It is true. I LOVE me a summer off. Not being in an industry where summers off are the norm, it doesn’t happen all that often. But I’ve been lucky enough to have it happen three times…

1) Summer of 2004. To be precise (and if you know me you know I am annoyingly precise…) I was actually off from end of January to end of July. “Summer” that year officially started on the May long weekend. It was the first of many sunny and hot days spent at Kits pool. I think it was the sunniest and hottest summer I’ve ever had in Vancouver and I definitely got my money’s worth out of my pass for the pool. Highlights of that summer include:

– Endless days spent at Kits pool – literally until it shut down every day

– Going to my friend Sherri’s art gallery and helping out before heading to the pool

– Hanging out with my friend Stu, who also had the summer off. We swam, watched the summer Olympics, house sat in Dunbar, went to the fireworks, went sailing, BBQ’s at Stu’s place every Friday, and generally laughed at everyone who was working (I know, I’ll pay for that on a karma level)

– Numerous evenings spent at the Lumiere Tasting Bar – oh Neil, where did you go? You kept me well fed and tipsy, and wouldn’t charge me for much more than one drink, and you took care of the friends I brought with me

– A particularly epic July 1st day/evening/night – and a very rock July 2nd….

– Some other things that well…shouldn’t be published….but definitely put a smile on my face

– And at the end of it all I started working at Chalk Media and met some incredible people – two of whom are amongst my very best of friends – long live Ladies Who Dine! Love you Vicky and Laura.

Kits Pool. One of my favourite places ever.

2) Summer of 2010. Preceded by 3 1/2 glorious and insanely busy years with the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games —- so you guessed it, I slept a lot! Time off that year started in early April, post the Para Games. Highlights of that summer off:

– My idea for the beginning of my recovery was to go to Mexico — to a bikini bootcamp  in Tulum. What better way to rest up and recover than with a bootcamp!?!?! Oy… But it was the best thing for me. Up at 7am for a run/walk for an hour, followed by a 30-minute ‘beach blast’ cardio workout – yummy granola and fresh fruit for breakfast – an outing of some sort – a work out at 11am, lunch and beach time from 12:30-4:30, a couple of massages, healthy fresh food for lunch and dinner, and oh yes, a few mint margaritas and a crazy good salsa dance with a salsa teacher, skinny dipping in the Caribbean at 3:00am, and some wonderful new friends – one even from Montreal! (Love you Nat!)

– After bootcamp Nat and I headed to Playa del Carmen for a night and then I headed to Mexico City for a week to visit…Stu, who had moved down there. After all, what’s a summer off without some time hanging out with Stu?

– You guessed it – days spent at the pool, although that summer it was mostly at Brighton pool as I was house-sitting in North Vancouver.

– Daily workouts and a local bootcamp.

– Generally just hanging out with friends and sleeping a lot.

– At the end of that summer I started what turned out to be an 18-month contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Not a bad way to follow up working on the Olympic Games! This included the run to the Stanley Cup finals, which didn’t end the way I had so hoped. But the ride was fantastic, so no complaints from me.

My favourite spot at Amansala in Tulum.

I do love the beach and the water here.

Julie and I in Trevor Linden’s locker. Of all the people I brought to games, we consistently won when Julie came. She become known as our lucky charm.

3) Summer of 2012. You’ve seen some of my blog posts about this summer. It’s been amazing. Officially started June 16th when my contract with the Canucks ended. Some highlights from a summer filled with highlights:

– 3 weeks in Europe in which every moment was a highlight: A week in London catching up with great friends and a city I love and have been lucky enough to spend a good amount of time in. If you get a chance, you have to go see the play One Man, Two Guvnors – hysterical. Right Tina?; Rome – finally getting to discover Rome. I need to go back; Bologna with Jacques, and then having Yvon and Amanda join us, and then having Emily join us; Two nights on the beach in Cinque Terre; The food in Italy; The hotel at the Frankfurt airport. And oh so much more.

– Watching the summer Olympics – glued to that every day.

– Hanging out at Kits pool – Stu was back for August so we got to hang out there again. Seriously, can’t have a summer off without that!

– 5 days in Montreal for mum’s birthday. Hanging out with family. Catching up with Nat.

– Taking advantage of what turned out to be a lovely summer and fall, and hanging out with friends.

So now I guess it’s that time again where I need to get back to work. What wonderful adventure awaits me on that front this time round? There are a couple of options, and soon it’ll get sorted. But before that….time to bugger off to Mexico! So that’s what I’ve done. Stay tuned for some thoughts from San Jose del Cabo!

What can I say, I just love this photo. London.

As much as I loved discovering Rome, Bologna was a wonderful surprise. It is a very pretty city.

Kits Pool happiness winds down for another winter.