Thursday, April 29, 2010

Almost there...

Two days before the end of the Paras, my parents arrived in Whistler! I was so incredibly excited to see them after nearly three months of sketchy Skype communication…plus the fact that I was officially done with the trailers and would be sleeping in a hotel room until I got home didn’t hurt! I had to work the morning they arrived and had never been so antsy in my life. By the time the afternoon finally came, I was about to go crazy. FINALLY I got the last bus checked and could head into town to meet up with them. As expected, it was a terribly dramatic family reunion, complete with tears. I hadn’t quite realized how much I missed them until I got to see them again. We spent two days in Whistler so that I could show them all my favorite places: the Irish Pub, the sushi restaurant, my favorite bars. It was really special to get to share a part of my life that everyone at home seemed so far removed from.

On the second day in Whistler, we got to go to some of the Paralympic Alpine Skiing events. I was so grateful for this opportunity, because I’d been feeling guilty that I hadn’t made time to attend an event yet and knew it was something I’d really regret. It was absolutely incredible to see these athletes compete, and exciting that the spectator turnout was fairly good. The events were incredibly cool to watch, and an American won one. Getting to watch the American flag go up and heard the anthem play as I stood next to my mom was amazing. She is an Olympic fanatic too, and is the reason I have such a passion for the Games. I couldn’t have been happier that the day she was there ended in gold for the US.

The next morning, we left Whistler for good and headed to Vancouver. Leaving was harder than I expected it to be, but I knew that I would see a lot of these people again. Cleanevent is definitely a family-oriented company, and once you’ve worked there and done well, you’re part of the family. If I ever wanted to work for them again or to go visit any of them, I feel like I’d definitely be able to. Additionally, a lot of the staff is now visiting the US and some are even stopping in Columbia for a few days.

It was nice to spend some time in Vancouver—despite being in Canada for nearly three months, I hadn’t yet gotten to really explore anything outside of Whistler. We met up with my mom’s cousin who lives there. I’d never met him before (I actually didn’t even know he existed), and truly enjoyed having the opportunity to hear some of his stories. It’s amazing to have such a large extended family that there’s always someone nearby, no matter where you go. After dinner we headed to a casino—my first time! My small bit of money didn’t last long though…clearly my luck isn’t going to make me rich. The next morning we took a bus tour of the city—it was a quick way to see a lot! I fell in love with Stanley Park and the Granville Island Market. I liked Seattle more, but Vancouver definitely had a lot to offer.

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