The Sisters Of Mercy – “This Corrosion”
I’m home! We survived, and did so without any fights or cars breaking down. I’ll try to recap as best as possible, starting from the beginning.
Friday, March 24
We leave Portland at about 8:15 in the morning and head for Pullman, WA. The drive goes well and we meet Paul’s friend Lucas for lunch. I try to get ahold of my friend Freya, but I have the wrong phone number. I finally get a call from her while we’re at lunch, and she comes over to meet us and we talk a bit about people we know from high school (note: they’re all pregnant).
We take the scenic route from Pullman to Spokane on accident and end up getting into Sandpoint later than we intended, but still in time to catch Daniel’s dad, brother, and dad’s friend playing music at a local wine bar. After the music, we head to Eichardts (a pub) to grab some garlic fries. The wait was way longer than we intended, but we got them and headed to Daniel’s dad’s for the evening. We stay up late, just talking, and Daniel and I sleep on an air mattress that deflates halfway through the night.
Saturday, March 25
Daniel’s stepmom Tami makes us a huge breakfast. We eat that and then head over to his mom’s house, where we drop off our stuff and then go visit my parents for a bit. On our way back into town, we stop by JC Penney and grab some white towels to dye later, as well as some Taco Bell. We etch clay pots and dye towels.
Tons of people come over for dinner, which is homemade falafels complete with homemade pitas. Then we go bowling. We come back, watch some scary short films by David Lynch, and then go to bed.
Sunday, March 26
We have breakfast at a restaurant called DiLuna’s, where I have a Belgian waffle, and then we locate Daniel’s dad and stepmom to say goodbye to them. Afterward, we head to my parent’s place and investigate the field and animals and watch some TV. On the way there, we see a giant goat in the back of a pickup.
My brother’s 18th birthday was in two days, so we had an impromptu birthday party for him with both sets of my grandparents. The four of us stay up to play dominoes (Callie won) and roast to death because my dad stoked the fire way too much.
Monday, March 27
We leave for Canada at about 12:30 in the afternoon and we make it across the border with no problems. The drive is gorgeous and I take way too many photos of mountains.
We get to the Balfour ferry and realize that we have missed it by about ten minutes – the exact length of time we stopped earlier to take pictures next to the highway – and the next ferry is an hour and a half wait. We are the first car onto the ferry. The drive to Ainsworth goes well, and we check into our hotel, unload our stuff, and go to dinner. After dinner, we buy a one-time pass to the hot springs and soak for a while. Later that night, we decide to make a trip into Nelson to get some food and discover that the whole town closes down at about 9pm if not earlier. Nothing is open except a 7-11, so we find some things to eat there and get some Pepsi Slurpees (which are totally delicious, by the way). We drive back to Ainsworth and go to sleep.
Tuesday, March 28
The morning is spent in the hot springs and the afternoon in Nelson. We walked around Nelson for a while and entered a “Culture Shop” which reeked of pot. We also went into a PharmaSave (or something) and a gift shop. An argument was had about directions – I told Daniel to turn right, and he ignored me on purpose and went straight instead, which got us onto some highway heading toward another town. I was pissed that he didn’t listen to me, and he was confused as to why I’d give him stupid directions, because we were apparently already on the road we needed to be on, just going the wrong direction. I was convinced I was right and he was convinced he wasn’t wrong. As it turns out, I thought we were on a different road than we really were, but either way, going right still would have been a perfectly fine choice whereas the decision to go straight was in no way a perfectly fine choice. So there.
Anyway, we finally made it back to the liquor store and Safeway. The liquor stores are actually open (Canada exclusively sells all of their alcohol in liquor stores) so we grab some stuff (I get some Kahlua) and go to Safeway to get some groceries. We spent the evening in the hot springs and then watched some TV in the hotel room. Canadian commercials are so much better than American ones.
Wednesday, March 29
Daniel and I wake up to an empty hotel room, as Callie and Paul have decided to go to Nelson without us. We go to the hot springs instead and have a lovely morning swim and watch a itty-bitty little girl try to swim with her daddy. We return to the room right when Callie and Paul do, so we have some lunch and return to the hot springs. The plan for the evening was to go back to Nelson to have a nice dinner somewhere, which ended up being at the Hume Hotel’s Library Lounge. I had my first real drink, a Pink Lady (gin, cream and grenadine) and didn’t expect it to taste so much like cough syrup. I followed Callie’s lead after that and ordered a Long Island Iced Tea, which was very good.
The dinner was delicious. Callie and Paul both had steak, Daniel had stir fry with tofu, and I had beer-battered fish and chips. We ordered dessert to go (chocolate mousse and a raspberry cake-like thing) and then stood outside taking stupid pictures of ourselves for a long time. It was great.
