We could have missed so much if blackout dates when booking a return flight home on points. Of course with that, we would likely be spending New Year’s Eve just with ourselves…and what fun is that?
It was a welcome return to Vancouver, starting with a work Christmas party that I had to ask if we were still invited to. On departing for the trip there was no written or handshake agreement that we might be coming back. Even on return, there may have been a little hope a job might still be there for at least me…but in this day and age of company financial woes, anything could happen. To find on return a welcome audience, and Christmas party to let loose at was pleasant.
Following that party, another of the surprise variety. Surprise for the guest of honor on arrival that there were so many people gathered in an unexpected venue. Even further surprise to the birthday girl that we were there too. On the Golden Eagle, surprise birthdays happen regularly and it’s the shock on the face of that special someone that really makes those events worthwhile. Glee is the best descriptor, but when glee turns to tears of joy…maybe it’s all a little too much. Each one of those tears is a memory. I just hope I am not the one crying at the next surprise party Melanie throws me.
Third party was an eagerly anticipated, much-belated housewarming. Friends galore! Salty snacks, shortbread cookies, drinks all around in a dog-filled house. Stories to share, lives to get caught up on, hugs that required delivery, French choupettes that needed to leave our house in a hurry for fear of consumption by just the two of us. I would post more info, but the pics got a little messy here requiring some serious sequestering.
All the fun and games needed a little balance though, and the discover of a university buddy’s floating off of Stanley Park was a bit of a reality check. Here was a guy that was more than an acquaintance, due to our long conversations about girls, studies, worldly direction as well as our own. A guy that would talk your ear off with smooth big words begging the need of a dictionary for those of us laypeople, and follow that up with a raging performance in the ball hockey court with a few major penalties. A university relationship that like most…ends after graduation. Seeing the article that he was missing, then found, really makes me wonder how many more of those passing relationships should be maintained…and if forgotten, should be revived? It wasn’t until the memorial that Kevin and I found out that this guy had gone off to Spain for a few years, learned to be fluent in Spanish, then married a Korean gal. More importantly, two little boys…with the oldest being 8. It only seemed like a couple years ago since I last saw Simon, but what seems like a relatively short time turned out to be 10 or 12 years. Lesson learned… make the effort to stay in touch.
So after that downing experience, I was all prepared to write an article about the experience of ferry travel. Previous trips have been loaded with virus-laden passengers all hacking and sneezing over every public surface. Rain-snow mixtures falling from the sky usually make the roads slippery, including the approach to the ferry resulting in late departures. Masses of people making the pricey trek lined up for hours hoping that they’ll make it onto the next boat. Surprisingly…we had none of these experiences. Ferries left a few minutes early, and half full. Weather was clear, maybe a little drizzle as is typical of Vancouver, and I had the great company of Melanie. That article half prepared will likely now sit in my Draft bin for another year in hopes of finding those undesirable ferry experiences to write about and finish it off.
And Christmas, well there’s no need to complain about tasty food, piles of sweets, and good company. Gifts handed over that were a combination of both Christmas and souvenir. French finger puppets that were well received by a niece of almost three years old. Caramels, aprons, wallets, Murano glassware all in exchange for candles, beer, and a bag of various chocolates big enough to treat a small army. So many that we have had to store them in the back of my car…parked on the street to mitigate the compulsion to consume the entire lot in a single evening. The only time we might ever need chocolate, and I am referring to the both of us…is if we’re desperate for a sugar fix due to a whole day of hiking around. That doesn’t happen often enough when back here, which is why we’re looking for a third party to secure the sweets and dispense them to us in a regular fashion throughout the year…only if we’ve been good of course.
Second Christmas…much the same as the first but with more gut-filling eats, this time to the point of hurt. Maybe it’s the lack of complete digestion of the first meal, maybe it was the bean dip that preceded the meal. Regardless, breakfast the next morning was not required…but a coffee filled with Carolans was found to be a great start to the day. In fact, the three working days this week were much easier to get through with one of these coffees mixed up at the perky hour of 7am. Might have to replace our usual cream option with this boozy alternative.
Now we’re prepping for a night out of New Year’s festivities. A few friends, a few drinks, a few free bus rides to get us around from venue to venue. As for getting home…that might just be walking. After all those months of walking for hours and hours each day, maybe tonight will be another of those long, cold aimless strolls…just in direction of our home and warm comfy bed.
Happy New Year to all. Although 2012 is rumored to be the last, it still isn’t likely to be just that. Let’s live it up as if it were though by not taking life too seriously, live every day as if it really were your last, and reconnect with those people that may be forgotten, but not lost.