Monday, November 19, 2012

A Much Needed Get-Away

I know we all have those times when we just need to get away. We need to not be in our homes, our communities, our churches, or our jobs. And we need to go somewhere different - not necessarily far away or exotic, but just somewhere different.

Oh boy did I need to get away a few weeks ago! So bad. Being in Kamloops and in my home and job was actually painful.

So I left my plans till the last minute, packed my car up with my snowboard gear, some clothes, my ipod, camera, and wallet and headed for the Rockies.

The plan was to meet my dear, good, friend Lillian in Banff for a weekend of snowboarding, relaxing, eating out, visiting, laughing, talking, and encouraging eachother in our friendship and faith. I left on Thursday night, planning on meeting Lillian sometime on Friday. As my travels progressed, Lillians plans changed about 18 times (not unusual). I stopped in Golden for the night, slept in, read my book and continued on my journey.

The roads were glorious, dry, and traffic free. On Thursday night I noticed I was low on gas and decided to fill up in the morning before I left Golden.

Yeah... I forgot to do that.

I drove for about 45 minutes before I remembered that I didn't have very much gas. Shoot. My options were to turn around, drive 45 minutes back to Golden, or hold out another 30 minutes and hope there was gas in this tiny little village I knew I would pass through. I had a 50/50 chance of having enough gas to make it to Banff. Luckily, the little town had one pump. And I got gas.

Then plans changed, and now I was to meet Lillian in Calgary. No biggie, it was only and hour past Banff. I continued on my drive. I had gas, I had some good tunes on, I was rolling.

But my windshield wipers didn't work.

Not a major problem, since the roads were dry, but I realized that if the roads became wet, I would have a little situation on my hand. The wiper blades would swipe, but there was no washer fluid coming out.

I stopped in Banff, thinking maybe the fluid was low. I stopped at a gas station, topped it up, and then walked around town, drank some Chai, read more of my book, visited my very first Lulu Lemon, and played tourist for a few hours. Unfortunately, as I tested the wipers while I was leaving, they still did not work. I found a garage and asked for help. They were gracious enough to let me know that the soonest they could fit me in was next week. Not acceptable. They were nice enough to take a look and speculated that my washer fluid was frozen. All I needed to do was park my car in my heated garage and let the fluid thaw. I don't usually bring a heated garage with me on vacation - and I suppose if we are being honest, I should say that even if I wanted to, I don't own one.

I drove a little further to Canmore and hoped against hope that they would be able to help me. Luckily the Canadian Tire had a heated garage, so I parked m car and chilled out in Canadian Tire for two hours. FYI, as a woman, I found it very difficult to kill two hours in a Canadian Tire.

Two hours later, car fixed, back on the road. First stop in Calgary: Swiss Chalet. I love BC, but it's lackage of Swiss Chalet gives it a -3000 points in my books.

Oh delicious festive special, I love you so much.

Plans change again, Lillian still hasn't left Edmonton. She doesn't expect to arrive in Calgary till close to 10. I decide to shop and kill time with a movie.

Movie over. Plans change again. The roads are terrible. It has taken them 1.5 hours to do a normal 15 minute drive. Is it safe or even worth coming? I tell her to let our hosts know that I'm coming over without her. I totally invite myself over and in and the Snowboarders for Christ Crew were totally welcoming and friendly and super gracious and nice. We chilled for a while. Lillian crawled into the room at 2am.

9am found us at Lake Louise ready to go. A quick prayer on the hill for safety and ministry and we were off. The first ones to make tracks on the upper part of the mountain - not just for the day, but for the season! Amazing.  A great day, bluebird skies, friendly people, quiet hill, fresh powder, warm sunshine on our backs. I was exhausted by the time we got home, but it was worth it.

Sunday was me and Lillian time. Church, lunch, and a visit to Heritage Park - the Calgary equivalent of Barkerville.

