Christmas wishes DO come true

Apparently Dreams DO come true!

My ChatterBox came home from work on Saturday, all smiles, happiness and tired. I asked her how her day went and she smiled and said, “My childhood fantasy came true!” ChatterBox is a Christmas Elf. She goes to various parties dressed in her finest Christmas clothes, smiles at children and lifts them onto Santa’s knee.

I had to think about this for a moment… Which Childhood Fantasy? meeting the Jonas Brothers? No, she out grew that one. Taylor Hall called her up for a date? No…he is playing Hockey in the States. She won a 7 night stay in WDW Dream Suite? No that is my wish. So I had to ask, “ChatterBox, what is your Childhood dream come true?”

She responded with, “Sitting in Santa’s Sleigh Sharing cookies with him. It wasn’t his sleigh, but his car will do.”

There you have it, Christmas wishes DO come true.064

The baking is done and so am I


A long time ago, perhaps only last year, I could take on more than humanly possible. I think it was genetic or stupid…without a substantial research grant, I will not be able to quantify the data. Let’s call it genetic, shall we?

When I was little, around 10ish, I was finally old enough to be a real help in the kitchen. One of my mom’s hobbies was cooking. When I say cook, I am not talking your run of the mill meat loaf or casserole. My mom was a Julia Childs fan in a BIG WAY. She watched Julia on cooking shows and Graham Kerr the Galloping Gourmet when ever she was home and could catch it on. These were the days before VCRs and my mom worked full time.

I would come home from school, call my mom and she would give me instructions on how to start dinner. She was very good at giving step by step instructions so I could visualize them in my head. Eventually, all of us kids learned to cook via the phone method and we would take turns preparing meals, all of us but dad. He was the official taste tester. It was his job to tell us “it was the best thing he every tasted” whether it was or not. I honestly believe that is why we all are better cooks than we use to be. He gave us the confidence to try new things. Even if it tasted like dog food, my dad would eat it and say it was the best ever!

Every year around the Grey Cup (Canada’s Superbowl…not really but it whatever) Mom would have finalized her Christmas Baking list and purchased all the supplies she needed. We would then get to work. By dinner time, the house would be filled with hundreds of cookies, squares, tarts and candy. The idea was, if you are making a mess in the kitchen, go big or go home. It was fun. Sometimes my grandma and aunt would come over and it would be a girls day baking. Those were fun times! I had kept up that tradition until this year.

Today I had the intention of baking several different batches of cookies and several buckets full of various flavoured candy popcorn. The result?

I made it as far as two batches of cookies and think “Who the hell is going to clean up this mess?” I am knackered.

Lemon Crinkles and Chocolate chip cookies made the cut. Ginger Sparklers and Short Bread may or may not get done this year. I am pretty sure tarts are out of the question. I did manage to whiz up the candy canes in the food processor for peppermint dust on the chocolate covered popcorn. But that is the extent of my ambition. Oh, and I made tea.

Now I need a nap.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Favorite Alternative to Oprah’s Favorite Things 2012

Appreciative Audience
Appreciative Audience (Photo credit: freelancing god)

Let’s be honest here for a minute Oprah, you know I love you but unless I am part of the studio audience that gets the lovely gifts from your favorite things episode, we both know I ain’t gettin’ any of those things under the tree this year NOR am I gifting them. Why you ask? Well Sweetheart, I don’t have sponsors (yet – I am leaving my options open) and I am not on Forbes wealthy women list either. I will give you this, you have fiiiiiiiiiine taste and I will leave it at that. I decided to give my readers some Tourist Options when it comes to your Favorite Things List 2012

