I wake early, unable to doze through my first alarm thanks to the general sense of anticipation that has been growing all weekend. As usual, I spend a few minutes skimming through social media before slipping out of bed. The Keurig machine isn’t working; after several minutes of staring balefully at it while repeatedly pressing various buttons (yes, it was plugged in), I give up and turn the kettle on for tea instead.
All weekend, I have been waiting for this day to come. Now it’s here and I can’t quite believe it. I sit at the table with my laptop facing the windows — no, facing the city. Everything is still but for a handful of birds that soar between buildings. I can’t see the sun from here, but I can see the walls and windows lit up by its rays. Between two buildings, I can look out all the way across the water to a stretch of green. I think, just maybe, I can see the ocean beyond that. I think, What a view, and I drink it in along with my too-hot tea.
All weekend, I have been soaking in the reality of actually being here in Halifax. I’ve walked the streets, driven around the city, stared out over the water, and gotten sunburned. At the same time, I have been making the most of my last days before Dad flies home. His plane doesn’t leave until later this morning but we said goodbye last night when I dropped him off at the hotel. Somehow, despite having driven for literal days to get here, I can’t entirely comprehend just how far I am from the city I grew up in.
Beside me, my phone lights up. “Hello, ladies!” it declares, the start of my second alarm. (Yes, my alarm tone is currently a remix of the Old Spice commercial. Don’t judge.)
I jump, swipe to silence it, and check the clock. Nearly time to get dressed and ready. Soon, I imagine I’ll be much too busy to worry about things like the distance between Edmonton and Halifax.