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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

La Crete Highlights: Introducing Greg to Cool

Last night we met our friend Greg at the Pizza Place (famous La Crete pizza store - the best pizza I've ever had!) for ice cream. After that, it was still so sunny and nice out at 9:30 pm that we decided to go for a drive in our new, sexy truck, called McSexy.

We soon realized that Greg had never been to La Crete's "lake" (*note: the lake is a glorified pond to you Ontarians who live on the Great Lakes). The lake is famously called "Duck-Shit-Lake" so you can imagine the beauty of it. :P

Anyways, we drove him out there to show him his students' party place. It's really nice if you're not standing down wind of the stench smell. It's a small pond/lake so the water is still, which makes it smell a bit swampy and duck-shit like, but aside from that, it's pretty nice! haha. There were people tubing and when one fell off Greg pleaded for them to get back into the boat quietly to himself. He's quite the city boy and had a problem with the smell and water with with he called "green guck" in it.

(This photo was taken at "Duck Shit Lake" last September when Chris first moved to La Crete)

We went to sit on one of the picnic tables, wanting to start a fire but without a lighter or matches, but were soon chased away by an army of mosquitoes. That didn't seem to bother all the people down at the lake, but we were starting to overdo it with Greg. Poor city boy :P (sorry Greg, if you're reading this!)

So then, of course, we had to do a couple small donuts in the truck so Greg could tell his students that he was reliving his teenage years in La Crete: going to the Pizza Place, Duck Shit Lake, and even being reckless by doing donuts.

After that, Greg wanted to turn the music up really high and go "cruising" as his students do, and he said his vehicle just wasn't cool enough. We agreed. So we cruised around La Crete for a little while, circling the post office and fire hall a couple times and then came to the conclusion that cruising is both non economical, environmental and is just plain stupid.

We drove Greg to his vehicle, but he still refused to get out. He said he wanted to do something else. Then we realized he had never been the the old La Crete Ferry landing, out by the river.

"What have you been doing in La Crete for the last year?" I asked him. Apparently nothing. He apparently doesn't go for these random drives like Chris and I like to do to discover new parts of the area. So we drove him about 20 minutes to the river, walked for about 4 or 5 minutes before being chased away by an even larger army of mosquitoes, and then drove home.

by this time, it was after 10:30 pm and Greg had lots of stories to tell his students: he'd been cruising with loud music, been to two of their party areas; the river and the lake, and ate at their favourite restaurant.

We agreed that that night alone made Greg the cool teacher. If he wasn't already.

Visits from family

Well I've almost been in La Crete a year. It's hard to believe it's been that long, but what's even harder to believe is that I made it though nine months of snow!

But enough about that, now I have 24-hours of daylight to look forward to. And my parents visit!! Unfortunately, they won't be coming together. Thanks, Ongwanada. But fortunately, they will be coming.

My Dad will only be here a few days in June, after his Vegas trip with the guys. Even though it will be a short visit and I have approximately 20913829038 events to cover while he's here, we'll have a great visit. He leaves the day before Father's Day, so it will be bitter-sweet, but at least we'll get to celebrate Father's day together the day before.

As for Mom, she's coming for a bit longer in July so we'll have a bit more time to relax. We're hoping to go to NWT for a night or two, up to Hay River. My Aunt Heather and cousin Josie are also planning to come for a couple of days with mom, before heading on a road trip through the Rockies.

I can't wait for the two of them to come. It will sure make the wait to my visit home at Christmas easier. But I guess I can't really complain .. I did just get back from Ecuador just a few weeks ago! But that doesn't change the fact that I still miss my family.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bradley Bear

For those of you who actually know me reading this blog, you know all about my brother Bradley and the crazy things he does! You also know that he's autistic, which makes being so far away even more difficult.

You see, I call home about everyday ... okay, multiple times a day sometimes (hey, if you've got free long distance you may as well put it to good use!) and I always talk to my mom and dad whenever they're around, but only sometimes do I get a good conversation in with Brad. But when we do, it's so worth the wait.

Bradley's mood swings are worst than any PMS anyone has ever experienced. He can go from happy to mad in seconds. So whenever he's in a good mood, I try to talk to him.

Mom or Dad will put me on speakerphone so he can hear me and he usually holds the phone, playing "stop sign" with it or using it as a car while we talk. The other day we had a good, long conversation for about 40 minutes. We probably could have talked longer, but I had to get to work. One of the few times I hated my job because I wanted to talk all day!

