This is Day One of my staycation! I’ve been to the art gallery and am now poncing about in a cafe with my MacBook, pretending to be a writer. Too bad I forgot to clean the laptop screen and outer casing before I came out, but hey, maybe the smudges add to the bohemian look.
I originally declared the weekend that’s just finished to be the beginning of my staycation, but then Nina pointed out on Facebook that it doesn’t count because I didn’t stay at home. So let’s call it a pre-staycation vacation.
It was another moment of genius from Mr E Man. Our friend and former tenant had invited us for dinner and a mini-party in White Rock, about a 40 minute drive away. Recent changes to the BC drinking and driving laws mean that two glasses of wine now put you over the limit, so a commitment to driving home would also be a commitment to being the only sober people at the party (and this friend is known for her parties). She said we could stay over – but she’d made the same offer to several other people, mostly our biggest male friends, and only has a small apartment. Images of drunken, snoring sardines swam into my mind…
…until Saturday lunch time, when Mr E Man said “right, let’s get a B&B and make a weekend of it”.
I knew I married a genius.
Amazingly for a miserably wet weekend in November, the first few places we called were full, but we found somewhere eventually. According to Google Maps it was 600 metres from our friend’s house – score! So we threw some stuff in a bag, gave the kitties some extra food and water, and jumped in the car.
Now, I’d never been to White Rock before, but it instantly looked very familiar. Like many places in and around Vancouver, I’m sure it’s been featured in a gazillion movies and TV shows (checks IMDB: yep, items 2-7 on the list explain it). We checked into our B&B, ran a couple of errands (our friend had called while we were on the road with a unique request: “hey, can ya pick up a couple of laser pointers for me?”), and then – because my parents raised me to always politely support the local brewing and hospitality industries of every vacation destination – it was time to meet up with some other visiting friends for the Canucks-Leafs hockey game! And what a game it was – with two parties of Leafs fans present in the bar, for added fun and insults.
Game over, we headed to dinner (three different kinds of lasagna) and the after-party. It was great fun, even though I got into a rather heated argument of the cyclist vs. motorist variety (hey, Mr E Man warned the guy not to start with me on that topic…) I met some lovely new people, and had a very deep and meaningful conversation with one of our quieter friends, who later drunkenly declared “I’m so happy that you and [Mr E Man] met each other!”
…until it was time to go home.
I’d noticed on our way in that White Rock streets are on some of the steepest hills in existence. I mean, seriously, it’s like they paved some cliffs on a dare and called them roads. Some of the sidewalks have to have hand rails and little mini-risers to stop people’s legs from running away with them when they walk downhill.
And the 600 metres back to the B&B?
That was fun. But we made it back safely, even though we’d neglected to bring ropes and crampons, and also survived the rather hungover breakfast-with-strangers-in-their-own-house aspect of the B&B experience.
And then… the obligatory walk on the beach in the mist and the rain!
I actually really love beach resorts in the winter. There’s such a melancholy air to them. White Rock did not disappoint – we walked along the beach, skipped some stones, and walked along the pier, serenaded by the fog-muffled quacks and honks of ducks and geese, and the whistle of a train making its way along the water front.
And, of course, we went to visit the white rock.
Mr E Man told me about this rock in the car out there, and I thought the whole thing was hysterical. The original rock had a white top, apparently due to guano. It was so distinctive that sailors used it as a navigational aid. But once the town was named after the rock, they apparently decided the white top wasn’t enough…
…so they painted the whole damn thing white.
The informational sign next to the rock skips this part of the story, but it’s pretty damn obvious.