1. Make it an extra long weekend. Take Friday off work. Leave a couple hours early on Thursday too.
2. Assemble some of the people that you love the most. Board a boat to Vancouver, specifically a boat with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Try to out eat one another, even though you know deep down what a bad idea this is. This always is.
3. Meet a few thousand other people in a beautiful park. Drink cider, smile and enjoy some rock and roll, specifically Jack White.
4. Head downtown to a place with cheap eats, good beer, good tunes, and great people watching. Head to a place like The Factory. Stay until you’re all so tired your conversation slows and your eyes rarely leave the music videos playing on the TV’s.
5. The next morning have breakfast at a cafe like this one. Don’t be ashamed to be the only one who orders a treat. Enjoy your mango mousse while your friends sip their boring americano’s.
6. Make your way to Granville Island with another favourite person who you haven’t seen in months. Watch her flirt with the French guy at the cheese shop as he lets you try every single cheese. Purchase his four favourites to go along with the rest of your picnic fare. Picnic.
7. Walk the Sea Wall. Try to pretend it isn’t raining.
8. When you can’t pretend any more, go see your friend’s latest purchase–a Gastown loft. Feel beyond proud of her as Vancouver real estate is something you have to work hard for. Have your first coffee from Revolver, the nearest coffee shop to her house. Slowly, through traffic, take her up on her offer to drive you to the ferry.
9. Take a boat to Saltspring Island.
10. Hug your boyfriend. Arrive at your perfectly set up campsite. Drink red wine. Eat chocolate. Lose over 1000 games of crazy 8’s in a row. By the time you finally win a game, by the time the tables turn, you’ve had too much red wine to continue the streak. Climb into bed happily.
11. Despite some rain and being vastly unprepared for a camping trip, somehow put together a breakfast of champions.
12. Plan to meet your friends at the market the exact moment a 2-hour long torrential downpour begins. Against all logic, search for them in the pouring rain. Almost get grumpy, but nip it in the bud with a beer and a game of Uno. Wait out the storm.
14. When the sun comes out say fuck you to the storm and drink blackberry beers on the Rock Salt patio until it’s time to move inside for dinner.
15. Back at the campsite, find the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Play 20 questions and laugh your head off until it’s time to go to sleep.
16. On your last day on the island, explore. Eat, drive, hike. Pick a few blackberries. Make your way home.
17. Once you’re home, even if the rain has stopped and the sun is doing it’s very best, pretend that it’s storming outside. Curl up on the couch and watch more TV than you should, first at your own home, and later with your best girlfriends.
18. Spend the last day of the last long weekend of the summer at the beach with some of the best people in the world. Eat a lot. Try stand up paddle boarding for the first time. Try Oar Boarding. Sit in the warm sand until the weather turns. Feel like you’re bearing witness to the changing of the seasons.
19. Go home to the one you love. Eat unhealthy food. Watch an unhealthy amount of television. Fall asleep in the arms of your favourite person.
20. Begin counting down the days until summer 2015.