Eric & I only had three days in BC, but I’m so glad that we had them. Like I said, I’d never been to the West Coast before this, and after living most of my life on the East Coast, it’s like another world over there! For the first few days we both lay kind of low. We were having a tough time with the jet lag, but the cottage that my parents are renting is absolutely perfect for relaxing. They’re living on a horse farm, and four horses come right up to the fence that borders their front yard and we got to feed them apples from the big apple tree growing just outside their front door! There are also over a half dozen peacocks roaming the grounds and my mom has vases filled with all the beautiful feathers she’s picked up around their yard. My mom’s little dog (who I just refer to as “Little Dog”), Peggy, is skittish when it comes to the horses, but surprisingly she is so much more comfortable and relaxed around people than she was the last time I saw her. (When I first met her a year ago it took her 3 or 4 days to warm up to me, and then she would only come near my mom or myself, running terrified from my Dad, Eric, and anyone else she saw.) It was wonderful seeing her, I love that little dog.
Besides hanging around the house we went to visit Trinity Western where Nic & my mom are taking classes, and met Nic’s floor mates (it’s very surreal that he’s now experiencing so many things that Eric & I now miss about college). We toured the area around where the cottage is, and took a short trip to the States. The cottage is located literally across the street from the US/Canada boarder. My parents go across to the States for groceries and mail! After living my entire childhood over two days travel from the boarder it seemed completely bazaar that they can now step across whenever they like!
We also made a stop in Vancouver before Eric & I headed home to visit with my old friend Amy. Amy I think must be my oldest friend. I think we’ve known each other since we were one. And until about 10 years ago, we would see each other every two years when our parents got together for Wycliffe conferences. The last time I saw her we were both 17 and her parents had dropped her off at my house in Connecticut before joining my parents for the conference in North Carolina. It was really awesome to get to see her again after so long.
Our flight out of Vancouver was scheduled for 11:00 at night on September 17th. During the day we all drove out to Stanley Park together to enjoy some of the craziness that the West Coast has to offer: Insanely ginormous trees!! Stanley Park is amazing, and the size of these trees seriously blew my mind! It was like walking through a forest from when dinosaurs roamed the earth! Many of the trees are estimated to be over 1,000 years old and they are so huge! Also, apparently back in the 1800s before they considered preserving the forest, logging was a huge deal and many of the big trees were chopped down. However, new trees began growing on the old stumps. The stumps would then rot away leaving a cage of tentacle-like roots reaching down to the forest floor.
Amazing, right? As it got to be evening Nic suggested we find a place near the airport for a final goodbye drink and hangout before saying goodbye.
At the airport they waited as we checked in (there was a mix-up with our tickets, but the women at the desk were so incredibly helpful. It just reminded me (again) of how I want to move back to Canada some day. We headed upstairs to check out the Spirit of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Jade Canoe, which is also on the Canadian $20 bill. (Another awesome thing about the West Coast: Amazing First Nations artwork.)
Finally, we had to say goodbye and headed for our gate while my parents & Nic (and the Little Dog) headed back home towards Langley. Since they live literally on the other side of the country I’m not positive when I’ll be seeing any of them again, and it was kind of sad.
Although our flight from Vancouver to Toronto was only 4 1/2 hours, with the time change we left around 11:00 pm and arrived around 7:00 am the next day. On this flight I had a window seat and it was awesome getting to slowly see the sun coming up over Toronto. I wasn’t able to sleep on this flight either, and decided to just try to stay up until we got home.
Tim Horton’s (despite the long line) helped me stay awake (oh Tim Horton’s, how I miss you in Connecticut!) We’d discovered the day before while still in BC that our connecting flight from Toronto to Connecticut had been canceled. With a lot of phone calls and scrambling we were finally able to book another (at no extra charge, thankfully) but 6 hours later than our original flight. Plus, the flights between Toronto & Hartford are on teeny tiny little planes in this far-off branch of the Toronto terminal that looks like the land of where misfit toys come to die. There was literally nothing. Eric passed out for our 6 hour layover, but I was concerned that if I fell asleep we’d miss our flight. Instead I did some reading & sketching, finally shaking Eric awake when I heard our boarding call.
The plane reminded me of the tiny jets we’d sometimes take out of Schefferville. Also: worse landing of my life! The seat belt literally saved me from getting flung right out of my chair. It was pretty scary. But we made it to Connecticut! And you know what? I do love traveling and adventures, but I seriously hate flying. I hate the security and customs and getting yelled at and standing in never ending lines and being crammed into teeny spaces and all of it. The worst.
Well, at the airport our friend Jourdan picked us up and drove us first to our friend Kevin’s who gave us our keys, and then finally home. We still couldn’t rest though, and besides, we shouldn’t have even if we could’ve; we needed to stay awake to beat jet lag. We went to pick up a few groceries and Nic’s dog, Oscar, who was staying with a friend. Marty, Nic’s ridiculously mean and grouchy cat, literally leapt into my arms purring when he saw me. So it was good to be home. But we were completely exhausted. By the time we went to bed on the night of the 18th I’d been awake for 36 hours. After the past few days I was in need of a lot of sleep.