I woke up this morning and knew it was time.
Just like that.
I have been hording my pictures of our vacation to British Columbia like presents on Christmas morning. I always like to open mine last, to make the moment last as long as possible. I eat the crust around my toast first for the same reason. I save the butter-soaked middle for last.
Somehow, in my mildly mad head, I thought this post would signal the end of those magical three weeks. (Which in reality, did actually end about three weeks ago. Whatever.) And I was not ready for it to be over. But yesterday we went and bought new backpacks and bright, new underwear and a box of number twos with fresh pink erasers.
And today I woke up ready to empty my pockets.
This morning I dumped a used water bottle, full of the sand and shells of Cox Bay, onto a paper towel in my kitchen and set it in the sun to dry. When it is dry I will put it in a glass jar and it will join the other bottles of summertime past sitting in my kitchen window.
And this fall, when I am rinsing the morning syrup off the dishes in this quiet house, or wildly rushing to make dinner in the middle of lessons and softball games and orchestra rehearsal, I will remember our magical holiday. There is a good chance I will cry a bit (let's be honest, it's me we're talking about), but I also think there's a chance that I will smile after the crying.
At least now I feel ready to.
And now, a movie and some details. Details first.
We drove to Utah on a Sunday and spent the next four days playing with David's family. We climbed Mount Timpanogos and the kids swam and we ate at all our old haunts. While we were there, my beloved grandmother passed away and so on Friday we drove down to St. George for her funeral. It was beautiful. Full of music and testimony. I know she liked it. My favorite part was the letter she wrote to us, which my uncle read at the funeral.
On the fourth of July, the next day, we drove to Boise, ID to meet my brother Jacob, his lovely wife Lisa and their two delicious boys. The next morning we caravaned to Port Angeles, WA and drove onto a ferry boat which took us all over to Vancouver Island. We spent the night there in Victoria and the next day we walked around the city and fed the seals at the wharf and ate the best fish and chips I've ever had. In the afternoon we got back in the cars and drove about five hours to a little surfing town at the end of the road called Tofino.
We stayed there for five glorious days. We boogie-boarded, we beach-combed, we hot-tubbed, we whale-watched, we built beach campfires, we played games, we rode our bikes up and down the beaches. I told you. Magic.
Then we drove to Nanaimo, BC, (saw Cathedral Grove on the way) and boarded another ferry for Vancouver. Once there, we drove about an hour north to Whistler, BC. The next morning Jacob and Lisa headed back for Idaho, and we spent another four days riding the trams and ski lifts and zip lines of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. We slept and hiked and saw the latest Potter movie and four black bears. While we were there, we shopped for souvenirs and heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market and the stomach flu went through most of us.
We arrived home on a Saturday to a 100-degree house, almost three weeks from the day we left.
David keeps talking about going to Kauai next year for our anniversary. I told him I only want to go back to Tofino. For the rest of my life. It was that good.
And now, our holiday in still-frame and set to music: