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girllightning

Life + Love

missed my little monkey

charlie light
what’s the the worst part of traveling? missing this little monkey.

jonesy photobomb
stovetop charlie
charlie stovetop
i get an ache in my heart when i’m away too long from charlie. especially when sean tells me that charlie goes from room to room, meowing and looking for me. or when he looks out the window where my car is parked, waiting for me to come home. doesn’t ever get easy leaving this fuzzy face.

but it definitely gives me a reason to look forward to coming home. oh, and my fella too.

My Inner Geek

the art of dr seuss collection

a prayer for a child
one can not have been a kid and not grown up with dr. suess. like mr rogers’ neighbourhood tv show , dr. suess books were ubiquitous with childhood.

and although i never really liked suess’ art style, i made sure to check out the secret art collection exhibit at the pendulum gallery. because nostalgia. plus it was free.

through adult eyes, i found i still didn’t like artwork from books like Horton Hears a Who!, The Cat in the Hat, or How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, however, there were a couple of pieces that i did like (and that i don’t remember from when i was young):

facts of lifethe facts of life

wisdom of oriental catwisdom of the oriental cat

gimlet fishgimlet fish

see going dilemma fishsee going dilemma fish

green cat in uleaborg finlandgreen cat in uleaborg finland

green cat in uleaborg finland
the exhibit featured 40 estate-authorized, limited-edition renderings of the seuss’ drawings, paintings, and sculptures. it was the first time they were shown and available for sale in vancouver, with prices ranging from $800 to $15,500 per piece.

the surreal and whimsical sure do cost a pretty penny! good thing i can just admire them (and be transported back to childhood) for free.

Life + Love

cloud cover over port moody

altocumulus
that’s some serious altocumulus action.

coming home via west coast express and i get off to see this at the station. an otherworldly display of clouds. this kind of cloud cover never happens here. and yes, it was as hot as it looks in this picture.

Life + Love

vancouver after the vacation

vancouver skyline
vancouver, stop being so pretty.

no, really. whenever i return back from a trip, i find myself more in appreciation of the natural beauty of the city, where i was born and raised.

vancouver pano
pano vancouver
from the urban “jungle” of vancouver proper, to the leafy, green suburbs that i call home, vancouver is at its best when it’s bright and sunny.

course, after a while, the travel itch sets in and i’m ready to take off again.  when will that be? where to go next?

Travel the world

reflections on berlin

brandenburger tor
first we take manhattan, then we take berlin.

a city of contrasts – steeped in history and yet oh, so modern, i thoroughly enjoyed berlin. the culturally diverse and cosmopolitan city has the most impressive monuments, and yet surprisingly, also lots of green space. in fact, there are 2,500 public parks and gardens in berlin!

museum island
charlottenburg
victory column
if you’re into art, berlin has a prominent art scene. you can find vibrant street art and interesting architecture most everywhere. plus berlin is home to 175 museums and 300 art galleries and a whole island of museums? come ON. i put that 3 day museum pass to good use and i still ended up seeing a couple more museums on day 4.

noir berlin
i liked how berlin admirably did not hide its shameful past. in fact, the WWII memorials act as a testament to those who lost their lives during the nazi regime and as serves as a warning to us today of what can happen when hatred is allowed to come to power.

so whether you’re a history buff, art lover or diner of michelin rated restaurants (or you just love that currywurst!), berlin has something for everyone. there’s still so much to explore that i’ll need to come back for another visit!

for a look at everything i saw, press play on the slideshow or click here for my flickr!

Travel the world

a night at gatwick’s bloc hotel

bloc hotel gatwick
bloc hotel for the win!

there used to be a time when the thought of staying at an airport hotel would be unthinkable. i always imagined it to be 3 star quality – offering the basic amenities – a pre-flight bed – with no design quality whatsoever. the only advantage would be that it would be easy and convenient to get to one’s gate of departure.

however, it seems that hotels are looking to up their game at airport locations, and for that i’m super thankful.

on the outbound portion of my trip, i stayed at gatwick’s yotel hotel to crash for a few hours before checking into my airbnb. the capsule hotel best advantage is that you can book it for 4 hours minimum, but the size of the room would slowly make you feel cabin fever-y. especially if you’re faced with a long haul flight.

on the return portion of my berlin to london trip, i booked a room at the bloc hotel in gatwick’s south terminal. chic, spacious yet cozy, and affordable. every bloc hotel room offers free WIFI, king sized beds, roca monsoon drench shower, ambient artemide lighting technology, samsung LED smart TV, and a samsung galaxy tablet that controls the blinds, mood lighting and climate control.

bloc hotel 809
bloc hotel room
bloc hotel controls
bloc hotel beds
bonus! gatwick stores were opened 24 hours, so i could just head out to eat or shop whenever i like!

by the time my flight from berlin had landed, it was around 9ish, so i did not feel like i needed to go back out to london. instead, i had hot shower, chilled, watched some telly and got some sleep.

the best feeling? knowing that i don’t have to rush like mad to get to the airport on time for my flight. i just had to check out via tablet, drop off the keys and walk to my departure gate.

i’m an airport hotel convert, thanks to bloc hotel.

5/29 – as much as i’m now a believer of well designed airport capsule hotels, i’ve also become a believer in economy plus services on long haul flights. if you can afford the $80-$100 upgrade one way (depending on the airline) – and i do know that i’m lucky – then i say, yes! do it!

not only do you get more privileges, such as priority check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage handling, and other perks (eg. welcome kit, small bottle of wine). but what trumps all of that is your seat selection offers more legroom, pitch and width, which makes all the difference for an enjoyable flight.

at econo plus
econo plus seat
at the risk of sounding like a total princess, i know being five foot nothing (ok, five two and a half), i should have nothing to gripe about, but seats with leg room still make a difference – even at my height. especially on a long ass flight.

maybe i’m just getting old (get off my porch!), but a little leg room is a luxury that is a must for me for any flight over 6 hours. (it’s a grey area even at the 5 or 6 hours mark). with air travel sucking nowadays – passengers packed in like sardines – one must find small ways to feel civilized. (without busting the bank)