December 2008

:: Christmas With The Tavakoli’s

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This year is our second Christmas in Canada since moving here and this year we were invited to spend it with the Tavakoli family. They had their cousin Louisa visiting from Washington with her husband Jalil and Ata had cooked up an amazing double roast spread with baked veggies. Maria had come up with an idea of doing a secret Santa, only we had a slight technical hitch with the system. There was only the four of us participating and the rules were you can’t pick your spouse or yourself. This proved harder than expected because after 5 rounds of picking and redrawing, we still weren’t able to come up with a proper result. In hindsight, we all realised that in order to play secret Santa you need way more people in order to actually have that element of surprise!



Another year, another adition to the clan… little Keanna the Banana was enjoying her very first Christmas. Donning her very new bear ear beanie she was looking especially cute…



After dinner, the festivities continued and we pulled out the Nintendo Wii and some people were taking it more seriously than others… who would’ve known a 4 year old could beat all these old skool cats…



All in all it was a great night surrounded by our surrogate family and friends… Merry Christmas everyone!

:: Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Let it snow, Let it snow…!


Less than a week after we had visited Whistler Villiage only to be disappointed by the lack of snow and less than perfect skiing conditions, we were surprised by the freak snow storms that we had downtown. This sort of weather isn’t very common in downtown Vancouver. If it ever snows, most of the time it is slushy and never sticks to the ground or usually disappears after a day or so. Lately it’s been snowing so much that we have had nearly 20-30cm on the ground!


The city looks beautiful with all the buildings, streets and trees covered in snow, however our dogs have no idea what to do with it! They’ve never been in proper snow before, so the very first day of walking Candy in the snow she had no idea where to go and wee because there was no grass and she kept bunny hopping through the snow. Jasmin on the other hand just disappeared because she’s so small she would just sink into the snow and you couldn’t see where she was.


It’s nice to experience Christmas in North America because everyone gets into the spirit of things and when you hear carols being sung like “Let it snow” you can actually can relate to it!


I must say though… I do miss the 30 degree summer Christmas’s of Australia where you’d throw a shrimp on the barbie…

:: Go Canucks! Go!

Tonight I got to see my very first National Hockey League (NHL) game live at GM Place. My friend Wei Kiat invited me to go and check out the game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Anaheim Ducks… yes the team made famous from the blockbuster Disney movie… and the not so much popular second and third sequels…



I can’t believe I’ve been in Canada for 2 years and not having seen a single ice hockey game live! The stadium atmosphere and size is amazing and you definitely have plenty of die hard hockey fans attending the games. The game was very fast paced and exciting with the Canucks leading very early 3-1 but in a second and third period come back, the Ducks had scored a quick succession of goals to close the gap. The final game score was 4-3 to the Canucks!



Now this wouldn’t be a hockey game without a punch up and throughout our game there were at least 5 altercations between players. You definitely can tell that some of the players are on the team just for this purpose because with their size they can’t move around on the ice very quickly, but they’re always the first to drop their gloves and hockey sticks when their team mates need a hand…


I can see why this sport is has such a die hard following and is the national sport because its a fast paced, heavy contact sport where the energy is always so high.


This definitely won’t be my last live hockey game… Go Canucks! Go!

:: The Rodney Roundup


For the past week I’ve had my old primary school friend Rodney visit us from Australia. Rodney and I have the sort of friendship where even after not seeing each other for years on end, when we see each other we’re able to pick up as if it was just yesterday. We had lost touch with each other through high school and it was only just before we left Australia we were able to catch up before my wedding. He promised to come visit us in Canada and followed through…



During his time here it was great to catch up with Rod and reminisce about old times when we were younger and it also gave Tash a chance to get to know him. While he was here we took him around the usual local tourist sights but the highlight would have to be our trip to Whistler. Although the ski season was officially open there wasn’t nearly as much snow there in comparison to the previous year. There wasn’t any snow in the village and only the top half of the mountain was open due to the lack of snow. Rodney had never been in snow before, and he wanted to try snowboarding. Since it was his first time I thought I’d take the opportunity to try it out myself coming from a skiing background. I must say, it is a very different and much, much, much… MUCH more painful learning curve in comparison to skiing! We had a private lesson and before long, and many tumbles and stacks later we were actually able to board down Whislter mountain.



After about 6 hours of pain what better way to unwind our sore muscles than in the hot tubs at the Fairmont Chateau.



We also met up with some of his friends that he had met in Australia who lived in Vancouver and checked out some of the local night life… throughout his whole stay here we drank… and drank…. and did I mention we had a few drinks? I must say… our 10am beer just before our first ever snowboarding session definitely loosened us up and probably softened the blow for us when we hit the ground! Dinner at Coast was amazing… I haven’t had seafood that good in a very long time. The Ahi Tuna sashimi was melt in your mouth and to die for…



It was great catching up with you Rod, and I hope you enjoyed your stay here… I know you’ll miss the doggies trying to climb into your bed while you sleep…