s not really worth it at the moment in the current conditions.

G in the sun!

G in the sun!

Sunny day for snowboarding

Sunny day for snowboarding

The lack of snow on the mountains does mean a lack of rain in the city though. As I type this there are bright blue skies and sunshine outside, and although it’s a little cold, it’s perfect! Part of me wants some snow so we can go snowboarding, but the other part of me wants the sunshine so we can make the most of our final few weeks here.

We watched the Superbowl yesterday. I’m glad Seattle won, but I just can’t get into American Football. It’s fucking boring. The stop, start nature of the game does my head in, the over the top bands, cheerleaders, national anthems, shit half time show, it was all just a bit much for me. It went on too long as well.

Yesterday we went out to New Westminster for our final visit to Sherlocks, the British food shop, as we’d run out of PG Tips. We spent about $40 or so, probably our lowest spend yet! We also found a fish and chip shop, which actually turned out to be quote good. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s the closest we’ve found to proper chip shop chips since we’ve been here.

Natalie completing the kids work sheet!

Natalie completing the kids work sheet!

As close to proper fish and chips as you're going to get here!

As close to proper fish and chips as you’re going to get here!

That is NOT a proper pint!

That is NOT a proper pint!

Anyway, that’s our little update for now. We need to get planning to make sure we get a chance to see and do everything we want to before we leave, so hopefully we’ll have lots to talk about in the coming weeks. Here are a couple of more pictures for good measure!

The view from our apartment which we've posted hundreds of times before. I'm only posting this because I like the way the sunlight shines off the building in the distance

The view from our apartment which we’ve posted hundreds of times before. I’m only posting this because I like the way the sunlight shines off the building in the distance

Natalie with her engagement ring, which finally fits!

Natalie with her engagement ring, which finally fits! Don’t panic, she hasn’t lost her thumb!

This is where I play football. It has awesome views of the city skyline. We're undefeated in five at the moment!

This is where I play football. It has awesome views of the city skyline. We’re undefeated in five at the moment!