When I was 15, I went to a family reunion in Vancouver, Canada. Nobody in my family is actually from Vancouver, or even from Canada, but since we’re a traveling family, we collectively decided that it would be nice to go on a little trip and visit each other at the same time. As I prepare for my triumphant return to Canada’s beautiful city on the Pacific, I find myself recalling a lot of memories from that time.
I recall flying into Seattle because it was cheaper to fly domestic and my parents renting a large van. Some of my uncles and aunts met us at the Seattle airport and we all piled into the van for the drive over the Canadian border and into Vancouver. I remember one of my uncles thinking it would be funny if we all wore Billy Bob Teeth and smiled at the Canadian border guards as we passed through. He had actually had the foresight to go ahead and purchase these said Billy Bob Teeth for all of us, and I laughed hysterically in the back seat of the van as they all smiled at Canadian Border Patrol.
I recall a wonderful ferry ride through the city, and the views were so awe-inspiringly spectacular that I knew right then and there I wanted to return to this city someday.
I recall a fun day spent walking around downtown Vancouver with two of my aunts where we laughed and pointed out funny signs, like the sign for the Mr. Tube Steak street vendor.
I remember the beauty and charm of Gastown, and the fact that I stopped at a coffee shop on the main drag about 5 times a day because I thought the guy who worked there was cute. I was a teenager, after all.
I recall eating at an amazing seafood restaurant with my mom and another one of my aunts. I don’t remember the name of the place, but it overlooked the water and the fish was some of the freshest I had ever had.
Lastly, I recall an Irish night club that my uncle somehow snuck me into. 15-year-old me had an amazing time dancing the night away.
It’s been way too long, Vancouver. I remember your loveliness and charm, but the memories are fuzzy. I’m excited to explore your streets and your natural beauty this summer when we reunite once again. I’ll see you soon, my friend.