Of all the times I’ve made my friends and family treat me like a princess (and they are so obliging), my birthday this year definitely takes the cake. May 24 was my Champagne Birthday (wherein I turned 24 on the 24th), and I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to indulge! I kicked off the celebration at Original Joe’s on the 21st (for half-price wine/champagne Tuesdays!) with Jordan and a bunch of friends from my program. The “champagne” was pretty bad but the company was wonderful.
Jordan and I flew to Vancouver on the 23rd for my birthday Mumford and Sons concert! There are not enough exclamation marks in the world! We stayed in downtown Vancouver on busy Burrard St. On the morning of the 24th, Jordan took me for Mimosas and smoked salmon eggs benedict at Scoozi’s, an adorable little Mediterranean restaurant with great service. We poked through a mall in the area and then got a text that my family made it across the ferry! We met up with them at the hotel, opened birthday presents (including a bottle of real champagne from my family and the cutest sweater from Jordan). The afternoon was spent out at the Metrotown Mall and then celebrating with said champagne back at the hotel.
Around 5 we set out for the Mumford and Sons concert, which almost ended in tragedy except for the fact that Dad is used to making sure we have important things like tickets. Mom managed to sell my extra ticket very assertively to a woebegone scalper. After a short stand in line to get through the gates, we were in!! Holland Park is a gorgeous concert venue and there was nary a cloud to be seen. Weirdly but deliciously, macaroni and cheese is a concert food of choice? By the time we had our mac&cheese, there were only a few songs left by the last opening act and a marriage proposal conducted by banner-flying airplane. A full three minutes early, with the sun setting on the cheering crowd, Marcus Mumford et al. took the stage! The performing band actually has seven people, not four, and it was just so well done. From I Will Wait to Little Lion Man to Hopeless Wanderer to Holland Road… and everything in between. I managed to be positioned beside a pair of dancing hippies (my people!), and just a few feet away my spirit animal (a frat boy, unfortunately) was having spiritual experiences at all the same moments as me. There was lots of room and we were way closer than I expected to be! It was just so good. The concert ended with a full moon rising behind us and a grand finale encore by Mumford, his sons, and the two opening bands. Magical.
Though my birthday was basically the Perfect Day, our fun weekend did not end on a banjo note. Saturday morning before Jordan flew home, we all went to the Vancouver Aquarium. I hadn’t been since I was very little and it all was very new to me. We watched a 4D movie about how bears say hello to salmon as they jump up riverbanks (I think). The jellyfish were so cool, as well as the beluga whales, penguins, and sea otters. I’m so glad we could have Jordan there for the Vancouver experience! He went back to Regina that afternoon for a conference, and my family and I pressed on to the Island to see my extended family.
Phew! It’s a long blog post we have here. Do you have wine? Yes? Good! Onwards…
Saturday night was a lovely chance to see my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and assorted small dogs. We had a lovely turkey dinner and lots of wine that night. I feel very lucky to be seeing so much of my family lately, particularly my Antipodean Grandpa. Sunday morning my friend Michelle drove up from Victoria, where she’s staying this summer, to have lunch and spend the afternoon with us! Our luck with weather was wearing a bit thin at that point but the rain stayed away most of the day. Uncle Brian took Dad, Trevor, Michelle and I out on his boat for a couple hours. Darling toured us around her garden, which we were reflecting has seen an awful lot of work since they moved there so many years ago. I think Michelle and I may unilaterally move to the Island, which spells bad news for Jordan and Steven’s bank accounts.
I stayed at my parents’ from Sunday night to Wednesday afternoon. After the incredible excitement of the weekend, it was so wonderful to have a relaxed-paced couple of days with my family and animals. Mom and I did lots of bombing around. One day we poked around the shops in downtown Courtenay, and the next we drove out to Coombs market to see the goats on the roof. Coombs is also a very fantastic food market; we made caprese and greek salads using the produce and cheese, and I had to talk really sternly to myself in order not to purchase all the curries, jellies, and spices available. Yum! Dad and I had an awful lot of wine, I supervised Trevor as he wrangled a wasp nest, and I received some very exciting news on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. Between all our adventures I think I can count my Champagne Birthday week a success!