When I’m in Calgary, I miss my mom and Moscow.
When I’m in Moscow, I miss Nate, Jazzy, and Calgary.
LIFE IS HARD
I really miss Moscow. Like, I’m not sure if I could live here again just due to the fact that it’s pretty hard to walk 15 miles in such a tiny town without taking the trail to Pullman all the time, but it does really feel good to come back here every once and a while. I like knowing that I’m at most like three miles away from home anywhere in the city and I like how quick and easy it is to walk to Walmart/Safeway/Winco and get nonsense stuff.
And how cheap everything is.
I’m heading to Moscow for a bit, YAY! We’re driving back from Calgary today and then I’m in the ‘Scow for like two weeks.
Edit: $163.27 wheel of cheese? It better be…gouda.
I am SO FREAKING HOMESICK RIGHT NOW.
I’m glad I get to go back to Moscow in half a week or so. This has been a very long spring/summer following a very busy winter semester and I really miss my mom.
I also really miss Moscow itself, despite how difficult it is to do my daily 15 miles there without looping the hell out of all the streets.
Calgary is a very pretty city.
One of my favorite things I’ve “discovered” on my walks is the giant Stoney Trail bridge that shoots over Bowness Park.
The first time I walked into Bowness Park I had no idea where I was going (as per usual), so I just kept walking west. The further in you go, the less “park” it becomes and instead becomes much more “wood.” Then, when you’re in the thickest part of it, bam!
This giant concrete structure just comes out of nowhere and swoops over the park. It’s so surreal-looking against the woods that it’s almost startling.
But in a good way. I really like the contrast.
Anyway. I discovered this last summer but only just took my first picture of it, so you get to hear about it now.
Headed back up to Calgary today. Not ready to go back. I want just a bit more time in Moscow.
Edit: THIS KOKANEE FOOT HAS SIX TOES
I am BACK IN MOSCOW AGAIN!
It always feels good to come back for a little while. It’s not quite the same now that my dad’s no longer living here (meaning my mom and I can’t go crash over there and visit, haha), but it’s still fun.
Calgary’s great; I love the big city, I love Canada, and I love pretty much everything else about it here (except CHEESE IS TOO FREAKING EXPENSIVE), but it’s nice to “escape” back to tiny old ‘Scow for a bit.
And buy $1.77 bags of shredded cheese from Winco.
ALSO. Did you know that there is no Colby-Jack cheese up here? I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Colby-Jack is not a thing in Calgary.
Which is dumb, ‘cause Colby-Jack is life.
Remember that map thingamapoop that you can color in based on where you’ve lived and how long you’ve lived there?
Probably not, ‘cause that’s not super descriptive or specific. So here’s mine from 2013.
Here’s the updated map to reflect my current state.
(That was a really stupid joke, sorry.)
That’s…not as different from the 2013 one as I thought it would be, haha.
I still miss it there every once and a while, though. My time at UBC was hell on earth, but the city was cool when it wasn’t trying to drown you in rain.
So today was supposed to be pretty crappy, because while my flight from Lewiston got into Seattle around 10 this morning, my flight from Seattle to Calgary is supposed to leave tomorrow around 11. I was originally planning on just hanging out in the airport and getting some work done (and not sleeping), since there weren’t any other really good options.
And really, that’s not terrible. SeaTac is a pretty great airport. Lots of places to wander if I got bored, that giant food court thing with the ceiling-high windows, and a decent number of places to sit. I figured if I could find an outlet to camp at, I’d be fine.
BUT THEN, PLOT TWIST!
I learned that because my flights were more than 17 hours apart (I think that was the cutoff time?), my checked luggage would only go through to Seattle. I’d have to pick it up there and the re-check it in closer to my flight to Calgary.
And on the plane from Lewiston to Seattle, I realized what this would probably mean: the baggage claim area is not in the cool part of the airport. It’s in the tiny basement thing that’s 70% luggage carousels, 20% luggage hauling SeaTac dudes (baggage bros?), and 10% benches that are taken up by sleeping families.
And since I had to claim my bag, that meant leaving the airport part of the airport and going down there. And staying there for ~24 hours.
Noooooooot as fun.
So I call my mom and we figure out there’s a hotel like right across the street (literally, it turns out), so I pack up my crap and head over there (and feel really stupid taking the bus shuttle because it is, literally, right across the street from SeaTac).
GIANT ROOM WITH GIANT KING-SIZE BED.
Got Subway, worked on stuff for classes, and watched crappy Seattle TV all night.
‘Twas much more enjoyable than the SeaTac airport could have been.
So we did the Skagway train ride today, ‘cause that’s the excursion I always do with my dad when we’re in Skagway. It was awesome as always. Pictures!
Also, it really makes me happy to see people being nice to each other. The stairs to exit the train are relatively steep. After we had exited out of our own car, we passed this one older dude trying to get down the steep stairs from another car. There were like five people—probably all complete strangers—helping him out, making sure he made it to the ground safely.
That kind of stuff really makes me happy.
We’s in Juneau today! Rather than do any sort of excursions, we decided to just get out and walk for a bit, which was nice.
My leg is still being twingy, but walking outside is much easier than trying to walk on the treadmill while the ship is moving.
(And is also a lot more enjoyable than 4 hours on a treadmill).
