A Moveable Feast

With all due deference to Mr. Hemingway, although it’s not Paris, I’ve been lucky enough to unexpectedly have this summer in Vancouver when I thought I would be long gone to Virginia. And wherever I go after this it will stay with me, for (it’s) been a moveable feast. Maybe it’s the poignancy of knowing I may leave this autumn, or maybe it’s just a karmic gift after last summer, but for whatever reason it has been superlative. I’ve spent some time away, work and vacation has taken me regularly to the US South, but it’s the times at home that stand out.

I have, in many ways, already taken leave of my past life here; said goodbyes and given up regular activities, so I’ve had to, of necessity, redefine my lifestyle this summer. And, much to my surprise, I’ve found that home still has a lot to offer. I’ve ended up asking myself whether the lifestyle I want is right here in my own city? Granted Vancouver has put on a show and given us a truly spectacular summer (would I be writing this when the rains of November seem to never end!) but it seems that through the lens of immanent departure I have fallen in love with the West Coast all over again. And I haven’t really even been that far from the city; no island paradise kayak or camping trips (yet!) but I’ve just been getting out and playing tourist in my own town, appreciating everything the city has to offer.

One of the things I love doing on Saturday morning is spending time browsing at one of the many local farmer’s market. On a recent Saturday I went with a friend to explore Trout Lake Market, one of the original and oldest farmer’s markets. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and we got to walk all around Trout Lake on our way to the market (well actually we were yakking, missed a turn and got on the wrong pathway . . . .a fortuitous wrong turn!)

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And it truly was a moveable feast at the market. As well as bushels of fresh, heirloom, organic vegetables, we bought delicious goats milk cheeses, creamy blues and delicate fetas, a duck breast sausage marinated in King Heffy beer, (so delicious!!), wild mushrooms and warm breads.  A glorious profusion of humble beets and carrots.

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After all that walking and gathering, it seemed time for a repast and what better idea than brunch at Timbre on Commercial Drive. We did eat as well, but debated if it was necessary after these Bloodys. Truly awesome.

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Many a good idea (and quite a few bad ones . . .oh wait, in my life there are no bad ideas!) have been hatched over a drink, today was no exception. Casually mentioned that Trombone Shorty was playing in Whistler that night at some slightly strange event/festival/yoga/hippy/love in called Wanderlust. For the life of me I still can’t figure out how a rockin’ trombone player from New Orleans ended up playing at a yoga festival in Whistler, BC, for FREE, but he was and he did. Driving to Whistler to see the show, then driving back that night seemed like the Best Idea Ever. And since we had a bounty of deliciousness, a picnic at Lost Lake was the ideal start to our Whistler adventure. A couple of hours later we were headed up the Sea to Sky highway, picnic basket in hand. A feast was had, but in the unpredictable way of mountain weather, it sure was moveable, Here’s the spread we had set up by Lost Lake.

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Minutes later a thunder and lightning storm rolled over the lake and onto our picnic.

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We took temporary refuge under the trees, but to no avail.  Our picnic was getting wet and, even worse crime, the wine was being diluted! We could see that the storm was localized to the lake – blue skies and sunshine shone down less than a mile away – so we hastily threw everything back in the basket and headed down the road to Alta Lake where it was sunny, Yeah, picnic was back on!! Got everything set up a second time when . . .drop, drop, drop . . .the thunderstorm had rolled on over our way. Moveable feast indeed. This shower was short-lived so we toughed it out till it passed and enjoyed every morsel.

With all the too-ing and fro-ing we were seriously behind schedule getting to the free concert venue in Olympic Plaza.

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But instead of being at the back of a huge crowd, much to our surprise the plaza was basically empty. Wet, but empty. Those yogis are lightweights! We were able to wander right up to the front of the barrier, centre stage and enjoy a stunning sunset as the skies cleared, the plaza dried and we waited for Shorty,

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The show was everything I had hoped for, my companion hadn’t seen Shorty before, but I was pretty sure I knew exactly what sort of kick ass night we were in for, Anywhere in the US Shorty draws large crowds of devoted fans; when he took the stage in Whistler there were maybe 20 people milling around and I was the only one showing of my “Who Dat” shirt. Some musicians might have decided it was a waste of time and put on a lackluster, bare minimum and I’m outta here set. Not Shorty, He decided to win over some fans and put on a show to remember, Two hours later the plaza was overflowing with hand clapping, foot stomping, dancing and singing new-born Trombone Shorty fans, The man is amazing (ok, so the picnic wasn’t the only deliciousness around!!)

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The entire day was truly a Moveable Feast for all the senses. Great food, great wine, gorgeous scenery, incredible music and great company, Thanks for a spectacular day, Here’s Shorty, getting funky y’all and killing American Woman at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. If you get a chance to see him live, do it!

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