Going Home: Part 2 (The Vortex + Senanus Swim)

Going home always starts with a visit to my mom’s, and is almost always followed by hanging out with Adam and Antonia.


For those of you reading who don’t know them, they are my super talented musician friends, currently expressing their melodic awesomeness with their band Thieves. I could go on, but I’ll save the details for my upcoming interview with Adam. We’re gonna chat about music, life, transitions, the future…the sort of ground we’ve been covering in our lengthy conversations over the last 15 years or so, but shared here, on the blog. This is an interview I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and I’m really stoked we’re making it happen.

So a couple days after we returned to Victoria from Salt Spring, Joe and I drove out to Adam’s mom’s house for a BBQ. Tucked away off a narrow road in Saanichton, about 30 minutes from Victoria, this house is the stuff dreams are made of. (I rarely use clichés, but in this case, totally necessary.) Once you arrive, you never want to leave. We call it The Vortex.


This home eases worries, soothes angst and heals hearts. It’s where you go when you need a house that hugs. It pulls you in and you are so glad it does. It’s also a great place for a party.


I’ve actually been coming here since I was really young (Adam and I grew up together), so it has that comforting feeling of being a place that knows me well, has seen me as a skinny kid jumping on the trampoline and playing the piano.


This is the orchard. Not bad for a front yard! I’m pretty sure that’s where the trampoline was when we were kids.

A huge highlight of The Vortex is Adam’s mom Anne, who we call Munsta.


She’s clearly an amazing gardener, and has impeccable design taste (I am really wishing I had interior photos to show you guys), but what really stands out about Munsta is her ability to get you talking. Within about two minutes of arriving at The Vortex, you’ll probably find yourself telling her the details of what’s going on in your life and how you’re feeling about it all. As soon as she met Joe she was asking him about his plans for school and the differences between med school and PA school, and soon we were talking about the ways we communicate and our different family backgrounds. It’s just like that with Munsta! Love this lady.


It was a hot afternoon, and Adam suggested a trip to Senanus, a nearby ocean spot. We were joined by Tula, Murphy, and Indie, the posse of dogs that belongs to this family.




Joe is a dog guy. He loves our crazy kitten Cleo, but deep down, he is meant to own a pooch. One day…


The day before, Adam had been really sick with a weird stomach bug, and still wasn’t feeling great.


So we collectively decided he should jump in the freezing cold water to revive himself.

Joe offered to join him…


Which is why I am featuring, for the first time ever, two dudes in their underwear on my blog.


The dogs were in full support.

IMG_0800 IMG_0802 IMG_0803Success!

Even Murphy felt refreshed.


Adam was back in action, just in time to show off his Salmon BBQ’ing skills on the west deck. These guys know how to host.



Isn’t there a saying about how friends are the family you choose? That’s how I feel about these guys. Dinner on the deck, chats over wine, a sleepover in the guest room, and coffee in the morning, under the skylights…I am always at peace here.



  1. I love how you have put all my feelings about the vortex into eloquent perfection! So sad that our airport rendezvous didn’t work out.
    Mitch’s bro is moving to Portland for school in the fall so we will be along soon.

  2. oh, taitlee – you’ve got me teary-eyed up in Alaska reading this! you are so missed and loved – can’t wait till your next visit!

  3. I feel truly honored to be one of the first guys in his undies on your blog! Fantastic post Taitly. As always! I love the pics and will make sure Munsta gets this.

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