Archive for July 11th, 2017

Well, well, well. I made it all the way to Edmonton, went to a wedding, and came back to tell the tale, only a little worse for sleep habits.
My baby brother’s wedding.
First of all, the week preceding the wedding was great. I mean completely great. It was exactly the perfect amount of independence I needed in order to go home in full appreciation of what I have and who I have in my life.
You all know I managed to avoid actually buying anything in the designer stores, which was practically *saint-like* patience on my part. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t self-indulge at all.
On Thursday I went out and got a mani-pedi. First time I’ve done that in over five years. I usually don’t want to justify the cost, since I’m a bit of a penny pincher (with the exception of course of the odd pair of ballet shoes). I had forgotten how good your feet feel when you leave the salon after having this done. The lady who did mine even gave me a hot stone massage on the bottoms of my feet. Talk about relaxing!
I decided, since I had time that day, to find the house my parents had rented, so that I would not get lost on Saturday when I went out for the BBQ. It’s a good thing I did, too! I got hopelessly lost. Edmonton is laid out so…uniquely. I needed to find 133 st. HOWEVER, there is more than one 133 st. I also found out that if the house is in the north-west end, you have to find the street number that corresponds with the first three digits of the house, THEN find the 133 that shoots off that. How did I discover this? The very nice lady who lived on the first 133 st who offered to get in her car and have me follow her to the correct address. So kind. It was a total comedy of errors, with me panicking, my GPS telling me the place I wanted did not exist and a kind woman whipping me through a very brand new subdivision. It’s okay though, she needed to go to the grocery store anyway.
I spent a little bit of time visiting and went back to my friend Allison’s house to get ready for that night’s dinner.
Around nine years ago, I started reading blogs and I got hooked on a couple of specific ones, including Brittany Gibbon’s blog, at the time, The Barefoot Foodie. It was smart and funny and everything you want in a quick afternoon’s read. That blog eventually became The Curvy Girl online magazine (which, I wrote for a couple of times) and then eventually, just Curvy Girl Guide (along with her media company which also produces pod casts called Girls’ Girls and is the funniest fricking thing ever). I’ve been a part of CGG since the beginning, as has my friend Allison, although, we had never met in person. A funny thing happens though when women form friendships independent of any male interaction and we bonded quickly, as did many of the women in that group at the onset. We’re the old guard now, as the group has over 6000 members from all over the world. And, as luck would have it, a bunch of them live in Edmonton. So we planned a dinner out.
I can’t remember having such a good time with a bunch of ladies. The restaurant was so much fun. The DJ played a lot of throwback music to our high school years (I won’t say how long ago that was) and amid the raucous laughter and hilarious conversation, there were frequent pauses to sing along and dance in our seats. I couldn’t have asked for a better night.
Friday was another amazing opportunity to sit with women who are an important part of my life. The managers at the Edmonton branch of my work invited me to lunch. I frequently email with these women as we work so the chance to sit down and really build on the working relationships with a face to face was a blessing. Nevermind the fact that they are wonderfully smart and funny ladies!
I had thought to myself, the building they are in is pretty easy to find, and, according to google, the coffee shop my brother works in is pretty close, so why not try to find it since I was going to be right in the heart of the downtown? Well I got lost. Again. Because those streets, man!! Nothing is where it appears to be. You have to find the main street, then the offshoot. It’s confusing. I wound up asking a police officer for directions and I did eventually find it but the “I’m lost” texts were becoming a bit of a source of humour for my husband back home.
I braved the north-west side once again that afternoon for the rental house, which, I found slightly easier than the day before. And reunited with my nieces and nephew. Oh the chaos of children all under the age of ten. Made me almost nostalgic for the days when my own crew of five were little. Almost. Smartest thing I did for myself on that trip was to get a rental car and stay with a friend. I love my family to pieces, but that was a whole lot of nutty in one house. I feel like I did my time already and got out, if not on good behaviour, then at least on time served.
On Saturday I picked up my third sister at the airport, a last minute surprise as she wasn’t sure she’d be able to come. At last, all seven siblings in the same place at the same time. For the first time in six years. Time certainly does fly. We spent Saturday afternoon/night with most of us together having dinner and playing cards. If you asked me why my sister Niamh and I felt that our Irish accents only helped with the game of Euchre, I couldn’t tell you. I only know it was funny as fuck.
Something else I learned about Edmonton. It says light for a long time. I offered to drive my brother and sister in law and their baby to their air BnB for the night, since I had a vehicle and could save them the cost of a cab. This turned out to be brilliant because my one year old niece Saoirse only is cute when no one is looking (says my sister Angela) and was ADORABLE on the ride until we got stopped in traffic (because we forgot it was CANADA DAY) and she was grumpy. So, we sang her the opening of Hamilton. The only baby in the world that I know that is calmed by the sounds of “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore” emanating from adults in perfect tandem. I mean, we were pretty damn great.
Our stellar performance aside, here is what I forgot about Canada Day, especially in a major Canadian city. It’s busy. EVERYONE was out. Some streets were shut down. A drive that should have taken me twenty minutes to get from downtown Edmonton to Devon, took me over an hour. I arrived back at Allison’s that night just after midnight, tired, sore and ready for the wedding of my baby brother.


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