We flew to Vancouver via Air Canada. We rented a car (2014 Volkswagon Jetta – almost brand spanking new with only 2000KM) from Alamo. We took to the road and drove to meet with our friend Ben who works at BMO. We helped load his SUV with items to prep for the BMO – Okanagan Marathon in Kelowna. Had lunch at Edge Cafe. From there, we then hit the open road and drove 4-5 hours to Kelowna. Jo was first to drive but couldn’t make it past 45 minutes so I took over. The ride up was interesting as the weather shifted quickly and there was chances of ice and snow and chains on tires. We’re staying at the Delta vacation condos with 5 in the apartment (Joanne’s sister Marisa will join us in the morning). We finally arrived and drove around part of the town and ended up at Yamas for Greek food. Greek ribs with prawns were good but so salty.
Woke up early and went to workout. When everyone had awoken, we went to De Dutch for breakfast before heading off to pick up and drop off items at the run site. We spent the day setting up our space in the event tent which consisted of 2 tented areas to give away gloves, thunder sticks, apples, massages and where people can come to make signs to cheer on competitors. We finished relatively early and decided to drive to Vernon which is about 45min drive away to have dinner and see Marisa’s boyfriend Joshua and his family at Sir Winston’s for cheap wing night. We ended up at their home which is massive and overlooks Vernon with the lake view. The drive back to Kelowna was stressful seeing as there are no lights on the highway along the mountain so it was interesting flying down at 120-150KM turning around bends and trying to follow the person in front of you through the darkness. We got back with enough time to hit the hot tub for half an hour.
We had prepped enough the previous day so our start time for the race prep was noon. We drove over the bridge to Westbank and had White Spot for breakfast then onto Mission Hills Winery for some wine tasting and to purchase gifts for Yolande and Thanksgiving dinner with their extended family. It was perfect timing as we made it back in time to grab the last of the tents and officially set up our BMO stations in the tents.
Once everything was completely set-up, we drove back to Vancouver around 2PM. Joanne drove the whole way with one pit stop to get gas. She decided to make a buddy on the highway to follow but alas with us going 180KM we lost him because he floored it. We made it back in record time of 3 hours. We did however hit traffic once we got into Vancouver but that is to be expected. I cannot tell you enough about how Vancouver reminds me of Hong Kong with a little mix of Japan & Los Angeles on certain streets and a bit of Sydney too. We made our way to downtown Vancouver to meet with Yolande. We settled in for a bit before we drove to the airport to pick Vicky up. For dinner, we ate at Matsuyama in Richmond for fresh sushi! It was the after 9PM menu so it was cheaper and the food was pretty good. The sashimi slices are so thick and enormous. There aren’t any all-you-can-eat places in Vancouver however their sushi is the best (better than some of the best in Toronto). Nelson and Jordan joined us for dinner as well.
I had agreed to shoot the morning portion of Miranda’s wedding day so I had to wake up bright and early (only 3-4 hours of sleep for me) to head to her parent’s place. Her parents live right by the harbourfront overlooking part of Stanley Park and a yacht club but nonetheless the view from above (23 floors up) is unreal.
The ceremony was lovely. Miranda & Tom made the vows creatively echo one another. The wedding cake was actually the cupcake table where they had a cupcake periodic table. (Tom is a Bio Chemist)
We decided to go on a detour after to Thomas Haas for tea, coffee and the famous double baked croissants. Made it back to the apartment for a bit then off to Richmond where we went for the reception at Empire Seafood where we arrived just as the bridal party was making their entrances.
A lovely 10 course meal. The bridal party was very creative and performed like no tomorrow. They even performed a re-enactment of how Miranda and Tom met and proposed. They even sang “I’ll Never Break your Heart” by Backstreet Boys in Cantonese. By the end of the night, we took over the photo booth.