Thursday, March 30
This whole day was pretty much spent driving. We left Ainsworth at about 9am and got into Bellingham at about 7-something. Paul’s friend Tyler took us on a few walks and ended with this hike-type thing up a hill to a tower. I thought it sounded like a bad idea, but I went along with it anyway. Paul and Tyler walked with a purpose the entire way up, Callie mostly kept up with them, and Daniel hung back with me. See, I’m a lot shorter than most people, and I take about 1.5 steps to normal people’s 1 step. Therefore, I get 1.5 times as tired as other people. And they were booking it up the hill. I was peeling layers off left and right, heaving, cursing myself for being the stupid little friend that can’t make it up the hill. I just knew I was going to have one of those episode things. I knew it. I kept at it though, and made it to the top of the hill. Then there was the tower, and the stairs going up to the tower, and I lost it. I was beet red, gasping for air, trying not to cry. I made it to the top of the tower and started having those horrible wheezing breaths where my throat is mostly closed and I make these honking, horrible noises trying to suck air in. Paul asked if I was okay and I said I was, I just needed to relax my throat and not cry. I felt awful. My lungs hurt, I was too hot, and nobody else even seemed to be breathing hard.
We stood up there for a while, looking at Bellingham at night. Which, admittedly, was very pretty, but I was miserable. I managed a few pictures of the city lights and then we walked back down the hill. I was really embarrassed that I had such a hard time, especially in front of Paul’s friend whom I don’t even know. The “incident” wasn’t ever mentioned again, except for when Paul asked at dinner if the reason I wasn’t very hungry was because of the asthma thing. That was it. I’ve also got a bit of a foot problem that my mom and grandma both have, where underneath the ball of my foot hurts if it’s pressed on, and that was giving me a lot of trouble too. And then for some reason, one of the tendons in my hip decided it wanted to go as well. I hurt everywhere, I was embarrassed, and I was grouchy. Daniel and I slept in the living room that night, and Callie and Paul got Tyler’s bed and Tyler slept on the floor.
Friday, March 31
We dropped Tyler off at class and then headed to Seattle. Paul thought everything in Seattle was a lot closer than it actually was, so we had quite the few long walks to get anywhere. We visited Pike Place Market, the Seattle Center, and a doughnut shop somewhere in between the two because Daniel is a coffee addict and needed his fix. We decide to leave Seattle earlier than planned so that we aren’t rushed at IKEA and could make it to his parent’s house at a decent hour. This turned out to be a very wise decision, since we can’t find IKEA to save our lives and end up driving way out of our way and have to call 411 to get directions. It all turned out okay though, and I got to visit the haven of delightful Swedish design. I squeal the whole way inside.
I somehow only spend about $50 on stuff, but we get a bunch of neat and useful things like mirrors and picture frames and kitchen scissors. Daniel and I look long and hard at a kitchen table, but ultimately decide to wait for a while, when we have a bit more money and room in the car to take it home. I am giddy with excitement and decide I need to own everything in IKEA. We make the drive to Paul’s parent’s house.
Saturday, April 1
Saturday is spent with Paul’s family. We look at his sister Athena’s new house, whereupon Daniel and I immediately decide we need a house too, and then we can decorate it entirely with IKEA products. Then we have lunch at the Olympic Club and head to Chehalis for a movie. We see “V For Vendetta” which I totally recommend because it is great and awesome. Paul’s friends Drew and Aaron meet us at the theater and they talk for a bit. We return to Paul’s parent’s house to grab our stuff and load the car, and then we’re on our way back to Portland. We arrive at our place a little after 9pm, and I am exhausted. Utterly and totally drained. I then proceed to stay up until 1:30am uploading my millions of photos. Current photo count is about 219, but that doesn’t account for all the ones I took and then decided they sucked and deleted them before they got onto my computer.
Sunday, April 2
I write this post and declare the trip a success. It was incredibly fun and action-packed. Callie was sick (a weird hacking cough thing) for all of it, Paul was sick for about half of it, and Daniel and I have survived unscathed for the most part. Daniel and I spent way too much money, but it was in the name of fun and I suppose I can’t be too upset about that.
A big thank you to everyone who housed us and helped make this trip possible: Dave & Tami, Sharon, Ron & Angie, The Mermaid Hotel, Tyler, and Ron & Dee.
Thanks to everybody for agreeing to hang out with us while we were in your town: Lucas, Freya & Mat, Heidi and Meagan and Caitlin and everybody, Tyler, Abby (sorry I missed you!), and Drew and Aaron.
Also, thanks to Callie and Paul for being great friends and agreeing to this wild and crazy adventure. Here’s to next year!