Even love takes a toll on your body, did you know?
The day after the wedding, I collapsed on a lawn chair while everyone else went swimming. There had been so many goodbyes already that morning, so much sorting of wildflowers to be given away, little golden animals gone missing, gone hiding, some peeking their little heads out of unexpected places. The groom was fairly hungover, and was dragged out of our tent by my mom to record a thank you video message to my Great Aunt, who doesn't speak any English (and I don't have to tell you that he doesn't speak much Cantonese). I think even my eyeballs were tired.
We had more goodbyes, surreal hugs with people that hinged on denial (we won't lay eyes on most of them again for another year), jumped on a motorcycle (almost got squashed/pinned TWICE; oh the threat of Death on Day 1 of your marriage), sailed on two ferries, and then.......
Husband and Wife were zooming, parade flag affixed to the front of the bike, off in the direction of Sooke!
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.
If you are planning a wedding sometime in the near future, Gentle Reader, let me advise you to plan for a 48 hr getaway immediately after your nuptials. Your heart, spirit and body will need it. You will sleep for maybe 18 hours straight, and then take two more naps throughout the day. You will lay in a beautiful king sized bed and reminisce about the wedding, which will already be taking on qualities of a surreal fantasy. You will tentatively try out these new titles of 'husband' and 'wife', and it will seem totally weird.
And if you are on the West Coast, the best place to take a mini mielmoon like this, is at Sooke Harbour House.
You will wear white fluffy robes and soak in the clawfoot tub right beside your bed, as the waves from the sea crashes on the shore outside. You will unbend your spine that has been curled up from the hardness of sleeping on a dodgy air mattress for a week straight. You will stare at the night from your skylight above your head. You will read books from the lodge's library, sip the complimentary port, as you nestle on the couch in front of your fireplace.
You won't even have to leave your room, ever, if you don't want to-- a breakfast of homemade berry compote, yoghurt, granola, boiled eggs and croissants will show up at your door with a gentle knock.
If you are lucky, you will see a fawn with her momma, as she explores the edible garden right below your deck. You will see a couple otter slink into the depths of the water, but will be too at peace to bother documenting that with your camera. You might be in a trance for 20 minutes, just leaning against the railing, taking it all in.
At some point when you are ready, you will venture out of your room to explore the rest of the inn. The gift shop with local artisan goods; the other themed rooms that are open to viewing (including the room you stayed in when you were 15 on a family visit, and they gave you your own room with a steam shower that had panels of stained-glass flowers encasing it, where you vowed that one day you would return with someone you truly loved); the many twists and turns of hallways adorned with art; the vintage looking vessel labelled 'cookies' on a random chest in a random hallway, that, to your delight, had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in it when you peeked inside.
After a stroll around Whiffin Spit Beach, you will be famished. You will order room service for the fist time in your adult life AND YOU WILL WONDER WHY YOU WAITED SO LONG. Deep fried oysters and the best sandwich ever will be the only way you will want to spend 4pm from now on.
That evening, you will head downstairs to the dining room and feast on a menu that changes daily, with locally sourced ingredients that mainly come from their garden. You will not bother to write down what you consumed, which is what makes it obvious to you that you are not cut out to be a food blogger. Now, almost two months later, you vaguely remember something about a leek soup accompanied by a flatbread loaded with thinly sliced tuna, caviar.... some fresh oysters...a steamed bass with a tomato broth of some kind....and some rounds of elk on a pancake of polenta....
You definitely remember retiring to the couches in front of the fire, and partaking in a cheese plate and an assortment of sorbets, even though you were fit to burst.
You will always remember this place fondly, since its walls were the first to witness the newborn days of your marriage, and it gave you the chance to scrub your soul afresh and recalibrate with your best friend in life.
Let's go back, you and I, on our 10 year, 20 year, or 30 year anniversary, shall we?
Let's create a tradition.