The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A few days removed from Canada, and some unshared thoughts...

Sunday night, I gave one of the tightest hugs to a woman that I had met in person for the first time. Only this hug was nine years in the making. I'm not sure how such a deep relationship was formed through ASCII, but somehow it happened. (And to think it all started with rugby...)

Raelyn and I had a good (but short) heart-to-heart on Tuesday, after I got back from hiking. In that chat, she gave me a couple of good tidbits that I'm trying to keep with me. "A companion doesn't complete you, they just top you off" was the one that stuck with me the most. Soon after, we caught up with her husband Kent at lightsabre practice. I'd have a photo posted of said practice, but the gentleman who was leading it (Kent's brother) decided otherwise. Later, I found that this gentleman was very protective of said group. I shook it off with the help of a medium-cooked ribeye at one of Canada's finest steakhouses. And it's true, I love Alberta beef. A trip down memory lane came afterwards by cruising through the parking lots of the UofC dorms where Rae and Kent ran around.

The trip to Banff and Lake Louise went pretty well. I got an excuse to tell friends I went 140 on the highway! (Okay, so it was kilometers an hour, but still...) Even better, no county or state/provincial police to bother me with their radar guns. Tunnel Mountain near the town of Banff was a nice but challenging hike. Saw an elk along the side of the road on the way to Lake Louise (so did a lot of other people, you'll understand when I post the picture I took). Lake Louise was okay, if it weren't for the chingos of people I saw over there. So many crying babies were there, it almost felt like I was being rung out at Wal-Mart.

A couple of bad things about the trip. First, coming back to Calgary, I pulled into a McDonald's in the small town of Canmore. Got what I thought would be the old reliable: Quarter Pounder with Cheese. But it tasted a bit... off. Not bad, necessarily. Just off.

Secondly, Thrifty Rent-A-Car. The concierge at my hotel (a cutie by the name of Katie) reserved a car for me at a nearby rental place. I went in the morning to get the car and get on my way. The lady behind the counter who spoke with a pretty bad French accent kept convincing me to bring the car back empty, as it was cheaper for them to fill up the tank than for me to fill it up. She said they would fill it up for 90-something cents a liter, the going rate at gas stations I saw was about $1.10CAD/liter. I was okay with it, until a second look at the receipt showed a gas charge of $61.64CAD. (My thought: if this is the going rate for a tank of gas, why don't more Calgarians take the bus?) When I returned the car, the guy who was working noticed a ding in the rear bumper that apparently wasn't picked up when I checked the car out. And I swear I don't remember making noticable contact with anything or anyone to make such a dent. Thank goodness I got the LDW coverage due to the paranoia put in me by the French girl ("Does your insurance compan-ee cover international driving?").

Anyway, that's the highlights of my trip. More pictures to come when Flickr decides to come back online.


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