Monday, May 21, 2012

Halfway through!

We've made it to the halfway mark for our time in Vancouver! The past week we've been blessed by beautiful weather, finally! After weeks of rain it's been sunny and warm as evidenced by our slightly tan skin. Judah is now obsessed with playing at the park and will at least tell us five times a day "I pay pawk!" = I want to play in the park! The parks here are really nice too with lots of toddler friendly playground equipment including slides, swings, see-saws, sandboxes and more.

Playing in the parks
Judah is now 23 and a half months old! His vocabulary gets larger every single day and he's forming short sentences. It's so cute to watch. He can mimic anything you say and has even started picking up some words that I didn't realize I said so much like "yep" and "gosh". He's learned how to eat with a spoon by himself without spilling and is almost ready to start potty training. Hard to believe his 2nd birthday is in just a few short weeks!

Before coming here people told us A. how beautiful it was, B. how much it rained, and C. how good the food is. All of that has proven true! Thomas and I both really like all sorts of ethnic food and since Vancouver is so multicultural, there's no lack of ethnic food choices. Since we've been here we've had: Korean BBQ, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Middle Eastern and Greek. Vancouver is also big on food trucks so our plan is to check out some of those too when we're in the right areas to run across them. That can probably be a post in and of itself.

Vancouver Food!
From top left: Fassil Ethiopian, Street hotdog, Memphis Blues BBQ,
Sophie's Cosmic Cafe
, Bento Box at Top Sushi in New Westminster

Last weekend for Mother's Day we rode the SkyTrain to downtown Vancouver and after walking around a while we went inside Chapter's Bookstore to relax a while. Chapter's is pretty much like Barnes and Noble with tons of books and places to sit around and sip a coffee. The kids area is what really blew me away though. There were little nooks all over the area with different toys to play with. Judah had so much fun going from section to section playing with everything. There was a little table with a tea set, a place with big bean bag chairs to plop down on, a little scooter car, a train set and his favorite was a miniature shopping cart full of wooden produce. I think we were there for over an hour!

Judah playing in Chapters Bookstore

We've really enjoyed being back in a city again after having lived in Seoul for over a year. Thomas and I both love discovering the different neighborhoods and areas of the city, each with their own distinctive personalities. Another advantage Vancouver has besides it's parks, awesome public transportation and great food is it's beautiful mountains that you can see from all corners of the city. Below are just a few shots around town from the past few weeks.

Around Vancouver 1
Around Vancouver 2

This week is extra special because it's friends and family weekend and my mom and dad are coming! Wahooo! They arrive on Thursday and we can't wait to see them and give them both a big hug. My mom has already informed me that Judah will be bunking with them for the next four days so I better get used to the idea. :) I'm sure he'll have more cupcakes, cookies and ice cream than he'll have for the next year, so he better enjoy it while he can! He'll be spoiled rotten by the time they leave. So this year instead of soaking up the rays on the Ocean Lakes beach we'll be seeing the sites in Vancouver for Memorial Weekend. Not too shabby!

BTW for those who are interested, (ie. close family and friends) there are a lot of new videos of Judah on our YouTube and Flickr pages. Check 'em out!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Making Falafel


Did I mention that everything here is expensive? Thanks a lot 12% tax! Anyways, I've been trying to cook a little more when I can find the time/energy to plan out a meal and not just resort to a bowl of cereal or pb&j (sorry Thomas!)

We've been exploring our neighborhood here and came across a Middle Eastern grocery store a few weeks ago that had falafel mix. I talked to the lady working in the store and it sounded easy enough to make so I thought I'd give it a try. For those of you that don't know, falafel is essentially ground chickpeas with spices that you form into balls and fry. You can eat them by themselves with tzatziki sauce or in a pita like a sandwich.

Falafel finished product

They were easy to make and turned out pretty good! We had them with all the toppings and tzatziki sauce which is made from yogurt, cucumber, oil, salt, garlic, lemon juice and spices. We love food from all over the world and I'm looking forward to trying my hand at some more ethnic dishes. Yum!