Vancouver, 2004

After a year's engagement, my little sister was finally getting married. Cris and I flew out to Vancouver so I could be a bridesmaid, and he got introduced to a good chunk of my family.

Wed May 19/04

Got up at 7am, Mr. Pho got up a bit after and had breakfast as I was doing the last of my packing. took everything out again to fit in my docs, still some space.

T to the airport, asked about keeping stitch ripper in cabin, sent me off to security to check and see if it was okay, yes, back to tell her she could check my bag through. Cris arrived soon after - they'd gone to one bus to all terminals as I got onto the shuttle and traffic was bad.

Through security no probs, Cris grabbed a bit of breakfast before, I got a juice while we were waiting to board. Saw plane pull up, passengers came out, cleaning crew cleared out, then we were on. Row 13, nice amount of leg room. Got sesame snacks and tea on the 1.45 trip to Toronto.

Almost no line head of us at immigration, breezed through without the guard even returning my hi - sometimes it pays to be going back to your country of citizenship, this'll make up for the fun on the way back to the states. Picked up our bags, rechecked them, shuttle to terminal 1 - really nice in there, all redone, the old round building that I hated is gone. Very airy and light, no probs through security and then they started boarding after just enough time to get a muffin and water - I was really hungry.

Flight to Vancouver was steady, cloud cleared up over the rockies so could see some mountains. Asian veg meal disappointing and not filling enough. Row 13 again,, but much less leg room. Got stuck behind a woman needing a medical machine adjusted in the aisle, poor thing seemed really wobbly as she made her way to the head. Smooth landing, and Sue was there to meet us just before our bags came off the belt.

She drove us to Cris' parents place near Pacific and Burrard, then off to home. We refreshed ourselves - icky plane patina washed off - then out to get groceries to stock the pantry. Drove to Safeway, after we figured out how to get out of the security locked garage. Back, had a snack to ease the gnawing in our stomachs, then back out to Sue and Jakes for supper and the tying of ribbons around candles and cellophane. Jake cooked for us while his friend David did the calligraphy for the table placards, Sara and Kirstie showed up to help with the cutting and such. Sue finally buckled down and cut cellophane squares, and David and I tied them up - Sue's friend had made small paired beeswax candles for the guest presents. Moved onto the white candles with burgundy ribbon when ran out of white ribbon for the burgundy candles. Then cellophane ran out, and the wine was making us all a bit punchy, so we headed home. The pasta was good, with butter chicken mixed in, and we'd contributed a mixed berry pie from another Safeway. By now it was 10 and Cris and I were beat, so straight to sleep.

Thur May 20/04

Woke up pretty early, had time to have scrambled eggs on bagels for breakfast, shower and do laundry before heading out around 9:30 - going to hit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Granville Island and Yaletown. Sue's going to get in touch with me to come and learn how to bustle her dress.

Got to the Garden just as it opened at 10am, went through the public park first, then tickets, browsed a bit in the classical garden, then took a guided tour with an elderly gentleman that reminded me vaguely of my dad, though english speaking. They're adding onto it, got some pictures without ice on the surface - koi in the murky pond (a weed is taking it over) and a mated pair of canada geese (mother on the nest). Bats everywhere, on the edge of the roof slates, in the pierced windows, in the stone mosaics on the courtyard floors. Then drove over to Granville Island, most of it under highway overpasses, so a bit cool. Lots of artists studios, forges, a luthier, jewelery makers, potters studios. Got a turkey sausage in a pastry at the market and sat outside, two pug dogs chases each other around a pillar and under chairs, with occasional yaps, and buskers performed off to the side of the courtyard. Got some blueberry green tea, Cris got some cheese and bread, and I resisted the truffle chevre ($11 for a small thing).

