“Did you miss Santa’s helper?”I heard Akemi ask me.

“Did I miss Santa’s helper?”I asked back.

“Did you meet Sam and Andy?”she seemed to say.

“Did I meet Sam and Andy?”I echoed back quizzically.

“Did you meet Uncle Stansby?”she tried again, the frustration clearly mounting.

“Did I meet Uncle Stansby?”I repeated, growing equally weary.


Yes.  In fact, I had!


Today, we went to the Vancouver Christmas Market, taking advantage of a rare non-rainy day to take in the German-themed fare.


This place made me think of Carl.  And the shop that sold the chocolate-covered marzipan made me think of Alex.  The would've loved this.
This place made me think of Carl.
And the chocolate covered marzipan made me think of Alexander.
Mulled wine.  Better in theory.
Mulled wine. Better in theory.
A trio of offerings at the Nudel Haus.
A trio of offerings at the Nudel Haus.
Akemi and friend.
Akemi and friend.
Creepy German wooden toys.
Creepy German wooden toys.
Things get busy fast.
Things get busy fast.
Schnitzel wrap
Schnitzel wrap
Akemi ready to indulge in some currywurst.
Akemi ready to indulge in some currywurst.
Spaetzle with ham, cheese, and fried onions.
Spaetzle with ham, cheese, and fried onions.

At one point (at Akemi’s insistence) we waited twenty minutes to check out a vast selection of special Christmas ornaments.  Fifteen minutes into the chilly line-up, I said to Akemi: “This better be the greatest collection of Christmas ornaments in existence.”

In case you’re thinking of going – they weren’t.

Vancouver Christmas Market | November 24 – December 24 | A …

Our Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes tomorrow as guest critic Cookie Monster drops by for his review of Lightspeed.  I hear he has a lot to say about this one…

Off to watch the Survivor finale.  If Malcolm makes it to the finale, the grand prize is his.

25 thoughts on “December 16, 2012: Did you miss Santa’s helpers? A trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market!

  1. How cute! That reminds me of this Christmas place we used to go to when we lived in Michigan. And the pictures of you and Akemi were cute too.

    Have a great night!

  2. Speaking of finales Joe, I was happy that Josh and Brent won The Amazing Race 21, it came entirely out the blue, wasn’t predictable, you’d never see it coming, and they were a team that didn’t receive a great deal of airtime prior, like the producers wanted to keep it less obvious until the very end.

    Previous seasons in some cases like Season 20 were obvious who would win. Next season starts February 17th, if the CBS/CTV airdates are synced again.

    Also looking forward to The Amazing Race Canada, though it looks like they’re cheaping out, people have a chance to sign up(When they open casting auditions) for a race around, you guessed it. Canada! Lots of driving I would imagine, endless driving(Unless in some legs you can fly from point A to B) lol

  3. Akemi is so very cute! You must smile all the time.

    I have a question for her. I’m on Twitter with almost 8,000 people who follow me. I know crazy…who knows why…but at least 25% is from Japan. I don’t read the language…and access it through my phone. On my laptop…I used a program that would translate…but haven’t been on for more than a year.

    😋This is a picture of my phone…showing a few new followers. Akemi…is this their names?


    Sorry for the long link…haven’t quite figured out WordPress. 😕

  4. I’m rooting for either Malcolm or Denise. They both showed so much heart while their team was disintegrating around them at the beginning of the season.

  5. I would have a lot to say about Lightspeed’s trailer alone. What a detached scramble of gory nonsense. I’m pre-judging, aren’t I?

    My 2 yr. old was amused by one of Akemi’s pictures. I started to explain that the toy soldier and candy canes are just very, very tall, but ultimately left her to assume what she will about Akemi’s size.

  6. I loved the Christmas Markets when I lived in England, but the closest thing we have to a Christmas Market around here is:


    It’s more oriented to little kids though.

    Where are all the Christmas sweets in the Vancouver Christmas Market? Was Marzipan it? I would have thought you would have piled those on this time of year. For our part, we had a great Christmas open house yesterday with three English puddings (Figgy, Ginger-Orange, and Cumberland Rum), four different cheesecakes (Butterscotch Caramel, White Chocolate Strawberry, Chocolate-Chocolate, and Wild Berry with Almond Crust for a gluten sensitive friend), and tons of cookies. If you’re missing sweets, come on by; we have leftovers!

    On the mulled wine, I think it depends on the wine and mulling spices. I’ve had some that was truly terrible, and some that was really really good. I need to go find a recipe; a friend of mine in Somerset had a great recipe that I need to see if I can get a copy of. Maybe I’ll make some for Christmas…

  7. Hey, just wanted to say I got the signed script in the mail the other day, THANKS! I’m going to have to rewatch that episode soon. Also, there was a receipt for a medical examination in there, probably slipped in by accident. If you need it back, just let me know!

  8. The creepy wooden toys, remind me of the island of misfit toys and the ones in the train car on The Polar Express, yes, creepy. I love Akemi’s coat, looks really warm and good on her. We could sure use some rain, down here in Fl, but I will be careful what I ask for. Have a great evening.

  9. So, what was Akemi originally saying that you misunderstood?

    The Christmas market looked like fun. I’m kind of intrigued by the “Nudel House”. I assume they have an undressed code?

    I watched a bit of Lightspeed already. Um, yeah.

    Just got back this evening from my trip to NH, which worked out great. Did a really nice hike yesterday and perfect late fall weather. Great views. Maybe I’ll post some pics!

  10. Hilarious convesation with Akemi. That first picture of her is very pretty. Is it recent? I’m just noting the sleeveless dress. You must keep a very warm house. I have never heard of the movie Lightspeed. It will be interesting to hear what Cookie Monster has to say.