  1. Lafco Soap Set for $238. Ummm no, it’s soap and ONLY 14 bars of it. for the same amount of money I can get a lovely key pendant from Tiffany &Co. Soap that smells nice is lovely. Dove smells nice and for $1.99 you can have a bath size bar! Dove also sends a positive message to women. Now I love Dove but for that special occasions when you need a little pampering? Put Bay leaves in your bathwater. It is relaxing and I am sure your granny will let you take one when you are at her house for Thanksgiving Dinner this week.
  2. Octane Fitness Q37ci Elliptical Trainer
    $3,099, now $2,789 with coupon (expires Dec 31, 2012) That is an awfully expensive clothes hanger. Walmart sells a bundle of hangers for $3.99 – plastic and functional.
  3. Jetson E-Bike $1800 but there is a coupon code if you click the link. It is a very nice bike. I like my bike to be a bit more functional and less pretty. Who are we kidding, I won’t ever ride the thing in the first place. I’d rather swim, walk or run. Bus pass is a nice green alternative $89 for the month depending which city you live in.
  4. Giro Sport Design Reverb Helmet $48. Now IF you give a bike as a gift, give a helmet. It is the law here but maybe not where you live. Safety First People! However, a bike helmet will look stupid with your bus pass so may I suggest a toque? My family’s toque of choice is the Jayne Hat (Firefly Geek alert) but any great hat will do! My sister will knit it for the cost of a ball of yarn slightly more maybe depending on how happy she is when you ask her. Let’s say $5.00, I am sure she won’t mind.
  5. H2O+ Marine Spa Gift Set $98  with coupon code. I think it is worth it. I use this stuff because when I stayed at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel it was the hotel soap and shampoo. This stuff is so fabulous I paid $40 for shampoo when I left (after hoarding all the samples they leave in the room – and chocolate) So I will take advantage of this deal. the only alternative I can think of is actually going to stay at the Hotel in Disneyland and if you factor in airfare, theme park tickets and food, $98 is looking like a sweet deal! Buy it.
  6. Ralph Lauren Cable V-Neck Sweater   First of all, this is SUCH an Oprah sweater, don’t you think? For $198 I can buy 4 sweaters from the Gap, but they say GAP not RALPH LAUREN. That is a big deal to some people. I will wear a sweater forever and I am sure it feels fabulous. But I think no, not this year. Gap it is! $50.
  7. Coach Puffers  $458 for a Coach jacket. I am all about Coach but I shop Factory Coach because I can get 3 purses for $199. I don’t think $500 for a down jacket is that bad, except it better be rated for -40 and I think it’s not. I mean it’s Coach. It’s not meant to be functional. Down Jacket at the Sport Check $200 AND rated for cold Canadian Winters.
  8. Bougainvillea Bangles $31 sure they are nice but my sister can get those at the dollarama 4 for $1. How often are you going to wear them anyways?
  9. Tory Burch Michelle Tote $395. A great bag is worth it in my books but you can always get great bags at Winners. They had Tory Burch Michelle last week for $125. It’s Winners, go often.
  10. Julep Nail Polish Set $168? I don’t pay that for a mani AND a pedi. OPI $25 set of 5 colours you will only use once.
  11. Tusk Capri Double Zip Checkbook Clutch $138 for a bag that holds your wallet stuff and your phone to put in your bag? Whaaaaaa? If your purse is that big, re-think OR only buy bags with pockets on the side for your cell phone and wallet – all great bags have them! If yours isn’t a great bag, dollarama has makeup bags for $1 AND they come in fashionable-ish patterns. The best part? It holds your wallet, your phone and lipstick! You still have to fish around for it, but you were anyways for $138!

I am not going to go through Oprah’s entire list of 60 items, I think you get my point. Please feel free to contact me if you need an alternative for an Oprah gift, I am only too happy to help! Now, lets look at how much I saved you:

Oprah Top 11 Gift Total = $5787

The Edmonton Tourist’s Oprah alternatives = $516.98

That is a total savings of $5270.02!!

You’re welcome.

Be Mine…or else

Oh Valentines Day, how I do I love thee? I don’t really…

I have one Offspring heartbroken about tomorrow and the other baking cookies for their valentine.  I was told on the weekend that my Valentine is taking me to Cats! All of this for an over rated holiday in the middle of winter.

