The countdown is on. I’m leaving in about a month. Perhaps leaving the west coast on the 9th of January or should I say, Janvier?

Robyn is my longest standing friend. Sure I have others I have known longer but they weren’t hand selected like she was. I feel rather confident in saying she was my first “lifetime friend.”

We’ve always has the worst of timing together. She grew up in White Rock while I was on the island and when I moved to the mainland, she moved to Victoria (on the island). Now that she’s back in Vancouver I’m moving half way across the world. How is it possible that we haven’t figured out how to live on the same land mass?

Last weekend we were sending each other messages lamenting how little we’ve seen of each other of late so I abruptly booked her for a Wednesday night date! She had already been downtown for a company Christmas party and I drove my way through gastown to find parking so we could finally join up. We wandered through a little shop and I ogled many pretty things and we attempted to somehow maintain conversation between sudden bursts of excitement before braving the cold winter air and walking to find a place to stop for a drink. We’d both already eaten and I had originally been anticipating some scotch but as it turned out across the street from the original destination was a restaurant I’d seen before and been curious to wander into, L’abattoir (translation: the slaughterhouse.) What the heck right? Why not try something new. We walked in and they checked our coats and we made our way to the bar and suddenly the urge to have wine overcame me. Maybe it was the French name or the fact that a group of business men next to us were all sipping their own glasses. It had already felt like such a long, long week and it was only Wednesday… I ordered a Crasto Douro from Portugal and a Brouilly from France. We giggled that the bartender looked like a spitting image of Jude Law and even had the same accent to boot. Watching the bartenders was fascinating as their arms swooped and shook various concoctions and as they sliced lemon twists and prepared various other garnishes. They seemed to have everything in it’s right place. We slowly enjoyed our selections. Me with my wine and Robyn with a freshly created Irish Cream for her coffee. It hit the spot, we laughed about life and all the things ahead in the unknown and marveled at the beauty of this small but mysterious little restaurant.

When we had finally had our fill and walked through the back hallway, past the open kitchen we found ourselves back on the cold streets of Gastown and as Robyn grabbed my arm like she always would these old cobblestone streets echoed of the accordion, a homeless man on the side of the street playing the soundtrack to Amelie and truly, it was a French evening to remember.

Here are to many more to come and new friends and new adventures.

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