Today is our last day in Vancouver. We started the day by having brunch at Havana's on the Drive with some good friends. I had a beet salad (which is, oddly, becoming my 'go-to' order). The conversation didn't focus too much on the move, for which I was grateful; I'm tired of talking about it. After brunch the eternal boyfriend (EB) and I ambled down the Drive, stopping in at the occasional favourite store 'one last time'. I bought some zucchini chocolate muffins from Sweet Cherubim's.
Afterwards, EB dropped me off at Granville Island - one of my favourite places in Vancouver. Yes, it's filled with tourists, but I still love browsing the local artists galleries, ogling the stacks of ripe raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries at the fresh food market, and imagining my home filled with the buckets of flowers at the stalls. I bought: a numbered Hillary Morris print, "A Fall Day over False Creek"; two bottles of sake from Osake, the artisan sake maker; and a crazy Japanese file folder with a cartoon picture of a man with curly hair and a sheep on his head with the caption "today I went to the hairdresser and I got my hair cut like a MOUTON" (mouton is 'sheep' in French). I was going to give it to my brother-in-law, but it's maybe just too cool to give away (sorry, Andrew).
I decided to walk home, probably not the wisest idea on one of the hottest days this summer, but I wanted to savour my last travel along the sea wall on foot. Halfway home, aching shoulders and bags cutting into my hands, I stopped on a bench to rest. A harbour seal bobbed his head out of the water. Staring out at False creek, the yachts and sailboats moored along the docks, the marshmallow puff of BC Place, and Science World in the distance, I wondered will I remember this moment? This day? So many places I've left before; will this one be different?
The thing is, leaving Vancouver is more than departing a geographical 'home'. For reasons upon which I'll expand in another post, my leaving Vancouver also marks the end of my career as a researcher. When we finally arrive in Ottawa (sometime around the 25th of the month; we are driving across), I'll start my new job as an Assistant Professor - however, I'll be doing strictly teaching and no reasearch. I'm a bit scared, a lot excited, and overall nervous at the prospect of having a job that no longer centers around a lab. I've been in this for 15 years - my entire identity is wrapped around me being a scientist. How will I cope?
But no matter, today is for savouring the moment, and savour it I will. EB and I just returned from a tasty dinner at Phenom Penh, a Cambodian/Thai place around the corner from us in Chinatown. I had possibly the best fried chicken wings I've ever tasted. Deee-licious! A saunter through the Chinatown night market and a spectacular sunset capped off the evening. Now, home, exhausted and sweaty after a long day, we are ready to say 'goodnight, and good luck' to Vancouver.
I'll see you on the other side.