The Dutch import store was a short drive away in the next town. And they have a better breakfast place there too. So we went to eat first. One of those places that all the locals go to. They serve great breakfast or lunch options and also have a killer bakery with breads and desserts for sale.
We had our breakfast and then drove to the import store. I found it on Instagram, actually. Somehow I came across their posts and didn’t know it existed! There has been one in Victoria and Duncan, now closed, as far as I know – the owners retired. Coombs is quite a way to drive to pick up a few Dutch goods, but when we are in Parksville anyway, I jumped at the chance. They have LOTS of Dutch things. I just had to get Poffertjes mix, kruidnootjes, hagelslag and some chocolate letters, which are a Sinterklaas tradition. I was thrilled. The owner says they have been in Coombs for 18 years but in that particular location for 2.
We headed back to Parksville for the second game of the day. I drove out each of the three days. 92 km away. We decided to save on the hotel stay and just drive. Being new dog owners as well, we are not used to navigating hotels with a dog. He is still a puppy and happy in his crate each night, and we are happy he has a routine of bathroom, crate all night and then start our day. It’s just simpler in these beginning stages of puppy ownership. But we packed him and his travel bag up each day and brought him with us. Food and water and treats. He just slept in the car while hockey was on. And I walked him in the hour that the boys get ready before the game. The day was surprising tiring for him, driving such a long way and waiting for the hockey game. But it’s an adventure and a new experience, new sights and smells and noises on the road and parking lots.
All weekend, the boys played great. They are grade 11 and 12 kids. Sunday, there were 5 that couldn’t play, so the 10 players had to really work for their wins. They hustled. Sunday morning, we found out that a teammate wouldn’t be there. His mom passed away the day before. During their second game. She had been ill and we were told they knew it was coming. It was a boy that hasn’t played with Jordan before, so we didn’t know the family. The boys had heavy hearts for their teammate. They wanted to win for him and his mom. They made it to the bronze medal game, and they won. They pointed to heaven at the end. This was for her. And for Chase. The kind of moment that brings a lump to your throat.
They had a special weekend having those moments together. It made an impact on Jordan. We saw him play more intensely this weekend. Even with a short bench, they all wanted to support each other and contribute to the win. Tournaments like these they don’t forget. They matter.