FISHING AT SUNSET
The beauty of living next to the ocean and having daylight until 10PM is being able to do some fishing for after dinner excercise. One evening after dinner, we biked 15 minutes to the London Pier in Richmond to try out the new fishing pole Nathan won at the Fishing Derby. We also brought along some books so that the children can enjoy reading their favorite story books while waiting for the fish to bite.
It was a magical setting with the orange sky and riverport in the background while fishing. Again, God was merciful to giving us hope by allowing us to catch a good size (7 inches) white fish on the very first cast using the new pole. This time, Nathan caught his first fish. Although we didn't catch anymore fish after that, it was still satisfying to have caught something while enjoy such nice view and weather.
BREAKS FROM SCHOOLING
During one of the garage sale, Olivia spent 50 cents of her money and bought a used board game called, Boogle. After shaking the letters of the alphabets, one has a limited time to make as many words as possible using the letters as long as the letters are connected. We all have fun playing and learning new English words during our break playing this.
The kids also enjoy reading together the books they borrowed from the library, which has amounted to almost 50 books so far. A funny book we all could relate to is a Berenstain Bear book called, "Homework Hassels", which talks about how the father got on the son's case about not doing his school work.
For the past 3 weeks, we have been doing intensive homeschooling and it has been mentally and emotionally challenging for all of us.
BIKE TRIP TO VANCOUVER
Given Vancouver has extensive bike paths and many scenic coastlines and bike paths throughout the city, we decided to take a day off to have a biking trip to Vancouver from Richmond.
We started early in the morning at 8:30AM and began biking along the dikes of Richmond, northward towards Vancouver city. It was a cool, relaxing biking along the shore. We took the No. 2 road bridge across the river and got onto the island where airport is located. At the airport, we watched planes taking off as we rested there.
From the airport to Vancouver city, we had to go on the scary Arthur Laing Bridge which has an uphill narrow bike path next to fast, congested moving traffic. Nathan had to get down and walked the bike as it was too steep and too many cars whizzing by for comfort.
One we got off the bridge, there was 10km of scenic biking next to expensive mansions and rolling green hills. After 20km an 1.5 hours of constant biking, we reached University of British Colombia (UBC) where Annie went to school.
We stopped at Regents College, a seminary of UBC, where we did some book shopping and also ate the sandwiches and fruit we brought along to give us more energy. David, Annie's brother, who is a research assistant in Child Development showed us his office and we visited the place he worked and his coworkers.
A highlight was seeing a child development poster of which 4 years ago, the department used 2 of Joani's baby picture for its cover!
After leaving UBC, we went along the coast. Along the way we saw more mansions, rocky beaches, and parks. From these beaches, one can see the panaromic view of Vancouver downtown. There are many people on the beach having fun and sun. We biked into city street for a while to do some errands and had 2 hot dogs to give us some energy. We passed by Annie's father's old clinic which is now a bird pet shop.
In the early afternoon, we arrived at False Creek Harbor, a beautiful part of Vancouver downtown with bike paths along its shores. In the harbor is the famous tourist destination of Granville Island. We stopped at the free water park on the island so that the kids can have some fun on the water slide and other contraptions, while Annie and Jon went to the farmer market to look for lunch as we were all very hungry.
Afterwards, we biked a full circle around the False Creek, passing by the Science World, stadiums, and casinos. The view along the way with high rise apartments, yachts, harbor, and green parks was picturesque. After having been to so many cities in North and South America, Vancouver is definitely up there on or near the top as one of the most beautiful city. It has beach, harbor, parks, nature all within the urban city, similiar to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
At close to four o'clock, we finally reached our final destination, Stanley Park, a lushious green island park surrounded by ocean and lakes with extensive bike path. Due to the lack of time, we didn't bike all the way around Stanley, but we saw a large lagoon with many Canadian geese, which was quite a treat. Around there, we also stopped to have some fun with frisbee.
After 40km of biking and 9 hours, our legs were quite sore. We were proud that Nathan and Olivia did it all by themselves with little complaining.
We were glad that Vancouver's bus system is very bike friendly and every bus has a bike rack in the front where one can put up to two bikes. So we took 2 separate buses from downtown Vancouver and rode on the bus back to Richmond, just in time for dinner as we were all starving.
Vancouver has many "Pitch n' Putt" (short course golf) golf courses at a reasonable price. So Jon bought some old golf clubs and balls at garage sales and has been practicing chipping and putting in the backyard.
After some practice, one day Jon took Olivia to go golfing during one of the activity time for a 9-hole golf game.
This was the second time Olivia golfed. The first time was at the same place 2 years ago. After some coaching from Jon, Olivia started on the first hole. Amazingly, she beat Jon on the first hole.
Although Jon improved quickly afterwards making par 3 times, both Jon and Olivia felt good about their golf game. It is something that would be hard to do in China so they hope to take more advantage of it while in Vancouver.
Friday night, the EFC of Richmond inivited us for a BBQ picnic at the beach. Given it was held next to the beach, we took advantage of the location and did more fishing.
Again, we got lucky and Jon helped a child friend of Annie's mom, Jenny, to catch a good size white fish. While we were discussing how to eat the fish, apparently Jenny was too kind hearted and didn't want the fish to die, so she ran straight for the beach with the fish and let it back into the ocean! Oh well, there goes our dinner.
There was lots of good food for the BBQ picnic. Afterwards, there was some singing, Bible sharing, and praying. We were glad to be part of this fellowship and to enjoy the sharing with brothers and sisters.