Gung Haggis Fat Choy paddlers enjoy the winter
Gung Haggis paddlers trade paddles for snowshoes, skis and snow boards – photo Todd Wong
have a great bunch of people on the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team. Many people have really
built some good friendships. Everything we continue to do, somehow seems
to revolve around or include eating.
In December we met 3 times. On
Friday, December 15th, some of us met to see the new James Bond
movie. Afterwards we then met up with more team members at the Bacchus Lounge
at the Wedgewood Hotel. This is a fabulous piano bar, and we were
almost right next to the piano, which featured a very enjoyable pianist
who sounded like Harry Connick Jr. When we first walked in, he
was singing “Fly Me to the Moon” – one of the special songs that I
share with my girlfriend. Perfect timing!
We had 12 people (enough to paddle a dragon boat)
crowded around a table in the dining room – right next to a couple
having a romantic dinner. Not to worry – the couple was very
nice, and offered up their table to us. And it turned out that
the fellow was a film maker who had been researching dragon
boats. I quickly told him that our team had been featured on CBC
Newsworld last year, French public broadcasting program Thalassa the
year before, and CBC French Telvision this year!
Lounge was a great place to celebrate some of our team members'
birthdays. Christine and Daming in December, and Wendy's upcoming
birthday on January 1st. We ordered 2 appetizer platters and 2
pizzas. All were very good! Yum Yum!
Wendy and Jen ham it up while Jonas helps Dan with his snowboard – photo Todd Wong
The next day, some of us tried out snowboarding for the first time on Grouse Mountain.
Jonas had offered to teach beginners. I was the only skier, but
was also able to help the neophyte boarders too. During an eating
break, I tried out Jen's board and boots. I fell lots, and it
took me 3 tries before I could get to the top of the Paradise beginner
hill rope tow. It had been 12 1/2 years since my only other snow
board try. Now I remember why I have stuck to skies. It's
easier, and I can still do my old free-style tricks.
Some of our
team members went snow shoeing instead. We decided this would be
a great way for people not interested in skiing or boarding to join us
for a winter activity day. Saturday, January 6th is our planned
snow shoeing day. While on Grouse we also went for a sleigh ride
– pulled by a snow tractor. It's a fun way to see some of the
sights on Grouse Mountain, especially for tourists.
On the winter sleigh ride with Jen, Tzhe, Todd, Wendy and Jonas – photo – Todd
Winter Solstice, December 22nd
gazebo features panels telling the story of the Moon Goddess and her
Jade Rabbit, created by Jamie, the new Marketing coordinator for the
Gardens – photo Stephen Mirowski
We met at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden to take part in the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival which is part of the city wide festivities organized by the Secret Lantern Society.
It is very magical to see both the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park and Gardens lit
up by lanterns. There is also live music played in the Park
gazebo, and the new Hall of One Hundred Rivers.
Leaves that fell
off the tree in Autumn were saved, made into lanterns, then placed back
on the original tree theat they first fell off of. – photo
A highlight for me was meeting the new marketing coordinator for
the Gardens, Jaime, who lived 10 years in Beijing and speaks fluent
Mandarin. He even has Scottish heritage, and his wife is
Chinese. Imagine that! We had a great chat about Gung
Haggis Fat Choy, and look forward to finding a special role for him!
A paper lantern
crane is lit up, next to blue LED lights in the courtyard of the Hall
of One Hundred Rivers – photo Stephen Mirowski.
taking pictures, sipping tea, walking amongst the lanterns, we then
spent lots of time (and money) checking out the wonderful items in the
gift shop managed by my friend Alexis. Alexis first came to the
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner back in 2002 and LOVED it! It was
9:40pm and we headed up Pender St. in Chinatown, making our way to
Hon's Won Ton House. More food! Duck, Shanghai noodles,
Fried Rice, vegetables and pot stickers… yum, yum, yum. It's
true, our dragon boat team identity and culture is rooted in
food. I don't know of another dragon boat team with a food word
in it's name.