Tim Hortons, everything bagels w/ herb and garlic cream cheese, diet pepsi’s, regular coke cola, lotsa bottled water, banana chips, dried pineapple, flat tires, lotsa rain, a pillow, an AWOL gall bladder, a flat tire, a chrysler sebring, a buick corsica, some poor awareness of what day it is, a wedding and a beach. 2400 km or 1491 mi one way, or about 36 - 40 hours one way???
these are the ingredients for WDW May 2006.
This is the story (well one random version of it).
This is the story of a road trip undertaken by myself and onlylittle. The general plan was for me to fly into halifax then for the two of us to drive to where we met, Berrien Springs, MI, so that she could attend and be in her best friends wedding and for to me to go into hiding and locate, close with and meditate at my beach ... the exact location was unknown as i had not been there for about 3 or 8 years...
This is the story of the chaos, the joy, the comedy that occurs when onlylittle and radiantshadow get together.
The day, The VERY SAME DAY I GO ON LEAVE I GET SICK....
Enter Radiantshadow(aka me) swooping down from the clouds on my Air Canada connecting flight.
All in the same first day: I arrive at halifax to look for my bag which Air Canada decided not to deliver at the same time that they delivered me(I got it the next day). off we go to the movies where Onlylittle temporarily loses her wallet (which had the photo ID that she would need to get across the border), though she eventually found it. Radiantshadow somehow loses his digital camera (which was never found). Onlylittle buys me a disposable so that i can record the trip some and to try to make me feel at least a little bit better. We decided / hoped that everything was going wrong the first day so that rest of the trip would be a breeze... wishful thinking we knew, but we could dream. Dinner, meeting friends, a few short range but intense mind melds(we have the scary ability to read each others minds) and off to the nether world of sleep we went.
fast forward a few days, driving to B.S., absolutely beautiful country side. Onlylittle had the awesome idea of staying off the interstates. backroad driving. Beautiful country side. Got to the border where i got put in a sort of detention (ok not really, just held in another office) while Onlylittle got interrogated by customs. When they eventually let me back into the room I am not really sure what he said (the customs agent said, something about a crime if she worked without a permit and that i would be liable something something something, Onlylittle told me to say ok, i did, they let her in)
sidenote: Onlylittle embarrassed me and my ipod, i had not much good driving music compared to her burned CD's. Something that still burns a little.
Took turns driving, talked all night long about various things. Of course the reason that we chose to drive, was to talk, to spend time, to catch up, to just have fun. the next day when it was my turn to drive well i will just give what was said at the one important moment...remember, i was up all night talking when i should have been sleeping. All this was said in the most calm monotone voices you can imagine, I was driving, MJEL was stretched out in the back of the car nodding off to sleep:
BOOM, BOOM, BOOM !!!!
Onlylittle: "What was that ?"
Me: "Oh I fell asleep"
Onlylittle: "OK why dont you pull over... ?"
Me: "OK I'll pull off ASAP"
YEAH.... luckily i just rode up the divider and back off again... Onlylittle took over the driving for a while and instead of talking just gave me that look and made me go to sleep for a while.
A little farther and we hit rain and it (the rain) would plague us for the rest of the trip....
fast forward again and we get to B.S. find her friend and after a very friendly and caring talk / lecture about the importance of staying awake while driving I go off back to Indiana to go into hiding with one of my college friends there. I did eventually find my beach and recorded its coordinates with my GPS. so hopefully i wont ever have to problem i did this time of hiking an extra 4 miles to find something that was only like a quarter mile away from where i parked....
yeah.... but i quote from journal entries i made on that day:
When I arrived here at this point all I could think was "Thank God, Thank God, Thank God." Here at this place of indescribable beauty.... the song that the birds are singing, the chorus of the waves on the shore, the clouds overhead the sand and the beach form an opera indescribable beauty and majesty for the eyes and ears.
i love it here. Here is where I was reborn
God speaks of the way thinks should be. Simple. Wonderful. The way he designed it.