Back in the OLDEN DAYS called the 1970’s, Valentines were paper with the occasional box of chocolate or flower given out. I had a boyfriend who looked at flowers as a waste of money, so he would give me a plant. I would kill it out of spite. I wouldnt even get a card from him. Then there was the year he had his wisdom teeth removed on Valentines Day…ya I became jaded. He did want to ever give me a box of chocolates, but he did give me an exercise bike. I know…he was a keeper – she said dripping in sarcasm.

I feel for one Offspring and am excited for the other, it made me a little nostalgic for the cards we would make as kids and give out to our pals. I made a card for everyone…sadly I never received a lot in return. That was saved for Leslie, the blonde Goddess of the third grade. Oh if Brad had only noticed me then… Who am I kidding. Short Italian kid who is likely still only up to my knees… but he was cute in a Marty McFly kind of way.

As I was searching for Valentine Cards to make to give to my Valentine, I stumbled up on vintage cards and had a real laugh. Corny with a capital C! That is what makes them so amazing! I am SURE you will find the perfect sentiment for your Valentine!

Valentines for those Domestic Types

Give Your Valentine a Politically Incorrect Card!

Seriously? A Hanging is romantic?

I Hope I win the Hobo!

Nothing Says I Love You more than a good killing

Domestic Abuse Valentine

Sure ya did….”rash” looks like bruises to me!

The Classic Double Entendre Valentine

I am leaving you with the ever Creepy Valentine – from me to you

Because really, who are we kidding, Valentines Day is all about the creepy stalker if you don’t get what you want from who you want it from. I know you will be creeping facebook and twitter to see where your valentine is.

Please be my Valentine…or at the very least Don’t be my Valentine and see if I care.

Happy Valentines Day!

Random Musings from a Tourist in Her Own Life.

Friday afternoon of the most relaxing Christmas Break I have ever encountered, and I am lost in thought. A bazillion things flit through my mind in a random pattern. If you are wondering the inside of my brain looks like this:

I spent time gazing out the window looking at this:

I was reflecting on the new things I tried this week. I vowed to give 12 new things a try, so far I am up to 5 +

6. I played the Guitar on Rockband! Sure it was Lego RockBand, but the guitar is from the Beatles set and looks like Paul’s. It’s a niiiiiiiiiiiiice one. I only ever sing when playing RockBand. The guitar was pawned off on me by ChatterBox. She wanted to sing a Jackson 5 song. The setting was Super Easy, I got 5 stars because I am awesome like that.

7. I am learned a new piano tune that I have never played before.

8. I had my Tea Leaves read.

9. I refinished ChatterBox’s dresser in MacTac. I usually paint or stain furniture, but the look she was going for was more than I could bear with coat after coat to give it a high gloss finish. So I went to Home Depot bought 2 rolls of Mac Tac and covered it. It looks so fantastic! All it cost me $20 and 2 hours of work. Sweet!

10. Took my first Italian lesson. That’s right Italian. How very European of me. It is on the 50 in 50 list and a New Thing List. I will write soon about the reasons for learning Italian. Today I learned to say  una bambina è sotto un cavallo. Impressed? You should be. It means A girl is under a horse. Yes it is pornographic. I haven’t learned enough prepositions to say on or enough verbs to say riding. Baby Steps People! Cut me some slack!

That leaves 2 more new things to do. I have 3 more days because I don’t go back to work until Tuesday. This weekend I will be touristing downtown Edmonton to see Metropolus and the new Art exhibit at the AGA if all goes according to plan *spit*spit*

The new bloglove of my life nominated me with the Versatile Blogger Award. *blush* When in fact it is HIS blog that deserves all the accolades. Run – don’t walk or saunter over to Brian Westbye‘s page. His stories are magical. I want to have them put into a collection and onto my ereader. I need to figure how. His stories are short delicious visual bites that will transport you to another place for 3 minutes at a time. Here is a link to my all-time favorite so far. I haven’t read through them all yet, but I will. I am OCD like that.


