The first weekend in October, we piled in the car and took a long drive up to the North Eastern corner of our province to attend a wedding reception-slash-picnic for Karin’s cousin (who eloped last year). I decided to try another so-called live blog… but not really live because it didn’t get (automatically) published until we were well back and scheduled at home. Either way, it was updated incrementally as yet another quasi-experiment in travel “live” blogging.
Oct 5th @ 9:52 am / Edmonton
“The race is on.” Or so the message came through the family Google Hangout a few moments ago as three cars depart from three separate locations on this cool Saturday morning in October.
We’re on our way North, stopping first to drop off the dog at the kennel, and towards the sleepy town of Bonnyville Alberta where a big family gathering will be occurring later this afternoon.
The occasion? Karin’s cuz got hitched last year, eloping atop a mountain and springing the news a little later. The result? She still couldn’t escape a follow-up party. A reception. And today’s the day.
Thus, we make the multi-hour drive. And it begins now.
Oct 5th @ 10:46 am / Highway 16
Trying to figure out lunch: do we stop in Vegreville for a way-too-early lunch but a look at the giant egg, or do we hit Vermilion for a better timed meal but encounter a possible lunch rush.
Road trip decisions! Arg!
Oct 5th @ 11:45 am / Vegreville
We turned off the highway for a quick lunch break, grabbing some subs and swinging by the park near the “WORLD’S LARGEST” Psanka (spelling?) which is, for the layman, a Ukrainian-style decorated egg.
I can’t tell you the exact dimensions (though I’m sure a quick Wikipedia search would do the trick) but that stand is about ten feet tall, so you do the math.
Our lunch was cut a little short by done unexpected wasps, so we nabbed some pictures and pulled back into the car.
Oct 5th @ 12:02 am / Highway 36
A few minutes bask on the road and we’re headed off the main route and onto a secondary highway north.
That in itself wouldn’t normally rank as a blog-worthy topic, save for one thing: an unexpected wildlife encounter.
A big ole moose lumbered out of the ditch and wandered casually across the road in front of us.
The cell phone camera is not ideal for snapping pics through a dirty and cracked windshield however, so I only managed a couple blurry photos.
We let him cross, and upped the vigilance level a notch or two.
Oct 5th @ 1:15 pm / Highway 28
About fifteen minutes to our hotel, but another 45 until the party starts.
Very well timed, if I do say so.
You don’t really notice it until you get up on the roads, but the autumn has really taken hold. The countryside is a mix of yellow, brown and orange as far as we can see.
Awesome. I love this season, and I’m glad I brought my SLR to the party today: it’s outside at a farm, and sure to be colorful.
No word from the other travelers in the last while, but I’m almost certain we’re in last place.
Oct 5th @ 1:59 pm / Bonneville
A quick check in at the hotel and we’re off to the party a few klicks east of town.
Also, it turns out we weren’t the last ones: second place! Woot.
Oct 5th @ 2:17 / Parked at Party
Of course, two minutes after I posted that last update an email fires through from my web hosting provider to tell me someone is hacking my site. For reals.
So, we’re here but I’m sitting in the car deleting files of my server via a cell phone hotspot and an ftp connection. #sigh
Oct 5th @ 3:57 pm / Party
The ceremony is over and everyone is having out in the tent drinking sparkling wine whilst we wait for dinner.
I’ve heard rumors, though not seen first hand, that there is a whole pig roasting on a spit somewhere nearby.
Having just had a rushed sub sandwich for lunch, my stomach is suddenly quite happy with the prospect of some bbq meats. Yum!
Also: open bar. So, I’ve got some business to attend to now.
Oct 5th @ 4:11 pm / Party
I found the pig!
Smoking! And not the bad kind!
Looks like dinner should be mucho delicious.
We’ve been watching this show on Discovery Channel lately about some bbq shack down I the southern US and I’ve been craving just this sort of thing. Looks like all that driving paid off.
Oct 5th @ 6:23 / Party
Dinner concluded. Twas delicious.
And as we finished eating, dining on an enviable meal of an amazing and succulent roasted pig, the sun set and the temperature dropped.
But now time for a short program, I guess. It is a wedding after all, right? And maybe after that I’d better go dig our my sweatshirt and a wool hat!
And while I’m at it, I think I’ll sign off for now and enjoy the evening…
Oct 5th @ 9:05 pm / Hotel
Before coming back to the hotel for the evening, Claire and I (and a few other kids too) spent some time stargazing in the near perfect darkness of the country sky.
I pointed out a few constellations, planets and other stars that I recalled the names for. Claire spotted a slowly orbiting satellite and we all gawked at that for a few minutes. And then we got cold again, said our goodbyes, and drive back to the hotel.
Now, we’re settled. Claire is in bed, and Karin and I are stuck in the dark and glow of our various devices.
I think I might read for a while. Or just get some sleep. It’s been a long day.
Oct 6th @ 7:16 am / Hotel
I’ve been awake for an hour, but only up and about for half of that.
The sun poked up over the horizon and this was the view from our hotel room. Kinda pretty when the hotel is almost literally at the edge of civilization looking off towards hundreds of kilometers of northern prairie farmland.
Claire’s been awake for longer than I have. She’s been busy playing on her iPod, and as I write this is typing her paper storybook into the notebook app on the device. I don’t get it, but it’s good keyboarding practice probably, so whatever.
Probably should get cleaned up and feed her soon, though. There is a breakfast supposedly happening back at the farm, but unless they are moving faster than us after a late night of partying, I doubt we’ll be seeing anything resembling food there for a couple hours, at least. I think we might just hit the complementary one downstairs for now, and call anything later second breaky.
Oct 6th @ 9:43 am / Farm
A couple hours later we’ve made the fifteen minute drive back to the farm for some more socializing and some light snacking.
We arrived just in time to watch the last of the tent pack up (and get some sass for our “late” just-in-time-to-watch arrival along with it.) Oh well.
Now to scare up some coffee, I guess.
Oct 6th @ 10:39 am / Farm
The kids got some quality play time in this morning.
Funny or sad? We live in the same city, but we all had to drive three hours to the middle of almost nowhere to get some time together. That’s the state of our generation, I think, summed up in one simple reality. Future historians could read this blog a thousand years from now and if they got one nugget of cultural perspective from it, that might be it: busy for no reason, and the real good stuff, the time together, we save for vague random points and places.
I’m stuffed. Last night’s dinner is still lingering, we’ve had two breakfasts, and apparently lunch is currently cooking. And to top it off, I’m skipping my Sunday morning run even as I write this. I hope I can digest out all before Thanksgiving next weekend!
Oct 6th @ 12:48 am / Glendon, Ab
We left about half an hour ago, driving back towards Edmonton. We saw a sign along the side of the road for the world’s largest pyrogy.
8 km later we were driving up Pyrogy Drive in Glendon, Alberta and parking beside a giant food-type thing.
Pictures, of course. An odd but fine end to a short mini-vacation to the North of the province.
Oct 6th @ 3:19 pm / Edmonton
Home. Car unloaded. The end.