I spent the first 18 years of my life in the mid-Atlantic, where summers are hot and (horrendously) humid and winters are relatively mild. My first winter in Montréal was a big change. I learned, in the worst way possible, that -40 Fahrenheit is also -40 Celsius. Now that we live in Vancouver I am more tolerant of rain and overcast days than I thought I’d ever be. Part of why Vancouverites put up with grey, wet winters is because they usually don’t need to shovel snow and can generally get by with a mid-weight winter coat. Unfortunately, this winter was not a typical one. We had several significant snowfalls and long stretches of below-freezing temperatures. And so, rather than laughing at their compatriots across the country like usual, Vancouverites sullenly turned up the heat, learned the importance of ice scrapers, and literally caused a shortage of road salt.
One of my coping mechanisms this winter was doing everything I could not to let the cold and snow stop me from running, which besides keeping me from developing unwanted ‘insulation’, has become an effective stress-reliever. And so, while many Vancouverites swore off outdoor exercise for a few months, I can proudly report that I only took to the treadmill once (and it was just as awful as I remembered). My arguably unreasonable efforts were rewarded in early March right after one of the last snowfalls of the season, when I achieved a 10K personal best in the West Van Run (44:07). The snow stopped just a few hours before the race started and resumed shortly after I finished. A special shoutout to Sacha for braving the elements to cheer me on and be my personal race photographer.
The end of winter has also come with a big change for both of us. We decided to submit our intent to vacate our current apartment, which put into motion a predictably frenzied search for a new place. We ended up being quite lucky, as we were accepted just a couple of weeks into our search. We have been packing for the last two weeks, and will be moving in April 1st. Because rental units are in such high demand, the unit we are moving into will only be vacated the day before we move in, so like thousands of others in the same position we will be staying in an AirBnB for a night before we pick up the new set of keys. The whole process has reinforced my conviction that the acquisition of unnecessary ‘stuff’ only leads to regret (and a good deal of swearing) later.
Looking ahead, I think we will have just enough time to get settled in our new place before we start to pack for our next trip, Cuba! We are headed to Cayo Santa Maria in mid-May for some much-needed sunshine (see above rant on winter). Hopefully by then Vancouver will be sunny and dry like it’s supposed to be…