Do you have a place that you like to visit, because no matter what may have happened in your life (or may be happening) – as soon as you get there, you suddenly feel better?
You feel healthier? You feel whole?
I have such a place.
This past Friday night, M and I adventured up to the Sunshine Coast where his parent’s have a brilliant little getaway that they very generously let us make use of for the weekend.
This place is amazing for many reasons.
From the spectacular view of the waterfront, to the epic record collection, to the amazingly comfortable beds, to the new wood burning stove – it really is a piece of heaven.
I’m not sure how many times M and I have visited this unique and beautiful spot, but I can without hesitation say that each stay has, and forever will, occupy a special place in my heart.
Before I regale you with some of the finer (re: hilarious) moments of our brief, just-passed sojourn, here are three snapshots of past-times spent at this haven of dreams.
1.Sepetember 2003. M and I have been dating for approximately two months and I am completely head-over-heels in love with him. I am in first year at UBC and he is in third, and one day while we’re eating breakfast at my dorm’s cafeteria, he asks me if I would like to go away with him at the end of the month.
Yes, I tell him. Unequivocally, without question, YES.
My heart practically implodes in my chest upon hearing that my father is willing to let me borrow his car for the weekend. My excitement knows no bounds.
We arrive early the Saturday morning because M ends up having to work at the movie theatre that Friday night. I am too restless to fall back asleep once we arrive, so after the inaugural tour we make peanut butter and jam sandwiches with thick slices of French bread and head down to the dock to suntan and “study.”
After lunch, we take the canoe out for a long afternoon paddle. I marvel at how quickly our boat is skimming along – that is, of course, until I take a brief rest and realize we haven’t slowed down at all.
M just laughs at me. I laugh too.
The weather is so hot I want to take off my clothes and dive right into the water. Instead, I dip my fingers into blue-green depths one at a time, and let the droplets run down my forearms and drip off of my elbows.
That night, against our better judgement, we light a fire and roast ourselves silly as we eat our dinner and grow tipsy off of red wine and Cat Stevens.
I remember thinking how I never wanted our dance to end.
2. New Years, 2006. M and I invite eight of our closest friends up to the Coast for a New Years raclette feast. We eat (what seems like) pounds of the delicious Swiss cheese, drink good wine, and laugh ourselves crazy playing charades, dancing to Boney M, and lighting sparklers and banging on all the pots and pans we can find when the hour strikes twelve.
The next day we set out for a brisk, first-day-of-the-new-year-hike, letting the gale-force winds blow right through us – it sends the last year packing, and makes sure we are fresh and clean for all that awaits us in the coming months.
As we round the corner at the end of the trail, the winds are so strong that my ear muffs are blown from my head, and the only thing that saves them from an ocean swim is the lone, bare-faced tree, clinging for dear life on the cliff edge, twenty meters on my right.
M gallantly saves them, but in the process, almost gives up his place on earth in exchange.
Next time, I tell him, just let them go.
When we arrive back at the house, the power goes out. We spend the rest of the evening cooking chilli and garlic bread on the wood burning stove, and playing balderdash by candlelight.
I know I still have abdominal muscles from laughing so hard that night – believe me, they’re in there somewhere, I just need to find them.
3. August 2010. Having defended my master’s thesis in May of that year, for the first time in (what seems like) my entire life, I am not stressing over, or thinking about school.
Mother Nature’s summer-stat has been set on full blast, and every day looks like a photo-still from a Richard Attenborough documentary. Everything looks as though it has been kissed by magic.
Each morning I wake up and run a 10km loop that winds from the house to the local provincial park and back. Each morning upon my return I race down to the dock where I strip down to my underwear before jumping into the drink for a refreshing post-run swim.
I am sure the neighbours think I’m bloody bonkers, but I don’t care.
I feel light. I feel fabulous.
I feel love.
When we arrived at the house on Friday night, the place was pretty darn freezing. No word of a lie, I am fairly sure that I lost the feeling in the bottoms of my feet within the first fifteen minutes of our arrival.
Thank goodness I am married to a mountain man who managed to quickly get a roaring fire going – but for a little lass such as I, with very poor circulation, I was hard pressed to get out of my winter coat until the place reached sauna status.
After that though, I was fine. After that I was on fire!
Over the weekend, in preparation for Christmas, M and I decided that we would whip ourselves up in a baking tizzy. Initially it was pretty difficult deciding on what we wanted to accomplish, but eventually we managed to cull the original list of must-dos down to three choice items: cheese sticks, sugar cookies (reprised from my culinary adventure from the other night) and cinnamon stars.
The cheese sticks and the sugar cookies were by far the more successful undertakings. I not sure how many of those cheesy delights I’ve scarfed down since M removed them from the oven – but it’s safe to say that we will definitely be making a few more trays of those before the holiday season is over.
Also, I think I will just become a sugar cookie making machine, in so far as they are super easy to make and way fun to decorate.
At first M and I were all, “ERM..?” because he inadvertently purchased the neon food colouring, but we’ve come to understand that if psychedelic Santa doesn’t say HO HO HO, that we don’t know what does.
(Don’t tell us.)
The cinnamon stars weren’t so much a failure as they were a reinterpretation of the definition of star. (I mean, cupcakes aren’t too far off, right?)
We topped off the night with a sunset down at the dock, stellar homemade pasta, and a crisp prosecco that danced on our tongues, although our feet did the actually jigging as we boogied down to Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond and the Rolling Stones.
Seriously, guys, if you start us up – if you start us up, we’ll never stop.