Someday I’ll plan a cruise or relaxing vacation. This was not that at all. It was very fun and we stayed up so late so many days in a row last night I put the kids to bed and then I think I was asleep faster than they were.
Friday I woke up early to get some housekeeping done pre trip and ended up having 3 kids with homework need so less time for what I needed to do but I’m very glad I was up early. Drama#1 – the car we planned on using to go to the airport refused to start. We had to take the family car that we intended to leave for easier weekend kid transport but it worked out. We got to the airport and (drama 2) the flight was delayed for an ‘unknown’ amount of time so we went to get lunch. Lunch was uninspired but when we went to check back on the gate we narrowly avoided drama 3 because they were on final boarding already! This wing of the airport is new/under construction so the announcements didn’t acutlaly go out over the area we were eatting even though it was the absolute closest one. It worked out and we were only about an hour late landing and that was all the drama for the weekend. I much prefer getting it out of the way!
We saw our friend’s new house and then hopped in the car to drive to Canada. Only a 2h drive to the border and that 2 hours is obviously the buffer since there is NOTHING there, no trees, a few little hills, but if Canada invades we can see them coming for a long way off. Crossing the border was super easy, they took one look at us and decided we were no trouble. It was dark, but, looks like the Canada side of the border is also using the flat and empty technique to see if anyone ever invades. We got to the event site around 8 and had dinner and then event part 1 started at 9. Tons of friends, snacks, mingling and catching up and we forced ourselves to go to our overnight accommodations at 1am.
8am start the next day, can’t be late for the actual event! I was excited to see an event in a totally different kingdom and to see how it is the same and different. Our group both stood out (in a good way) and also fit in and we did the normal event stuff for the next few hours. The main event happened at 1pm and the performance and presentation were worth the drive. By 3 we decided we needed a nap because the dinner was scheduled to start at 7 and the next court to start at 9pm. For us, events tend to end about 6:30, this was fun but added to the marathon feel. Post nap and mostly refreshed we had a great time at the dinner and then the second court of the day lasted until well after 10. At this point we are more than 12 hours of social on 6ish hours of sleep but still so fun we kept going to the after-party back at the hotel. By midnight we were getting low on energy so we went back to the house to talk there for an hour before actually sleeping.
Up early again because we wanted to visit just a little more with our hosts and the other friends before everyone needed to get going. I wish we all lived closer but the trip does make the time more special. On the road by 10am full of Canadian unique goodies to share, leaving them fun American ones like Girl Scout cookies, super-strong alcohol, and crazy sugar cereal we reversed the trip and got back to Minot with a brief stop for lunch in a Canadian grocery. Drama 3 (knew it could not go perfect) was our credit and debit cards refused to work in Canada, we ended up overpaying for things using American but I have a stern phone call in my future to the bank. It is fun to play tourist in a different countries grocery, I can imagine parrel universes because basically they already exist. There are so many small quirky differences between virtually the same location – a 200-mile drive is not that much in the scheme of things but crossing a border is really like stepping left or right into an alternative reality.
Back to our friends house who insisted that we truly did not need 2 full hours at the small regional airport (they were right) so we relaxed and took a dip in their hot tub and discussed options for their new house and when we might see everyone again. Airport was small but quite professional. We had more stuff investigated in our carry on than at the giant one we live by. They actually found something we had been missing for ages in Lars’s backpack! All good-natured and friendly and the flight was on-time and easy.
The last step of the trip was walking over a mile from our gate to the terminal, getting the luggage back to the car and out of the maze of parking and home again. By this point the lack of sleep and general travel was condensing into a massive headache but we made it home and did dinner and bedtime and I only started losing it a little and then I put myself to bed too.
This morning I still have a little fog from such a busy weekend but got the kids off and I’m starting the shed base today and all the things of the week. It was a grand marathon up and back and we certainly maximized our social time,