This year would be a new tradition!

The last post of 2011 goes to my dear friend Kelly, known to the WordPress world as My Naked Bokkie. Odd name yes, she explained once to me that it was a South African term of endearment for a boy or something…I am SURE I have it wrong. At any rate, I call her Bokkie and she calls me Ed. Bokkie has been through her share of ups and downs (mostly downs) but still manages a laugh and a smile for her friends. To read the prequal to this post, I invite you to take a peek here. To just hang out with Bokkie, visit here. You will see me and Brown Road over there. We like to frequent South Africa for a change of pace now and then.

Now on with the words!


A new tradition would take place this Christmas!!

I had made that decision a few weeks into December. Why? The main reason was because the last few years had taken ALL the tradition we once had. This year I would find something that was really all about us, about our home, and perhaps about South Africa.

Although we had all decided NO Christmas gifts this year, I still wanted to give everyone “something” for joining our Christmas lunch. I thought about making fudge or coconut ice. I thought about buying little Christmas cakes. I thought about ordering individual cupcakes. /9You can see the baker in me coming out- and running hey?) But these things just didn’t make me warm and fuzzy!

Sometime in November, just a few weeks before, I had been looking into our hill behind our house from the guest bedroom with My Princess. I commented about the amount of bird’s nests in the trees. It was a realistic comment, I would not be exaggerating if I suggested that there must be a couple of hundred.

Do they look like bird's nest to you? This is the view from our guest bedroom.

You see my eye sight has diminished somewhat…. Turns out that these were not bird’s nests at all but Protea flowers, and those trees were specifically Protea Plants. (Let’s credit my knight for bringing that realisation to hand.)

Here is a better photo. Those could very easily be mistaken for bird's nests, don't you think?

Doing a bit of a “google, I” found that there are in fact more than 80 species of Protea Plants, and they don’t all grow in bushes 1 meter high (Clearly my confusion….?) I don’t sound very patriotic, do I? The fact is we learnt about the plant in school, we would see it on excursions, but it didn’t grow in our back yard.

Why so special? The Protea Plant is one of our national symbols for South Africa. It is also the name of our cricket team! As far as I know (I could be wrong), you need to have a licence to sell the Protea flower/plant, and they don’t grow in back yards! They cost a fortune when you do purchase one, but they do last for weeks. Although they are not the most beautiful flower, they do send a sense of patriotism through each of us.

And we had trees and trees and trees in our land!!!!

There we go. I see better through the lens on my camera! They are clearly flowers and not bird's nests. Silly me!!

I had a plan. A Christmas Tradition Plan.

I would give everyone a Protea flower to take home when Christmas lunch was done. It was a thought, and it was special. It was from our home, and it was very African! (And please note that it was not a simple as popping out into your garden and picking a few flowers.)

Ah ha! I had another great idea.

We decided that we would give each and every person that joined us for Christmas lunch a lottery ticket. We never buy lottery tickets. I honestly believe that God will not make us wealthy through gambling. We could debate it for hours, but to some small extent you could see my point.

But if we bought tickets for everyone else, just a row each- it would not be gambling. They would not be spending money on the chances of winning; they would merely receive that chance. We expected nothing from the ticket, but we gave “potentially” the best Christmas anyone could ever have. Potentially.

It was a small token, but it could be so much greater. It was out of our hands.

When My Knight was purchasing 13 individual one line lottery tickets the cashier clearly thought he was nuts. He felt the need to explain….. “my wife (yes he calls me that…hsi common law wife) is giving them away as Christmas Presents”, the cashier “what happens if they don’t win?” It should be “what happens if they do win?”

He clearly did not get my point!

Christmas morning, amongst all the commotion of very early guests (more annoying then late guests) and trying to get everything done by remaining calm and collected on the outside, I “instructed” my knight to climb through the electric fence, up our little mountain and start chopping.

I knew deep down he was trying to get out of it. His thought had disappeared!

He came back with a bucket full and broken kitchen scissors. I would hold back and not comment about the scissors. Good idea right?

