Chapter Forty-Two

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It was 11:00 a.m. when we arrived in Vancouver and thankfully, the sun was shining. The flight was long, but we slept through most of it. Outside the YVR airport was a row of yellow cabs lined up waiting. At the front of the line was a shiny stretch limousine ready to take us anywhere we wanted. The driver quickly got out and rushed over to help us with our bags.

"Where to today, my friends?" the driver asked.

"1390 The Crescent, please."

"The Crescent?" Dan asked. "That sounds fancy."

 The limo pulled out of the lineup and headed north toward Steve's parents' house. Steve's parents were on vacation and would be gone all summer so we had the entire house all to ourselves.

As we drove down Granville Street, I had butterflies in my stomach from being in the city again. Just looking at the skyline brought back so many memories. I couldn't quite see Ashley's building, but I looked for it. I wondered if she still lived there. It had been two years since we had last spoken and I wondered what she had been up to.

 The limo entered the Shaughnessy neighborhood. I gazed out at the beautiful houses; each house was bigger than the last. I hadn't spent a lot of time in this part of town, but I had an idea of the property value.

"It's this one on the right," Steve instructed the driver.

As we got out, we looked up in amazement. I think we all had an idea of what to expect when we pulled up to his parents' house, but this exceeded all of our expectations.

"So this is the house you grew up in, Steve?" Dan asked.

"It's one of them."

Steve hopped out and punched in the code for the security gate. The limo driver waited for him to get back in before he slowly crept down the long wrap-around driveway. The limo finally came to a stop under the large covered entryway. We each grabbed our luggage from the trunk and wheeled them up to the front door of the hotel-sized house. Steve unlocked the door and deactivated the alarm. As soon as we stepped inside, we all looked up at the magnificent entrance. At the top of the forty foot high ceiling was one of the largest crystal chandeliers that I had ever seen. It dangled in between two massive dome skylights.

"Wow, this is a nice place, Steve. Are you going to give us the grand tour?"

"Yeah, sure. If you guys want to set your bags down, I'll show you around."

We set our bags down on the polished white marble floor and followed Steve through the house. Everything seemed expensive, and each piece of furniture had a story. Even the coffee table was not just an ordinary coffee table – it was imported from some far off region of the globe.

"In here is our kitchen. If you guys ever get a fridge, get this one, it has an airtight seal and controls the exact temperature for you. And it's super quiet."

"How much does that cost?" I asked.

"This one was customized to match our cabinets so I think it was about ten grand."

It took us about twenty minutes to walk in and out of every room on the first floor. "Wait until you guys see the downstairs," Steve said, as he raced down a winding staircase. When we arrived, we saw a large swimming pool surrounded by lots of plants. It looked like an oasis in the jungle. On the far left of the illuminated blue water was a mountain of stonework and greenery that had a waterslide through the center. One entire wall was made of glass, which offered a full view of the spectacular backyard. It was a large green pasture with a beautiful assortment of trees and flowers.

We proceeded to walk down the hall from the pool area, where Steve briefly introduced us to the family's home gym. It was complete with nearly everything a major fitness club would have. "Okay, are you guys ready for my favourite room in the house?" Steve asked. We unanimously nodded our heads and mumbled something, indicating our mutual agreement.

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