Monday, July 15, 2013

Adventures in Alberta

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I haven't been on here in awhile and you've really missed me.

Whatever.  You're fine.

So we just got back from a family vacation to the exotic destination of...

...wait for it...


It was a great time.  We had friends to visit in Edmonton and Calgary, and Shawn's family to see in Lethbridge.  So, we started out at 9:30am one Friday morning, made our way up to Edmonton, and stayed in each place for three nights.

It was a shit load of driving.

There are a few things I learned during this family vacation, and I've decided that your life might be better if you learn them too.

1.  After driving for 9+ hours through nothing but freaking mountains and trees and those sheep with the big-ass horns, the flat prairies are actually kind of a welcome change.

2.  But then after about two hours, you're like holy shit - I NEED SOME MOUNTAINS, and WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THE TREES?!

3.  Sometimes, when you get to your destination after all of that time in the vehicle, your friend who you haven't seen in three months will be like, "let's drink some vodka!"  And because you've been in the car with your kids and husband for seven thousand hours listening to Blake Shelton's song 'Boys Round Here' on repeat because it's the kids' favorite, you're like "that's a great idea, make mine a double!"  I'm going to stop you right here and let you know that actually, it is NOT a great idea.  Because chances are, the vodka drinks your friend mixes up, taste just like fruity bubbly water.  But it is NOT just fruity bubbly water.  It has VODKA in it.  And so the next day, you will have to change your plans of going to the waterslides at West Edmonton Mall to the following day instead, because when both mommas want to hurl, swirling waterslides and wave pools sound like a TERRIBLE idea.

4.  Speaking of the waterslides at West Edmonton Mall, if you are wearing a swimsuit with a fairly deep cut in front, please be aware of the fact that there is a 100% chance that your boobs will pop out of it while you're bouncing around in the wave pool.  The poor souls nearest to me were very, very happy that I have lightning-fast reflexes when it comes to wardrobe malfunctions.

5.  This one here is a guarantee: about 10 minutes after you pull away from a town and pass the sign that says "no fuel for 150 kilometers", somebody in the vehicle (and not necessarily a child) is going to announce that they need to go poop.  RIGHT.NOW.  That person will also refuse to use the outhouses along the way, so you get 150 km worth of Dad doing his best Mike Meyers "got a wee bit of a turtle-head poking out" impression, along with the whining and the bouncy-poop-dance courtesy of whoever it is that needs to go.

6.  The iPod Touch is the best invention ever invented, EVER.  If Steve Jobs wasn't dead and I got to meet him in real life I would totally kiss him right on the mouth.  Thank you, Apple.  THANK YOU FOR EXISTING, and making road trips with children bearable.

7.  All that shit you packed, just in case?  You don't need it.  You do NOT need any of the following: lacrosse sticks and balls, along with other various pieces of sporting equipment; three bags of electronic shit; two bags for EACH kid filled with random crap from their bedrooms that they threw in last minute because they suddenly decided that living without said crap for 10 days sounded like torture; the stuff you use to make your hair look fancy (holidays = ponytails); enough food for six days trapped in the woods; your workout gear (let's face it, you're not going to be working out when you're too busy slamming back vodka like it's your job).  You DO need underwear, shoes, some clothes, your phone, your camera, and your wallet.  That's it.  And maybe a few snacks.  THAT'S IT.  Stop. Packing. Now.

8.  Wine is VERY cheap in Alberta.  We (I) spent an embarrassing amount of time in the Costco Liquor Store.  My favorite wine is Cupcake Red Velvet.  The cheapest I've ever gotten it for here is about $20.  IT WAS $9.89 IN ALBERTA!!!

9.  Gas is cheap, too.  Cheaper than here, anyway!

10.  Riding the bus to the Calgary Stampede at 8:00 in the morning with 100 million other people is NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT FUN.

11.  When you get to the Calgary Stampede, a large part of it is the carnival.  And you know how I feel about THAT.  Only instead of 1000 people being there, there are 125,000 people.  I'll let you go ahead and imagine just how delightful I found that experience to be.

12.  125,000 people were at the Calgary Stampede on the day we went.  Far too many people touched me that day.

13.  As it happens, the Calgary Stampede was a lot more fun when I was younger.

14.  I think I'm narcoleptic when I am a passenger.  I fell asleep on the bus in Calgary, complete with snoring and my mouth wide-open (yes, Shawn took a picture.  No, you absolutely can not see it!)  I also tend to fall asleep while Shawn's driving, but it happens so quickly that often he is mid-sentence when I do the ol' head-bob and wake up 10 minutes later with drool running down my chin and into my lap.

15.  Finally, family vacations are, overall, a pretty good time - even with all the driving and arguing and getting lost and needing to pee at the worst possible times.  That said, I'm glad we're home!

Wherever it is you're off to this summer - have fun and be safe!

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