Road Trip! (2004-09-04 - 11:59 p.m.)
Just got back from my week-long road trip to British Columbia. This has become a tradition since my brother started university in Victoria three years ago, but this is the first time I've been able to go (usually I'm working or out of town).
I had my doubts about a Dad-and-Will road trip, as neither of them believe in pit stops. To both of them, stuffing food down your throat as you clutch the steering wheel with one hand, while passing everyone in sight along twisty mountain roads, is the best way to travel. It was actually a pretty good trip, though. We made Kelowna in about 8.5 hours, which is pretty good time. And I managed not to go completely mad when Will insisted on cranking the volume on his CD of "Billy Bishop Goes to War" from Sicamous to well past Vernon.
We spent two days in Kelowna visiting my grandma. I hadn't seen her in a year and a half and it was wonderful to finally get a chance to hang out. We also went on a mini-hike to the beach with my aunt - the weather was gorgeous. While I was in the area, I met up with Remkes, who was visiting his parents in Vernon. We had a very entertaining afternoon - a wine tour at the Grey Monk estate, a drive up the lakeshore (we discovered a little pebble beach en route) and a coffee once back in Kelowna. I really enjoyed hanging out with Rem - we haven't had much of an opportunity to talk in the last few months (or heck, years!) Also, Rem is so easy-going he's an excellent companion, but he also comes well prepared with ideas of what to do. It sounds like I might end up going to Holland for Christmas, since Steph, Remkes and I will all be stranded in Europe. Very glad to have that more or less sorted.
We went on to Victoria to drop Will off on Wednesday. He had a vague idea that he might have a place to live with some friends, but hadn't talked to said friends to decide on where to meet or to get the address. Luckily, we found them on campus and they did indeed have a room for Will (just as well, as his backup plan was a fridge box under the bridge). The place is really nice - a good sized basement suite with a nice yard, quite close to the ocean.
Dad and I went out for dinner that night with Will and his girlfriend and then walked down to see the buskers in the inner harbour. It was a really nice evening, and luckily Will's girlfriend is pretty cool. She was telling me that she once took a train from the west coast to the east coast of Canada - something I've always wanted to do.
The next morning we were meant to help Will move some stuff out of storage and back to his place. We picked him up, and he directed us through Victoria in his authoritative former R.A. voice. "Okay, go up Douglas and turn right..." Problem was, we followed his directions, only to hear, "Um... okay, try going back down Blanchard the way we came". After about 40 minutes of this we ended up way over in Esquimalt and still were no closer to finding Will's elusive storage complex. The main problem was, he hadn't managed to get the address OR the name of the place from his roommates (both of whom also had stuff stored).
Finally, an hour into the trip, we were headed back into downtown when Will admitted, "I'm pretty sure it's not in downtown. In fact, I have no idea WHERE it is. Sorry." Thought dad would have a heart attack, but although his face got a bit red he was remarkably calm about the whole thing. So we dropped Will back off at school and I headed to Craigdarroch Castle to look around. Then dad and I took a quick trip up the coast, taking in Chemainus ("The Little Village That Did") and staying overnight in Nanaimo. Chemainus was fairly interesting - it was a logging town that was dying when the mill moved out, so it decided to reinvent itself as a tourist trap. They commissioned murals from local artists and painted on them in every spare wall in the town. It worked - the place was lousy with tourists (yours truly included) the day we stopped. Quite a neat story, I thought.
I was hoping to eat some Nanaimo bars while staying in Nanaimo, but sadly no luck. However, the view from the hotel was gorgeous. We left the next day go back to Kelowna. "Hey there's no highway like the Coquihalla/ Streched from green mountains to the deep blue sea. For ten bucks, you can ride it/ you can even pay by Visa/ The Coquihalla is the only road for me!" We stayed Friday night in Kelowna rather than tackling 14 hours of driving at once. On the way back today we got stuck behind an accident near Armstrong, but still made it back in a little over 8.5 hours. I drove from just after the Okanagan Valley to Rogers Pass, completely impressing myself. (Mountain driving is not my favorite, but I didn't even mind the snow sheds!)
Think I had more to say, but my brain is shutting down. urk. We listened to one of my mother's mixes on the way back. It was eclectic, to say the least. Elton John right next to Ian and Sylvia and the Arrogant Worms. And did you ever notice that when Rufus Wainwright covers Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", he sings "remember when I moved in you/ the holy DUCK was moving too"?
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