Sunday, March 13, 2022

Ultra Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Anniversary Trip to Vancouver; Friends and Shopping!

Hello, my friends! It's been a long and exhausting - yet joyful - weekend for L and I, as I marked the resumption of one of our favourite things to do: a mini-vacation to Vancouver, where we buy each other Fluevog shoes, see our friends, eat and drink lots, and do some second-hand shopping. 

This is a massive post, so grab a cup of something warm and get settled in. 

L and I strolled downtown to the Harbour Airport on Friday morning, to catch our floatplane flights to the mainland.
Happy anniversary, love! It is our 25th this year, although not for a couple of weeks yet. 

Outfit stuff. I am a very minimal packer when it comes to travel. 
I wore a variation each day of this outfit, and only changed up the tights, underwear, socks and blouses. 

By the end of the trip, I was thoroughly sick of all of it, ha ha! 
Green blouse, and a vintage 90s wool slip dress (details will be below). 

My cowboy boots are the best for travel and lots of walking, plus we knew the weather wasn't going to be great all weekend. 
I built my outfit around my Snake Jacket (full reveal link here, from 2021), and I had loads of comments on it. 

That's always gratifying, especially when I put so much work into it.
On Saturday, I wore the outfit without my poncho - we actually had a lovely day. 

But most of the time, I looked like this, with my poncho layered over it all. 
Vizzini is "helping" L lace up his shoes. 

This is how most people saw me. 
Ross and Cat took care of Vizzini while we were gone. I hear he got into the kitty treats...

I'd originally planned on wearing this flopping green felt hat, but ditched it when I realized it would be a pain to carry. 
The bag is leather and holds a lot. The boots are awesome. 

  • Purse - Banana Republic, consignment
  • Boots - 1883 Lucchesse, consignment; last worn here in February with orange

This is my full wardrobe for 3 days. 
Blouses that don't wrinkle and are small for packing. 

  • Green blouse - Nygard Black Label, consignment; last worn here in December 2021 with gold pleats
  • Burgundy tux blouse - no label, thrifted; last seen here in January with houndstooth
  • White ruffled top -Tatum & Olivia, consignment; last worn here a week ago
  • Snake Jacket - Q2 Collection, customized by me, last seen here in October 2021 with leather pants
  • Dress - Dolce & Gabbana, vintage 90s, thrifted; last worn here in November 2021 with stripes

My red wool beret was much easier to deal with (I could roll it up and stash it in my purse). 

  • Beret - Parkhurst, consignment
  • Scarf - fake Louis (Lewis!) Vuitton, thrifted
  • Gloves - Echo, consignment
  • Masks - all by Mom

Although we're no longer required to wear masks in most places, some did recommend it, some suggested it, and a few venues (like on our flights) required them. 

This was lovely and snuggly warm. A very good purchase! 

  • Poncho - Bodybag by Jude, consignment, gift from L; last worn here in February

Gold bling: 
I wore the same jewelry every day. 

  • Necklace - Givenchy, vintage 80s, vintage fair
  • Earrings - gift from L, 5th anniversary
  • Leather/chain wrap - local
  • Chain bracelet - thrifted
  • Jade/brass ring - vintage 70s, Mom's
  • Brass Brutalist ring - vintage mall

As we live on Vancouver Island, the only way off is by plane or ferry. 
We chose to take Harbour Air, our local seaplane company - the green dots are our flight to downtown Vancouver. 

Here we go, we are on the way! 
Leaving Victoria behind...

Cruising over all the little islands that dot the strait between us and the mainland.
Tiny little logs washed up on the beach! 

It was very gloomy and hazy with misty rain. 
Isn't it pretty? 

I always recommend that visitors try to take the seaplane at least once so that you can see what a lovely place this is.
This island (sorry, they're not labeled from the air) has lots of habitation. I think that might be a resort down there - I see tennis courts and a pool. 

A big log boom being towed by a tugboat.
After flying over grey water in grey clouds for 30 minutes. 

And then we arrived at downtown Vancouver. 
Hello! We haven't been here in three years - we barely missed our trip in 2020, as it had to be cancelled just as the pandemic struck. This here is our last trip, in 2019. 

Just about to land in the harbour. 
See the little float planes in the lower right corner? 

We stayed at the Blue Horizon Hotel - I love this lady in the elevators. 
It's like she's saying, "Oh no, I forgot my mask!" 

