Over the past couple weeks I've had the opportunity to catch up with some old friends. That doesn't sound like a big deal in today's world of social networking but there's nothing like sitting face-to-face over some (or several) beers.
Two weekends ago I went to a bachelor weekend for one of my oldest and best friends. We don't get to see each other nearly enough so it was nice just to hang for a couple days. On top of that, the rest of the guys there, for the most part, were also old friends. We all stayed in a townhouse near the base of Blue Mountain near Collingwood. There were more guys than beds but after a few beers, couches and floors work just as well. Eventhough I was one of the last to go to bed, I ended up with a proper bed. Cool.
For the most part we just hung out. We talked about what we'd been up to for the last however-many years. Ate lots of food. Drank, etc and played videogames. On the Saturday afternoon, after the game of "Cups" didn't pan out, we played Ultimate frisbee. I'd never played before but the guys that play regularly said I was a natural. Maybe on offense. My defense left much to be desired. Cardio is a HUGE part of Ultimate and Cardio and I don't see eachother very much either. Despite the near respiratory arrest, I had a lot of fun. Then we headed back and resumed the hang-drink(etc)-videogame routine until it was time to eat again. The guys were thoughtful enough to buy veggie burgers for me (and unknowingly another guy too). They were Lick's brand and were they ever good. But filling! I had covered my ass and brought my own veggie burgers which went missing Sunday morning. I wonder if someone was packing up the food and took them home. I'd be interested to hear what they thought of them!
I had a great weekend. It sucked being away from my girls but it was a special weekend for my friend and that's important too.
The next weekend might have been even better. Well, ya it was better. (If not for any other reason than not sitting for HOURS in a car with two stubborn brothers and developing a "Jeep Seat" flare-up)
It was the wedding weekend. And it was pretty flippin' awesome. It was held at the National Yacht Club in Toronto. Nice venue. Becky and I drove up on the Saturday morning and checked in to the Hilton Toronto. (Thank you, Priceline.com) It's a pretty nice hotel! I didn't see Paris anywhere but I do know how the Hiltons got so rich. Virtually nothing is free. On priceline, it said the average room at that hotel goes for $192/night. At that price, you would expect some freebies. Not really. Breafast was not included. Continental was $17. Drink was extra. ($3 shit-ass coffee) We even had to pay for local phone calls. $1.38 +HST each. I almost expected the shampoo and in-room coffee to show up on my credit card. But the room was nice and in general the hotel was great. Just don't order the Earl Grey tea.
The wedding ceremony itself was out on the balcony/deck at the NYC. We had to compete with air traffic a bit but we just concentrated on the sitar. The bride and groom looked great and it was wonderful to witness two great people commit to each other. Inside at the reception was great too. It was very well set up. And open bar.
The bride and groom were so genuinely honoured that everyone was there. They have this way of making you feel special. Becky and I feel blessed to have them as friends. Their speech was very nice and the rest of the speeches were pretty super too. The Best Man's speech (with visual aids) was simply spectacular! The music was good too. No Country! Double Rainbow! Food wise, it was primo. I had the tofu. There was tofu! It was grilled. It was good. Anyone we talked to said the meal was great. The portions were perfect. You could finish your plate without feeling like some poor country was starving because of you. The whole wedding was overall awesomeness.
What made it all that much better was that we were sitting with more old friends! One buddy I hadn't seen since our wedding (I think) 8 years ago. And the other moved out of province 4-5 years ago. We did a lot of catching up. Despite not seeing each other for years, it was like we never missed a day. We could have talked all night. On one side I talked about Eastern philosophies, lucid dreaming and alternate views of reality, and on the other side, life as fathers of 2 girls each. I have very few friends into that weird stuff and very few friends I can talk to about fatherhood. You have no idea how awesome it was to talk to those guys. There's no reason we can't at least email each other more often.
So for two weekends I got to hang out with old and dearly missed, elementary school, high school and university friends that I haven't seen in ages. And only time will tell when I'll see them again. I suppose growing up and drifting apart geographically is a natural part of life. The important thing is to remember that no matter how far apart you are, true friendship will always be there.