Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Great White North

Instead of heading south for the Memorial Day weekend where blue skies, warm weather, and sandy beaches were calling our names we decided to head north. Not North to the frozen tundra of Soda Springs or even more north to Rexburg where Denae and my paths may or may not have crossed on the romantic campus of BYU-Idaho. We went way north to the Great White North. We decided we wanted to take a road trip to visit Denae's grandmother who hasn't been feeling well lately and had been in and out of the hospital. She had made the decision to sell her house and move into an assisted living center where she could get more help with the daily tasks of life.

Here is a picture of her enjoying all of her family's company.

This was my first time venturing into Canadia and I was very much up for the task. I was unable to take Friday off of work because both my co-workers had made prior plans to take off for the weekend. We were able to leave SLC around 3 and made it to Heber to pick up Denae's mom and sister and were on the road by 4:30. Luckily we didn't have to go the full 12 hours to Cardston that night. Denae's OCD tendencies took over the week before and she had to play around with the "negotiator". Luckily she got us a sweet deal at the Shilo Inn in Helena, MT.

As a collective body, the closeness of being trapped in the car for so long brought us together, we decided to put on an audio book for the long drive ahead of us. We all agreed on "The Hunger Games" even though 50% of the car had already read the book. I was a little worried about the whole audio book thing since I had never finished one in my entire life because I have ADD (not really, this is a serious condition and not to be made light of) and didn't know if I could drive and try to process the book at the same time. Turns out I could drive and listen to a book at the same time and it was AWESOME. At times I felt like I was the only one listening while everyone else was sleeping but the intensity and suspense of the book willed me to stay awake until we reached Helena.

According to Denae's mother and sister we were the "fun car". We didn't know that we were so much fun. Here is a highlight reel of a few things that made us so fun.

1. We came upon a truck that had some bicycles attached to some sort of bike rack/wanna be trailer on the back and Denae thought one of them was really loose and was going to fall off. So she decided she wanted to be a Good Samaritan and let them know. So I proceeded to speed up next to them so she could let them know. As we got next to them and I rolled down the window so Denae could gesture to them about the bikes, she freaked out and curled up in the fetal position and said that she couldn't do it and that she was too scared. 5 minutes later I look over and Denae is doing a weird combination of sign language, interpretive dancing, and seizure activity. I asked her what she was doing and she said not to worry about it. After minutes of prodding she finally told me that she was acting out in what she thought was her mind how she would have let that truck know that their bike was loose and was going to fall off eventually. It was very cute but we all decided that the bike was securely fastened and we didn't need to tell them anything.

2. We shared a few good laughs as we approached the Soda Springs exit when Denae's little sister Nikki asked her mom, "Where is Jeremy from, Soda Pop?". That was a good laugh.

3. We stopped at one of my all time favorite fast food restaurants that I only get to eat at when I leave the state of Utah and venture into Idaho, Jack-in-the-Box. Where their motto is, "No shirt, no shoes, no problem!". The kid in front of us didn't have shoes on and was walking around the restaurant with his bag of food like a homeless kid. I of course got my all time favorite tacos that are 2 for $.99. The are deep fried and look like they could survive a nuclear holocaust but they are tasty.

Here is a little teaser in case you were getting a hankering for cheap and delicious tacos.

So we fast forward to the part where we are entering Canada the next day. We made it safely to the Shilo, we were able to get a decent amount of rest and take advantage of the free continental breakfast that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

We were all able to successfully cross the border after showing our passports and telling them how much money in cash we had, how much alcohol, and how much tobacco we had on hand. Luckily we didn't have much of anything other than gas from the passenger side (I was driving). Just kidding, Denae would never do that. Let's just say if me and my brothers were in that car together we might not make it over the border for possessing a form of biological warfare.

We finally made it to Cardston, Alberta, Canada around 1pm. I decided that I had two objectives while in Canada other than helping Denae's family with the move and cleaning. First of all, I was going to find "poutine" and I was going to eat it. If any of you were wondering what poutine is according to wikipedia, Poutine (Quebec French pronunciation Pronunciation-of-Poutine.ogg [putsɪn] ) is a dish consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curd, covered with brown gravy and sometimes additional ingredients.

Please enjoy the mental feast you are about to experience.

As far as I could tell there was really only 1 option in Cardston for me to find this wonderful dish, Dairy Queen. I was very happy to have found this little gem and was so proud of myself for accomplishing 1 of my goals not 30 mins into arriving in town. The second goal of mine was to find and eat some Ketchup flavored potato chips. I had heard about these for a while now and I was determined to at least try them. I found them at the local grocery store and they were delicious too.

If anyone knows Denae they know she has some Canadian pride in her blood. She loves to tell people that she is Canadian and on occasion that she is from Canada. She was very disappointed to learn that Canada is run by the Brits and she was determined to start a revolution for them to gain their independence. I guess we will just have to wait and see how that pans out and if she can get some followers.

We ended up having a great weekend. We were able to get most of the house cleaned up and either taken over to the care center, loaded into the u-haul, or in our respective cars. We were able to spend a lot of time relaxing in the front room and just talking and sharing stories. It was a good time had by all. Here are some more pictures of the weekend.

Here is Denae having trust issues and thinking that I would drop her while she was on the dolly.

Here is Reece and I taking apart the kitchen table.

The road trip back was a long one because we needed to do it all on Monday to make it back in time for work. I was not looking forward to the 12 hour drive but the highlight of the drive home was a little ray of hope I spotted while we were leaving Helena on the way up to Canada. This ray is one of my all time favorite places to eat, Buffalo Wild Wings.

And just like their slogan says, you just had to be there.