We met up with Melanie of A Bag and a Beret fame (blog here, Instagram here, all links 'cause I love). 
We had brunch at Forage, and then took some pictures. 

Our serious pose. 
Look at these totally normal people. 

Now, let's get silly. 
Really silly. 
Heh. I do love people I can goof around with! 

Edited to add: pics from Melanie! 
Aw, I love this! 

And this too! 
What a dapper couple! 

I love this pic of me and L in front of John Fluevog and the lovely admirer. 
I forgot to mention: John came into the store while we were there - he said, "It's so lovely to see your face." (He said the same thing to each person, but it still felt personal).

But I'm getting ahead of myself here! Back to my crappy pics. 

We walked down to the Gastown Fluevog flagship store - this is where all the magic happens. 
Thank you to Tamera, our lovely Fluevogologist, who helped us. 

How do I pick? 
Mel and L discussing something. 
I don't know, I was busy scoping things out. 

So many beautiful shoes! 
I had over $600 in gift cards for myself  - thank you, VPs at work, Winesday Women, Mom, and L, from Christmas and my birthday last October - I know, I showed remarkable restraint!

I thought I might need a pair of shoes from the new Jimi Hendrix collection, but they didn't quite ring my bell. 
I didn't want to spend that much on something I wouldn't actually wear very often. 

These are the boots I bought for myself. They are called the Official Sabado Tall Lace-Up Boot. 
Link here - they were $649.00 plus tax - with all my gift cards, I only paid $104.00 for them. 

The laces can be adjusted - that's 16 holes, by the way - and they zip up on the inner leg. 
They are squishy and comfy, and I'm dying to wear them! 

Check out the awesome sole. 
"The Official Shoe for Every Fluevogin' Thing." Yes, they are! Note all the Fluevog "F"s incorporated into the soles. 

L and I always buy each other a pair of Fluevogs for our anniversary. 
These are the Truths Luiza, and they were $399.09. 
I have several other pairs in the Truths family (same heel, same pointy toe), and I love the colour and fancy buckles on these. 

I bought L these wonderful "skate" boots (note the ice-skate-style laces). 
These are called the Fox & Fluevog Eugene boot (Fox & Fluevog was John's first shoe venture, 50 years ago!). 

They were $429.00. Happy anniversary, love! 
They say "Live the Adventure!" So apt! 

From there, we walked back to the hotel for a nap, but stopped in at Angel, a lovely store that carries a ton of Desigual. 
Hello to Jackie! I said to L that this shirt is for when he's feeling a little crabby. Heh heh. 

We met up with our friend Craig and had a long dinner with him - the next morning, I took a selfie from our room on the 29th floor. 
It was very high up! 

What a view. 
Looking west - there's the ocean. All those cranes reminds me of Victoria.

Looking north. 
The development in Vancouver is going almost as fast as it is at home. 

On Saturday, we went to El Camino's for breakfast on Main Street, and spent some time going to all our favourite second-hand and vintage shops in a 6 block strip. We always find a few good things. 
This pink, purple and black paisley shirt is L's - great colours. 

I found myself another Alexander McQueen scarf! This one is a 60 x 60 centimeter one, with nice handrolled edges. 
I like all the skulls. 

And the proper name printed on there. 
We bought the shirt and scarf at Front & Company, where we usually do well. 

My scarf was an additional 20% off (yay), so it was $79.00, a bargain for a McQueen scarf.
As you can see, they retail for $330.00 new. 

L found this shirt at a vintage store...I can never remember the names. 
The pattern reminds me of Van Gogh's "Starry Night". 

This awesome silk tie was in another vintage store. 
It has sea shells and coral on it. 

Real Gianni Versace. 
Made in Spain. 

We were both agog over this palm frond printed blazer. 
This is L's! Isn't it fabulous?

I'm sure it's from the 80s. 
It's very "Miami Vice."

It's by Anne Pinkerton - here's a fun article about her here from 1985!
This is buttoned for a man, and there are no darts or anything indicating it's made for a woman, and it fits L perfectly. So fun! 

I found this funky printed blouse in the same store. 
I love all the animals on it! It was $25.00. 

We spent a while in the Turnabout store there - Vancouver always has interesting things. L found this Etro shirt. 
More animal prints with grey figures interspersed. There is a woman hugging a fish on it. 

I found this Zara knit dress with the asymmetrical stripes. 
Vizzini approved! 

It was $25.99. 
It'll be fun in summer. 