Then drove over to fourth ave, went into a crafty shop, then Videomatica, where I spotted season 1 of Invader Zim on sale and grabbed it, and Cris got the 2 disc Triplets of Belleville one. Stopped in at Se-Juiced to grab drinks (mine was very minty, with a long aftertaste, though the lime and guava and strawberries were good while I was drinking it). Then to Zulu records - good stuff there. Picked up a used Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet disc, and a new Loop Guru one. Cris listened to a stack, and spotted the ad for Raspuntina playing the day after we leave to head home. NMA is playing on Saturday, need to look into if tickets are still available. Hiked uphill to Broadway, my left foot and knee complaining more and more - not used to hill climbing. Picked up a candle holder at Pier 1 to finish up my sister's present, then she and Jake picked me up. Jake drove us to her work to pick up the black organza wrap for me, and for her to leave some notes for people. I'd forgotten it was a work day. Jake had left to visit his mum, then Sue and I went to the bridal dress shop so she could get me taught how to bustle up her dress (looks like a lotus almost when it's up, and we'll just have to make sure the crinoline keeps the skirt from her heels). They had to press it and put a button on the shawl, so we hit the Scotiabank so I could transfer money for my visa bill, and then we went into Sport Exchange - she found a bikini but despite some trying on, shorts still elude me - I'm a 7 at my waist, 10 at the hips. *sigh* The dress was ready, so she dropped me off downtown, at the Bay so I could try to get a bustier (they had one, it wasn't my size), and then I walked back to Pacific and Burrard. The sun was truly out, people were just off work, it was as lively sunny scene. Passed one woman in 4 inch lucite and leopard print heels, in a blonde wig, sitting on a bench with her suitcase in front of her, coat buttoned up to her chin. Lots of bicyclists out, and people walking dogs. Cris came down to let me in, I did my nails with hardener, read Architectural digest (and think I need to try and make an ottoman like thing, but higher and wider), then read while eating an apple and listening to Cris' new music, then updated. Sue's going for dinner with friends at 7:30, think we'll make the corn on the cob, maybe with chicken, then join them for drinks.

Will take basting out of dress now.
Never did take the basting out until morning of wedding.

Made salmon burgers and corn, then watched Invader Zim eps, never did make it out as they were going out at 10 or so for only one drink.

Fri May 21/04

Had a salmon omelette for breakfast, then cleaned up and we drove up to SFU for the rehearsal.

We were early, and hungry, so we sat in the restaurant and had some garlic bread, spying on people arriving as we sat in a tree house like atmosphere (Diamond University Centre is perched on the side of the mountain, surrounded by trees, maples with platter sized leaves). Gobbled down our snack and then went downstairs, the last to arrive before the minister at 1, actually, and we had some short time to introduce Cris to people - Roger and Monica were there as well. The minister was a card, very enthusiastic. She got us started at the front how we'd end up, then to the back where we sorted out who was walking where/when - girls to be led by Marc, from outside on the deck, groom to enter from the side door.

Down the hill and out to Milestones for lunch, we gave Dianna a ride, out on the highway. cris in the corner, then me, Dianna, Marc. Monica, mum, Roger, Dad on the other side. French toast with a blackberry honey sauce, with a smear of creme cheese was amazing, quite sweet though. Sue, Kirsten and Kat arrived and sat behind us, then grabbed mum to go off for manicures. Family off to check into the hotel.

Dropped Dianna off to get her car, then home for a bit. Cris picked up his suit from the dry cleaners.

Headed over to the Holiday Inn for dinner at 7 or so, Dad a bit late as he went to pick up Rita and Rose from the airport. Spotted Roger in the corner, then Sue and Kat came down, Julie joined us (met her in Toronto when Sue was in town around her NZ trip) - she's got a strong sense of humour, dry, and her dad's from Jamaica (or her mom,, other from England). Across from Mum and Sue, Marc went off to look at an apartment (he got back from NZ recently, needs a place to stay). Our waiter was quite funny, but the mango cider tasted like guava. Jake and his family were having dinner on the other side of the wall, at the seafood restaurant, and she went off to meet them at the pool hall,m but since it was 10, we headed home to chill and watch Triplets of Belleville extras (not many).

Saturday May 22/04

Did some ironing, Cris and I both in grey tops and black bottoms, though I wore my short skirt, paired with docs, as I didn't want to get the wedding shoes dirty. Got to the Centre for Peace on Burrard a bit early for the noon luncheon, so walked around the block. Kitsilano very very green with lots of flower filled gardens. Jake's dad and mum were there, and others trickled in. Quiche for lunch, sitting with my family, sans sue, but then shifted over with salad to be next to her and Alexis. Good talk. Very bright hall, Dianne had kitted it out with spring colours. Thank you gifts were given out (parents and wedding party, got a really cool black tiger eye that Sue's going to mail me the meaning of). Then the cheesecake and apple pie came out, I got myself more tea, and more relatives showed up, standing around and chatting ensued, Cris got to explain his hand over and over.

Started making plans for dinner. Finally just browbeat people into Nice and Spicy caribbean for 6:30. Cris and I went back over to Zulu for more cds, and picked up the just married flip flops, got 1602 #8 at the comic shop, realised we'd left our jackets at the Centre for Peace. Managed to just catch the staff and get them out. Back to apt, just time before 6 to call the resto for a reservation and get over there. Ran into Sue and Kat walking from 13th. Others there already. Very good chicken stew, mango juice great, but skipped dessert. Waitress a bit slow, tables broad, but lots of Jamaican memorabilia scattered about.

