You need four things for a successful scavenger hunt: good imagination, good weather, good shoes, and great companions. There was no shortage of any of these ingredients as we stood at the corner of Thurlow and Davie on Saturday afternoon, divided the gathering of Communiqueters into two groups, and set off in opposite directions.
Our resident museum curator had put together a deliciously curious list of clues, sufficiently challenging enough to have us exploring the greater downtown area, but with enough clues to keep us from throwing up our arms in frustration and ducking into the nearest pub. We were fortunate enough to have our scavenger hunt cross paths several times with the Occupy Vancouver camp, giving ample opportunity for self-expression for those of us who were feeling especially protesty that day.
As the demands of the weekend and the tendency of this herd of cats to migrate independently became more prevalent, the hunting began to flag, but as luck and excellent route planning would have it, the two parties ran into each other exactly halfway through the list, in front of the fabled Commodore Ballroom.
We all shook hands in a gentlemanly fashion and wandered back to the hotel together, to freshen up and imbibe in a much needed libation before heading to the home of one of our own who had graciously offered to feed and entertain the entire unruly bunch for the evening.
In a warm and welcoming home nestled deep in the trees overlooking a babbling creek, we feasted and feted, played DJ and dispensed door prizes. The entire evening was solid as a rock.
Sunday was intended to be a free day. But the problem with scheduling a free day for the final full day of Communique is that nobody wants to miss that last chance for belly laughs and bone-crushing hugs. Fortunately we all like breakfast, and even more fortunately we were all able to squeeze around tables pushed together at a Kitsilano all-day breakfast vegetarian restaurant, despite the fact that our group continued to pick up members as the weekend progressed.
But breakfast can only last so long. Eventually, members of Communique began to drift off in all directions, some to visit relatives, some to record stores, some to begin the journey back home. A few of us had a final chance that evening to linger over a meal of tapas, sharing stories, quirks, and life philosophies. There may have also been the odd belly laugh or two.
Monday morning came early to the last of the stragglers, as we said our farewells to Dave at the front desk, tetrised our luggage into the trunk of the rental car and headed to the airport. And I only got us lost once.
Still to come: photos and quotations. Because I can't let the weekend go just yet.