After Christmas lunch, I brought the vases filled with Proteas to the table we were sitting at outside, and handed one to each of our guests. The tickets were from the night before, which meant that we didn’t need to wait. Once everyone had untied their lottery ticket from the flower, my knight googled the lotto numbers for the 24th of December, and we all started counting. There was an awesome sense of excitement around that table at that point.

There was nothing perfect about the vases filled with Proteas, but they did look special.

You gather that I didn’t win! (Sorry Ed- but i may not have done the guest blog if i had.) Unfortunately nor did any of our guests. But let’s not forget the potential to be the best Christmas Lunch ever- for someone.

I liked this.

This year was the start to our new tradition. Maybe next year we can start the tradition of winning?

My Traditions of Christmas

An ornament depicting a snowman, adorning a Ch...
Image via Wikipedia

I woke up to the smell of burnt toast. Either I am having a stroke or someone left the bread in to long. I roll over to check the time… 8:30 AM. According to my standards, that is not sleeping in but that is all I can muster until the stresses leave my head. Two more days, maybe three. The stress of life, work, school, friends and family weigh heavy on me. It is like I am the mom of everything. I have to admit, it is easier this year. I have simplified, used honesty in a way that leaves nothing for assumptions to be misconstrued. I don’t have all my ducks in a row yet, but that is coming. Things are better than I had hoped for but not quite as fabulous as I wished for.

I finish reading Room by Emma Donoghue. It was compelling. All from the perspective of a 5 year old. As an educator of preschoolers, it made me think about them from an interesting perspective. But now it’s done and I need more books. I have a huge list for download, but I need to wait until after Christmas.

I roll out of bed because my tummy is rumbling. I ignore it to hop into the shower and indulge in the fancy soaps. It is Christmas Eve and the family festivities begin tonight.

As a kid I remember driving down from Yellowknife with dad trying to keep the Blizzard on our tail. We planned to sleep in Peace River, but Mom was worried we would be stuck there for Christmas Morning. So we kept moving. My brother (4) and I (6) were dressed in our jammies for the very long drive to Edmonton. We were armed with pillows, blankets and teddies. I remember the dark, but that is nothing new I lived in the Arctic. It was always dark, not really knowing the time by the light of the sun unless it was noon. Looking out the window as we drove, I saw swirling snow and dark. These were the days before electronics in the car. Mom couldn’t read to us because a flashlight would bother dad.  So we slept.

When we woke up it was still dark. But I remembered Granny’s house! It was just like I remembered from a 100 years ago or summertime, both were a long way away. Mom tried the side door, Grandpa left it open for us. We snuck in quietly, but not quietly enough I guess. In the living room we turned on the Christmas lights, placed gifts under the tree and waited. Granny came into the living room and there we were under the tree for her Christmas present. Her face was happy and so was mom’s. Somehow we went back to sleep to wait for Christmas Eve to come.

I reflect on traditions of my past and tried to incorporate the ones I loved into my Christmas present. Christmas Eve dinner use to be Chinese food out, but now it is at my brother’s house. I like that better. Opening one gift on Christmas Eve use to mean lunch with my dad’s parents and my beloved Gram, but that changed too. Now my kids get to open their gift from their brother who lives in Australia. They like that better. Opening stockings first, while dad had breakfast. We still open stockings first, while mom (me) makes her coffee. I like that better. Then opening gifts, one at a time to stretch out Christmas and share in what each other received. I liked that best and so does my son. The same tradition continues. Dinner no longer is at my Granny’s, it moved to my mom’s and now my sister and I take turns. I like it better at her house and she likes it better at mine.

The feeling is the same. Warm and comfortable, wishing others could join us but knowing they are far away and can’t. Memories of them will have to do.