  11. A big Happy Birthday to Aspen! So glad he’s hanging in there. But I’m sorry to hear about Lulu and Jelly. Hopefully you’ve caught any problems in time so they can be at least managed. Sending positive vibes for all the furry kids!

    I was out Christmas shopping yesterday, and wanted to hug every child I saw. I can’t even begin to imagine the sorrow of the families who have lost their children.

    I wanted to share what I just read tonight. I don’t think any better words could demonstrate the issues of mental illness and what horribly few choices parents have today, and why there will be more Adam’s in our future: http://thebluereview.org/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother/

    I got some good news this past week. Thankfully, Norman hasn’t grown much and is considered stable. I don’t have to worry about the little dude for another year.

  12. I’ll be able to visit Christmas markets again in about 5 years. The reason for all the things in my life is at 11:57 a.m. on 12/17/2012, Patrick Bowen, where my moniker PBMom comes from, was born after 29 hours of HARD labor WITHOUT an epidural at a free-standing birthing center (i.e., not attached to a hospital). Blue, limp with no reflexes. He was slow to develop, but the rest is a time for another story. In the meantime, enjoy this pictures. I have these pictures opened to the public.


    It’s about 7-8 pictures.

  13. Joey, old man, I think it’s time to look into a hearing aid.

    I don’t think misunderstanding Akemi has anything to do with her accent. WE understand her just fine in the videos you’ve posted. No, it’s not her accent…it’s something else. See, you’re starting to remind me of my dad. I believe I mentioned here how, a few weeks back, dad misheard me telling mom that I was having a breath test for lactose and fructose malabsorption, and when mom asked again what sort of test it was, he shouted out ‘mammogram!’ 🙄 Yeah, he needs a hearing aid, too. 😛

    Which reminds me of the punchline of an old joke my family quotes anytime someone mishears and/or misinterprets what someone says. See, there was this baby boy being christened, with all the family gathered round, and the little guy started to wail as the water touched his head. Upon hearing the cries, his uncle declared, “That little fella bawls like a bull!”, to which his old granny – sitting off to the side with hearing trumpet held tight to her ear – replied, “What!? He’s got balls like a bull?”

    Yeah, yeah…I have no class. 😛 But just so ya know, from now on anytime you misunderstand Akemi, I’m gonna have this mental image of you holding an ear trumpet tight to your head, your face contorted with confusion as you snap out old granny’s punchline. 😀

    *wonders how long it will take Joey to schedule a hearing test*



  14. Akemi is so darling!

    They hold a Christmas market in Utah, held in a recreated pioneer village in the foothills (This is the Place Monument Park). I should go sometime, it looks lovely.

    Mmm, marzipan. I adore marzipan. Because we have an airbase with a commissary nearby, I can get a good selection of German holiday candy and sweets, just above cost. Yum. One of these years I’ll spring for the embossed tin trunk of lebkuchen.

  15. Maybe Anubis is still around:

    “She was implanted with two sensors – each four millimetres by four millimetres – in the motor cortex of her brain.

    A hundred tiny needles on each sensor pick up the electrical activity from about 200 individual brain cells.”



  16. What a beautiful picture of Akemi! Did you have Christmas pictures done? A few families we know send those out but I’m not organized enough to do that.
    I would love to go browse through a Christmas festival! They don’t have that many here and I hate crowds anyway. Both my hubby and me were not really feeling Christmas until this year. Dealing with my Dad’s death and his mom’s terminal lung cancer took it out of us. Now I feel kind of guilty feeling Christmas’ie with the shootings in CT. Life goes on though.

    PBmom: You are tough! Happy Birthday Patrick!!!!!!!

  17. Poor Cookie, why not review something with a holiday theme like Love Actually? No lizards were harmed in the making of it, and it always puts me in a holiday mood. I can also recommend Silver Linings Playbook, they really capture the football fanatic phobias perfectly, down to the bad juju and all-occasion football jersey. Went vegan yesterday and had some tasty loubie bzeit, then an hour later I was so hungry I thought I’d faint. Next time I’m ordering the ribs.

  18. Jealous! I miss German Christmas Markets. Marzipan…mmmmm! The real thing in Germany is the absolute best!

    Congrats to PBMom–pix didn’t work for me (content unavailable).

    We had a harrowing experience last night. On the way home from Christmas & wedding (my step daughter is getting married Fri with a reception at our place) shopping, I hit a moose with my brand new little Subaru Forester. The moose stepped out of the bush (about 4 ft from the road) and there was nothing I could do (snow/ice). It landed on the hood, smashed the windshield, took out the passenger side light/fender and if the Subaru wasn’t such a tough little thing, I’d have had a 1500 lb moose in my lap. My hubby was fine and I’m a bit banged up. When I saw the moose and hit the brakes, all I could think was that we were dead. Very happy to be here to see the end of the world on Friday….

  19. @ PBMom – Patrick’s such a handsome young man! Great smile! Thanks so much for sharing!


  20. These markets always seem to promise so much…then disappoint. I have to say I hate eating on the hoof, especially in the cold. Give me a nice warm restaurant with waiters serving wine on demand any time!

  21. I went to the Christmas Market in Philly last weekend. It was a horrible, horrible, crazy crowded idea. Everything was nice, food, drinks, vendors, live entertainment… But this year they moved it to Love Park instead of the large area outside of City Hall. I guess in theory it was fine, but Love Park is a smaller physical space, and it’s round…. not really good for square kiosks. My Sister-in-Law had a great time and I did a bunch of christmas shopping. I was trying not to be touched by the other 500,000,000 people in attendance…

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