Rachel and Ira’s Romp Around Western Canada – Chapter 1 – Kelowna
Running around felt normal for me, as I drove my mom’s black SUV through the light, but moody night rain. It was weird to think that this epic scrimmage would be over in a matter of hours. I went to my usual drop off spot for shit I didn’t want. Right behind the Marpole Sally Anne. I quickly disembarked from the vehicle, which was still very much on and unlocked, chucked a bag of my years of hoarding against a brick wall. Smash, plates, speed off home to finish packing.
We were off to Edmonton that night, me and my best galfriend Rachel. To start new, start fresh, try something different. I had been in Vancouver for 28 years and didn’t appreciate it anymore. My uncle invited us to try Edmonton. His warm and encouraging invitation were convincing enough. And so on Monday the 28th, at around 9:30pm, I said goodbye to my mom, dad and sister. Everyone seemed to continue on with their day as if nothing special was happening and to be honest I was a bit hurt by this. But as I got into the cab, looked at my mother for the last time, I could see this would be hard for her too. In the silence of a rolled up window, my mom stood out on the street, still quietly talking to me, giving me pointers, saying I am going to make it big. And as the taxi’s engine revved up, she touched her heart and I touched mine and for a brief moment, we thought about the same thing in our very opposite way of thinking brains, that we loved each other above anything else and that this was going to feeling like shattering organs.
And it did and we were off. We met with my best friend, Allana and her lovely fiance Nicole at the train station. Again, another tearful goodbye, several pictures, a scary official telling us we couldn’t take pictures inside, a regrouping outside the station and more pictures and my best friend of close to 7 years vanished out the double glass doors onto Main Street.
Oversized and tearing floral suitcase had us repacking shit left and right in a frantic matter. It wasn’t 5 pounds over, but it was twenty. “I need to get rid of some stuff” Rachel exclaimed. Shelling out the $28 for oversized luggage and almost throwing out our expensive bike helmets that are not permitted as your carry on bags just in case you may use them to saw off someone’s head (not funny, but COMMON PEOPLE!), we sat in the cramped seats as announcements were made and we drifted off into lala land, bodies twisted in uncomforting slumber.
A stop in Princeton…Penticton….and viola! at 7:10 AM we arrived at the back end of the Greyhound Express Station. After breakfasting on some BLTs, we got on the wrong bus and were whizzed out of town to the Okanogan UBC Campus. Beautiful campus, so not really a disappointment or a waste of time, but a pleasant detour. Checking into our rooms at the local Hojos, we stared at each other until cross eyed and passed out fully clothed in each of the Queen sized beds like a 1950s appropriate for society film that depicts a healthy marriage.
After a two hour nap, we awoke a roamed. First stop was a beautiful church, that was locked, but we stared in the windows and sat in their beautiful backyard and stared at the garden. So many brilliant colored flowers. The air is so fresh out here, a repeated theme we kept noting and I am sure we will keep noting as this journey progresses.
Next stop was a farmer’s market, for some look at some handcrafted jams, jellies, cookies and pies. There was also a small museum upstairs dedicated to a big farming family in the region. I was more interested in taking creepy pictures of dolls.
Rachel could NOT get enough of petting horses and ponies along the way. Until one snorted loudly while she tried to feed it hay. She jumped about ten feet and relinquished her friendship with all farm animals.
Next, we stopped at Father Pandosy’s Historic Park and Mission, which is like a very mini-Burnaby village owned by the Catholic church about an order that lived on this land in the late 19th century. Lots of farm equipment, log cabins, and beds without mattresses. Supposedly that discomfort is humbling? It would make me an atheist, more so, for sure, no questions asked. No sleep and you want me to worship the dude who okayed this treatment? No thanks!
After a quick stop at Okanogan lake, we headed downtown for some din din at an Irish pub. Rachel had the blackened beef sandwich and I had a steak open face. I didn’t realized it was an open face sandwich, as I hunted all around my plate for the other layer missing in action. Seemed silly to me, as I tried to eat the steak, the onion rings and the garlic bread it sat atop by cutting it into edible chunks, which fell apart before they could get a millimeter off the plate.
Right now, we are in the hotel, drinking great wine, relaxing on the bed dubbed “the relaxing bed”, as the other is the “sleeping bed”. Tomorrow we have a WINE TOUR, early in the morning so what better way to prepare than drinking wine the night before, n’est pas?
I miss everyone oodles, but am enjoying myself and relaxing for the first time in what feels like an entire intellectual period (ie the enlightenment).