Finding Neverland in Fairytale Steveston, Canada. 

It was cold and it was windy when I walked down the harbor, but I wrapped my cashmere coat and braved the temperature in favor of a photo op at the harbor where Captain Hook ties his famous Jolly Roger in the ABC fantasy show Once Upon a Time. 

What would Regina do?

It was a momentary decision made while I was at work in the office. I had just begun watching Once Upon a Time a few weeks before and was now in the second or third season. I had fallen in love with the in depth fairy tales, with the character archs and the multifaceted Evil Queen who seeked redemption in the name of her son and in search of the eternal happy ending.

The docks

It was because of the show combined with my insatiable wanderlust that I decided on a whim that it was time to go visit our Northen and very friendly Neighboor Canada. I set out to Vancouver in April, an admirable feat for a Californian who is used to 80 degree weather. Upon landing in the rainy tarmac I discovered that the high  was 48 … good thing I brought gloves! 

Cold aside, my trip to Canada was fantastic in many more ways than I imagined. Not only did I tour the sleepy town of Steveston which poses as Storybrooke, Massachusetts in the TV show but I discovered a beautiful seaside community, with vast history and culture. I spent the whole day there, snapping selfies in all the store fronts that are staples of the show. Mr. Golds pawn shop that is actually a gift store and Granny’s Dinner that was actually closed, I went to see the library which has no tower in real life, and the little mail post which is also the Tourist information site. As I walked out to the cannery I discovered the clear blue water looking out toward the wild forest on the other side, and the snow covered mountains in the far background. It was beautiful indeed and I wanted as I often do with every place I visit to stay there forever. 

Granny’s Dinner

Steveston also had history of being a refugee community for Japanese during WWII and after. There are little cottages, resting on wooden pegs, standing avobe the water that serve as museums for those early days. The pier with its fish and chips and souvenier shops also caught my heart and I bought a heavy woolen scarf that ended up on my mothers closet.
When the town ran out of places to walk and photos to take, I drove back to my hotel in Vancouver and there I did some exploring of my own. I had perhaps one of the best dinners of my life at L’atelier in their Gaslamp district. The distinctive French food with local ingredients was superb, the taste of the first dish tortellini with cream sauce made me close my eyes in delight and the craft cocktails of an award winning bartender made that a memorable night for sure. 

The memories were endless and the time to explore too short indeed. Visiting the Capelliano suspension bridge was another fantastic highlight of the trip. The forest surrounding you in the middle of the city, the bridge, the treetop adventures, and the skywalk all with the dense, crisp air of the Canadian rain forest was an experience to come back to. And shooting pictures of downtown Vancouver with its high rises and old churches was a favorite pastime. 

In the end I had come to visit the filming sight of a fairytale show but I had found magic beyond it’s characters. I had found history of war and inclusion, I had found art and food and breathtaking forests, I could say I had found Neverland. 

Finding Neverland


If I let us down, will you forgive me?

I know it has been a while since I posted. I could say that I’ve had too much work, or that family has needed my attention, I could say I was just too busy; but the truth is I just didn’t have anything to say.

I am aware that this is my attempt at a travel blog and that I have taken various trips last year which I did not blog about. I will at some point this year, but mostly when I blog it’s about a bigger meaning than just the place I went to or what airline I took. I want to write about what that place meant, why I fell in love with it, why I dream of going back. 

And honestly most of last year and the beginning of this one was about trying to discover who I am, and the part of me that has been left forgotten or dormant to go do what is expected of us as career women, as part of society. I forgot in the process a lot of the things that were important to me when I was 10 or 15 or 18. I forgot all those starry eyed dreams and causes I used to fight. I forgot why I was vegetarian for so many years, I forgot my love of art, my political involvement, I forgot how badly I wanted to do non-profit work. In essence I forgot who I was. I left it all for things that I though made sense and were more pragmatic. 

Turning 30 wasn’t life changing, not in a visible way. It was a time to think about what I had accomplished and where I wanted to be for the next 30 years. It certainly wasn’t what everyone would think. It also wasn’t what that strong minded teenage me would think, not anymore. But it is time to meet at a halfway point, to repourpose my life if you will.

This is a perfect time to do just that. There is so much at stake in our generation, in our country, in our world.

There is so many of us trying to ignore in an attempt to pretend it’s not happening but remember the words of M.L.K ~

“In the end it is not the words of our enemies we will remember, but the silence of our friends.”

In the next days or weeks ( no concrete promises) I will do more posts on travel, photography and well just life. But for now I leave you with this poem I wrote while walking to the grocery store tonight, that sums up pretty much how I’ve felt lately.

Will you forgive if I let us down?

It was so hard pretending to grow up

I didn’t know what to do

Will you forgive me if I give up on our dreams?

Those far fetched impossible hopes

All those sunsets chasing the sun

Young me, will you forgive?

You were a better person that I am

Youth gives us all the strength to take a chance

And now I’ve become the person we never thought we’d be

Will you forgive me?

If I settle for peace?

If I don’t pursue our dreams?

If I let the visions of the future you had imagined go?

Will you forgive me if I let us down?

The world is such an awful place

More than we would have imagined back then

And I’ve somehow let go of all the all the things that drove me

All the causes we were going to change

All the passion boiling in our veins

All the battles we would fight and win

I got lost and lost them too

Will you forgive me, if I fail to achieve all the success ?

If I ddon’t save the forest or launch a fashion line?

And if we never live in Paris, will you forgive me?

Can we be okay?

I promise to reconcile all that’s possible

To start again and start anew and do the best I can

It was so hard learning to navigate the waters all on my own

And all your flailing innocence and naïveté left me

When I needed it the most

But we’re alive,

And we survived

And for the longest time I forgot who I was

Younger me, I know that you still yearn for all those things

Will you forgive me?

If we don’t achieve them all?

I promise to salvage all the other shattered dreams