Christmas in Victoria was awesome.
It was so nice to see Mum, Dad and my brothers again — feels like it’s been forever since we’ve all been in the same room. Arrived on Xmas-eve, and Mum immediately sat me down to bagan choka, liti roti, chai and cookies. And suddenly I remembered why I like going home so much.
Got to bed pretty early that night, 11pm I think, and, thanks to the time-change, I was up at 8. So did what anyone else would have done in my position…. ran around the house and woke everyone up! Or tried. Mum and Dad were up shortly after me on their own, and Neil was easy to wake. But Anand and Davin were another story completely. Anand tricked me out by faking waking up. And Davin barely moved a muscle! He blinked at me, but that was about it.
So I sent Neil down after ’em, to greater success. Presents were opened, good times ensued. Davin gave me a mini-tripod stand, which totally rocks. It’s so small, it fits in the side of my camera bag. I’m using it all the time. He also gave me the DVD of Blue Velvet, which also rocks, because I haven’t seen it AND I’m a big fan of [director] David Lynch. He also gave me Morning Sci-Fi, the new album from Hybrid, which needless to say, I’m enjoying. I also got a new sweater from Mum and Dad, which should come in handy for work (which, despite being in Florida, can at times be an icebox).
Shortly thereafter, Dad, Neil, Davin, Rocky and I hiked up Mt. Doug. Wow, it was so great to climb an actual hill again. If there’s anything I miss about Victoria (and BC in general), it’s the mountains. Even though it’s only about an 800 foot climb, muscles I forgot I had burned in my legs afterward.
Then it was back home for two Christmas dinners — first at home pop-overs, squash, turkey and gravy, and second, at Davin’s girlfriend Mina’s Mum’s place, for turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, cranberries and gravy. If that sounds like a mouthful, trust me, it was. 🙂 Davin and I picked up Dani (a good friend from our childhood, in town from NYC), and we came back home, met up with Erik and crokinoled until our index fingers hurt. Around midnight, we indulged in a late-night tradition and headed out to Denny’s with Anand (who was just getting home as we were leaving), Davin and Dani, where I loaded up on coffee and way too much sugar. It was awesome.
Boxing day saw me in Nanaimo for the traditional Boxing Day Greenwell Family Reunion. That was a lot of fun, got to see all sorts Dad’s side of the family I haven’t seen in ages. The more I think about it, the more special it seems that we do this each year. Grandpa, a regular fixture at these events, wasn’t there though — he had fallen badly sick a few days early and was in the hospital. At 92, he could fall prey to any number of illnesses, so that had me kind of scared. I’m not exactly sure, but I think it was some sort of immune system breakdown. We went to see him shortly after arriving in Nanaimo. There he was, propped up in bed. Tubes up his nose, something attached to his wrist. He shook my hand from his hospital bed, and I remember being shocked by how firm his grip was; he nearly crushed my knuckles! Grandpa’s great. You’ve never seen anyone with a bigger will to live. You could sense he regarded the hospital as just some minor inconvenience. It’s inspiring.
Drove back from Nanaimo that night with Davin and cousin Liz in the big green van, and took off to [Davin’s friend] Nathan’s to play 4-way Super Bomberman. Which, despite getting my ass kicked repeatedly, was a lot of fun.
Saturday, Paul (who was in town from Vancouver by surprise) stopped by to kidnap me. It was a really nice gesture, but I had to decline, already having a stupid-hectic day in front of me. I met up with Daniel, and we had tea he brought back from a recent trip he took to South Africa. Then it was off to meet Jayne, who had just gotten back from a work term in Montreal.
We exchanged stories over Tim Hortons for about an hour, then it was off to meet up with Tex and Nicole for dinner at Christie’s pub. They brought along Kirsty, and I invited Daniel along as well, who brought along Kathy.
The food was excellent, of course. Then it was back to Daniel’s with Tex, Nicole and Lisa to watch The Crimson Rivers, which was an odd but well-done French whodunit.
Immediately after the movie ended (around 12:50am), it was off to meet Davin at Hush to see Dekoze play. Unfortunately Dekoze wasn’t able to make it, but I still had a blast dancing to a trance DJ which replaced him, as well as progressive house dj extraordinaire Braeden, who closed the night.
But that wasn’t it — shortly thereafter it was off to CFUV to sit in as my brother and nickgurns broadcast a special 3-hour edition of Resonance.
The show didn’t end until 6:30am! Due in part to black ice causing us to drive home really slowly and in part to insomnia, I didn’t get to sleep until 7:30. Needless to say Mum (who was up before I got to bed) wasn’t terribly impressed.
I stumbled out of bed 4 hours later. The theory went that if I was extremely sleep-deprived, I’d have no trouble getting some rest on the red-eye flight later that night, which was necessary if I were to make the hour drive home from the Tampa airport. I’m not so sure that worked, but it sounded good at the time. 😉
Met Sarah for lunch downtown. It was really nice catching up. Afterwards we took a walk on the breakwater — a three-metre wide walkway which juts about 800m into the ocean to protect the docked ships from the bigger waves of the Pacific.
It was packed. Not surprising though… the conditions were perfect. The air was crisp, the sky blue, and just windy enough to redden your ears by the time you reached the lighthouse at the end.
And then it was back home for dinner and what would turn into a mad rush to get everything packed up for the flight home. Anand was getting on a ferry back to Vancouver at the same time as I was going to the airport, so we had to say our goodbyes while we were still at home.
Dad drove him to the ferries and met back up with Davin, Neil, Mum and I at Victoria International…
…where I jumped on a plane at 7:30pm, and walked in my front door in Sarasota 15 hours later.