Walked to the holiday inn with Monica, Cris went home, and got the wine picnic case from her and took it to Sue's. No wine available on the way, but Kirstie'd brought some. She did Sue's makeup, we were in gales over the eyebrow pencil incident, and I heard the story of how Sue and Jake met on NYE at the Blarney Stone, plus some high school hellion stories. Boy, was I oblivious. :) All of the bridesmaids had on our thank you gifts, and Andrea was there as well.

Kirstie dropped me off around 11:30 and I went to bed in hopes of getting a good night's sleep in anticipation of the big day.

Sunday May 23/04

Up at 9, pressed dress, took out basting, packed up knapsack, dyed hair (Liquid dye had faded almost to brown, redid it hotrod red). Cris drove us to the holiday inn to pick up Marc, Amy and Dad, but the last not back from church and his cell was off. Finally showed up, and we headed out to Burnaby to Andrea's, arriving just with Sue and Mum, Kat and Kirstie. Cris off to the mall to eat and kill time, I picked up a veggie wrap and some ice cream to stave off crankiness, then ironed all our dresses. Did makeup quickly, got dressed and out the door to the limo, Marc buried under our bouquets. Sue looked great, and we set her off well in our burgundy. Kat and I had matching dresses, Kirstie's was two pieces.

Up to the park, other limo still there as Jake was still doing pictures. Waited a bit, then out to the rose garden with Micala. Walking and talking, squeezing together for b&w close ups. Hot and sunny with a bit of cloud cover.

Done just before 4 (official start time), back into limo and up to Diamond, in by side entrance, dropped bags in buffet room, quickly unbustled Sue and got in order.

Had to concentrate on Marc's back to get down the aisle. Lots of laughter in the ceremony, Jake looked a bit pole axed, couldn't see too much from where I was. Ran back down the aisle and breathed a sigh of relief.

Micala got us for some pictures by the pool up some stairs, then I was free to eat my granola bar and sip some water in the reception.

Ted, the MC and Jake's brother, was at our table, we went in last to buffet. Good food, limericks and poems to get the happy couple to kiss (I fortified myself with wine and then read a haiku I'd written up), sun setting behind the mountains, trees and lake.

Cris and I tried the swing dancing lesson, but didn't do so well. Took to the floor much later for freeform. Sue caught me for a dance for a bit. Visited with the relatives, hung out, waiting for midnight not too impatiently. Helped tear down decorations, load presents into the bus, said good byes, and then we gave Amy a ride home. Fell into bed at around 1:30am after hanging up my dress.

Monday May 24/04

Slept in a bit.

Finished up cereal then then walked over the Milestones on English Bay for brunch. Steamed scrambled eggs. Sat inside, a bit windy in the shade. Lots of people out as we walked into Stanley park, then made our way around Lost Lagoon to the aquarium. Lots of kids, but saw the 5 belugas, the pacific white sided dolphin shows. Huge octopus, a diver cleaning the glass in the shark tank. Sea lion was huge, otters a good size as well. Got a beluga mug, then caught the bus back to apt, transferring and then walking a bit as it got crowded.

Short down time, then met Kalev for sushi at Shijo on 4th. Was able to talk with him, lots of sake (they brought me a second glass when first was too small, after I sent back the bottle). then it was off to the theatre for the free RotK showing, we just caught the costume contest. Two good rings, a witch king, and two golems, one moving eerily well. Movie good, seats up in the balcony were pretty good, though harder than the stadium seating I had the first time. Shelob still scared me lots, and Pippin's singing brought a tear to my eye. That ended around 11, back to apt and sleep.

Tues May 25/04

Up at 7, Cris out to get replacement groceries. Quick breakfast, washed sheets, cleaned kitchen and bathroom, down to wait for taxi. I put the trash and recycling out by back, as Cris left the fob in the apt.

Easy kiosk check in, short wait to board, big plane, two seats together, and meal was better this time (seitan?). Need to transfer again in Toronto from T1 to T2, gate C.

Bit of a wait for the bus. But bags there @ T2. Line @ immigration, but pulled out by flight. Guard intent on water bottle, few questions. No fingerprint nor photo despite signs. Bag xrayed again, short security line, but flight being called as in it. Then I was pulled for a bag search + wanding. 1 hr flight & a descent through clouds later + in Boston. T home, 10-20 @ harvard bus stop.

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