So for months a family gathering on my mother's side has been in the works and the weekend finally came!
I was the original push behind the gathering because I knew the only weekend I had off was July 10/11 and we hadn't had a reunion at our place for ages. The time had come for the younger generation to organize a meeting and with much ease, the entire family bought in and 30 family members came to rock out at our place in the Comox Valley!!!
The most amazing surprise was the appearance of Julia my wonderful girlfriend. She was not able to commit to coming until Friday during the first gathering! I was disappointed she wasn't going to meet my wicked cool fam but at 5 PM she called from Toronto and said she could come! So without hesitation her flights were booked and she landed the next morning in Nanaimo at 10:10 AM. Unreal that within a span of just over 12 hours she made it out. That really set the mood for me personally that weekend and I was able to truly enjoy the company of my kin in the presence of the most special person in my life.
With many athletes in the fam we had organized a weekend of sporting and social excellence. I originally planned on having my good friend Adil come to DJ on Saturday night but we decided it might be too much of an operation so just went freestyle on my massive sound system.
After I picked up Julia from Nanaimo Saturday morning we all ate lunch and went to Lewis Park where we played all kinds of sports mixed with dips in the cold river to cool off. We then went to my fave swimming local swimming spot to chill, cliff jump and put on clay masks! We all had a blast and then returned to my home where we feasted and fiesta'd into the early hours of the morning. The music turned out great and we rocked a fairly serious dance party both on the deck and in the living room. Great times all round!
Sunday brought the finals of the World Cup and it couldn't have been better timing. We are of Dutch heritage so we all put on our orange clothing, made some orange paper crowns and headed down to the best bar in town called Fluid where we had reserved the booth seating at the bar. We enjoyed beers, ceasars and belinis during the game, however, the tragic outcome made us lose our cool and we went home feeling like we had lost personally.
We played a last round of family v-ball on the back lawn and then people started to filter out of the house to return to Van. Julia and I said goodbye to everyone and then Jordan, Matt and I took control of the evening menu. We went out and purchased ingredients for a master salad with ceasar dressing made from scratch, bbq'd bratwurst sausages and a gourmet stumpot (which is meant to be a frugal meal) but we added roasted garlic, deli bacon and a few other tidbits to the carrots, potatoes, yams and onion stew. It was a fabulous meal for the 16 people who remained and we all just chatted as our energy faded from the previous day's festivities.
Monday morning the rest of the family left and Julia and I went on our own mission around my hometown. I wanted to show her all of the majestic and natural spots so we hit as many beaches, rivers, parks and landmarks as the afternoon permitted. She took ample photos and I am confident my hometown's beauty floored her. When we arrived back at the house it was only my immediate family that remained so we had an intimate dinner for the first time with Julia. We had too much of a good time cause when we looked at the time we were an hour away from Julia's flight! Luckily we live minutes from the airport so we dropped her off and sent her back on the red eye flight to Toronto.
An amazing weekend had passed with many of the most precious people in my life. I had been looking forward to it for so long and with the weekend finally behind me I was able to fully commit to the massive upcoming tournament; the Vancouver Open.