Thursday, September 02, 2004


Day 1: arrive in Calgary in time to go to bed. Note that Mom has negotiated for Baby-Cath to sleep in Jen's comfy bed, while Jen sleeps on an air mattress on the floor.

Day 2: Jen's soccer game. Sunny with chilly wind. Return to Jen's house before packing/leaving for Deadman's Flats, where we check into our motel and manage to squeeze in a hike at Johnston's Canyon. It rains.

Day 3: Up early for a big breakfast at the Husky next door before driving to Lake Louise to hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers. More rain.

Day 4: Check out of motel and drive to Jasper, which is somehow out of the clouds. We hike Wilcox Pass, visit the Athabasca Glacier and look around the visitor centre. Stay overnight in Field, BC at a lovely guest house. Eat buffalo burgers for dinner (which could possibly explain some GI distress for most of us). Rain, rain, rain.

Day 5: Up early in order to get to Lake O'Hara for the 8:30am bus into the park. Start our hike to Lake Oesa and Yukness Ledge right away, with socks on my hands to keep them warm. It is cold. But as we round Lake O'Hara and start to push upward, we start to warm up. On the way down, it starts to rain again, and I slip on a rock and fall on my face/shins. The last 15 minutes of the hike are pretty wet, but the worst of it comes when we're done, so we're pretty happy. I pay for coffee in Lake Louise before heading "home" to Jen's place in Calgary. Everyone has warming showers and we watch the Olympics all night.

Day 6: Jen goes to work, while the rest of us drive to >Drumheller to the Royal Tyrell Museum. Outstanding museum; definitely not enough time to spend there. I learned so much! I love museums when I have the time to spend. Back to Calgary to go to dinner at my dad's cousin's place.

Day 7: Pack up and head for the airport. So long, Calgary! Arrive >>Victoria. Heather's mom Marlene picks us up at the airport and almost immediately starts crying. It's a portentious beginning. We check into the Strathcona, our home for the next 3 days and go for lunch with Mar, Aunt Joan and June (Heather's dad's aunts who are an absolute RIOT!). On to Marlene and Greg's place for a BBQ, see Heather and Steve (and Kevin, Heather's brother), talk, check out Heather's dress, shoes and jewlery, make place cards and centre pieces and stuff my face full of yummy food.

Day 8: Go get some Blendz coffee (a good coffee chain in Victoria, but almost as prolific as Charbucks) and make a manicure appointment and get my jewlery cleaned. Wow, does it look shiny after being cleaned. I had no idea it had so much crap on it! Meet Heather for her manicure at a fancy spa. Meet up with Steve and Paul (my wedding boyfriend) for lunch. Head out for my manicure. Walk around Victoria in some much-needed alone-time. I stumbled on a little market there and got to talking to some artists who had lived in New Zealand for 3 years. They sparked my craving for adventure again. I think I need to go there again. I bought a lovely hand-made book from them for Alex, since I was pretty crappy on his birthday. I love wandering through artisan markets. Too bad most people sell stuff that you can't USE. Meet up for the wedding rehearsal. Giggle a lot. Drive out to the most lovely setting for a rehearsal dinner, at a friend of Steve's family. Reminisce with Heather about when we she used to live in Alliston. Drink water as I do NOT want a migraine. Stay overnight at the Swans hotel.

Day 9: Heather's wedding. Wake up at 6am because a previous guest had set the alarm at that time. Curse them. Wake up with Heather at 7am or something. Get ready and to the hair dresser for 9am. Get hair done (unsatisfactorily, in my opinion). Taxi ride to the spa where Heather gets her make up done professionally and the rest of us just muddle around on our own faces.

Back to the Swans for some food and to get into our dresses. Toni (maid of honour) ties Heather into her dress while I strap on her shoes and Heidi (the third bridesmaid) takes photos of the melee. Enter Marlene and Greg and flower lady with bouquets. Exit hotel in order to meet horse and carriage who are, well, late. Later (much later) we arrive at the Parliament Buildings in our horse-drawn carriage, having waved at all the tourists along the way. Photos.

Panic moment: Heather's dress gets grease all down the front from the horse carriage wheel. Keep taking photos while Marlene and Greg find a dry cleaner who is open and can try to fix it. Off to the dry cleaner. No charge for the quick fix!

More photos at the beach. Off to Laurel Point for the ceremony.

Panic moment: Heather announces to me that the cake is ugly and that Marlene has asked the kitchen staff to "do something with it."

Walk down the aisle (the musicians have thankfully decided to play music while I walk, but not while the others walk, they are apparently retarded). Heather enters, vows, misty eyes, laughing, rings, kissing, signing and it's all over. So strange how all the preparation leads to that moment and it's over in, well, a moment.

More photos. Hor d'oeuvres and punch and talking to my parents about my day and laughing about my funny hair-do and too-big dress. The sun comes out and I can sit and relax (maybe too much) before the dinner.

It's funny being part of a wedding party. You're suddenly important. And yet, I didn't DO anything except try to be there for Heather. Her dad made a speech and 5 other people made speeches about Steve. And the yummy food kept on coming. Steve made a speech to thank everyone for coming.

Panic moment: the topiaries crash to the ground. All the men rush to right them.
Panic moment: Heather feels sick. Her uncle goes and gets her some antacid and throat lozenges.

Finally, the food stops coming and it's time for the ceremonial cutting of the cake and then the dancing.

Panic moment: I run dead-on into a glass wall. No real reason, except that I thought it was the door. Smash! I bounce off and look in confusion, not understanding what force-field could have thrown me. I'm pretending I'm fine, but then my nose starts gushing blood and I run to the bathroom, embarassed and in some serious pain. The blood stops eventually and I rejoin the dancing. Some guy breaks his knee and the dancing stops, although Steve and Heather have already retired to their complimentary suite for the evening. There's a bit of an ordeal, but the ambulance comes and the party breaks up. The Best Man walks me "home" to the Strathcona where I painfully pick out the hundreds of hairpins from my complicated, cemented coiffure. Sleep.

Day 10: More Blendz coffee and off to the airport with Marlene and Greg who then give us slices of the apparently ugly but delicious wedding cake before we check into our flight.

Panic moment: we discover that we're flying stand-by out of Vancouver, although no one told us this when I bought the tickets. Also, Cara, the foodservice provider for the airline is on strike, so they can't promise us food. We do get a meal. But we're seated right by the toilets. Ew.

And that's the adventure.

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