Last weekend, the four Poiema Gals and one Poiema Gal Sister took a road trip to celebrate the upcoming marriage of Melissa Heagy and Mark Blackwood. Poiema Gals have been known to love a good surprise, and the stagette weekend was no different. We had the entire weekend away planned and Mel had no idea where we were taking her or what we would be doing. Our trip took us to Fernie, Lake Kookanusa, and Cranbrook. Each day we gave Melissa clues in a vintage photo album about what was to come. A fujifilm instant camera was the perfect accompaniment, allowing her to document the trip and fill the album as we went. What I loved most about the weekend, was the spontaneous, unplanned fun we had. Yes, our plans were brilliant (Japanese dinner, dancing all night, lounging by a lake) but it was the random games of grounders, the abrupt stops to go jump in a new lake, the fully-committed improvisation of songs, the impromptu heart to hearts detailing what each of us love most about the rest- these are the things I will remember. For Monday, we had planned a 2 hour bike ride from Cranbrook to Kimberley on a beautiful trail, but awoke to thunderstorms. No problem. We played cards, swam in the pool playing Marco Polo and having jumping competitions, watched a movie, went to a café, and finally played the scariest game of Sardines I've ever experienced. (Candice, your parents have a terrifyingly dark and eerie yard when the sun goes down.) The rain didn't make us skip a beat. "Ah well," we thought, "just an opportunity to do something else exciting." These trips remind me how lucky I am to have the friends I do. It makes me pause to appreciate the moments I share with them, and how important these relationships are in my life. It was brought up on the trip how people, girls included, view women as dramatic, catty, or selfish, and how saddening this is. Girls are great. I hope that everyone can be surrounded by women just like the ones I have who they can laugh with, share with, and lean on. Congratulations, Melissa! Thank you for letting us be a part of your day!