My dog are barking

but they are really happy..... What a fantastic day. I left here at 7 a.m. and went to the James Bay Tea house for breakfast. Due to eating late last night I wasn't too hungry so just had coffee and toasted crumpets. Then I tried to find the Harbour Towers hotel to start a walk but ended up by Dallas Road on the ocean so went for a walk. It was beautiful this morning - fairly clear and cold and it was magnificent scenery. The Cascades were peeking through the clouds. I had tears in my eyes as it was so gorgeous and I was so happy. My beautiful ocean. I really needed this break obviously as I have enjoyed every minute and it's nice to know that even with all my traveling I have not become jaded and a simple daffodil can make me smile. With some assistance I found my way to the hotel and began the 5 km walk which took me to Beacon Hill Park which I love. Lots of ducks, daffodils and other flowers - it was stunning. The sun soon disappeared and clouds rolled in but so far no rain....it was still cold but I was fine. I walked through the park and over to the ocean again for another look. Memories flooded back from my trip here in 1996 when I stayed at a B & B in the James Bay area and walked this area a lot. On the way back to the hotel I saw a London Drugs so popped in to get a memory card. I realize I forgot to bring a spare memory card - eek! I took almost 150 photos today alone and shot some video. I am just using my small Sony camera - decided to leave my Nikon SLR at home where it is probably sulking. Back to downtown where I stopped at Murchies and had a caramel tea latte and a ham and cheese croissant. Well I didn't give my brain a chance to say I'm full and back I was to ask for a cheese scone. Wolfed that down too. However I had been walking a couple of hours by then. (that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!) Anyway off I went to the YMCA on Broughton & Quadra and signed in for the 5 km. I was having a severe case of dropsy and could not get my head together to sign up and stamp my walk book i kept dropping things. An older gent was sitting beside me watching me. I decided to move where I had more room and what do you know there he is beside me again - he must have been curious as to what I was doing. Though hey maybe he likes ladies with big butts wearing yoga pants. Off I went and this walk took me to the Governer General's residence which was closed although the gardens were beautiful and would be breathtaking in the summer with rose gardens and all sorts of other flower beds. I don't know my flowers so can only say daffodils, some tulips and other pretty flowers I took photos of - no clue. Then on to Craigdarroch castle which I didn't go into - was too cheap to pay $13.75 for the entrance fee and wasn't in a "castle" mood esp. as it isn't a real castle. Those are in the UK and Europe! Back downtown... Saw a place called the Tibet Kitchen and happened to glance at the menu....MOMOS!!!!!!! I was so excited so had to go in and ordered a plate - these were deep fried instead of steamed but were soooo good. I also had a mango lassi....sigh....pure bliss. The young lady who waited on me (the owner's daughter) was really friendly and we had a good chat. She is in her early 20's and they moved from India when she was 18. She has absolutely no accent which was strange - she said when she gets angry it comes back! Anyway her grandparents left Tibet when China invaded (bastards!) as he was a teacher. They settled in Dajarling, India which is where she grew up. They were obviously well to do as she attended private school in Mumbai. She said I must go to Dajarling as it's very quiet and beautiful with mountains and is cool. She dreams of one day being able to take her children back to Tibet to show them their culture. Very interesting - that's what I love about solo travel - you tend to meet more people and hear more stories. Anyway I then started the shopping part of my day. Off to Murchies to buy my friend Dorothy the pound of tea she requested and got some for me too....I can't wait to try the Orange Spice Chai...I have become almost obsessed with buying different kinds of tea leaves but I do love it. I then headed to Mountain Equipment Co-op but sadly couldn't find anything that interested me - or should I say that came in my size. Sigh....maybe by Vancouver I will at least be able to try things on. Not if I continue eating like I did today though!!! Then on to New Balance where I did get excited as my walking shoes were on for 79.99 regular 139 - but sadly not in my size...sigh...I consoled myself with a new pair of moisture wicking socks. I stopped at another Tea place as the girl in the restaurant had told me they had the best Dajarling tea so got a small bag along with a bag of cherry tea....yep I am obsessed. Then back to the room to freshen up and change. I walked over to the fisherman's wharf and had a small order of fish and chips - the momos were an appetizer. Really they were! The fish and chips were delish and as I was eating who turns up but some walkers from Alberta I know so that was fun. By this time the rain had started and was really coming down but luckily stopped before I headed out. They sat with me until I had to leave to get to the IMAX. The IMAX film Born to be Wild was wonderful - about a woman in Kenya who fosters baby elephants whose mothers have been killed and then releases them in the wild about 7 years later - I sponsor a baby elephant there so it had special meaning to me. It also featured a woman in Borneo who does the same with orangatuns - their mothers are killed with the destruction of the rain forest for palm oil plantations. It was a wonderful film and I highly recommend it. Back here and if I could crawl into the tub for a nice hot soak I would but don't know if I'd get out again. My knees are not likin it! The housekeeper would come in and discover my pruned up body in the bathtub in the morning....not a pretty sight! So I will content myself with slathering my feet in the Body's shop's Pepperment foot lotion . (how's that for a plug?) Tomorrow I plan to go out to the university to do a walk after I hopefully try the Blue Fox for breakfast. It is supposed to be THE place to have breakfast here as in the best one in the city. It is a hole in the wall and people line up to get in so wish me luck! Walking festival starts tomorrow afternoon. Life is good!

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