I wake up early. Not as early as some, but early. As the summer season starts to swing into action, tourist season begins. As someone who recently was cruising, seeing the cruise ships sail in and out of the port is pretty cool. They are usually pulling in when I get up. And then pulling out after their port of call in Vancouver when I get home from work.There is something special living in a tourist destination. Sometimes I hate the crowds, but other times, I feel smug that I live somewhere that people pay money to visit.
May 9th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I am somewhere people want to be. That’s worth remembering.
I went to Whistler this weekend. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been and Emile has never been. The sea to sky highway – while still amazing – seems much more robust. I guess that is the Olympic legacy. This trip had all the makings of a disaster: We left on time, but our travelling companions didn’t, so we spent a bunch of time waiting. Our suite was occupied when we arrived as the company had made a mistake on the confirmations. The weather was awful – rain, cold and wind. The mountain was socked in with fog – we couldn’t tell that we were in a mountain resort. The children decided to awake at 6 am the first morning after being up until 11 pm the night before.
Emile and I spent an hour or two enjoying ourselves at Howe Sound Brewery pub in Squamish. The people who were in the suite were really considerate and worked with us to solve the problem. The weather stopped our friends from skiing, but also made it much easier to justify staying inside and getting an Indonesian style massage. The kids were so bloody tired on Saturday night that they went to bed with nary a peep. Sunday’s weather was warmer, dryer and stiller than Saturday and in comparison seemed downright lovely compared to the day before. Our friends went skiing, Emile got a pic or two and we had an early departure, getting us home to Vancouver just in time to receive our final ice cream delivery, have my nails done, catch up on chores, get some groceries bought and wind down the weekend before the work week started again.
Had a really good time and glad we went.
Last Weekend in April Extra-Ordinary: Silver Linings
One year ago Emile and I were in Grenada to celebrate his 40th birthday. He didn’t know about the trip – I managed to pay for it with my tips. 6 good friends came along and we had a great time staying in our rented villa and soaking up the sun. Emile didn’t really know what was going on until we pulled into the airport and got in line for at Caribbean Airlines. Even then, he couldn’t quite absorb that we were on this vacation and that I had pulled the whole thing off with him being completely unaware of anything.
I loved organizing the trip for us, but I fell into a habit of watching everything I said around him. It got to be second nature to hesitate before I spoke, to keep my thoughts to myself and lie to Emile. It took me a bit of time to get back to normal where I share almost all of my thoughts with him freely again. The simple pleasure of speaking to one who gets me and doesn’t ever judge.
We aren’t doing anything spectacular for his birthday this year, but we are full up on spectacular right now. But yet. . .
November 19th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: 4 more boxes unpacked and put away. And perhaps Sayulita next . .
Greetings from Cranbrook, BC and the Levang Family Resort!
Hours on the Road: 7
Kms Travelled: 606
Today was a short jaunt home comparatively speaking. Just 1/2 of Montana left to go until Cranbrook – Emile flies to Vancouver on Sunday.
I was anxious to get started being so close to home, and I watched Emile intently while he tried to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. And today promised not to be a 15 hour marathon – there were only really 600 kms to travel – it was nothing really. But I am coming home to British Columbia after 16 years away. I wanted to get home for that reason and because I was so tired of seeing the inside of the Honda Fit.
Our travels took us through the flat prairies right into the Rocky Mountains. On the way, we journey through Glacier National Park and Cut Bank “The Coldest Place in the Nation”. Doesn’t that strike you as odd? The coldest place in the nation is in Montana? Not Alaska? Or maybe just considering the lower 48, Minnesota or something? Nonetheless, someone found the time and money to build a talking penguin statue that makes the claim. And seriously, if a penguin actually talks to me, I tend to believe what they have to say.
The BC places started to get more and more prevalent as we neared the border. At the gas station in Eureka (10 kms from Canada), there were more Canadian plates than American ones. I understand first hand the challenges that a strong Canadian dollar gives for Canadian companies trying to do business in the US, however, as a consumer, it works out pretty well.
We stopped at the duty-free shop in Roosville, Montana, USA called “First and Last Chance”. I am not sure who in the dark, dingy bar/store/casino was on their first chance, but there were some hard living people in there.
I insisted on a stop in Cranbrook before heading home because I wanted it official: