A little update as to what I was up to for that wonderful 15 day vacay.
WELL! July 31 I hopped on a 7AM ferry of this island and headed to the mainland where three of my friends were waiting. Hugs hugs all around and off we went. And by off we went I mean we tapped ‘Tim Horton’s’ into the GPS and 10 minutes later voila! After a bagel sandwich and coffee (E being extremely brave and getting an extra large or 24oz coffee… actually brave or foolish? 24oz of any liquid on a road trip is recipe for a pee break) we hopped back in the car and off we went! We were doing okay until we took a wrong turn and realized were headed for the American border. Ha!! What’s a road trip without a wrong turn I ask you? Alright, turned around and headed the right direction and away we went!!
The landscape in British Columbia Canada is absolutely stunning. On our two day trip home we passed mountains and hills, farmland and corn fields. Passing through the lower mainland and up into the interior was close to desert-like. Sparse grass and trees. Rocks and shrub. Then we hit the canyon. My favourite part hands down. Sandy mountains separated by a river that is gorgeous, clear and this beautiful turquoise colour. You can’t keep your eyes off the groups of people rafting down. How much fun would that be! Looking to the other side of the mountain are train tracks and usually you can see a train winding its way along the path, hugging the mountain and momentarily disappearing into tunnels. Just off the highway, at the top of a power line is a huge birds’ nest. I swear it’s been the same nest that I see every time I’m up this way. And this time you can see a couple of little eagles sitting there waiting for mom or dad to bring them some food. Next, it’s your turn and you’re passing through tunnel after tunnel. Maybe I’m just easily amazed but honestly, you are passing through a mountain! Then after the canyon is more desert, and then all of a sudden you’re back to the rainforest. Mountains, trees and rivers are now all you can see. Snow capped mountains, some clear cut and some dense. But there’s no more straight lined highways. You’re curving around the base of these mountains, driving through small towns and some are mostly just villages and all the while we are singing, sleeping or talking about how beautiful everything is and how much we’ve missed it all. Finally, oooh my gosh, finally we are home. We head straight to the bride’s house and knock on her door! Eee!! Hugs and smiles all around. And then it’s home time!
Soo good to see my parents! After that it’s home-cooked meals and walks around the neighbourhood and wedding prep. Thursday is the stagette, and it’s pretty laid back. A backyard party at the Maid-of-Honour’s parents’. It’s funny because as teens that was our party spot. Mostly. I’m sure each of us could go around the circle and mention on what occasion they got sick or did something stupid. Her parents reminded me of my share of fateful new year’s eve parties. All laughs now but it was amazing to see how much we’ve grown. Out of the 6 bridesmaids and the bride 4 of us had just graduated with a diploma and three bachelor’s degrees. One was working on her Masters, one was still in school and the other (her sis) was still in highschool. But wow. That’s a far cry from all of us at 18 working at Dairy Queen and wondering who we’re taking to prom.
The stagette was a success, inappropriately shaped ice cubes and straws (hehe) and one impressive piñata in the shape of… well you know. It was at least three feet long, home made, painted with neon paint and some sparkly yarn haha! It was impressive and so much fun. And then the party really started when the boys showed up. The groom had arrived on Monday and his groomsmen arrived from out of town on Thursday. They were a riot, so much fun. One guy was armed with a pop bottle full of this drink ‘Burt Reynolds’ and would come around the circle and offer it up. Yeah, just tip your head back and he’d do the rest. I shudder thinking about it. I stayed away from the jello shooters though. I had an early morning the next day. But yeah, the party was a lot of fun.
Friday! Picked up my dress from the tailors, drove to the MOH’s house to help her clean up and also tried on my dress. I was kiiiind of worried it would be tight, but it fit better than before (phew). Met up with everyone for lunch and had some butter chicken (yum!). Then went for my nail appointment (first time getting a mani/pedi). Nails check, off to the hall to help decorate, then back to the bride’s house to make our bouquets. I think our bouquets turned out beautifully. Calla lillies, peacock feathers, and long grasses from her dad’s garden. Then we duct taped the stalks of them all and then the next morning the bride put appropriately coloured ribbon around the duct tape. Gorgeous. And then sleep time.
The next morning we met at the hair salon. My mom had put my hair in curlers the night before and then we put one braid along the front. I saved a lot of money and I could rest assured no one would be touching my hair. My friends’ bills were in the $60-90 range. Ouch!
After the salon we went to the hotel and drank some bubbly and took pictures and did our makeup. Bride received her message from the groom via his sister and an ipad. He had learned and played their wedding song on the guitar and he sang. It was absolutely beautiful. She let us watch and we were all a puddle of tears. Good thing this was before the makeup. You could tell he was trying and you could see little hints of frustration when he’d have to stop momentarily and get going. I’m smiling thinking about it. It was perfect. Then we got the bride ready and headed to the church. A little bit late but you know how it is. Aagh! Me and my friend E were saying how we should have taken a shot before going into that church. We’re not even the bride but I was soo anxious. It was just us and everyone else, the groomsmen, were in the church and everyone was just staring you down. They were smiling but still. haha! I hope I smiled. I know I walked a little too fast, but it’s soo hard when you just want to take your place and get out of the spotlight. Then the bride came and wow what a moment.. She was gorgeous on her dad’s arm then she took her groom’s arm and aaah! Beauty. Songs, vows, kiss and we were headed back down the aisle. We chatted amongst ourselves while the bride and groom were receiving hugs and well wishes.
The wedding party went about 10 minutes out of town to a creek. Beautiful creek. It was cute, there were two boys fishing, about 13 years old and they were very cooperative in putting their fishing on hold for a bunch of 20-somethings to take their wedding pictures. And then it was back to the reception. Because our wedding party is fun we all had matching pairs of custom Vans shoes. Purple for the girls, white with purple trim for the bride and black with purple trim for the groomsmen and groom. Nice. Made dancing that much easier.
The wedding was perfect. My time at home was a great time of being with family. I love my family. There’s not a lot of us. There’s my parents, my brother, step-sister and step-brother with his wife and kid. Everyone else, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, they’re all in Zambia or Angola. My knowing them was limited to the 18 months I lived in Zambia and after that I lived in Canada.I hope one day I can see them but right now. These 7 people are pretty much it. Thankfully we’re all in BC. But I’m thankful I have that. Very thankful. And that’s my trip!! I will add pictures. Promise promise.
PS: Winner for best roadtrip song goes to: ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’. Love it.