July 26, 2012

A Canal Boat Benefit and a Boat Full of Angels

 A few months ago, my best friend came down with some very serious health issues, which is why I randomly flew home in March. I may or may not discuss those things at some point…but not today :).

To love a friend so deeply and to be so far away from them during a time like this is not easy. At all. Because while my body is here, my mind is in California.

Christian and I wanted to help in any way we could. In the last few months, I was overwhelmed with support from my Amsterdam buddies who also just wanted to help. Christian’s ingenious ideas meant that he rented his company’s canal boat which ever so conveniently fit 30 people (and this was the small  boat), had a sweet sound system, a beer tap and a boat captain, and turned it into a fundraiser and boat party in honor of my friend and to just say ‘Hey! You have a team of people in Europe cheering you on!’. And thus this event turned into the Canal Boat Benefit!

We spread the word and before we knew it the boat was packed full! My sister and her husband were in town for the event as well as our travel buddies Denis and Emma who came from Paris, Christian’s best friends who came from Maastricht, and 20 other friends from Amsterdam, including Liz, Jana, Lily and Ellen. Another friend came straight from the airport to the boat (with luggage in tow)…awesome. Some friends couldn't make it, but donated anyway...like Jeanelle :') and a handful of others.

I felt so blessed as we cruised around the canals of Amsterdam—looking left to Christian, my twin sis and my brother-in-law and right towards the blogger girls I was lucky enough to befriend in the last few months and then all around at colleagues and close friends who I had come to know very well over the years. I got emotional…but thankfully I was wearing sunglasses and stood by the keg ;).

We sent the donations and a signed card with well wishes to Julia—she said she felt so lucky. I told her I felt lucky too—to have her as my best friend for 11 years and counting, to have this life, love and a wonderful family (which Julia is an honorary member of by the way!) and to call each of these people on the canal boat my friend because all but 4 of them actually met Julia and insisted on helping a complete stranger anyway. 

People amaze me.

THANKS EVERYONE!! I could never ever thank you enough :).


Jenna said...

Wow, this is seriously amazing! It's acts of kindness such as this that remind you that there is so much good in the world and so many people willing to help a friend in need. Best wishes to your friend and she confronts this hurdle - she and her family will be in my thoughts and prayers :)


Jeanelle said...

You and your BFF are so lucky to have each other Rachael! You are an amazing friend and she sounds like such a special person. This post made my day :) Still can't believe my timing in getting sick the weekend before the Canal Benefit Cruise, my 1st day of my new job, a weekend of sun - UGH. But glad it was a success!!!

See you at Book Club!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful thing you guys did for your friend! Wow, I'll be smiling for the rest of the day.

The Egg said...

you guys are freakin' awesome!

xo the egg out west.

Eloise and things said...

This is amazzing, asoloutly amazing, you are so lovely, and it looks like this was so much fun! so glad i found your blog!! xo Elosie

Taylor said...

Looks like such an amazing time. Such a beautiful post full of kindness! I love your pics, too!

ashley // chasing heartbeats said...

This looks like a fabulous time and such a great way to support your friend in need. Looks like you have made some wonderful new friends in Amsterdam :)

Kristina said...

such a wonderful idea! i hope your best friend will feel better soon!