Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Carrot - Day 104

We are home!  happy, safe and content now resting on our comfy couch.
I look over at Brett and say," What are you thinking about?"
"Oh, you know - my usual, Hack Night." he answers with longing. 
Only four hours since we entered the house and maybe seven hours since he last mentioned "being with his people".

It's at that very moment that I realize I hold the carrot and now is the time to dangle it.  "Finish your PhD and we can talk! "

Entrance to Carbon 5 in SF (aka "The Golden Gates")

Pit Stop - Day 103

It was well worth it!  The sun is shining and not a snowflake to be seen!
On our way to YYC :)

On the horizon though.....
Isn't anything sacred anymore???  in Montana.

During one of our routine quick trips at the rest areas on the road, I was coming out to join Brett who was waiting by the car for me and crossed two ladies at the door. From where I was I quickly observed that they were way too cheery on this early morning, especially considering the  location they were entering (really,  I would have understood their mood if they were the first ones at  a half off plus an extra 25% discount at the till kinda sale).  They walked in unison, both looking at me bursting to tell me "good morning" as we crossed paths near the exit. My antennas are up, I politely say a rushed hello back and look away.  In my field of vision my eyes fall on one woman's hands where she is proudly holding a cherished hard cover book.  Ohhhh I thought.  Now I get it.  

Quick - Start the CAR!

At the car, Brett looks at me laughing and with a crooked smile all at once and says, " They tried to accost you as well?"

I have to say, many questions arise:  

  • Why so excited to go to a rest area?
  • Who takes their precious books to public restrooms?
  • Are they that desperate to recruit?
  • Is it safe to pee in Montana?

As for me, I thank God there wasn't a line up.

Further along in our journey, we frequent yet another rest area.  Yes, we drink lots of water.  The excitement is thick in the car as we can now see the Canadian border.

Out I go.  Quickly the Fresh Air reaches me! (and I don't mean as in clean fresh)  You know the one — the one that embraces you fully, climbing down the neck of your sweater, while running up sleeves and reaching the depths of your bones.  Wow, this is most definitely Canadian Air, I thought.  Obviously roams freely from one country to the next needing no passport or declaring of its intent.  Welcome back!  Even though my toes may have been frozen and the tip of my nose red, my heart was warm with joy to be returning home.

ON The Road - Day 102

A festive night indeed was had by all and a pregnant morning sky followed.  Last night we ventured out for dinner in Portland.  We found a lovely outdoor mall fully decorated with Christmas lights and cheer. 

Following all the fun, we woke up to very heavy clouds just waiting to unload tons of snow. We started out our trek in the hopes of outrunning the snow fall.

The longest day -  we left at 9am in snow flurries and drove, and drove and drove some more.  We had been watching the weather religiously for the last week plotting our route back home. The overarching concern was the snow and potential of getting stuck for two days in the mountains.   So we buckled down and drove through the flurries and eventually passed the snow belt. There is no rest for the wicked. We needed to keep ahead and decided to make a detour east to Montana so that we didn't get snowed in during the night. 

At midnight, we finally arrived safely in Great Falls, MT  - now to rest.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Still going North - Day 101

And, it's Duck Weather......

Wet, Wet, Wet.

The Shining light at the end of the day.....

Staying at the Marriott on our way home.  What is great is that we are using points to pay for the rooms!!!  Also,  worth mentioning, I get a break from cooking!

 Good morning snow.  I guess that is another way the Marriott makes us feel at home??

Saturday, December 15, 2012

North It Is - Day 100

Yesterday morning we jump started our return home one day earlier than planned.  

I'm not sure what this means.  The sky is sending conflicting messages. One side of the road looks like this... 

and the other side of the road looks like that…

What I do know is that it doesn't take long before you get the true feeling of back home. 

Four hours into our trip, still in California I might add and this is what we get….

Along the way we did get rewarded with some beautiful sights — one of them being Mount Shasta.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lessons Learned - Day 99

When travelling lots of different styles exist in order to provide comfort.  Some people are light baggage people while some others need to pack even the kitchen sink.  

Let's not get into technicalities about which group I fit in. Instead why don't I share some observations.

1) Being a good packer is a good quality to have but may not be all that helpful if you come back with more stuff than you left with and haven't increase your available space.

2)Traveling with bed rolls (polar fleece zip up inside linings of sleeping bags) save the day when sheets in hotels are not to your liking or blankets too thin. 

3) When going away for months and have access to a kitchen, bring your own kitchen tools.

  1.  It seems that anywhere I live I like to collect bags….don't know why, I just do.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dear Neighbours, - Day 98

All good things must come to an end.  Those moments so dearly awaited for, where holding your favourite mug, you stood at your widow where free entertainment was available - are now over.  Weekdays, 8:47 AM to 8:58AM time slot will never be the same.  That moment, when that poor dear girl was parking the Volvo on the hill, is no more.  Yes, you have witnessed some of my most embarrassing trials.  Parking on a slope, moving front and back in a tight space while on the decline is not a particularly graceful task.  How do you NOT peel your wheels in this attempt?  When you need to move your right foot from the gas pedal to the brake while the car is going backwards and you have never done this in your life?  Peel the wheels advance 2 inches.  Peel the wheels move back 3 inches.  
Back and forth just to get into the parking spot properly alinged.  Now that I feel properly parked, I need to slant the wheels to the sidewalk so it does not run down the hill. More adjusting, no peeling the tires but some manuvering is needed because I need to be moving the car as I am doing this so no damage to the tires is done.   So finally everything is in place and I am ready to exit the car.  Have you ever tried to exit a Volvo, with a heavy door, from a sports bucket seat, with its bum lower than its hood?  Seriously you practically need a hook to lift you out.  And just when the energized swing  to push yourself up is working, the door decides to close on you.  Back in the car I go.  Grinding my teeth and lips tight, I now  have the necessary anger to make it all the way out this time. It works.  Not my most feminine display of manners but at least I am out. I dust myself off and walk around to the sidewalk ignoring all the eyes I can feel on me.  A moment of dead silence surrounds me as I realize my slanted wheels are actually tight into the sidewalk and I need to get back IN the car so I can move them out.  I'm exhausted and while some of you may be on your second cup of coffee, I still only have one glass of water in me. 

Many a time this has been the beginning of my day but with perseverance and practice I proudly declare, dear neighbours, that I can now park my Volvo with ease and at one fine hair's distance from the curb.
So to a good book or the TV you will have to return to because now I am a PRO.