Last night I had the pleasure of getting together with my close friend after a long stint of our busy schedules not coordinating. For the last couple years we've made a habit of getting together for coffee or dinner every other week, but somehow, this Spring, through the combination of my own busy life and her upcoming wedding, it's been about two months since we have enjoyed each other's company. One of the great things about my friend Michelle is that even though we don't share too similar a lifestyle, she completely accepts me as I am and is happy to share in the things that make me happy. Specifically taking a ride with me and enjoying our city.
Michelle moved out to Port Coquitlam two years ago. I know she misses the city from time to time, especially her old neighbourhood in Kitsilano. So I thought it would be fitting that on a clear and sunny June evening, we take a ride along the Seawall and out to Kits Beach for dinner. We set off from my East Van home, me on the Gazelle I've been loaned by my friends at Momentum Magazine, and her on my trusted first city bike, and headed West and into the slowly setting sun.
I take so many rides with Chris, and know how wonderful it is to ride alongside him and chat about life. Riding with my friend was the perfect setting to catch up on what's been going on in our day to day existence, get updates on the wedding planning - I am also in her wedding party - and just getting to enjoy some time together. We were actually so caught up in our discussion that before we knew it we had arrived at the beach, feeling like we'd barely broke a sweat.
After spending months rushing around from work, to school to programs, it is easy to take for granted how lucky I am to live where I do. Taking a slow evening ride allows me to absorb my environment and reconnect with what I love. Once we reached the water, the City of Glass opened up before me. The sleek condos reflect on the still water, making everything seem a little brighter. Watching the sun set behind the mountains I am fully engrossed by the beauty of the natural world just around us, and on the ride home, I took my friend through the quaint neighbourhoods of East Vancouver, something I thoroughly enjoy and it just feels like home. It's easy to forget all this beauty when you're busy, and I'm so thankful I was able to take the time to revel in it.
Throughout the ride there, a lovely Thai takeaway dinner on the beach, and the ride back, we got our chance to catch up in a calm and leisurely way. But something that sticks with me is that I am so happy that I can share in these moments with the people closest to me. Not only have I felt a little disconnected to friends due to my increasingly busy life, but I've also felt a disconnect from the city I live in. It seems that with the summer returning to Vancouver, I'm getting a chance to reconnect with both in a meaningful way. I love living by the water and being able to ride my bike there easily, and having my friends and family do it with me is just the icing on the cake.