Travelogue // Abbotsford, British Columbia


Travelogue - Abbotsford - The Wholesome Handbook

Driving from Alberta to B.C. for a weekend visit with Andrew’s grandparents was like leaping forward in time. As we weaved around and over the Rockies on Highway 1 and the Coquihalla, the world shifted from a humble, budding brown to a raucous, lush eruption of green.

B.C. is a land of plenty. It’s crowded with dense hills and heavy clouds, and you can smell the ocean salt in the air. After 10 car-bound hours of podcasts, coffee, and rain, the eldest Reists welcomed us with their legendary Strawberry Birthday Cake, studded with saran-wrapped loonies, and we chatted long into the night.

Our first morning, we breakfasted on homemade raisin bread and blackberry preserves picked from the cemetery bushes across the street – does anyone feed us better than our grandparents? Afterwards, I managed to drag the boys out to the gloriously muddy Bloom Tulip Festival, and had to fight every one of my instincts to just lay down in the muck and roll around like a happy piglet. Spring makes me a little wild, but then again, I suppose it does that to all of us – Beltane has its reputation for a reason, after all.

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paige andrew married 0386

On September 5th, we were married in a relic of a hay barn, surrounded by century-old schoolhouses, a clutch of little marks on an endless stretch of Alberta prairie. The heavens gifted us the good omen of torrential rain and freezing winds.

Nothing on this day was not touched by the hands that also made us. My mother, with an army of our nearest and dearest, hung swaths of silk from the rafters and laid vintage saris down for an aisle. My aunt crafted the most beautiful florals I have ever set my eyes upon. My grandmother guided my hands and told me stories from her farm-grown childhood as we baked 20 pies together in my mother’s kitchen, a dozen dogs patiently waiting at our feet for scraps.

My little brothers worked tirelessly – escorting folks through the rain, running errands, rescuing bridesmaids. Our brother-in-law married us with the kindness and humour we love him for. My girls kept me sane. Every last person helped us set up, party, and tear down.

And our incomparably talented friend Brittany captured it all for us. These are a few of my favourite images from the day.

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