Why I had the best New Year’s weekend everJanuary 9, 2010
On Boxing Day, I was doing my regular scan of all things online: Modcloth, my google reader, travel deals… and saw that WestJet was having a boxing week sale. Knowing I had a few days off work at the end of the week, I decided to check for seats during those days. Low and behold, I could get to Edmonton and back for as cheap as I ever see. At first it was just a fascination as I expected prices to be especially expensive as people had to get home from Christmas vacations. But then I started thinking about my Vancouver plans, or lack thereof.
There was one party on the radar as well as mentions of other plans, but the best of the bunch wasn’t jumping out at me. I have been thinking I need a change of scenery as of late, and ringing in the new year with the same crowd I’ve spent most of 2009 with seemed counterproductive.
By Boxing Day afternoon, I had conversations with two people – a good friend in Vancouver who, despite my concerns, was going out with a mutual acquaintance that night, and a friend in Edmonton who, despite my concerns, did everything she could to convince me to take that flight I had seen earlier in the day.
So I booked it.
And it was the best decision I could have made.
While I could argue that going back for the Stanley Cup finals in 2006 may have been the ultimate Edmonton visit since I left, this one was almost better. The Oilers failure has snowballed into a cycle of uselessness from the top to the bottom of the organization and that visit signalled the peak of my fandom – a place I don’t know if the team will ever reach again in the standings or my heart.
I could give you a rundown of everything I did.. but that kind of re-telling doesn’t capture the magic of the visit. Instead, I’ll tell you why it was so great…
At no point was I mocked for being lame, weird or no fun, I wasn’t judged by music snobs for going to see a Fleetwood Mac cover band, I wasn’t forced to do shots or explain why I didn’t want to do them, I was able to have open and honest conversation about everything from my love life to my job (including all the details I am forced to hide from this blog and my friends), I wasn’t on a strict schedule but I still managed to pack in a lot of activities (including hours of board games, which no one ever wants to do here), I was able to hang out with people I wanted to see, rather than those I feel are forced upon me, and these friends seemed genuinely happy to have me there.
New Year’s Eve is the ultimate tease. It is overhyped and overplanned and disappoints most of the time. But this year it was exactly what I was looking for.
I was talking with a friend last night who is going away this year and will probably never return to Vancouver long-term. He said that when he was first leaving Ontario, people questioned the move, saying he was leaving his friends behind. But every friend worth keeping in his life is still around, they just are in different places.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay in Vancouver. But I hope that like those great Edmonton friends who welcome me with open arms every time I return, I’ll have people like that in this city.