We cabbed back to the hotel and got dressed to meet up with our pals Tony/Anthony and Laura for dinner at Bacchus in the Wedgwood Hotel. 
We got giggly as the hours went by, and took pictures in the lobby/hall areas that are on the way to the washroom. 

I went to pick up that Wedgewood phone (oh, now I get it - the Wedgewood Hotel), and someone answered! 
My laughing-my-arse-off face! 

I showed Laura how to do the Stair Pose. 
See? It feels weird, but you look great in pictures. 

This landscape painting has...a little man in the corner. 
So very odd. 

Laura really wanted to touch the tree in this picture. 
"Touch it! Touch it!"

All four of us had a lively discussion about this painting of religious folks. 
It was quite hilarious. 

This painting is right near the washrooms and it freaked me out! 
I don't want to look at it! I don't know what's happening!

I liked how the mirrored ceiling caught Laura up and down. 
We hung out in the lounge and ate and drank and ate and drank for close to five hours, then stumbled out into the street. 

But first, pics from Laura:
Sticking my chest out in the lobby, ha ha!

The two guys engaged in lively discussion. 
Laura and I are drinking tea, which means the boys have had many, many drinks. 

I played with my wrist-wrap and stuck it on my head for a bit. 
Let me give you my good side. 

The lounge was very dim.
We hadn't been able to get a reservation anywhere, so we just plopped ourselves here and had the full pick of the menu! 

Our server loved us (and we leave big tips).
Thank you for the wonderful pics and for the lovely evening, Laura and Anthony! 

Back out into the street.
Tony, Laura and L. 

The removal of the mask mandate on Friday meant that people were out partying. 
This blurry shot as we ambled back to the hotel says it all. 

Some wise words in neon at one of the cannabis shops (it's legal in Canada). 
"Not all who wander are lost." (It's from JRR Tolkien). 

Looking up at the Blue. 
Ah, it was so good to see our friends - it's been three years. 

I went to set up the timer to take our picture. 
And missed it. Tony, Laura and L...but no me! Oops, try again, Sheila. 

There we go. 
I love this picture! 

L and I were up early - we had the stoopid Daylight Savings Time change, so "spring ahead". 
It was still a little dark, and it was definitely rainy and foggy. 

Uh-oh...Our flight was delayed...and then we boarded! I took this picture from inside the float plane, looking north.
...And then we turned around and went back to Vancouver. It was too risky to fly in the fog. 

After sitting for another hour and more, it only got more foggy, so we cabbed to the ferry...sigh.
That sunshine to the south mocked us! 

But it was still very cloudy and overcast as we slowly cruised through the Gulf Islands. 
Instead of getting home at 10:30am, we got home at 3:30pm. 

Still, it was a wonderful adventure and we had a great time seeing everyone! 
I hope you enjoyed our jaunt! 


  1. It was an absolute joy to see you both again! Hooray!!!

    I'm always thrilled to be included in your weekend anniversary adventure, especially now after that enforced hiatus. Bacchus, doh, that's a great place. Thanks so much for that slice of what passes for normalcy in our world. It's been a while for me.

    Excellent footwear choices, and total scores on the thrifting front. The palm frond blazer - whaaaa!!!

    Happy 25th!!! xox

    1. Can't believe it's been 3 years, Mel - great to see you! I'm so glad you made it out for a wee visit with us. We loved Bacchus - so yummy.

      Thank you! I know, right? What a great piece that is!

  2. I love those blue boots, what a fantastic buy! You bought so many great things and it's good you could catch up with your friends and have a wonderful anniversary trip! :) I really like that McQueen scarf, definitely a bargain! You're making me really want to pull mine out as soon as the weather cools off here!

    1. I'm excited to wear them, for sure, Mica! Thank you so much. I love the McQueen scarf. Get those scarves out, it'll be cold before you know it!

  3. Yeehah for seeing your friends, enjoying Vancouver haunts and a most excellent shopping haul! Your new blue Fluevog boots look comfortable and I am eager to see them get their first outing. They had me thinking of snazzy rain boots.

    And, though it may be a tad early, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! Celebrating time together ❤️❤️

    1. It was just awesome to see everyone and to be somewhere else. I am stoked to wear the blue boots! They won't be worn in the rain, however.

      Thank you, Laurie! I can't believe it's been so long! 25 years!

  4. Good times with friends. The essence of life. Your boots are fantastic- I of course, know nothing of the true cost of fashion, but will be curious to read your cost per wear over time. If you made your photo with John and admirer black and white, I'm sure it would look right natural.