As I look out my kitchen window to the small snow piles and warm air outside, I am thankful the weather is nicer than last year. I think about Christmas at Walt Disney World and loved swimming outside on New Years Eve. I love the dark at Christmas. It makes the lights shine and the ice sparkle. For the first time in years I found the Christmas Spirit. I realize I am not the old me, but the new and improved me. The Edmonton Tourist Tradition continues…

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family who celebrate, and best wishes for all of you who don’t.

Love The Edmonton Tourist aka Robyn

I know where I am going – Liar! and other tales Part 2

Dear Universe,

After much refection I STILL don’t understand why the crazy stuff happens to me when I am with the family and not my friends! I was busy tell you about my travels with Annie, TTG, Squid and Chatterbox here. To pick up where I left off, please continue…

As I was saying, I am a mom and thought of snacks. I packed apples and almonds, juice and pop. The girls were dying of starvation, and when I say dying – I mean cranky and we were going to kill them. So, TTG gave Squid an apple. Every now and then, TTG wishes she had a “traditional” family of her own. Annie and I tell her constantly she is “Living the Dream” No kids, no weird smells, no messes, no odd sounds – let’s face it – No body sounds, smells and fluids that are not your own IS THE DREAM! Meanwhile, Squid eats her apple and gives the core to TTG where I could sense her facial expression and heard an “Oh Lovely” in the classic family sarcastic tone. I reminded TTG that she is living the dream…

We drive around Northeast Calgary while Annie tries to recall her past life here. 2 hours later we find an Olive Garden! All you can eat bread sticks and salad! We get excited and I jump out to see about getting a table. The Hostess replies, it will be an Hour and a half. AN HOUR AND A HALF?!? FOR AN OLIVE GARDEN? I don’t think so sweetheart, so I run back out and tell the girls we need to keep looking. I remember spotting a 5Guys on the Highway at Airdrie and suggest we head there. So long Calgary, your shopping was great but we were starving so we high tailed it out of there! A while later we get to Airdrie. 5 Guys is on the left side of the double hwy. No left turn for us! We search in vain for the over pass….only to discover an underpass as we drive over it. *Note to Airdrie, signs are a good thing…just saying…

We take the next exit and double back, pull in and park. We spot a Nathans Famous – of Coney Island Fame – and I retell my mom’s opinion of Nathan’s hot dogs…so we continue back to 5 guys. We get to the window and peer inside, all the people who couldn’t get a table at the Olive Garden, came here. It looked like an hour wait. OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I start to make my way to the empty – yet open – Nathan’s, when Chatterbox pipes up “There is the Dirty Bird, let’s eat there”. Fine – Swiss Chalet it is.

As we stroll over The Dirty Bird Swiss Chalet, TTG claims she has NEVER eaten at Swiss Chalet. WHAT??? how do you live in the same family and never had to eat here? It is Gran’s favorite place! It is known for its chicken. Talk about lucky! Then she went on to tell another interesting fact. While traveling home from Edmonton, TTG went to Swiss Chalet at the Edmonton International Airport only to be told they were out of chicken. WHAT??? How is that even possible? It’s like going to Baskin Robbins and being told they are out of Ice Cream! So the one and only time TTG made the attempt to eat at the Dirty Bird and they were out of Chicken. Omen maybe?

TTG is the only one who ordered Chicken. Ribs, pot pie, and deep fried perogies were the entres of choice. Chatterbox was the one who chose poorly on the roulette wheel of food. Who orders deep fried anything and expects to feel great afterwards? I suppose I should have stepped in and suggested real food at this point. But I didn’t not know they were deep fried and I didn’t expect Chemo Perogies…should have know better, sorry Chatter box.