I’m not good at pictures, sorry.
Edit: holy hell, the hot dogs on this ship are FANTASTIC.
Today was an “at sea” day on the ship, and GUESS WHO GOT SEASICK?
(hint: it wasn’t Nate)
I’ve done this cruise four freaking times before and have never gotten seasick, but the ship was rolling on the waves just right this afternoon to cause my brain to freak out and made me dry heave over the toilet multiple times.
But things got better in the early evening. Nate and I ordered cheese and crackers for dinner and they were the best cheese and crackers ever.
Then we played war with two decks of cards. Nate happened to get six aces by the deal, so I was pretty much screwed, but I had the magic of the ace of spades (who I named JesAce…like “Jesus” but with “ace” instead of “us” because I’m made of blasphemy) and was able to stay alive until we got bored of playing.
I hope this sickness doesn’t return though, ‘cause gross.
It’s time for our Alaska cruise! This is the fourth (I think?) time I’ve done this cruise, but it’s different every time and is really enjoyable.
Some pics from our departure from Seattle:
Crossing the US/Canada border with my mom is always some sort of adventure. Talking to the border guards—especially going back into the States—always makes my mom nervous, and I have trouble keeping from laughing because every time we cross the border I remember all our previous border incidents where my mom was in panic mode and I had to answer the border guards’ questions for her.
But today’s crossing was extra special.
Let me set the scene for you, ‘cause you need to be able to visualize all of this.
When we pulled up to the crossing, the lineup to get through wasn’t especially long, but there were a decent number of vehicles in front of us. There were enough, in fact, for one of the border guard dudes to open up one of the other lanes. He guided a few of us towards it, and we ended up pulling behind a truck that had a very prominent pair of truck nuts hanging down from the rear.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing truck nuts before, they are these things:
(pic from here)
And these exist because…?
I honestly have no idea. Maybe because mounting a 10x scale model of one’s penis to the front of one’s hood is illegal.
But anyway. Mr. Truck Nuts McDangle is now right in front of us, and my mom, never having seen the monstrosity that is a pair of truck nuts before, is taking pictures of it with her phone and laughing while doing so.
I’m pretty sure she’s going to get us arrested by the border guards, but even they seem to be amused by the nuts. There are a few of them circling around the vehicles, just making sure we’re all actually in lanes, and I see a few of them looking at the truck in front of us and laughing a little.
Anyway. Nuts Dude finally pulls up to the crossing window, talks to the guards, and goes on through. As they’re pulling away, I see the two guards outside the booth laughing a bit—probably about the nuts.
So then we pull up.
My mom, nervous about the border as always, had rehearsed questions with me. She always brings a cooler with her whenever she comes up here, so she always has me rehearse with her what to say if they ask her what’s in the cooler.*
And of course they ask. “What’s in the cooler?”
Now keep in mind that we’ve all been primed with giant-ass truck nuts just moments ago.
My mom takes both hands, holds them like a foot and a half apart, and says, “I’ve got a biiiig zucchini.”
I honestly don’t know how those border guards kept straight faces; I had to turn away because I was losing my mind laughing. The guards managed to finish asking their questions and sent us on our way, at which point I totally lost it.
My mom had no idea what was so funny, so I explained it to her as we were driving out of the border crossing area, and we almost had to pull over ‘cause we were both laughing so hard.
I know it may not sound as funny just typed out like this, but holy hell, that was fantastic when it happened.
It’ll be hard to top this border crossing.
Edit: I had to check out the “truck nuts” Wiki page just to see what it had to say, and one of the sentences has the phrase “truck nuts exploded” and I can’t handle this universe anymore.
*We had a “carrot incident” once coming back from Vancouver…it’s still one of the funniest things that’s ever happened to us.
We all know that planning for the future is sometimes the only thing that can make me happy. Luckily, tonight Nate and I got to engage in some future planning. Specifically, we bought our tickets for our honeymoon cruise!
I mentioned a few days ago that we were likely going to try to do this this year, and the timing seems like it’s going to work out the best this year, so why not? We’re doing the 7-day inside passage with Glacier Bay cruise to Alaska in late August.
It’s been a while since I’ve been on a cruise (the last time was in July 2011), so I’m super excited! I really hope Nate likes it.
Check out our ship. We’ve got a balcony room.
Remember a while back when I was talking about how Nate and I were planning on doing our honeymoon cruise next year?
Well, we’re changing things up a bit and hope to do it…this August instead!
We have to move fairly quickly to arrange everything to make it all work (and to, you know, make sure we can actually get tickets), but we think it will happen. Super exciting!
Also, I might be coming back down for another Moscow visit in early August. My April/May trip wasn’t as long as it was supposed to be and I feel like this might be the last summer I’ll really be able to hang out with my mom in the ‘Scow, so get ready for (possibly) more Claudia, you lucky Idaho fools.
That was NOT ENOUGH MOSCOW TIME.
I need like two weeks down there, seriously. I just want to hang with my mom for a bit. I have a feeling we’re not going to be able to do that for much longer, so I want to hold on to it for as long as I can.
Also, it was super weird not being able to go to my dad’s house in Moscow. It’s no longer his house. That’s going to take some time to get used to.
And now I’m sad. Change blows.