    1. It was balm for the soul, Sam. Thank you! I'm hoping they stay in my closet for the rest of my life!

      That is a great idea! I should print it and frame it. :)

  5. Wow, what a great trip! Love the shoes. And L's shirt and blazer. Great stuff.

    1. It was awesome, Ally. I know, L got some excellent pieces.

  6. Thank you so much for thkaing me along with you - I loved reading about yours & L's trip - the minmal packing, the views from the plane & ferry, your purchases - the blue boots and palm frond jacket - wow!! Lovely to see Melanie again.
    The Wedgewood looks very posh but you're right, that painting of the head is the stuff of nightmares!
    Happy Anniversary!! xxx

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Vix. L left a bunch of things behind, and we had loads of room for our new purchases. It was so good to see Mel. The Wedgewood was so posh, but I agree, eee, that painting is so creepy! Thank you!

  7. Happy Anniversary Sheila and L. I had been wondering if that's what you were up to this weekend.
    Thank you for taking me along on your trip to Vancouver. It must have been wonderful to meet up with your friends - and Mel! - again. I'm so in awe of your ability to travel light, something I could never do.
    You found some fabulous things, too, I'm loving those blue boots in particular. The Fluevog store looks very tempting indeed. But ugh, that head painting really freaked me out too! xxx

    1. No fooling you, Ann! It really felt like normal to be able to travel and see our friends again. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

      Oh yes, we are both very light travelers. I prefer to buy things while I'm away (secondhand, of course) and I don't need a ton of clothes when I travel. Those boots are so amazing - I can't wait to wear them. I know, what's up with that freaky painting!!?

  8. Happy Anniversary Shiela and L.
    Sounds like a great trip and extra special when shared with friends.
    I love your purchases and oh my goodness, the shoe store; I would have been in there for the whole day.
    Your boots are divine! x

    1. Thank you so much, Phyl! We had a great time, and it was amazing to see our friends again.

      Fluevog stores are incredible - it takes a while to look at everything! I love my boots!

  9. Wow what a post. I am now living vicariously through you and not just your clothing. Love the boots! I could wear those out to the chicken coop!

    1. Thanks, Kim! Glad you enjoyed it. Lol, I will not be wearing my new boots anywhere near a chicken coop!

  10. That looked like a wonderful weekend! It's so lovely to meet up with friends again. You are a very compact packer which does surprise me given the extent of your wardrobe!

    I fell in love with a pair of Fluevogs in the first picture you took of the shop. Your choice of blue lace up boots was brilliant and I loved L's boots, too. The purple velvet buckled shoes were magnificent. You both did very well indeed with your shopping and finds.

    I'm glad you got back safe and sound despite the delays and congratulations on your forthcoming 25th anniversary. Ours will be next year in May.

    1. Thanks, Vronni, it really was amazing to travel and to see our dear friends again. Yup, I don't like carrying very much - you can do a lot with only a few pieces.

      They have gorgeous shoes, don't they? I'm really happy with my boots and shoes, and L loves his floral boots.

      Wonderful! how the time flies!

  11. What a brilliant trip you've had. Happy Anniversary when it comes! Meeting friends, including the adorable Mel, eating and shopping pretty much make for the perfect getaway. I totally love your snake jacket and completely understand the idea of a capsule wardrobe for these occasions - so unlike us to pare things down, but needs must eh? I'm about to have a couple of days off-island and am about to do a bit of minimalist packing too.

    The talking point of your shopping surely has to be those awesome new boots Sheila! I love the colour and style and oh how blooming practical these will be. I also adore your snake jacket and so admire your skill and artistry at creating something so unique and beautiful. Do I gush too much? Probably. It's been an age since I visited and have no excuse apart from a terribly busy lifestyle. At times I've considered giving up the blog completely because I can't make enough downtime in my life, but I do enjoy the whole sharing of clothes and news with my readers. Anyway, it's been a real tonic to visit and I'll be back, as that guy said.

    Lots of love
    Anna xxx

    1. Thank you, Anna! It was the perfect getaway - to see our friends, shop and eat, and be somewhere else just felt like a treat. I don't mind a small travel wardrobe - more room for shopping finds!

      I am in love with those boots - can't wait to wear them! Thank you - I admit to wearing the jacket just so I could get comments from strangers on it. No worries, my dear. Life is busy! I'm glad you're still hanging in there, Anna! Glad to see you.

