A convenient U.S. shipping address

I do a lot of online shopping and, once in a while an item is either not available in Canada or A LOT cheaper in the U.S. — even Canadian goods! At first I thought I couldn’t benefit from those deals because I did not have a U.S. shipping address to send it to. But then a colleague told me about this place called “The Letter Carrier“: it’s like a little warehouse where you can have your stuff sent to for a very small fee at this address (check the website for fees and restrictions):

145 Tyee Drive
Point Roberts, Wa 98281

It’s conveniently located walking distance across the border on the U.S. side. Even me who doesn’t own a car can get there easily enough with transit, albeit more slowly. I live downtown and it takes me about 1.5 hours to get there (it’s just past Tsawwassen). The best part of going there by transit is that I can just step off the bus about a 10 minute walk from the border and walk across almost instantly (my reward for getting the slow ride there ;) ). But even with a car, the wait time can’t be that long as Point Roberts is a tiny community surrounded by water and, if you have no business there, you shouldn’t be at that border crossing to begin with.

I have now used this service a couple of times and it’s great! You can register your email on their website so you’ll get notified right away when your package arrives. You can also send your mail from there too, of course. There are probably other similar places around other border crossings, but this is the most convenient one for me. If you don’t have family, friends or an existing postal box near the U.S. border, try it! You’re gonna love it. :)


One year ago today…

Our Game, Our Gold

What a day that was! :D

As Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in the Men’s Ice Hockey Gold medal final at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canadians came out of their usual conservative shell and partied like they’d never partied before! Strangers high-fived each other, the police having some fun on the job, too (I didn’t see police officers “instigate” a high-five, but they readily high-fived back when high-fived to). :)  Peoples hands were hurting from so much high-fiving. lol Maybe a few lost their voice too from all the chanting and cheering. :)

It’s one of those days I’ll never forget. :)



GOOOOLD!!!!!  What a finish to these Olympic Games! Canada wins its 14th gold — a Winter Olympics record — on home soil, on the last competition of the last day, doing what it does best: hockey.

Watching the game from my high-rise apartment, a Canadian goal would generate a spontaneous roar from the whole neighborhood, many people going on their balconies shouting in joy and blowing those air horns as loudly as possible. It was a tight game, but Canada got the edge, Sidney Crosby clinching the game winner in OT.

I went out in a hurry shortly after the medal ceremony to catch the expected festivities in the core of Downtown Vancouver. It was incredible seeing so many Canadian flags hovering proudly over the dense, festive crowd. I don’t think Vancouver has ever been this happy! If only this were “Groundhog Day“… :)







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Best wishes from Beijing

Being patriotic

The inukshuk at English Bay into the Olympic spirit, too

A prelude to the tension expected from the USA-Canada hockey game the next day

Hanging out at the nightly pyrotechnics/laser/light show once again


Only one week to go!

Maybe you hadn’t noticed with some cherry blossoms already blooming ahead of time and the city having just recorded the warmest January on record yet, but the Winter Olympics are just a week away! ;)

* Rest of original article deleted… Too much anger and sarcasm about the cost of the Olympics in it. Mind you, I’m still not looking forward to seeing how much we’ll have to pay in exchange for hosting the Olympic Games, but spreading bad vibes around does not feel right either. I’d rather have happy readers instead of passing along my frustration to others. In the future, there might be some not-so-cheerful things to talk about now and then — such as the HST –, but from now on (2010-02-07, 6pm PST) I’ll try to keep the negativity low and remain as neutral as possible when I do — remind me if I forget! ;)


Broadway SkyTrain
Broadway/City Hall Station

The Canada Line is here, ahead of schedule and under budget. :D

I’m looking forward to being able to go to Richmond in 25 minutes — either at the airport or at Richmond Centre –, but this inaugural day was painful…  It took us close to an hour and a half to finally board the train at the Yaletown/Roundhouse station (and there were worse stations: I heard a police officer say that people at the Waterfront Station had to wait up to 4 hours before boarding). But that day was special and some measures had to be taken to ensure that everybody had a chance to experience the new SkyTrain line (otherwise, people coming from Waterfront would fill up the train immediately and people at subsequent stations would not have a chance to try it out). I expect the first few days of operation to be quite busy, but things should settle down once people who just want to try it out have had their kicks.

Sears Line-up for Vancouver/City-Centre SkyTrain
Long lineups were part of the scenery near the  downtown stations of the new Canada Line

The new train cars have more room than the older models — which is great for the luggage you’ll be carrying to and from the airport –, cell phone coverage works even underground and as you wait for your train, the electronic display lets you know when the next three are coming.

Some improvements could be made in the looks department, though. Coming from Montreal where each metro station has its own personality and style, Vancouver’s underground stations strike me as quite bland. Gray is the dominant color, just like a typical Vancouver sky and works of art in whatever form are nowhere to be found (did I miss them?).

Direction Richmond
Richmond, here we come!

All in all, the new Canada Line is a great asset to the Greater Vancouver Area and I have a feeling I’ll go to Richmond more often now that there’s a quick and easy way to get there. :)