A little thing that is kind of big + my first chowdery

Oh. My. Word. I sat across from a woman using a new rose gold MacBook at Starbucks the other day. So compact. So pretty. I don’t often suffer from electronic envy, but whoa.

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Yesterday was a pretty good, fun and definitely unhibernated day. We got up and ran some errands (with the move so recently behind us, it seems like we will never be short on errands to run!) then we got ready and headed downtown. We had family & friends in from back east and since we didn’t get it together enough to have overnight guests yet (the screws that hold the guest bed together have got to be around here somewhere…) they got a hotel room in the city instead. We were all heading to the hockey game, but en route to Rogers Arena, Kevin and I decided to take a detour and get something to eat before the game. I love my Maui Fire Veggie Dogs, but I knew they weren’t really jiving with my recent commitment to clean eating. Besides, a new chowder shop had opened up this year in Kevin’s work neighbourhood and he’s been wanting to try it for a while.

We took the four-ish block walk from Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain station and found our quaint little Crab Park Chowdery close to the heart of Gastown. It is a cute little restaurant with a lovely warm glow. I opted for vegan chili while Kevin had the clam chowder in a bread bowl. I adore their presentation on wooden board complete with a logo and spoon holder. The chili was good and served with a few small slices of bread on the side. I snuck a taste of Kevin’s chowder, though just enough to determine that it has a unique flavour to it, though not enough to name it. He raved about it. (We only found out later that they have some scrumptious looking desserts. Probably a good thing.) We drank water, but they had craft sodas (including, of course, Dickie’s.) Find Crab Park Chowdery on Facebook or Instagram. Or in real life at 221 Abbott Street.

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March was a big month for us. A big, long, life-changing month. Sure, we’re mostly over Nick proposing to Vanessa instead of Raven and we’ve managed to move onto bigger and mostly better things. In point form:

  1. We moved into our new place.
  2. We cancelled our wedding.

Point one: this place is bigger, brighter, prettier, higher up and a million times better, but you already know about that.

Point two: from the moment we got engaged, all anyone said was, “do what YOU want to do.” One day, a few weeks back, we reflected on what our wedding was becoming and asked ourselves, “is this what WE want?” and “IS this what we want?” The best we could answer was “sort of?” So, we scrapped it.

I’ve seen four distinct responses so far.

My family: “What? But we wanted to be at your wedding…”

His family: “That’s okay. We get it. Do what you gotta do.”

Others: “What??? I’m so sorry.” And then when I laugh about it, they look like they’re going to cry and then they eventually come around.

Amy: Totally, completely, 100% support in action. (I’m not really sure she even said a word.)

Honestly, we’re good with it. And someday I’ll probably tell you more.

For now, back to the drawing board…

Discover Vancouver: Rogers Arena

Here’s another thing we like to do: explore our town. For Julie‘s birthday, she wanted to check out the home of her beloved Vancouver Canucks. So that’s what we did.

We arrived at Rogers Arena just in time for the first tour of the day and we were the only ones there. Bonus! We got registered up at the front desk quickly, were given lanyards with behind the scenes passes and we were ready to go!

We left the team store and promptly got a rundown of some of the history of the building and what to expect from the tour. Since it wasn’t a game day, the arena was relatively quiet, though there was some filming going on so we did see a few people including players and coaches on the benches and on the ice. We were allowed to take pictures of and with everything we saw (including any players we might encounter), but were asked not to bother said players since they were, after all, at work.

We headed up to the 300 level to check out the Canucks dressing room display which includes memorabilia from the four Canucks whose jerseys have been retired and Trevor Linden’s actual dressing room stall from before the rooms were renovated in 2009. (He wore the same shoes to every single game throughout his career. Like, exact same pair. And they’re in that stall still. Gross.)

Next up, we headed to the Olympic display where Roberto Luongo waves the Canadian flag after Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal at the 2010 Olympics. The wall features a replica of Luongo’s mask, his actual stick and a few other tokens from both the men’s and women’s tournaments that year.

When we finished there, we took the elevator up to the 500 level which houses spectator lounges including Club 500 – a ticketed area that offers several stations of various foods, bars and very loungeable seating, the press areas and media booths (no surprise that home is much comfier than visitors), the Canucks Alumni suite. From high up in the rafters, we got an impeccable look at the banners, a different angle on the jumbotron and a bird’s eye view of the ice.

From the top, we went all the way down to the bottom where we got to walk through the players’ entrance to the arena and in and around the dressing rooms. Because there were players in the arena, we weren’t allowed to go into the Canucks dressing room, but we did get to walk through the visitors’. (It smelled like watermelon gum.)

For those of you who don’t know or may not remember, when Rogers Arena was built, the Canucks weren’t the only professional team in town. One of the more interesting parts of the tour for me was when we walked through the area where the Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA used to be housed. The remnants of having a basketball team in town is that, still, sixteen years later, there are way taller than normal doors in certain areas of the arena. Here’s 5’10.5″ me underneath a chin-up bar in the midst of them. If you sit on one of the stalls in the former Grizzlies dressing room, your feet still out like a child’s.

After checking out all there was to see at ice level, we headed back up an elevator and to the 100 level before finishing off the tour. All in all, we spent about an hour and a half exploring the arena and I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested. Taking the tour also gets you a special 10% discount in the Canucks store on the same day.

Want to check out Rogers Arena? It’s $12 per adult ($6 per child over four, $8 per senior) and reservations are not required. For more information, check out their tours page.

To check out more photos from our tour, go to my album on Facebook. (Like my page while you’re there!)