Over the course of any trip home it becomes necessary to get the hell out of Dodge. As jetlag wears off and non-traveling life sets back in, I get a little antsy. The need to move and the need to see people other than my family (although I love them, I can’t live with them) literally drove me nearly 800 miles and into a different country.
First I headed towards the pretty mountains and the not-so-pretty traffic of Seattle. Man, I dislike that place. I crashed with my mom’s best friend for the night, and was graciously taken to dinner and driven to the airport the next morning. I headed up to Alberta, Canada to visit a friend of mine from Ireland who was studying there for the year. It’s always great to see a familiar face coming towards you at the airport.
We hung out in the bustling metropolis of Edmonton, a flat city located not so near to the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains. Although we had plans to climb, we opted for shitty scary movies (his choice), visits to coffee shops and bookstores, and lots of walks in the still chilly outdoors. Edmonton was kind of a cute little city, and Canadians are indeed very friendly.
All too soon I was back in Seattle, driving north on my way to Vancouver. I was a bit hesitant to go so far, seeing at though I and my dad’s truck don’t exactly get along very well. The first time I drove it the transmission busted, and it’s broken down two more times in the same place. It’s now cost way more to fix than it was to buy, but hey. I can’t complain about the car he let me borrow for a week, can I?
I stopped in to see my best friend, who’s known me since kindergarten. We don’t get to see each other very often but we keep in touch pretty well. She now has an adorable dog that I adore, a fiancée, and is planning to buy a house. Is that what adults do?
After an enjoyable visit I headed up to Vancouver, with an extended stop to visit my cousin and her three kids. All the little ones remembered me (silly Aunt Liz!) and we bounced around the house. I petted their big dog, who is also adorable. I was picking my friend up from the Vancouver airport later that night, but that flight was delayed because of the Brussels bombing.
They fed me dinner and I was on my way up to Canada for the second time in a week. The border crossing was hilarious, as the guard obviously thought I was smuggling drugs. The gangsta truck got a full workdown and I finally convinced the border guard that I wasn’t a runaway, didn’t have a body in the backseat and wasn’t an international drug smuggler.
The friend I was meeting at the airport was a guy I rock climbed with in Spain- small world! He and his sister were going skiing in Whistler, so I popped up for a couple days just to hang out and see him. We explored Vancouver (it’s literally always rained when I’ve been there), drank lots of coffee and had pillow fights. Now that’s adulthood!
Halfway through my trip the truck hadn’t exploded yet (win) and I hadn’t run out of gas money. Double win. I said goodbye to my friend and drove back to Seattle to meet a buddy from high school, one of the very few I keep in touch with. We had a great chat over coffee and I’m sad I don’t get to hang out with him more. All the more reason to come visit me wherever I happen to be!
The final push across the mountains was successful, and I arrived home in time to celebrate my 25th birthday the next day. That was entirely uneventful- I hung out with my parents, and saw the second installation of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Fun enough. Then it was back to the grind before Alaska, the shovelling of gravel and the incessant weeding. Oh joy.
More pictures would have been taken of this beautiful roadtrip, but I was too busy driving. Whoops!