Obviously i enjoyed myself.
fast forward some more to our departure from the mecca of adventist education....
more back roads, A LOT MORE RAIN, A LOT OF VERY DENSE FOG ( I have never hydroplaned so much in my life), got lost a few times (the problem is when those back roads run into actual big cities, the routes can be kinda hard to follow sometimes, but it was all good. we had each other, and those 8 sets of eyes(we both wear glasses) proved very helpful). Night falls and i as i am drifting off to sleep (i did learn my lesson) i start to wonder what those blue flashing lights are in the the rearview mirrors. All Onlylittle had to say was Nova Scotia and the state trooper (i think that was what he was) all of a sudden decided to let her off with just a warning. fast forward some more to when i take over the driving... me and my big feet zooming around, BOOM !!! pothole this time. why does the car feel weird...
pull over, flat tire.... gah..... now i should take a moment to mention that we were really worried that we were not going to make it hfax in time for onlylittle to get back to work, for me to make my plane, and to get the car back. cause we thought that all that was due on tuesday the 17th. if you want to know why that is important check a calendar now.
so change the flat tire, thank god it stopped raining long enough for us to change the tire and that it happened in a town. remember that we were taking back roads, so all this happened in the backwoods of Maine. that took longer than it should have, now we had to limp on the donut about 3 hours to the nearest car place where we could change cars. Sidenote, Onlylittle commented that we hit the pothole hard enough to dent the rim... which i thought was impressive, cause i wasnt going THAT fast.... and once again Onlylittle took the keys from me AGAIN... it wasnt even my fault this time... but she gave them back about an hour later. get to .... where was that .... Bangor where we get the above mentioned Corsica... which i will admit is a very nice car. as we are pulling up to the place Onlylittle starts to call her work place and she is the one that makes the connection that 17th is on wednesday not tuesday and that we have an extra 24 hours to make it back vice being 6 hours behind schedule like we thought (that is 6 hours past the 3 hour safety margin that was built in, yeah...)
so we went from being on this go go go, move move move high that we were on to dropping to a snails pace of .... wow we have time. So off we go to this park the Onlylittle knows about, on the way we search for food, and eventually settle at this place called the Moose Crossing (*shrug* Maine we thought), after leaving we conclude that it should have been called the Moose Droppings. yes it was that bad. McDonalds to the rescue !!! That park was a lifesaver. We took a nap, rested, showered, ate, recharged, then charged on to hfax. it was a nice end to a very nice trip.
fast forward some more to hfax, nice sleep before the plane, say goodbye, drive to the airport, return the car, wait around for plane, get on plane, then it started....
first the plane was delayed in the air for about 30 - 45 extra minutes due to thunderstorms in Ontario, Canada so we couldnt land, then when we did land we and EVERYONE else had to sit on the runways, taxi-ways and anywhere else they could fit aircraft cause the baggage handlers and aircraft support personnel couldnt approach the aircraft with lightning striking the airfield. which i can understand... i wouldnt want to be anywhere near a couple hundred (thousand ?) pounds of jet fuel with lightning popping all around me, but we were out there for about 3 HOURS.
*sigh* so when we finally get off the plane i go running around 2 terminals, customs and security again only to see my plane sit at the gate while the person at the gate fought time and space to get me on the plane and then the plane backed away from the gate and i had to fight with customs and Air Canada again, cause no one really knew what was going to happen to my bag. spend the night in the airport.... so i wander about for a bit looking for something to eat and eventually do so and fall asleep on a bench in the terminal. wake up the next morning fight with Air Canada again to try to get some reassurance that my bag will meet me in LA, get on my plane to LAX, land and guess what ?
i did get it eventually later in the day, but twice in one trip ??? then i had to deal with the super death shuttle. now it takes a lot for someone to instill the fear of all things in me with a car. but this guy did it, to the extent of when my sister called me when i was still in the van yelling instructions at the driver (i think he was a little hard of hearing, if you've ever heard me yell when i really really wanted to be heard you understand how much of an understatement that is) i was like yo i'll call you later i gotta concentrate on the praying, meditation and jedi mind tricks to keep my fear under control. There were 4 people in the van and i was third to get to where i was going, while waiting my turn i was in the back gripping the armrests chanting to myself trying to maintain the tough guy Mr. Marine demeanor of invincibility.
All that and this was the most greatest trip that I have had in a while. I needed that for a variety of reasons. so to Onlylittle a heartfelt thanks for bringing me along / inviting me. Some things cant be described with words or paid for in dollars(canadian or american, though i am still very grateful for that 20 that got me through the night in that airport in Ontario).
Somethings can only be felt with the heart. Thank you for the memories, they were wonderful. I will always be grateful for this trip. For everything.
one last note, i end my leave in about 36 hours and i do not feel the least bit sick... AINT THAT SOME SHIT...