Relaxing is Good for the Soul

This past weekend was, for me, a four day weekend.  The Vancouver Fringe Festival of course takes Canada Day (July 1st) off work, but we also take July 4th off as “Fringe Labour Day” in recognition of the fact that we all have to work on the real labour day in September.  I used this opportunity to hop on the train and head down to the lovely town of Anacortes on Fidalgo Island in Washington State. Two of my good friends from university (Matthew & Stephanie Barrow) live there and I really enjoy visiting them.

Stephanie, myself and Matt while waiting for the fireworks to start. It is not the best photo of the three of us, but it is my favourite.

I turned my phone off shortly after arriving at the train station around 4:45pm and didn’t turn it back on until this morning around 10:30am.  I didn’t do any work while I was gone.  I just had fun.

Things I did while on vacation:

  • Ate amazing food. (Once upon a time Steph went to culinary school in Germany, so cooking with her is always fantastic: not only does she absolutely know what she’s doing and make great food, but she actually has all the correct gadgets for making things.  I usually have to improvise at home.)  Just a hint of what we cooked: Pesto pasta made with basil from their herb garden, home made hamburgers, bacon and eggs, pancakes, chicken covered in bacon/paprika/BBQ sauce and BBQed as kabobs, homemade ice cream, crab cakes made with crab that Matt caught on Saturday evening, s’more cupcakes with HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS, and so much more.

S'more cupcakes: Graham cracker cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache and topped with homemade marshmallow that we toasted with a creme brule torch. Recipe coming soon.

  • Lounged in two different hammocks.
  • Kept it classy: a night in with wine, cheese, and a good movie.
  • Learned new board games: Ticket to Ride, Munchkin, & Carcassone.  I probably need to purchase Carcassone.  We played at least 7 or 8 times with all different expansion packs.  I finally won the very last game we played for the weekend.  I was pretty pleased with myself.
  • Got out on the water.  With Anacortes being on an island, you’d imagine we’d be near water, but most of our outdoor adventures were near one of the many lakes on the island.  We hiked up to the tallest viewpoint and surveyed all the lakes and then later went kayaking and when Steph fell out of her kayak we decided we might as well go for a swim as well!  There is a photo of this on Steph’s underwater camera, but as it is a film camera I cannot share it with you.  Yet.
  • Ate ice cream at least once a day.  Including homemade banana ice cream on the Fourth.
  • Laughed.  A lot.
  • Celebrated a small town Fourth of July.  We went downtown early for the parade, so Matt and I played a little Cribbage.  He beat me by TWO.

    Matt and I playing crib on the sidewalk while waiting for the parade to start.

    The parade included a flyover by an army plane, and had everything from the local corvette club to tanks to a firetruck that broke down in the middle of the parade route.  Our favourite things included the guy who brought his bag of candy over and let us grab a couple things even though everyone else was just throwing candy to the kids; the group of older ladies dressed up as sea creatures (including a jellyfish); the firetruck that was throwing rubber ducks with firehats on; and the biker church.  We then made our way to Steph’s parents’ house to help with the food for the big family BBQ.  There ended up being 13 of us around the table in the back yard and I think we actually ate most of the food.  After dinner we played games until it was time for the fireworks.  Matt had been talking about how lame the fireworks were, but I had a great time.

    The only remotely decent photo I took of the fireworks.

    I was most shocked when someone in the field we were watching from started setting off their own, directly above our heads.  But it was beautiful.  At one point I could see seven different fireworks displays on the different islands.

Seriously, I don’t know what more I could have asked for.  Thanks Matt & Steph for being amazing hosts.  This time it won’t take me 16 months to come visit you again.  And now I’m back in Vancouver refreshed and ready to take on the world!
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About Lois

I am a Vancouver-based Stage Manager and frequent theatre goer. After graduating from Trinity Western University I spent two seasons as the resident stage manager at Pacific Theatre. Now I am working as a freelancer with various companies in Vancouver.

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