Vancouver and our train trip seem months ago already, with getting back into things here in the shop and in Toronto, but I wanted to share another post from out west. Visiting the beach and the park and getting out into the cool Vancouver weather was one of my favourite parts of the trip.
We were first came to Kitslano beach with a customer from the shop! It’s even crazier because the first time I met her was out in Vancouver.
Lillian had actually come to our shop in Toronto before and met Jon, but I wasn’t in the shop when she visited. We’ve emailed back and forth, mostly about pens, but the stars aligned for us to meet when we planned our trip out west.
Lillian very, very graciously invited us into her beautiful home for brunch before taking us to the beach. I tried to warn her about Caleb, but she has a son of her own, grown now, so she’s already battle-tested.
She lives right near Kitslano Beach, and we headed out in the afternoon. That night were due to be fireworks, but with Caleb going to bed early, we were going to miss them.
We were already full from Lillian’s delicious brunch, but we brought a few cherries and treats and Lillian and I had a great afternoon chat while Jon and Caleb walked around the water. It was a beautiful day, but still a bit too chilly for Caleb to dip in more than his toes.
It was really a completely unexpected pleasure to visit with Lillian in person after emailing her, and she was such a gracious host! It was so nice to receive her recommendations around town and all of her helpful suggestions, but it was really just lovely to chat with her about pens and family and travel and life.
It’s these kind of serendipitous friendships that make running a stationery shop kind of magical.
On another day, we also made it out to Stanley Park for a picnic lunch, and had fun wandering around the park. We just brought some crackers and cheese and fruit and finger things to eat, and had a leisurely brunch.
We were tempted to make it into the aquarium, but Caleb was winding down for his afternoon nap, so we headed back to our Air BnB instead.
We loved the beach so much that on our last full day (we were headed to the airport the next morning), we made it back for some take-out pizza dinner and one last dip.
It was Caleb’s first slice of pizza ever, and he was so-so on it – I know! Crazy! I could eat pizza forever.
Caleb absolutely loved the water. It was crazy. We started out just walking by the edge, but soon had to strip down because he was running in and out of the waves like he had just been set free after years of imprisonment.
It was warm enough to not make you cold, but cool enough to feel fresh and clean on your legs.
I think if we ever went back to Vancouver, I’d want to stay closer to the beach, especially seeing how much Caleb loved the water. He enjoys the wading pool at our local parks here in Toronto, but there’s something different about feeling waves roll up against your feet.
We loved all the bits about exploring Vancouver and visiting the shops and the sights and Granville Island and taking transit all over the city, but I think the nicest part of it for us, being from Toronto and in the shop all the time, was just relaxing and soaking up the sun and the waves.
In case you missed it, we had our first ever warehouse sale this past Sunday.
We’ve never done anything of the sort before, but we were thinking it would be nice to clear out some shelf space and move some inventory as we roll into the fall and work on some new lines we have coming in.
It was a crazy afternoon, to say the least. When we opened the doors right around 1:00, there was already a line-up down our lane way.
Here’s one shot of it I managed to grab in between trying to re-stock the tables, and handing out popsicles. There’s an AC in the shop which normally does okay, but with all those people on such a hot day, and with the doors opening and closing, we ended up just propping open the door and bringing in all the fans we had.
We were lucky that Caleb napped for the first good part of the afternoon, including the bit where I headed to Shoppers and cleared out their stock of popsicles, but after he was up, I was busy keeping an eye on him roaming around.
I was a bit worried about him with all the people, but it turns out we had so many regular customers that I think he had more eyes watching out for him than he’s ever had before.
It truly takes a village to raise a child, and our village is pretty amazing.
We’re probably not going to hold another warehouse sale for a while, but it was exciting to see how many stationery and pen nuts are out there – all of you willing to come out and make the trek out here on a Sunday afternoon. The community here in Toronto really is something else.
I know some of you from out of town who order online from us were a bit disappointed that we didn’t have anything online – part of it is that it was a bit hard to manage, and part of it is that it doesn’t make quite as much financial sense for us to package up and ship things out that we might already be putting steep discounts on.
However, we are thinking of you! And we are thinking of ways to do something special for you online folks as well. Stay tuned.