vancouver part 2: waterfronts, fireworks, + cupcakes

day #3 of the conference was even better than the 1st and 2nd (in case you didn't notice from the post before, i didn't really take any photos on tuesday. whoopsie. so now it's wednesday :). we jumped right into things from the start, and all of the workshops were amazing, eye-opening, and also a bit draining. we got really deep in some of them and i continually am learning so much about the human body and the way it works. it's all so cool! and makes total sense. especially with the gospel influence we have added on to it since being back at byu (keep in mind, this is me writing this recap over three months belated...whoopsie).

sorry in advance, i didn't really take many photos during the actual workshops themselves. there's not much to see visually, it's more what we did while we were in them. so just imagine a bunch of people in comfy yoga clothes, laying out on yoga mats + zafu pillows and you've got the general idea....

but on to our post-conference evening: exploring the beautiful, the gorgeous: downtown vancouver!

there were so many beautifully designed buildings downtown! and all around vancouver, really.

did you know that tim hortons was founded in canada?? ontario, to be exact. i had no idea. which is why i was totally shocked to see one on one of the first street corners we passed by! can you believe that NO ONE in our group (with the exception of me + stephanie, because she had visited canada before) had ever even heard of tim hortons before?! craziness. growing up in dublin, ohio, we've got one just about off every exit, i feel like! steph exclaimed about how amazing the timbits were, so naturally the girls grew interested. and we bought a box of like, 40. and they were gone in about 4 minutes, tops.

they love tim horton's now, to say the least (: (photo taken right before finishing off the box)

we saw lots of crazy artwork/sculptures/statues/creative-looking-things all around vancouver, just on the streets! like this indian-statue-man (there were like ten differently painted ones surrounding this particular building),

this huge world clock that showed the current time in vancouver (top), and switched between a handful of other big cities (bottom).

not to mention that i saw my first mountie!

lots of canadian pride in vancouver, lemme tell ya.

we finally hit the waterfront, and were taken aback by how completely gorgeous it was there!! the pictures don't do it justice (thanks, iphone). seriously. the water all around, the mountains in the distance - it was A.MAZ.ING. as always, you can click on any of the photos to make them bigger. seriously. do it.

taryn being a bit goofy (we were all in like, a hysterically hilarious mood this night. i'm not really sure why. i think most of the goofier photos ended up on steph's camera though so i don't have them, lucky for you guys :)

(awkwardly-placed humongous water drop statue thing right by the waterfront...? we couldn't really figure this one out)

ah, and just in time for sunset! check this outttttt.

told you, so many beautiful buildings. perfectionary, really.

i think it's kinda funny how these photos are all on here in chronological order, yet in the photo below it looks like it is wayyyy brighter outside than the previous/following photos. but oh well. more crazy statues (and mermaid posing):

and more gorgeous buildings! and clouds! and boats! right at the river front!

did i mention that the boats in the above picture are mostly houseboats? like, literally HOUSEboats. like, houses. on. boats. don't believe me? check out my close-up photo below.

seriously, SO adorable! i half-expected mickey mouse to jump on one of the boats and sail off into the sunset.
once it started getting a bit darker though, we started to make our way to the opposite edge of the water front, just a handful of blocks away. why, do you ask? well, some of the native vancouverians at the conference earlier that day tipped us off that we were actually in vancouver at the most perfect time - the time of the honda (international) celebration of light! what is the celebration of light, you may ask? well, i'll tell you:

The Celebration of Light is not only Vancouver's biggest event, but it's also the largest offshore fireworks competition in the world and attracts up to 400,000 spectators along English Bay each evening. Owned by the Not For Profit Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society, 2012 marks the 22nd consecutive year of the event, which contributes in excess of $39 million in incremental tourism and hospitality spending each year. [source]

get that? basically awesome. and basically the largest fireworks show of the year, every year. for the past 22 years! so. cool. this past year (2012), three teams competed: 

Vietnam: July 28th
Brazil: August 1st
Italy: August 4th 

and we just happened to be in town on august 1st, for brazil-night! we made our way down the crowd-infested streets of downtown vancouver (this is kind of a big deal, you guys) to english bay, but not before stopping at the cutest little cupcake shop you ever did see:

we quickly bought four to share: coconut, s'mores (i obviously chose that one), some kinda lemony, and some kind of orange-ish one. 

this photo doesn't do them justice, either. trust me.

okay. once we stocked up on + boxed up our cupcakes (stephanie is a huge cupcake connoisseur/fanatic, i learned), we were on our way to the english bay waterfront where we somehow were able to squeeze right in, no problem - right in front of the guys that were dj-ing the entire thing! for the entire city to hear! talk about vip seating, we sure got lucky. not to mention that we also got there and only had to wait about 5 minutes for the fireworks/music/party to really get started...all in a day's work, i guess. (:

for you ohioans, just imagine red, white, + boom....times about 8 million. THAT is how awesome this was! they played (mostly) true-to-brazil music, had the ENTIRE thing choreographed  and it lasted something like 30 minutes. it was AMAZING. i had never seen that many fireworks before in my life!

basically awesome. we enjoyed that for a half hour or so until the show came to a close (even though i seriously cannot describe how cool it was, especially just through three little photos i took when i wasn't just standing there amazed, jaw-agape at how i'd never see a cooler fireworks show probably ever again in my life), then joined the throngs of thousands of thousands of people heading back down the crowded streets, back to our apartment about 10 blocks away.

we saw this awesome building on our walk back to the hotel. you definitely should click on this photo to make it bigger. basically there was different lighting in like virtually every window. and people were moving and doing different things in each one. it was SO cool to watch! and steph + i agreed it'd be a mega-neat concept for a theatre production sometime in the future. words/photos really don't do this one justice either, i think i would have been better off with a high-resolution video camera to catch their movements, too. it was like a silent film, showing all these people going about their lives separately, but also simultaneously. it was so legit. just take my word for it.

thousands upon thousands heading back behind us...and probably getting angry at me for being a total tourist and taking their photos a million times as i tripped over myself trying to walk backwards and snap photos of random people at the same time. 

more people:

we finally made it back to the hotel (eventually), and chowed down on our delicious cupcakes...mmm. i can still almost taste them! so so yum. after we had each sampled these to our heart's desire (and talked for a number of hours or so during/after), we headed off to bed, preparing for day #4 of whatever vancouver had to offer us.

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