A trip to Vancouver in December

I’m taking a trip to Vancouver between December 24th and January 2nd 2011.

Decided that it would be a good time to spend some time with close friends and family this year. It’s been a great year so far, and who knows if I’m going to be able to fly to Vancouver next year.

Which is why I hope to do something special for New Year’s Eve with friends. Not talking about having a party to end all parties – one can do that any weekend wherever one lives. I’d rather spend quality time with good people, and make memories for a long time to come.

I’m already thinking about the Christmas day menu. Which will probably feature fish or some kind of seafood. We are also going to be hosting my parents’ friends on Boxing Day. I can probably “get away” with cooking my master roast beef. Costco has the right sizes for 6-8 people.

I’ll check out the Aquarium again, and this time definitely go to the Charcoal grill and a couple of other Izakaya places. Oh yes, and as usual, have one ridiculous night with old friends and eat all the sashimi I can. And read a lot. And Bugs Tomato. And doing nothing all day, wearing pyjamas and watching Soviet cartoons. Yep, that’s holidays.

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Longing for Weekend Visits

Last weekend my roommate went to Oakville to stay with her parents. She visits them every almost every weekend, and I admit I am wee bit jealous, because I wish I had the opportunity to see my family as frequently. Of course, if we all lived in the same city, I probably wouldn’t be able to see them absolutely every weekend. But I would appreciate the opportunity itself.

I imagine heading their way straight from work, and making it in time for dinner. Upon seeing me, the ever excited Bugs Tomato would leap to me, and then actively jump trying to lick my face once I kneel down. Seconds later, this affectionate little animal would experience problems breathing – chihuahuas are known to have respiratory problemsб – because he gets so excited. After I massage his throat for a bit and wonder how he can be so ecstatically excited to see me, he’s back to normal. I wish I could tell him to take it easy at times.

I would go on dropping my bags and situating myself in the kitchen, either helping mom to prepare dinner (something Russian that I asked for), or more likely, making the whole dinner myself. I love cooking for the family.

In the sunlit dining room (or the balcony, rain permitting) we’d share the food, laughter and recent news. Later we would most likely watch old Soviet movies, or 90’s Russian films. Sometimes mom and I itch for animated shorts of the olden days. Whatever we watch, we enjoy the time spent together.

For the rest of the weekend I would most likely preoccupy myself with either making food for the family, walking on the Promenade along the shore, or gearing up to take my mountain bike for a ride. Last time, instead of biking, I opted out for a hike in the neighboring forest. I definitely appreciate the West coast flora, especially the trees.

Really, I wouldn’t do much while visiting the parents. I always try to be in the present moment, to be calm (doesn’t work, I’m too excitable!), and patient. After the first few days I start to experience a sharp sense of melancholy, because these beautiful days will have to come to an end. I play with Bugs Tomato – he’s oblivious to my upcoming expiry – and I randomly hug either mom or dad. I desperately want the clock to slow down, but it is ruthless.

On the day of my scheduled flight to my other home, I mean it when I say “I don’t want to go”, and already foresee the blue week ahead. Upon the arrival, en route to my bed, I already long for my warm family home, laughing together and the ever ebullient Bugs Tomato.