Chapter 29: VACAYYY

OK, sorry we didnt post for the last two weeks, we had some major secrets to keep, and we were crazy busy. We didn't go home for christmas  because flights were so expensive, so we decided to go for a visit this last week. Being the sneaky sons of guns we are we decided to keep it a surprise to my best friend. She was home that week as well and my sister was planning her bridal shower. In reality I was planning it with her, and Krista had no idea I would be there for it. We flew out Wednesday afternoon, after Uber-ing to the airport with Gus Portokalos from My Big Fat Greek wedding. He was hilarious, talking about how french is easy because " all comes from Greek! Seriously, almost all the words come from Greek." Pretty much the game Gus Portokalos plays in the movie ("give me a word, any word, and I will show you how it comes from Greek.") So that kind of made up for how slightly violent and racist he got later in the trip.

After getting to the airport, we were congratulating ourselves on how smoothly everything was going... and then somehow we both got "randomly selected" for  increased security checks. I've never experienced that before, and even though I knew I had nothing to hide it was pretty nerve wracking! Everything was fine (of course) but apparently the x-ray machine shows areas of "potential suspicion" and that just so happened to be Steven's.. um.. crotch area? Haha it was pretty funny. Suspicious crotch ;)

We landed in Vancouver at 8:40 pm, played with the kittens who stole our hearts, and then went out for Pho with Steven's parents - Jean and Steve. We had a great time and loved the Pho, its been way too long. We crashed pretty quickly after getting home.

Thursday we made some fail pancakes, and then we went to the beach! I cried real literal tears of joy when we got to the beach. I had nearly cried just seeing the ocean from the plane, so walking across the sand towards those waves rolling in on Spanish Banks Beach tipped me over the edge. I had tears running freely down my face and wasn't able to control it. I am still and apparently will always be an island girl at heart. We walked on the beach as clouds flitted across the sun, it was a day I wanted to bottle and keep forever.

Too soon we had to leave. Met up with one of our best friends Michael and went to one of our favourite hipster restaurant Chow Veggie Express :D It was amazing. You're going to hear a lot about food during this trip. We pretty much did a tour of our favourite food spots in Van and stuffed ourselves haha.

Eventually Michael and Steven got me to the ferry, and I cant believe how much I LOVED that ferry ride. I checked my luggage, so I was able to go out on the deck and watch as the sun set and the wind blew away the clouds. Mom picked me up on the other side and took me straight to the Schmidt's (where Krista was staying). We were coordinating with Laurie, so that when we got there Krista was downstairs. I snuck into the house, and hid behind the kitchen island. Then Laurie yelled downstairs for Krista saying that my mom (Laurie's bff) was over and wanted to say hi. Krista came upstairs and walked towards mom, and just as she was passing by the island I popped up like a daisy. My cheery HI! was quickly drowned by a scream and then muffled by a giant hug. She had NO idea - SUCCESS!!

Friday I spent running some errands and spending time with Krista Laurie and mom. We picked up Carolyn from the ferry in Victoria and were all reunited. It was really nice to see her again too.

We had the day scheduled down to the minute Friday, and we only just were able to pull it all together. We took over the Schmidts house to decorate at 9 am. By 11:30 we were home again and gave ourselves exactly 15 minutes to get pretty. We may not have been 100% successful, but we stuck to our 15 minutes which im pretty proud of. Grandma and Grandpa showed up, with pizza! Such life savers. We somehow pulled the food all together in one hour, loaded up the van, and got it all to the Schmidts. We had made Pink chocolate covered popcorn and pink Candy popcorn, little sandwiches, meatballs, and of course lots of tarts, brownies, veggies and fruits.

I worked on getting everything layed out and keeping it stocked up while Carolyn played host. She did a great job of shepherding people and of being MC for the games she had planned. I had to leave a little early (during the gifts) to make the ferry which was too bad, but it was so worth it. We had a blast and there were so many people there supporting Krista. It made me feel so happy for her!

Steven picked me up from the airport, we got sushi to take on the plane the next day, and got back to Steven's parent's house. We had a big family dinner, with good food, people and conversation. We ended up staying up super late, so we got only like 4 hours sleep, before we had to get up and get to the airport.

Thats really only a fraction of what we did, but those are a few of the highlights from me. Here's what steven got up to!

love, Heather



After dropping Heather off at the ferry terminal I met up with one of my best friends Tevis at the rock climbing gym who I hadn't seen for a year and a half while he was in Korea and I was in Montreal. It was so good to see him. He's gotten so good at climbing since I've been gone so it was super intimidating. He killed a 5.11c while we were there and I took an epic fall lead climbing a 5.10c. I probably fell 10 feel and when the rope finally caught me Tevis and I were staring at one another face to face. It was quite the epic fall - one where everyone turns to look and it just happened to be right in the centre of the gym. Apparently, I'm not afraid of falling..

After climbing we met up with some more of my best and oldest friends Jessie and Sam for some sushi!!! I got a good ol' Bento box which surprisingly, I haven't seen any of since I've been in Montreal. It's actually shocking how cheap sushi is in Van compared to Montreal. Both times we ate sushi here we spent just over $15 and it was more than enough food. I already miss it..

I had probably one of the most active weekends of the year. When we were planning our trip home my brother called me and said, I know you're only in town for a limited amount of time but hear me out, ski trip all day followed by dinner and video games. Who can say no to that?

Friday I was picked up bright and early by my brother Joseph and his wife. We had initially planned to hit Whistler but decided that the hills would murder me so we went to Cypress which opened for one last day of the season the Friday we were home. #providence

It was such a fantastic trip!!! Just to remind you, I have a whole two days experience downhill skiing, so when we got to the hill Joe and Felicia spent the good part of the first hour running me through a crash course to help me refine my technique. After that Felicia went off to go conquer a black diamond and Joe stayed to babysit me down the green run Collins.

On my third or fourth run down Collins I was feeling pretty confident with my speed and technique and was going pretty fast down the hill when a snow boarder cut in front of me. I was already hugging the shoulder of the run but I tried to go farther out to the left and plowed straight in to the bamboo posts on the edge of the run. I went straight through them and tumbled out on the other side but quickly realized I had lost my left ski and pole in the process. When I ran back to the edge of the run that I had plowed through I looked over the edge and saw my ski precariously teetering about three feet over the edge and below was a little stream. I barely managed to reach over and grab it with the help of the snowboarder and a passing skier but it was definitely a close call.

After that Joe convinced me to upgrade to a blue run called Humpty Dumpty. It gets it's name from all the moguls. I had never done moguls so you can imagine it was quite the struggle at first but I just forced myself into it and figured it out! There definitely was no absence of falls but I managed to catch a few of the good ones an the GoPro strapped to my chest. After Humpty Dumpty we found out that Felicia had killed the black diamond run! All in all, we all had some pretty huge accomplishments - I upgraded to a blue apline skier, Felicia upgraded to a black diamond and Joe got lost in the glades for half an hour. We finished the day with some Mediterranean food and some co-op Halo.

The next day I got to spend the morning at the billiards with my dad. He's quite the pool shark. We spent the first two games with me remembering how to play but it was a fun competition after that. My shot of the day was when dad had his back tucked in the corner pocket with my bad sitting right in front of it. I managed to get the cue ball in, knock my ball away and nuzzle the cue ball right next to his sitting on the edge of the hole. Dad got some pretty fancy shots in while we were there. Some cue behind the back shots, across the table shots and so impressive precision shots. It's always a great time playing pool with dad.

That night I picked Heather up from the ferry, we bought some sushi and had a big family dinner at my parents place. Everyone was there apart from my oldest sister and her husband who weren't able to make it up from Seattle for the weekend but it was a great time!

The next morning I got up with the sun to go for a walk with my mom, talk about life, love and change and then rushed off to the airport for our flight home. There's so much more to talk about but it's getting late and we still haven't recovered entirely from jetlag. Till next time Vancouver, we miss you dearly!


Love, Steven