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Cancellations, Cathedrals and the Handsome Boy Sandwich

Last November, after 3 months of pure hell, Dave and I got away for a wee vacation, the first on our own in 12 years. It was...I'm not sure how to describe it. Bliss would be too spa like, indicating couples massages and cucumber water. Tranquil would maybe mean quiet music and romantic walks through dew dipped, sun dappled forests. Fun would indicate that we had energy to do anything other than what we did do.

Which is sit.

For 5 days and nights, we sat. Sometimes on the couch in our cozy studio hotel room. Sometimes on the bed. But once we'd gotten our groceries, we hardly moved.

(Dislaimer: we did go for one walk in the woods with my sister and we did raid London Drugs for Christmas shopping, but other than those 2 outings, we just sat)

But a year ago, that was sooo needed. A space to just be without expectation. A place to sit privately in grief that was still so new. A place to watch hours of Netflix, being numb.

A tradition was born last year. Not of sitting... but getting away.

Fast forward 12 months, and here we are, Dave and I, off on our next mini vacay. And like pretty much everything this past year, getting here was unnecessarily complicated.

While we've had the dates lined up for a few months now, I was being excessively indecisive about location. I wanted wooded forests. I wanted great food. I wanted couples massage and hot springs and moonlight walks. I wanted all the bliss and tranquility and fun that I couldn't conjure last year.

After days of searching hotels and ferry schedules, we finally settled on a small cabin in the woods outside of Coombs, BC. It checked off a few boxes. Forest, moonlight walks... ok, only 2 boxes maybe but I could bring my own great food and fun with me... right?

All set to book online, and the credit card is declined. WHAT?

There is a reason. Fortunately for us, it's not overspending. Maybe just under-thinking.

You see... 3 weeks ago, I noticed some fraud charges on our card. So, I called the bank, they sorted it out, and told me to cut up my card. Super easy, super normal procedure.

Without pausing to think, I cut up my card.

What they did not tell me, is that it was actually Dave's card that had the fraud charges, not mine. My card was perfectly fine... except that it was in 12 pieces in the bottom of my garbage bin.

So here we are, sitting together just 5 days before Grandma will arrive to take over, only to find out that Dave's card was cancelled and because I needed a new one, they cancelled mine too.

A true hand to forehead moment. There's not much you can do in an online world without a credit card.

And so we waited. Dave's new card had already been sent out, and my card was going to be sent priority mail. The race was on.

Dave's card won, arriving last Tuesday afternoon, less than 24 hours until the ferry we planned to catch left the terminal.

But guess what? Cabins in the forest get booked when you don't give enough notice that you'd like to come. So, no go on that one.

We frantically search the interweb for a new location, but most of the choices seemed to be somewhat seedy 2 star motels. Not the blissful, tranquil, fun spot of my current vacation dreams.

Until, one place did show up. Cute, tidy, funky. AND A HOT TUB!

A sweet Air Bnb with a cancellation too. And who knew that 2 cancellations make a right.

So here we sit, Dave and I. Together and relaxing. Not zombies lying in front of the tv. Super tired, don't get me wrong. Close to a nervous breakdown, maybe. But not dead. Not in pieces. But together, in a place of contentment and peace... and a hot tub.

What a joy it has been to spend a few days alone with Dave. This year, with slightly more energy than last. Yesterday, we ventured out to visit Cathedral Grove, a forest of giant trees... and FYI... it was a little underwhelming. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but being blessed as we are to live where we do, I guess big trees just aren't our thing. And for a moment, after striking out at the Coombs Dutch store too, I wondered why we'd wasted time making the drive when we could've just stayed in bed.

But I am reminded about our family motto, Embrace Adventure Together, that it doesn't matter what you're up to, as long as there's... together.

In the long week of no credit card, Dave kept saying to me, "it doesn't matter where we go, as long as I get to be with you."

Cathedral trees may have been just trees, and Dutch stores may have been out of chocolate letters and other treats. The pub food may have been mediocre. The toy store may have been out of Christmas ideas. But the whole day, we were together. The whole day we held hands. We talked, had a beer at lunch, laughed.

Adventure. Together. Wherever life leads you. I am realizing more and more how little we can actually control. And the more I let go of my tight grip, the more I can lean in to the adventure. And how blessed am I to be in a wonderful, beautiful place with the love of my life.

And tonight! Tonight has something really special. The Handsome Boy Sandwich. Tonight we get to see new friends and write new stories. And eat the famous HBS. And tomorrow, there will be a sore tummy and new memories. (Photos to come... and maybe even a whole food truck :) (That's a whole other story)


Here's a wee shoutout to Kevin and Emily hosts of Cumberland Mountain Guesthouse.

We are so grateful to have found you.


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