So many of you may be wondering: What did I do while I was in Canada?
Um… Yeah…. About that.
What happens in Canada, stays in Canada.
Wait. Hold on.
(I turn to my three Canadian sistahs and ask, “Can I blog about this?” Whispering. A few requests for bits of privacy. An agreement.)
A girl’s weekend in Canada doesn’t have to stay in Canada when everyone blogs and is a writer.
Top 5 Canadian Highlights
1. Location. Location. Location. Calgary is a magical “mountain” city (though not in the mountains), cooler than those around it. What did this mean? Highs in the 70s, lows around 50 degrees while my family back in Texas saw the threat of rolling blackouts from yet another 104 degree day. We’ve had 58 days (as of posting) above 100 degrees this summer in Austin. This meant I appreciated the cool, dry air and beautiful breezes about four gazillion times more than I would have otherwise.
I’m formulating a plan to just move there for the summer months. I don’t know if I can take another Texas summer like this one.
While on the topic of location, let’s not forget the Girls Weekend at a gorgeous lake cabin. In the Mountains. With the view.
I never wanted to leave.
2. Beam me up, O’Brien.With the weather such an antithesis to Texas, all I requested was “I’d love to be outside as much as possible” when Trish asked me what I’d like to do.
Happy to oblige she whisked me from the airport to downtown Calgary and we dined at Joey’s on the patio. She learned I’m a spicy food wuss and I have a knack for getting a free steak that, while delicious, honestly wasn’t as tasty as the side of vegetables served with it.
Mom, you can close your mouth now.
Afterward we splashed in the sprinkler park, had delicious ice cream, and walked in Prince’s Island Park – all downtown and a short walk from lunch.
As we left the park in search of facilities for Trish’s youngest, I saw someone who looked rather… familiar.
My jaw dropped – much like my mother’s when I mentioned loving vegetables more than steak – as my mind danced.
That looks just like…
Nah, it couldn’t be.
But it looks just like him.
Surely he isn’t just walking around in Calgary.
I’m certain my stunned face was glaringly apparent to the person in question – the answer still unresolved until I turned to Trish.
My fellow science fiction sistah.
Who had a huge grin as she nodded with enthusiasm usually reserved for teen girls at boy band concerts.
She confirmed my guess.
We’d just walked within two feet of Colm Meaney, aka Chief O’Brien from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
So. Frakking. Cool.
3. The head-to-crotch pull.
- Lesson 1: If you’re grinning like a fool, dead center in a group of 80 people, you will be The Chosen One, aka The Guinea Pig.
- Lesson 2:If the next words out of the whitewater rafting guide’s mouth are “drop to your knees” you might want to consider how it’s interpreted when you execute the move with zero hesitation.
- Lesson 3: When you are then told in his New Zealand accent to, “Face me” and are looking directly at the rather cute guide’s crotch, you need to have as much fun as possible.
- Lesson 4: Lesson three is much easier to do when going whitewater rafting with three writers. When the guide talks about how the person who has fallen into the water (me) is probably “yelling and screaming”, nothing is funnier than to have your friend Leanne blurt out, “If you know what I mean” and cause the guide to completely lose his train of thought in a obviously well prepared, frequently recited monologue. Those who overheard crack up while others nudge their friends with, “What did she say?”
- Lesson 5: Just keep smiling as you find your face in aforementioned guide’s crotch as you are rescued from the dangerous ground.
- Lesson 6: Learn the smallest person on your boat (teen daughter of the couple who joined our raft) is also capable of performing this move on us after we willingly tried the “drown simulator” and jumped into frigid waters.
- Lesson 7: Four kilometers of class IV rapids sounded daunting before you began rafting, but in reality are the most awesome, thrilling, and fun thing you’ve experienced.
- Lesson 8: You know the rafting is a hit when your entire group ends it by cries of, “Let’s go again!”
Best. Day. Ever.
4. Wine + Talking All Night = Skinny Dipping. Running on whitewater adrenaline and the bond it cemented, we talked. And talked. And talked. Time was just a number, not a reality.
Sometime around 2 AM, Elena insisted we swim in the lake.
We donned robes and played follow-Elena with only the billions of stars in the sky to light our way. Laughing too loud, our words most likely overheard by half the lake as they traveled over water, we stumbled in the black, down a winding, sandy path to the bottom.
My delicate Texas sensibilities (i.e. I am used to 88 degree pool water, not glacier fed lakes) resulted in me only getting in halfway.
My teeth chattered as I gazed at more stars than I’ve seen in… forever.
Somehow we survived the climb back to the top.
To the hot tub.
We had to force ourselves to go to bed.
At 4 AM.
Best. Night. Ever.
5. Not everyone online is a psycho killer. Before last weekend, I’d never had a girl’s weekend away. Ever.
I’d never been to Canada.
I’d never been away from my children more than 24 hours.
I’d never flown for the express purpose to visit and stay with people I’d only met on the internet.
Until one week ago.
I fed my soul.
I clicked with Trish, Elena, and Leanne even as I drank water to their wine.
They didn’t care.
They accepted me for who I am.
And I love them for it.
Have you ever had a “mommy/daddy vacation”? Do you want one?