tourist in my own town

One of the advantages of not working Thursdays is when Easter weekend rolls around you have a nice five day break. Although ‘break’ is a relative term. Yes, I had a break from work, but I certainly didn’t spend a lot of time relaxing on Easter weekend. But that’s not to say I didn’t have a good weekend…I actually had a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday after work Elliot and I headed over to the mainland to see my Mum and to visit the newest addition to a childhood friend’s family — child number three for them, and a girl (after two boys). I walked away from that visit with a pile of clothes for Elliot, all in excellent condition. This boy of ours is definitely not hurting for clothes!

Thursday evening I headed to the airport to pick up a friend from Montreal, Kim. She came out for a whirlwind four-night stay. She and I met when I was at Bishop’s, many years ago. I guess we’ve been friends for 18 years. Pretty amazing when I think about it, given that we live so far apart. But we’ve managed to keep in contact.

Friday morning we drove through Stanley Park and went for a short walk around Prospect Point. This was my first real glimpse at the devastation from the wind storms this year. It was pretty incredible. The point looks very different now, and there are trees down everywhere. I can’t imagine what it looked like before they cleaned it up.

Prospect Point

After that we headed to the ferry and made it there in time to claim our reservation with about two minutes to spare. Not smart to cut it that close on Good Friday with a toddler in the car, but thankfully we made it. Friday night we hung out at home and enjoyed some sushi.

Saturday we did a bit of a winery tour, stopping at Cherry Point and Godfrey Brownell. I’d been to Cherry Point several times before for our ladies weekends, but the visit to Godfrey Brownell was a first. I was pretty impressed. They are a very low key winery, and small still. Things don’t look as nice as Cherry Point, but the staff and owner were super friendly and the wine was amazing. We had a good tour of the place, complete with tasting wine straight from the vats.

Godfrey Brownell

We had lunch at the Grapevine Cafe on Saturday in between wineries, and arrived home in time for dinner with Greg and Elliot. Then we rented Blood Diamond. We enjoyed it, but it was pretty violent.

Sunday morning we had breakfast with Greg and Elliot, then Kim and I headed downtown for a bit of tourist shopping, lunch, and the matinĂ©e performance of Cats. We had front row seats which weren’t the greatest as we were a bit too low and a bit too close, but if there’s one musical to see close-up, it’s Cats. The costumes are very intricate, the makeup is amazing, and their facial expressions were fascinating — all of which we wouldn’t have appreciated from far away. Plus they come into the audience a few times, so they were a foot away from us. Pretty neat. The performance itself was outstanding. I haven’t seen it before, and I had no idea what the format was, other than it was a musical. Basically there’s no plot, they just go through introducing the cats through each song. I enjoyed the faster numbers in particular, although the woman who sang Memory was, well, memorable!

After Cats, Kim and I took the ferry back to the mainland, enjoying the buffet for dinner. Well, we didn’t really enjoy the buffet (it’s definitely gone downhill since the last time I ate there), but we enjoyed the scenery and the quietness of the dining room!

Monday morning we got up way to early, drove Kim to the airport, and then Mum dropped me off at the ferry. Then it was back home to take care of Elliot for the day, as Greg had to work. I was pretty tired, and Elliot was a superstar napper and slept for three hours. This gave me plenty of time to have a good nap, check my email and do some laundry.

I had a really good time with Kim. I felt like I was on a mini-vacation, partly because Greg was primary caregiver for Elliot, and partly because we did some touristy stuff that I don’t normally do. Plus it was great to have that much time with Kim. Our previous visits have taken place in Montreal and the recent ones have been really short because I’ve tried to fit them in while visiting my sister. It was nice to have three straight days of her company, most of it just her and I.