Driving home on Sunday/Monday was good too. Just me and my i-pod, my thoughts, and my prayers. A little solo retreat for the last few hours.

I came home feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to face another week of life.

I need to get away more often.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Calgary Alberta. And when I say 'opportunity' I actually mean, I ended up there kinda randomly. But that is another story. Despite how and why I was there, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

a. Because gas was $1.05/l as opposed to the $1.31/l in BC
b. Because I got to go to Swiss Chalet for the first time in YEARS
c. Because I got to see my dear, good, awesome, friend Lillian
d. Because I got to go snowboarding at Lake Louise

Be jealous of it all. Because it was amazing.

The highlight was spending time with Lillian. Whom I love. Whom I met in a parking lot six years ago, and consider one of my bestest people. The only thing we disagree on is food. Lillian loves any and all ethnic foods, me, not so much. Give me mashed potatoes and gravy any day. On Sunday we were driving around Calgary trying to find somewhere to eat. Lillian kept suggesting Thai, Vietnameese, Sushi, Korean, all sorts of random ethnic foods. I just wanted something straight-up Canadian.

We found a resturaunt called "The National" which, conveniently enough, was a Canadian resturaunt that only served traditionally ethnic Canadian food. Corn dogs, burgers, pork, maple-flavoured-everything etc.

Now, I consider myself a proud Canadian. I love this country that I live in, the freedoms we have here, our land, our diversity, and our food. Including our national dish - poutine. But I had NO idea that you could order the following types of poutine:


Monday, November 05, 2012

One Year

Happy one year anniversary to me and my little sister!

It's been a great year. So much fun, so much laughter, so much silliness, and so much acting like an 8 year old. I love my mini-me. Think about volunteering and changing a life.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Sully was taken hostage by a mouse

The other morning I woke from a deep slumber to the sound of a shrill shriek coming from the hallway. Being the good sister that I am, I ignored it and went back to sleep, it was after all five am. Priorities people, priorities.

When I did finally decide to wake up, I walked with sleep filled eyes to the bathroom, passing as I usually do, our storage closet. Somehow through the haze of early morning I noticed a bright blue note on the door. The note read:

"Do not open this door. There is a very large, very disgusting mouse in here. It scared me and it is really big and scary and me no likey."

A mouse.

I'm not sure that I've mentioned it before, but my sisters have zero initiative when it comes to dealing with things that need to be done. The cover of the light in our kitchen was sitting on the floor for six months before our friend Caleb finally fixed it. We've needed a cable for our dvd player for 4 months, no one will go get it, Vanessa is hilariously terrible at leaving her leftovers in the fridge, forever. I know what you are thinking, 'Your sisters have zero intiative? What about you Nikki?' In my defense, I am the one who does pretty much everything that needs to be done (gardens, cleaning, decorating, cooking, dishes, designing sweet garden gnomes to decorate our yard, paying bills etc) and when I say "I'm not dealing with the light fixture" I don't think it's too much to ask for one of them to fix the problem.

Now we have a serious problem.
A mouse.

I don't likey either.

And so the mouse was locked in the storage room. Holding all our sweet posessions hostage. My Dr. Quinn tapes, all our games, photo albums, Christian romance novels, stationery, DVD's. This mouse was causing a serious inconvenience. We had a games night planned AND I had a very upsetting week and NEEDED a dose of Sully. He is the medicine that cures all my problems. (Ohhh I totally need to blog about how Dr. Quinn has gotten me through every tough situation in my life - true story.)

It's weeks like this where boyfriends would be REALLY handy.

It would also be really handy if we weren't so SLOW in realizing that my best friend Tiersa grows mice for a living. (She sells them to pet stores).

It took us four days to remember that Tiersa could easily fix our mouse problem.

And so, the bestie-iest of best friends came over on Tuesday night and saved my Dr. Quinn collection - for which I will be eternally thankful.

Turns out the mouse was already dead. We dehydrated it by locking it in the room for four days with no water.