The Daily EO: September 4th, 2012

For days, I have wanted to get going already.  Let’s get in the car and head west, what are we doing hanging around here?  And this morning I realized why – I was avoiding the tearful goodbyes.  It’s not that I don’t want to be here, it’s that I need to be somewhere else too.  But the end date makes things so much more poignant.  Over the last four days we are having to say goodbye to everyone we love in Ontario – knowing that visits and calls will not be as immediate as before.

At my wedding after the ceremony Toni (my mother-in-law) grabbed me by the hips and said to me “You two are right for each other.  Be good to each other.  Take care of each other.”   It was the first time she had ever grabbed me by the hips – and I knew she was telling me something that meant a lot to her.  This morning, when she did it again, I had to blink several times to hold back the tears  – and I wasn’t entirely successful.  “You’re doing this together.  And that makes it right.” She said.  My father-in-law hugged us both a little longer than usual.

We left them standing in the drive-way waving goodbye, looking a bit sadder than usual.  They gave us a card to read on the way.  Emile was driving so he asked me to read it aloud.  And he knew I couldn’t do it for some time. Instead we sat quietly with our thoughts as we left St. Catharines behind us – both regretful of the moments we know we will miss but still certain of our decision to move to Vancouver together.

And then that evening a dinner with our friends in Huntsville to say our last goodbye to good friends there.  And the night before with friends in St. Catharines.  Friday night – Toronto friends.  My heart tears a little with each hug, card and well wish.  I want to stay, I want to go.

Tomorrow we start out, tomorrow we begin a long trip to a new start, but we still look backward.  Muskoka is where we married, each found our career path and became part of a community as a couple.

September 4th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  The selfless well wishes from family and friends who sadly know this is the right thing.

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The Daily EO: August 3rd, 2012

Greetings from Butte, Montana and the Copper King Conference Centre and Resort!

Hours driven:  16 hours
Kms travelled (door to door):  1197.2
Money spent:  $215.43

Well, we didn’t get an early start because we wanted to catch up on some sleep.  After some concern about the border crossings into the US on the Canadian long weekend, we were happy to find the delay was only about 20 minutes.   Emile – accustomed to the large bridges for border crossing in Ontario – was disappointed to find that the Peace Arch was as small as it is it.  He thought the Peace Arch referred to a glorious bridge stretching across a river (like Niagara River).

Cell Phones are now switched off and we began probably the longest period either of us has spent disconnected in over a year.  Can’t look up hotels, maps, or settle arguments without the internet.

I always find adjusting to the road signs in the US is such a problem.  In Canada, you know if the road sign says “Regina 193”, you’re going to be there in 2 hours give or take.  In the US, you see “Missoula 193”, you’ve got another 3+ hours.  It makes the next distance sign feel like you’ve accomplished very little.

We stopped in . . . um. . . some city just outside Seattle to get some groceries and bought ourselves some American Only goods.  This included Keebler Cinnabon Cookies, Triple Double Oreos (three wafers, 1 vanilla icing and 1 chocolate icing), Reduced Fat Cheeze Its (you know, we have a strict diet), and a large Mexican Beer (just for the thrill of purchasing alcohol in a grocery store).

After that, I typed e-mails into Word, and we drove across Washington, into Idaho (Emile wonders why they got that little panhandle) with plans to stop in Coeur D’Alene.  We weren’t tired in there, so decided to keep pushing on, not knowing what was awaiting us.

Arrogance again led us to believe that we’d easily find a hotel room in Montana.  We started stopped in St. Regis, and by the time we asked at the third hotel in Missoula, we thought something might be up.  I asked the girl what was going on.  She looked at me like the ignorant Canadian I am and said “It’s Friday night.  It’s Montana.   It’s summer.”   Well.  Hmmm.  Well that pulls me down a couple of pegs.   Its midnight by now, but what to do? Park with the Truckers, and snuggle in the fit?  Or keep driving.  Emilie cracked open a diet cola, and some American Only Chili Fritos and said “I’m good to go.”

We headed towards Butte, while I slept for the next stage of driving if necessary.   When we got to Butte, we asked at 3 hotels before someone said “Copper King” might have rooms.

The clerk wasn’t the most attractive man – drinking a 7-11 Super Big Gulp at 2 in the morning might give you a clue about why – but I almost leapt across the desk into his arms when he told me there was a room.

August 3rd, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Staying at the former “it” spot from 1985.  But who cares?  It was a clean, well-appointed, and friendly with soft flat surfaces to sleep.

Leaving Vancouver. Goodbye Grandpa.