Modern photography has forever changed my travel memory process. Is anyone else out there old enough to remember being invited to your friends’ and relatives’ homes to sit in their darkened living rooms to see their slides of the Grand Canyon? Or, when Polaroids came into vogue, to see eighteen envelopes of newly developed pictures from the beach? Well, I certainly remember those times. When I was growing up it seemed that our family would have one endless evening of viewing either our own travel pictures or those of our relatives, and then we never saw the pictures again.
Today, thanks to technology, we can see our pictures as often as we want to. And we can delete the awful ones so that no one is subjected to seeing blurred photo after blurred photo while smiling and agreeing that yes, the Smokies are breathtaking at this time of year. Having such easy access to my photos lets me savor my memories over and over again. While looking at my photos, what happened months ago seems to have occurred only yesterday. Since I will be traveling to Amsterdam at the end of this week I thought you might like to look back with me on the last day of my trip to Vancouver in June.
For those not numbered among my thousands of regular readers, I will say that I have posted about Vancouver several times before. To bring you up to date, after we had been in Vancouver for a few days we had seen many of the “must sees” for first time visitors. But I was anxious to do at least a tiny bit of exploring off the beaten path. At the last minute, I found the Vancouver blog I wish I had known about earlier, Miss 604. If you go to Vancouver, check out her blog! It is full of daily events in the Vancouver area. Anyway, scrolling through the blog I found a listing of Vancouver’s hidden gems. And there it was: the Punjabi Market. That was the perfect outing for our last day!
We reached the Punjabi Market by bus, crossing over into Kitsilano, going straight down Main Street. As we passed through shopping districts in the drizzly rain, I was kind enough to point out to my husband the many inviting thrift stores we passed. He did seem relieved when I said what a shame it was we wouldn’t have time to go to them. Maybe next time?
As soon as we arrived in the market area, my companion and I parted ways, he to find a place where he could sit and read, and I to find and capture shiny objects of beauty. I walked up and down the street a few times, looking at the variety of stores. Which ones should I visit? Stores which sold food and large kitchen items were just not practical; this gal does not check bags on an airplane. And saris? I love them, but a red haired woman in the sari store was going to be a bit conspicuous. Ah, here was a store that could accommodate my needs!
I don’t know the name of the place, but it was narrow, and filled with shiny glittering bracelets and other bibelots seemingly designed for the magpie in me. The gracious shopkeeper, seeing I was about to have the vapors from the effects of all the delicious shininess, allowed me to look at my leisure and did not object to my taking pictures. When I wanted some of the hanging pretties ( I don’t know how else to describe them) , she agreed to my climbing a step ladder and trying to release said pretties from their perches on the ceiling. She asked where I was from, and I told her, but she did not seem to have heard of it. When I am striking up a conversation while out of the United States, and the person I am speaking with has not heard of Elvis Presley, I give up and say, ” I’m not from these parts.”
How was I going to decide what to buy from all these treats?Be still, my heart!So I had to have some bangles, and I had to have some of the hanging pretties. Then there were the shoes. I bought two pair, but wish I had bought ten, because these lovely shoes OWN me. I wear them everywhere.They match whatever I plan to wear. If they want to go to the swimming pool I take them. If they want to go to dinner I take them. You would do the same if you had these shoes. May they last long and delight me for years.
About the time I left that store was the time at which I had agreed to meet with my companion. I found that he had conveniently parked himself at a bar which served local draft beer. I wound my way up the street and joined him. After a beer, I suggested we investigate the clothing store opposite the bar. I felt somewhat timid about taking pictures in the store, so my companion approached the lady behind the counter on my behalf. He asked her if I might take pictures; he thought she replied affirmatively. However, after I took one shot she began to exclaim that I must NOT take pictures! Yikes! At least I got one!
After dinner we took one last long walk back to our hotel. When we arrived back at our suite, we were rewarded with a lovely sunset view from our living room window. As we packed we reflected upon the way we had been welcomed in Vancouver at every turn. Surely the city was encouraging us to at least return some future day if we could not extend our visit today. It was too soon to leave, but we have heard the siren song. We shall return!