The night ends with a blast.

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Day 69.
Vancouver BC.
End: Langly BC.

Waking into a bad dream. The torment of a problem with no solution, picking at the mind. I can see the motivation slipping. From our eyes the twinkle gone, tired and worn. The easy way out would be to turn around and head home, yet I can not let that happen. I can not lose sight of the last frontier, the land only seen through the television screen and frames of a photo.
Dirk and I spent our time taking in more of the Vancouver scenery. Armed with only my camera, I hope for inspiration to work. Frustrating moments lead to creative blocks, making the camera too heavy to lift and too tedious for composition. Walking about in the streets of downtown, we decided to visit the hiking store MEC. As Sunny raved about the experience of walking through this store, I have to see it for my self. As we all jump onto the bus, squishing into the back and out of site of the driver, we saved 2.50$ on a fare. Exiting the bus, we found ourselves in the meca of outdoor gear. Stores lined the small streets advertising with vivid signs and epic photos. Shots of climbers hanging off ice walls and hikers exploring the undergrowth. All I could think of was being able to capture shots of that quality and being in the extreme situations those photographers had to be in to get that one shot.
This store was one to rival the last REI we stumbled into. Seattle REI was huge, not to mention the waterfall and two floors of gear that made up the store. Just the wide variety of equipment on display was enough to keep me busy for hours. It is always a love/hate relationship with stores like these. You love the selection and gear, but it just sucks the life and money out of you if your not careful. Again finding nothing or just using that as an excuse to save money, we set out again for the other side of the city.
We killed time walking more of the park trails and looking for photograph vantage points, anything different from the typical tourist shots. Appetites growing, we pressed on until we could no longer bare the pain. To Mr. and Mrs. Jun’s restaurant we went. Nervous about the first meeting with my girlfriend’s parents, my mind was racing. Things to say, things not to say. Wondering if my hair looked retarded or if I smelled. Dirk looked over at me and said he is kinda nervous. In my mind I paused and said back to him, if only you knew how I felt. As we approached the entrance of the restaurant, I passed it to only stop and remember their last name again, more nervous than ever. I turned and we walked in.
I poked my head over the counter to catch eyes with Sunny’s mom. She threw a double take at me before her eyes lit up and smiled. I laughed and she came over to greet me and yell for Sunny’s father. Quickly they pressed us to sit down and have some food. Prior instructions from Sunny urged them to feed me as much as possible, telling them I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t argue with that and was happier than a fat kid in a candy store. They both were so welcoming and all the nervous feelings were gone with the first piece of sushi I consumed. With every spare moment Mrs. Jun had, she would come over and talk to us. Bringing us more food every time we would approach the last bite of the plates we were working on. I couldn’t speak very well with a mouth full of rice. I felt welcomed and was worried for nothing.
Hours later, we met back up with Robin to pack and get ready for the fireworks. As the entire city converged to the bay, filling every beach and boardwalk. Every year Vancouver holds a firework competition and this year the Americans were first up. A funny coincidence I thought as we hustled down to meet the crowds of people on the beach. As the light faded, warning shots were fired and the anticipation grew. Minutes from our spot, the show began and the rumble of the charges exploding could be felt on my chest. The sound of people cheering and radios blasting could be heard in between the thunder. As the show was synced to the music on the radio, we scooted closer to a radio to hear and watch. Snapping photos and moving about, I was at last inspired to shoot.

Tonight was time to say good bye to Robin. A new friend, one of which we will not forget and will be looking forward to seeing in the future. The walk down MacDonald St. was the last we will take together. Meeting Soyun at the corner of Broadway, we will be heading to Langley BC. Leaving Vancouver behind, I feel as if we are moving past the grasps of failure, moving ever so closely to our northern state.

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