The return journey started Saturday morning after saying goodbye to the girls and the staff at Imadene. Hannah and I took the 12:30 ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver, and had a lovely lunch on board of classic "Canadian fare" - White Spot cheeseburger, Putin, and Nanaimo bars... Kevan, that is for you!
We got to the mainland and picked up Anna from the Richmond Centre mall, where we found her next to her red suitcases, green tea in hand, taking notes of the outrageous clothing styles on the shoppers around her. She'd hopped a hotel shuttle to get her there from the airport, and was apparently having no trouble entertaining herself.
Then we drove all five minutes it took to get to my Grandma and Grandpa's apartment, and as we came in the door at 4:00, Grandma said, "Well, I think you are just in time for tea!" Oh my goodness, those words, especially coming from my Grandma, just made my day. She had just pulled a fresh lemon cake out of the oven, and we had tea and cake and told them a bit about the camp experience.
That evening, Grandma and Grandpa made us a Shepherd's pie, a family favorite, and I think a British tradition - meat, raisins, and eggs covered with mashed potatoes... so good! Sunday morning we went to communion service and family Bible hour with G-ma and G-pa, and had soup and salad for lunch afterward. It was so cool to be there with them, to visit and relax quietly for a while. And as they told us stories about their "younger days," I realized they were quite the adventurers, too! They moved to South Africa from Argentina right after they married, and they moved from South Africa to BC with four kids in tow. They worked at camps, worked (still work) with international people, and when the kids all grew up and spread out all over the continent, they drove across Canada and the US to visit them. I think adventure must be in the blood. I also kind of loved how the girls and many people at church told me how much I am like my Grandma Chandler, which I think is a huge compliment, as I think my Grandma is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out.
Sunday afternoon, Mom and Dad flew in for a visit with my grandparents and aunts and uncles, and consequently with us too! As I told stories and caught them up on what had happened at camp, Anna and Hannah schemed a new route for our road home.
And as quickly as we came, we had to leave early Monday morning, after kisses and blessings from two older generations of Chandlers around us. We headed first to Starbucks at the corner for pastries and coffee. There's actually a light roast coffee that is so popular in Canada, that Canadians have renamed it "True North" and claimed it as their drink of choice... so we bought some to drink as we headed to the boarder.
Passports in hands, shades on faces, coffee in bellies, and that tingling sensation of anticipating a great unknown adventure all over, we approached customs. The Americans welcomed us back with open arms and well-wishes for an exciting and safe journey home to Indiana. And so... the adventure continues...