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Next time, bring a map
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(*originally written yesterday, but I finished it today, un-privated it, decided it would be better to repost as "now", and here it is)

Had a wonderful Sunday evening and Monday morning with Erin, darthmaus, and spectral42.

They arrived yesterday* and the weather was beautiful. After chatting, the tour of the apartment, and oohing and ahhing over Erin's vegetative menagerie we headed across the river. Parking outside the gate, we strolled through Heritage Park while I pointed out all the locations of major features of the Mission Folk Music Festival, which is held annually in said park. We then crossed the invisible line into OMI land and headed up the trails through the hills.

It was a good walk. The flora was beautiful and verdant, and Maus was impressed by the number of moss-harbouring thingies that we saw. My favourite part of the hike up to Westminster Abbey was finding, in a thinly-underbrushed area below towering broadleaf maples and a slice of blue sky, lazing in a beam of sunshine, a lone dandelion flower. I hadn't done that hike for years and it was great to walk those paths again.

The surrounding grounds and abbey itself was neat although it had closed for the dinner hour when we got there and, being hungry ourselves, we headed along the road access out. I'd never gone that way, and it came out on an unfamiliar stretch of Dewdney Trunk Road. I picked the direction that I figured was river-ward and ended up being righ despite having my bearings totally whacked. Unlike around the part of Mission I'm used to, at Hatzic the river is not due South, but South-East.

This is where we got lost.

We came down behind Hatzic Secondary and walked back along my old route home from school, through the neighbourhood, the Indian Friendship Centre, back through a tiny strip of forested OMI land, and through Heritage Park back to the car.

I'd planned on doing my risotto for dinner but it was already closing on 8 pm, so we opted to go to a good pub on the way home called Lou's Grill. The service was incredibly perky, as it often is, and I swear I went to school with the girl but forgot to ask her where she went before we left. She wouldn't likely have recognised me without my long hair, so I wonder.

(recap: watched _It's a beautiful life_, crashed, played music, looked at books, slept over, made risotto, chatted, lazed around in bed all day)

Got back and tried hooking up the XBox to watch Shaolin Soccer but the remote was necessary and had been forgotten. So, we ended up watching Life is Beautiful on VHS, which is a great movie. Subtitles are neat; I always forget I'm reading instead of listening while watching the movie.

We stayed up absurdly late just chatting and listening to music and idly going through Erin and my book collection. At one point I looked up at the clock and observed that I'd been up 24 hours; didn't sleep well the night before and woke up at 4 am. I was doing alright though, and it was fun.

In the morning I did finally make that risotto. The texture was good but it didn't seem to be as flavourful before the cheese went it as I'm used to, so it was a bit different. Early in the cooking I got my burner controls mixed up, so I was cooking it rather hot; I think that might have made the difference. Either way, it was good and cheesy (mmm, stilton!), and I serendipitously forgot to put the shitake in at the beginning. Serendipitously, because spectral42 isn't a big mushroom fan. Frying them up with garlic and a bit of onion and stirring them in to individual servings worked well, though.

They eventually headed out around noon, not before more lazing, music, and chat was had. All in all it was a great way to spend a sunny pseudo-summer day and a pleasant way to wake up in the morning. The house is still reasonably tidy; I find that I like having guests over, so I may find the motivation to keep it tidy, for once.

Then I slept. A lot.