Thursday, June 5, 2014

Burnaby Village Museum


Have you ever been meaning to do something for a really long time.  And you get an opportunity often (like once a year) to re-commit to doing it.  And just as often as you re-commit you also fail because you just can't get it done!  Burnaby Village Museum was that for me.  It is a "tourist attraction" here in the Greater Vancouver area and all I could think was that I should see it because it is part of what we offer our guests in Vancouver and beyond that....well, you know...I, obviously wasn't that enthusiastic.

But I broke the cycle last week.  I was taking my Mother to her "witch doctor" (her words not mine) and after the appointment I took her to the Museum.  It isn't difficult to find as it is on Canada Way in Burnaby.  I would estimate about 30 to 35 minutes from my B&B in downtown Vancouver.  There is complimentary parking and it is part of a greater cluster of art galleries and restaurants all in heritage buildings.  And the Burnaby Village Museum is funded by the City of Burnaby, meaning there is no entrance fee!

My Grandfather and my Mother used to talk about going on the "Inter-Urban Trolley" which was a train that operated in and around Vancouver and Greater Vancouver.  My second last stop was to see one of these fascinating old vehicles.  They were electric, didn't have to be turned around at the end of the line, the driver simply unhooked the headlight and took it to the other end of the train and started the return journey.  Lots of facts were there to read, but alas I was practically kicked out of the site because it was closing time.

We had lunch to start at the Ice Cream Parlour, I had Fish and Chips, which were okay but not terrific.  They had other things on the menu but I opted for that.  My mother brought a sandwich - she's a cheap date!  Then we started prowling around.  There was a General Store, very similar to the one my mother lived behind in the 1930s in Alberta.  There was a couple of private homes, a Log Cabin, a Japanese Ofuro, the Royal Bank (I remember the old banks with their beautiful oak counters), Seaforth School, a phonograph store - I have one at the Guest House and occasionally play it, there was a Movie Theatre playing a Max Sennet silent movie, an old Locomotive and a Blacksmith Shop and Steam Donkey, a Chinese Herbalist and more, much more.

After so many years of saying yes but doing no, I am very happy I experienced this worth while Village from Vancouver's (Burnbaby's) past.

Did I mention the Merry-Go-Round....thank goodness it wasn't running because my 88 year old mother wanted to ride it!  Another time MOM!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter was over

Up until yesterday I was thinking of the coming of spring.  I was on the Guest Sun Deck thinking of putting the cushions on the chairs and lounges and wondering what I flowers I might plant this year.  And then today happened.  THEY said it would snow but mostly the weather forecasters have been incorrect and anytime truly winter weather was predicted it never happened in Vancouver.  But this morning, with Canada winning the Gold in Mens Hockey and the excitement of horn blowing, shouting and firecrackers it all got silenced by a blanket of snow.  It isn't really snowing to the point where we are having snow remain on the ground - at least not in the West End where we are - but it is no longer reminiscent of Spring.

And I was looking forward to Spring with such optimism because we've been working hard on improvements to this old house!  If you have stayed here before I'm sure you'll see and appreciate the changes.  I feel like the house is like "NEW" again.  Now almost every room has a new bathroom, the Deluxe rooms got a make over with new furniture and bedding - I love the Coral in the Deluxe Queen Room and finally the Junior Deluxe King room seems right....after all these years!  We have a new suite called the "Suite Caboose".  I'm not entirely certain how I thought up that name so if you have a better one please tell me.  I was able to re-display some art from a New York artist done in 1970something, there are three pieces and Asian, possibly Japanese in theme.  I like them because the colours really work with the furnishing.  The Suite Caboose is another room where we can offer sleeping for 3 people - King or two twins in the bedroom and a single in the sitting room.  Recent guests loved the Rain Head in the big shower.  I like the heated floors in the bathroom.

All the carpets in the house have been changed.  Such a cafuffle about ordering carpets.  I Saw, I Ordered, I Paid but then I was told they couldn't get them to me and I'd have to choose something else.  That meant we had to close out for another period in February.  Fate took care of me this time, the new carpet is much nicer than the previous choice and gives the house a much more modern feel, makes it feel bigger, is very plush and so very quiet - we still have a few squeaks in the floor but not as many, what is an old house without squeaks.  The overall effect is that the carpet picks up something different in every room, so they all look as individual as they are and the pallet shows off the antiques I have collected to their very best potential.

Although Spring is going to have to wait I am not going to stop working on my rooms as I have one more little transformation to do on the Cozy Double.  Stay tuned for this, it should be quite sweet when it is done.