  12. That painted jacket is stunning! I love your painted creations!

    I love the skate boots, I didn't know that is what that style is called, I miss my ones in that style but they weren't quality like the Fluevogs and eventually fell apart.

    I really like the quirky decorations in the hotel! I think the little gnome man in that picture was either cursed and put in the painting by a witch or he is alive and goes in there on his own to watch people! Don't go too near or he will grab you and pull you in!

    1. Thanks so much, Laura!

      I don't know if that's the "real" name, but that's what they make me think of! Sorry your shoes fell apart! That sucks.

      I thought it was a really interesting choice of art, for sure. I had a similar theory on that painting - I kept away from it!

  13. lovely, lovely post, so glad that you could fly to Vancouver and enjoy usual visit to Fluevog!. Can you believe I've been swooning over those blue boots in the internet?! totally my kind of thing!. So fab that you got them!. Always delightful to see some Fab Shoes!
    And meeting Melanie!, that's real Fabulousness!.
    It's great to meet friends and have fun and not having to wear masks!, these things make me happy!

    1. It was so amazing to get away and to see everyone. Out of everyone I know, you would be the person who would also lust after these boots, Monica! We are very rock & roll and alike that way!

      It was so good to see Mel again - I've missed her.

      Hooray for lifting restrictions! What a year!

  14. Glad to see you were able to return to the Vancouver Fluevog shopping tradition this year. It was nice to see the photos of you with Mel - I'm hoping I'll be able to get out there for a visit soon. Those tall blue boots are FAB!

    1. It was such a treat to see Mel, and to do this "normal" thing and go to Vancouver. I hope you'll come out again - I would love to do another day with the three of us!

  15. Lovely photos from the bird perspective. The island are lovely. I love flying.
    Great photos with Melanie!

  16. Good choice of clothes. I still have to think of what to take to Paris. The weather will dictate it.
    I loved the log boom. Never seen that.
    The Blue Horizon Hotel... brings back sweet memories.
    So great that you got to meet Melanie; she is so sweet (as are you of course). The photo of you and L while you are wearing your red poncho (dapper couple) is my favourite of you two.
    Oh that palm frond printed blazer... what a terrific find. L will look so good in it.
    The staircase pose...hmm I have to practice that as it does look good. The selfie of the four of you in the hotel, priceless haha.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this post.

    1. Yeah, I had to change my own plans as it rained the whole weekend.

      Glad you enjoyed seeing some of our west coast sights. I know, I have stayed at the Blue since we had the Blogger Meet-Up - I love it there.

      I was so happy to see her again - it'd been 3 years! I love that pic too.

      It's harder than it looks! That pic of the four of us is so fun - great memories.

  17. I made a game for myself of trying to guess from the pictures of the Fluevog store which shoes you would pick - and totally struck out! Looking back, neither of them are in the pics :P It was fun, though! I spotted what I thought were yellow Listen-Ups with fun cutouts and thought you might replace the ones that got stained!

    I LOVE that "animal print" blouse you found in Vancouver. I don't wear what most people think of as animal prints - just not for me - but half my wardrobe must have whole animals on it!

    1. Ha, that was only a fraction of the collection. I have looked at those yellow shoes, but they are not quite me, but I am still looking for new yellow shoes to replace those waxed ones.

      Thank you! I also really like that it has entire animals on it.

  18. Belated happy anniversary! It looks like you had a wonderful time back in Vancouver, meeting so many friends. I was quite surprised when you said you were a minimalist packer, but seeing all those wonderful finds it made sense - your luggage must've been a lot more full on the way home.

    Your new footwear is fantastic. The buckles on the Luizas give them a properly gothic touch.

    1. Thank you, Mim, we had a blast, celebrating and seeing friends. I know, I don't look like I'd be a minimalist anything, do I? But I like having room to bring home my shopping finds!

      Thank you!

  19. Awesome travel post! I have been missing Van so, so, soooo gosh darn much since the Pandemic struck. Thankfully, it was actually the last spot (beyond the Okanagan) that we visited shortly before then, but still, that is going on 2.5 years now and as a native daughter of that city, my longing for it grows stronger by the day.

    Hopefully in the next year or two, it will be possible for Tony and I to follow your lead and spend some quality time there again as well. (Fingers crossed!)

    Happiest anniversary wishes to you both. What a stellar way to celebrate the start of your silver year!

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Thank you! It's such a great city - I hope you make it back there soon!

      Here's to another 25!!


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