By the time we finished dinner, it was 8:ooPM – 4 hours AFTER we leave Chinook mall. We pile into the car where Chatterbox complains that it is too dark to read. Squid says  it’s my fault for raising a reader. I should have raised a TV watcher than she would be happy with movies on the ipod. I tell them to suck it up and listen to music. Annie declares it’s time to fill the truck up due to mindless wandering around Calgary…we need to find an ESSO. Would any other station do? Nope…an ESSO please. So back on the HWY north to Edmonton, we pass a Petro Canada…no way – not if we don’t want Grandpa haunting us forever. Petro Canada is a political no no. How about Shell? Nope…Fast Gas? No thanks…Husky? NO! an Esso!! FINE! so we keep driving. The needle on the tank gets to the “Hey Dummy” line and Annie panics. So she demands, Text my man and ask him how far to Esso! WTF? He is not in the car, how is he to know? As soon as I finish texting, there are on the horizon is an Esso. The skies open up and the angels begin to sing. We won’t be hitch hiking after all! Thanks Universe!

We pull into the station, and TTG immediately begins the speculation game. Look at that gal, she put on her fancy pink sweatshirt for a night in rural Alberta! Her man has no shoes and is bare foot. Where do you think they are going? Why do you think that man is smiling? I think there is a hockey bag filled with bodies in the back of his car…CLICK went the locks. Hmmm this place is starting to get creepy. Then TTG asks, Whats a trip without creepy people? True…? Annie tries to get back into the car and we won’t let her in, who wants to risk creepy people joining her? Then we see she has NIBS! WOOHOO Nibs! She is in!

We munch on nibs and it adds to the bloated gross feeling from the Dirty Bird. TTG announces, no matter what I say or how much I beg, do not pass me anymore nibs. FINE! Be that Way! So we stuff them into the glove box. Soon we are on our way, headed North in the dark – no street lights on Alberta rural hwys  – because we are tough red necks here! About 10 minutes into the trip we here…I need to go to the bathroom. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? You couldn’t go at ESSO? Annie says we are not stopping because A> she has turned into my dad and B> She doesn’t want to stop at the prison town at night. Fair enough..HOLD IT Chatterbox.

As we continue on in the dark, we start to hear gagging noises. Chatterbox, are you okay? Yes, comes the reply. Then the gagging gets more frequent. I yell to Squid to reach back and grab a bag, empty it and give it to Chatterbox. Full on Heaving ensues. Awesome… TTG and Squid join the gag fest. The smell is starting to get rank, so we crack open the windows only to learn we are driving in farm country. The manure smell is as bad. Now the dilema – which is better? Vomit or manure? The heaving stops and Chatterbox passes the bag to TTG – once again TTG YOU ARE LIVING THE DREAM!The bag starts to leak and the screaming begins! Quick grab another bag! TTG pulls all her clothes out of her bag and says WAIT! I need the receipts incase I want to return them!!! Finally the leaky bag is tucked safely into the the second bag. I surmise out loud to TTG “I bet that apple core is looking pretty awesome about now!” With all the panic and screaming, Annie finds a turn off to the rest stop. It is pitch black and not far from the prison. We pull over to the side of a grain field covered in stubble. We all jump out like we are covered in puke. They scream, shake and stand around while I get Chatterbox cleaned up and sorted. I take tissue from the clothing bags and wipe up messes. I would give my first born for a diaper bag filled with  wet wipes about now. I spray the seats with “Sweat Pea” Hand sanitizer and we pile back in. TTG and Annie quickly lock the doors. At this point I discover two scary guys were hiding in the ditch and scrambled up the hill when we pulled up. We are in the middle of no-where, surrounded by farms and a prison is a couple of miles away. Yet there, are two guys in a ditch…hmmm either they are escaped convicts OR they are bottle collecting boy scouts. I’m pretty sure they were neither, but it’s not for me to speculate!

By this time it’s after 9:00PM. We are tired, smelly and really want to go home, yet we can’t seem to stop laughing. We see a dead moose on the side of the road and a totalled car on the other side. We share stories of past travels with duct tape and dad and granny and why she got the queen bed in Ireland while Annie and TTG got the table top. Eventually we stopped talking and began what we always do on every single family trip. We play silly songs a sing along, like this one:

Happy Travels!


My friend Oracle from DownUnder invited me to guest blog over on his site 

It contunies the Adventures of Travel’s with Granny – if you are so inclinde to visit! Say hey for me, I love his adventures 🙂