SALTSPRING

August 19, 2017


I have mixed feelings about vacations.  I expect so much of them its frightening to think that in a matter of hours, my hopes could dash into a thousand pieces on the jagged rocks of reality.


Saltspring Island has a reputation as this legendary mecca for hippies and the uber wealthy.  Neither of us had been before but we heard so many good things. Obviously we saw both a right-hand-drive vintage minivan AND a Tesla on the ferry with us... Another non-surprise was the topless woman in dreads striding across the yard as we entered the organic farm we would be calling home for the next couple nights.  Everything I had imagined was somehow true ;)


After an excited/nervous dinner out, we put the kids to bed in a playpen and floor mattress in our Airbnb camper located under the cover of a barn.  We said goodnight, closed the door and crossed our fingers and toes we wouldn't meet certain disaster.  They slept perfectly.  (?!?!?!?!)


Post-bedtime was for sharing wine and watching the sun fade in this new place surrounded by strangers.  Reece and I spoke about our future, both big things and small things; we mused and asked some honest questions.  We also laughed.  A lot.  It was this tiny slice of our old life as just a couple before kids and I will remember it forever.



In the mornings we could hear the other residents trot past our window for morning meditation at around 5 or 6am.  They had this fun, carefree attitude that reminded me of my gap year away from home after high school.  I felt a little nostalgia observing these young people who all left home searching for the right thing.



Piper made her home on the trampoline; between that and our daily trips to various beaches she seemed completely worn out usual time.  Poor August only got one nap per day (if he was lucky) so he too was ready to pass out ASAP.  People were so kind and sweet with our kids.  One guy who is apparently a legitimate acrobat was teaching Piper to walk a slack line among other tricks on the trampoline.   Because the demographic is what you might imagine on a farm-commune on Saltspring:  they were super chill about everything.  What a pleasure to not be apologizing for having kids all the time!  I don't know how I would feel bringing them a place with you're everyday, childless holidaymakers.  This is what made the trip less stressful than I expected it to be.



One evening everyone got together and threw fire (!?) which was so cool but also terrifying.  Most of these guys enjoyed their fair share of weed and - having never indulged myself - I'm uncertain the consequences in terms of balance or hand-eye coordination...



August had a little trouble the last night (it got quite cold at night and I didn't bring appropriate clothing for him with the record breaking daytime temps) so at 7am we made a break for it without saying goodbye to anyone.  Oops.  So long carefree hippies!  I intend to be back for another quiet long weekend very soon.






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