I enjoy wandering. I love wandering even more if it is a nice day and I have a final destination but lots of time to get there. I gave myself three hours yesterday to walk from Jericho Beach to Waterfront Station and it was fantastic.
Vancouver Folk Fest was underway and there were hoards of people down there, but I managed to find a nice tall log on the edge of the beach that was in the shade. I perched upon the log for a good three quarters of an hour or so reading, writing, and people watching. I was able to survey most of the beach from the log and it was fun to pause what I was doing every so often and look up and look at people. I would catch snippits of conversation now and again as people walked by. It was amusing.
It began to get cool in the shade, so I began my wander towards downtown along W 4th. First, I zig-zagged through some residential streets and enjoyed the beautiful houses, lush gardens, and fragrant flowers that seem to be a requirement for living in this area. I always enjoy walking along W 4th. The street is full of quaint coffee shops, organic markets, and lots of fun shops.
I love the ability to stop and browse when there is lots of time to get to a given destination (but the destination is essential to ensure that I don’t loose time altogether when wandering). I stopped and grabbed a snack at one shop and munched as I walked. Then it was time for coffee and a read outside of an organic fair trade coffee shop. If I can ever find it again, I’ll go back. It was great coffee and there was lots of outside seating. Plus, there is free wireless (a rare commodity, it seems, in Vancouver) should I ever need it. That is a downside to aimless wandering: it is often hard to find where one has been when one wants to go back.
Eventually, I crossed Burrard St Bridge into the main part of town. It was like the whole atmosphere changed. Suddenly I was out of the laid back, easy feel of small shops just up from beaches to CBD and tourist central with lots of large chain retailers. Quickly, I made my way to Waterfront station, mourning the end of my wander but with eager anticipation of meeting old friends.