What a great vacation! I never checked with the office, not even checking E-mail until I came in this morning! Woo hoo! Even better, no loose ends which I may have forgotten came up to bite my lazing ass. No work, no rehearsal, though I did do another awful audition on Saturday...
I got out of the house nice and early a week ago Sunday, in plenty of time to catch the 8:20am ferry. Good thing I was going a bit over the speed limit. Even with no traffic moving at a good clip it still took much longer than the expected 90 minutes. I started reading Lost In Yonkers
and the trip went by in a flash, with lovely views of the archipelago every time I glanced up from my script and coffee. Motorcycles were let off first, and customs was fast. I was asked a few questions and waved through before I even had a chance to take off my helmet.
I stopped to call Dave and Kalon part way up Vancouver Island when I filled up the motorcycle, and when I was ordered to put in $2 for the first minute of the call, I decided to stop by instead to set up logistics. Kind of funny. They were still surprised when I arrived Tuesday evening. Another two hours and I was at the dock for the ferry to Denman Island to visit my other former roommates, Aaron and Sonya. I just missed the boat and had to wait, so I got out the script and headed to the waiting room. I chatted with the women working at the dock, they were painting molding in the waiting area, and realized they forgot to put up wet paint signs for the door. The blue paint all over the sleeve of my white shirt was the hint. They were horrified, so I didn't tell them it was the first time I'd worn the shirt. They found some soap and I quickly got all the paint out. One of them went to the ticket booth and got me a refund. I was never upset, and was quite surprised to get a free round trip on the ferry. We chatted a bit more, and then I finished reading the script.
I had a great visit with Aaron and Sonya. I arrived about 4:30pm and we went to a barbecue. Pretty fun. Denman Island is prominent for locally grown produce, of an illicit sort, turning the barbecue into a bake. On Monday Aaron and I rented kayaks and explored. We went to the lighthouse on Chrome Island. There were petroglyphs, which I sat down and looked at -- my fear of heights kept me from going to the edge of the bluff and looking up. On the way back a fist sized granite rock on the beach caught my eye, and I paddled to shore for a souvenir. It wasn't long until my shoulders got into the swing of it, and I was moving at a good clip, leaning with my weight to turn the boat as much as the rudder. It surprised Aaron, as he expected to be waiting for me to catch up. Wide shoulders and several years of paddling when I was in Georgia made a difference.
The next day we went on the horses to the neighbors, their land partners on the other side of the eighty acres. I'd not ridden except as a nine year old at a church camp. I enjoyed myself, and even figured out how to guide Shamrock lightly using my knees instead of the reins. Their land partners are artists, and I picked up a nice turquoise pendant. The chain is what they happened to have, and I'll be getting something slightly heavier for it. I really like silver and turquoise so it worked out nicely. That was Tuesday, and as I'd worked out with Dave and Kalon, the day I planned to return to Vancouver Island and visit them in Duncan. Our last errand on Denman Island was to the Butchart Gardens
. It was a great day, and I was glad Kalon had a good time. Cullen got a little cranky about halfway through, and fell asleep until we got to the gift shop. I found a metal sculpture in the entrance lobby -- a wall hanging with what appears to be enamel lacquer. I kept coming back to it from different angles, liking it as much or more every time, and I treated myself. It was delivered today, and if I get a chance I'll post a picture. After the gardens we went on a 3k charity walk with Dave and his office. Nearly half the walk was going from the office to the official starting point and back. After that we met up with Donna (Dave's sister) and her significant other, Bob and had Thai food in Victoria. It was quite good, and I think I accidentally splurged on some wheat based noodles -- they looked just like the rice noodles. It was all tasty, and the price paid was small. Cullen was full of mischief, but he held up like a champ after the long day and slept the trip back.
The next couple days Dave took off from work. Thursday we walked around Royal Roads Academy
where Dave got his network admin/ops certification. It is a lovely facility, with some of the rare second growth forest. Like here, the conservatives are trying to let their buddies log it for the fun of defacement and teeny profit. We drove by Hatley Castle
, but it is only open for tours on Mondays. Well, I'd seen the interior like most of you in X-Men
. We walked several miles in the forest, as Dave did during all his class breaks last year. Cullen got tired after a while, and didn't want to ride in the stroller or walk with us, or anything. It was his only real tantrum the whole time I was there, and we kept him in sight as he walked screaming fifty feet behind us. Those big old trees absorb enough to where we let him get it out of his system for a little, then a few seconds in the stroller and he was in a satisfied daze simply scolding his Dad for the roots growing across the trail. I mused how there weren't many tantrums during the pioneer days. Screeching just doesn't need to be dealt with the same way as when you're in a mall. The five or ten minutes hollering really wore the already tired little guy out pretty quickly, and he slept most of the drive back to Duncan. Again, he really was a champion, and a very agreeable two year old.
That evening I took Kalon and their oldest, Jade who is nearly sixteen, to see Lost In Yonkers
. I'd enjoyed reading the script, and it was a wonderful production. It was opening night, and the doorknob for one of the two stage left bedrooms fell off early in the second act, forcing everyone to use the same door the rest of the play. The actors didn't pause, and the first time when Uncle Louie exited through the door and the knob fell off, and he entered through other door the audience screamed laughter. Disbelief was maintained, and it was an homage to the actor accentuating the humor of the moment. We chatted with one of the actors after the show, who was still a little humored by it. Too bad they'll have fixed it by the next show.
Friday was kind of a loll around the house day. We'd hoped to give Kali a motorcycle ride, as she'd sort of lost out on visiting because of school and the play being a bit much for her age, but they didn't have the helmet for her. I asked before I came up and they thought Kalon's helmet would fit, but it turned out they'd given it to our mutual friend Kate. We still went to the video store so Kali could pick a movie, but by the time I'd cooked dinner she'd already watched most of it. Kali loves her visitor's, and if you remember my first post about visiting them she'd cried during the whole farewell. She does much better now, as she says goodbye, and then I think goes and cries in private. It's touching either way. Myself and another family friend, Doug, are her favorite men going back to when she was an infant. Kalon had been on her own so much, she really latched onto us as well as her future stepdaddy, David. She's in fifth grade now, and the whole family lived with me starting when she was a bit younger than Cullen. It is nice to be reminded that you are an important and happy piece of a young person's life.
Saturday I made the trip back home. I had an audition at 4:30, and had the ferry offloaded as they usually do I'd have been very early. For some reason they unloaded the motorcycles last, and we had to wait for all the RV's and almost all of the cars, which typically take many times longer to clear. So, I got home with barely enough time to bolt some food. I was starving, having no appetite in the morning, and getting on the ferry only to find the things I could eat had been taken off the menu in the last week, not to return until next year's tourist season. At least Customs went very quickly once I finally got to them. I was a few minutes late for the audition, not an hour or more early like I'd planned. Like most auditions they were running late, so I didn't appear to be late. Damnit, that's three for three. I can't get off the bike after riding a couple hundred miles and make a good showing at an audition. I'm getting better at it, and will continue to plan for early arrivals looking forward to one where the logistics work out.
While I was talking with my Dad yesterday I got another call, which turned out to be an offer for a part in Amateurs
. I'll have the old hilighter out tonight. I got my second choice of roles, and one which will be more challenging to pull off, so I'd say that's a good thing. I need to get out of what might be a comfort zone. That is about all I did yesterday. I wasn't feeling particularly sharp. Chills and lethargy, though no real complaints. Just reacting to the first cool weather of the year and the end of nice long vacation. I feel much better in the office. Mission accomplished. Really!