|Maple Bay, Vancouver Island|
Last month, I took a relatively spontaneous trip to British Columbia. My friend Thea was getting married, and I had delayed confirming my attendance for a long as possible; I wanted to go, but I wasn't sure if I could afford the time and money. But when Westjet (bless them!) presented me with a seat sale I couldn't refuse, I pulled out my Visa and booked myself a ten-day trip to the West Coast.
I don't know if it was the promise of a wedding, or the excitement of eating at Burgoo - my favourite restaurant in the whole world - again, or even just the prospect of getting on a plane, but I was more excited about this trip than I have been about any other in recent memory. And it was for good reason - I had an incredible time.
|This is the only picture Karen and I have together. #how|
Because I have kind and generous friends all over and around the Vancouver area, I stayed in 9 different beds in 11 nights. I spent the first two days with my friend Karen in White Rock. We explored the beach and took care of her co-worker's dog Bindy, who became my immediate best friend. I spent time watching the World Cup with her dad and brother, experienced the most non-Newfoundland BBQ I've ever had (smoked salmon and risotto (which was delicious)). We went to her church where I had one of those moments when it feels like everything was said just for you. We drank a lot of Starbucks.
|We crossed the border on foot without passports. #rebels|
|Karen tried to get me to paddle board. It's like she doesn't know me at all.|
|My mom and his dad are twins; can you tell?|
|It's been three years and I still haven't gotten over you.|
|We learned the hard way that the bear wasn't edible.|
|Kits beach, the beaut that she is.|
|The hipsters are real.|
|Actually couldn't be happier than I am at this moment.|
|I tried to take a picture of this clock, but I ended up taking a picture of this random man.|
|This is my god-dog, Phoebe. She missed me.|
|Diana, Anne, and Gilbert #throwbacktoavonlea|
|Things I learned this trip: I would like a husband who can drive a boat.|
|I love this picture, and I really don't know why.|
|A MACL selfie with a stunning bride.|
|Just like Alanis says, it's like rain on your wedding day.|
|The most beautiful location for a few nuptials!|
|We strolled around the rose garden afterwards. Stacey is good at posing.|
|Stacey and I didn't plan to dress alike, but sometimes wonderful things happen when you least expect it.|
I've written a lot about my time living in Vancouver, so I won't go on at length here. In summary: it was really hard living there. I was lonely, sad, and directionless. I ate a lot of cupcakes, watched a lot of TV, and spent a lot of time on the bus. I was not in a very healthy head space four years ago when I arrived in Vancouver, and I was even less healthy when I left 9 months later. For the past two years, I've thought long and hard about returning to Vancouver. I've often said that I felt like I needed to go back to reconcile with the city, because I harboured such negative emotion about my time there.
I'm so glad I returned, and I'm especially glad I went back for Thea's wedding. I spent so much time with so many wonderful people that I can only describe my trip as "warm." That feeling of warmness you get internally when everyone around you is someone you like, and someone whose company you enjoy. I was welcomed into my friends' families with open arms, and there's nothing that makes you feel at home as your friends' parents and siblings and extended family smiling at you and making you feel as though they are glad you are there.
I was so glad to see my friend marry a wonderful, kind, generous man, and to feel strongly that they are probably going to make it for the long haul. It was comforting and empowering to talk to my friend about publishing, and to know that you have to work hard to be a writer, but it'll be worth it in the end. It was good to see old friends and reminisce, and also know that they are happy and are doing cool things and living great lives.
It was so good to make peace with a part of my history that had left me with an uncomfortable, unresolved feeling. It was good to learn that time heals.
And it was so good to eat at Burgoo.
Current book: Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Current TV show: The Good Wife (season 1)
Current nail colour: OPI's "Bubble Bath"