DOWNSHIFTERS' DIARY: International Update

A big part of the value of being a downshifter is not being tied to a specific schedule. The downside is that updates don't come as regularly as clockwork.

After a delightful weekend in Portland, Oregon - which we spent sightseeing, wine tasting, and visiting two of our adult children - my wife and I made for the border and arrived in Vancouver, BC on Monday afternoon.

This city is delightfully cosmopolitan: international, vibrant, and (as anyone who saw the winter Olympics coverage can attest) quite beautiful.

Monday evening's dinner with friends was followed by a gorgeous Tuesday morning. We took advantage of the weather and walked about five kilometers to Coal Harbour, along the waterfront, past the Olympic torch (which is being made a permament fixture) then back to our hotel before heading to Langley for more wine tasting. Good call, as the weather had begun to deteriorate slightly. Fortunately, we were in the car during some squalls and a short bout of hail. Later, dinner in North Vancouver yielded some really good Weinerschnitzel and beautiful views of the city.

This morning, we decided to spend a third night in Vancouver, with side trips to Whistler and Victoria distinct possibilities, depending on the weather. Lots to see and do, and we're simply not ready to leave. And if we didn't have commitments in Seattle this weekend, I'm not at all sure we ever would.

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