Bradley sat in my room at Mom and Dads and looked out the windows, telling me about all the flowers he could see: yellow, red and orange, he told me. Then he told me about the rain and the sun and the rainbow (okay, so I'm not sure if all of these were true, but that's besides the point!). The rainbow had "all the colours" he said "all six!" He's so smart :)

Then he told me about all the people who came down to visit him during the May long weekend. Aunt Dale, Uncle Waaaaaaaaaleter, and "everybody" he said. Even his worker, Al, came by. When I asked what he said to Brad, he said "Al was smoking" *cough cough* haha, caught you again Al! Brad's a good taddle tale.

We also played the "Ashley eat this" game, where he makes me pretend to eat bumble bees, fire trucks and even Alberta. This game is hilarious for him, annoying for me. But he loves it so I do it!

Finally I told him it wasn't raining in Alberta like it was in Frankford. He stopped for a few minutes and thought about that. Then he said.. "Ashley come to Frankford?" It just about broke my heart! When I told him I wouldn't be home until Christmas he sighed and sadly said "Oh .. okay."

I sure miss seeing him and talking to him about the weather, race cars and everything else. We'll have to have a special brother-sister day once I get back to Ontario at Christmas to make up for all the days we've missed.

xo B-Rad aka Brother Bear.
Love Sister Bear.

The Truck Club

It's official. We're part of The Truck Club.

Chris and I recently traded in our 2007 Dodge Caliber for a 2008 Dodge Dakota truck. I know, we hadn't had the caliber long, but it was proving to be a pain and besides, how can one live in La Crete and NOT own a truck?

There she is. And I'm in love with it. We still haven't named it. I'm thinking McSexy, so it has some Grey's Anatomy in it as well. It sure is beautiful though. It's black...and that's about all I know about trucks. Hey, I know the type of truck it was, so that's pretty good for me! It came with a cover for the bed and steps (important for me to have) and everything is automatic. Unfortunately, we lost our sunroof which I miss dearly, but I'm sure I'll appreciate having command start this winter!

And it's already proved to be amazing. Remember those Buffalo Head Hills we tried to get to last fall with Kristin but my sunfire couldn't make it? Well, McSexy got us up there last night. However, after three tries trying to locate and get up the hills, we were a little disappointed once we got to the top. Albertans just don't know hills like we Ontarians. They weren't nearly as large as I had thought, but the views were pretty nice. Max, the dog we're taking care of while living in La Crete for our landlords, also enjoyed the walk and drive.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Photos of Ecuador

The internet is quite slow up here in the north pole, so uploading is proving to be quite a challenge. Therefore, this might take a while, but here's a few to keep you busy.



I know it's been over a month since I've written, but hey, who wants to write in their blog while they're enjoying 35 degree weather on a beach? ..That's what I thought.

Ecuador was purely amazing. We had a great time...when we actaully got there. Our flights got all messed up, which meant five flights there and five flights back, and over 30 hours of travelling each way. It was awful! But the trip made up for it.

On the way down we had an 8 hour layover in Costa Rica. Since we'd been flying since 4:30 p.m. the day before, and it was now about 9 a.m., we decided to head out into the community to get a hotel and shower. Bad idea. We got the worst, creepiest, sketchiest hotel ever. I wouldn't even use the bathroom (which only had a curtain, I might add!). We were there about half an hour, to shower, and get out! I was even afraid to sit on the beds!

So we headed back to the airport because we had no idea what was safe in Costa Rica and it appeared that we were in the wrong area. Since I had tourist written all over me, we decided to go back. So there we were, in the Costa Rica San Jose airport for about 8 hour with no internet. Thank you, airport.

Off we were to Peru and then finally to Ecuador!

We got in really late (or early, depending on how you look at it) just a few minutes in to my birthday (April 21). As soon as we walked out of the airport, my lungs filled with what felt like glue. The air was so hard to breath for the first few days, it was so humid. Especially coming from the north pole and all. It took a few days of getting used to, and then it was pure, joyous warmth.

We were busy just about every day, and thankfully spanish people use a lot of enthousiasm and body language so communication wasn't that bad with the language barrior. I went shopping one day with Chris's aunt July and his friend, which was interesting with knowing little to no Spanish and them little to no English, but it was definitely one of the best days! Chris spent the day with his mom, grandma, and siblings.

We did just about everything: horseback riding on the beach, pub crawls, climbing all 444 stairs on the cerro santa ana: a bunch of houses, pubs and restaurants on the side of a hill with stairs to the top), swimming in the ocean (lots of that!), shopping, zoos, fruit markets, etc. etc. the list goes on. It was amazing! There were so many fresh fruits (which I soon learned were my enemy, especially juice). However, I sure missed Canadian food after about 4 days of banana.

The triffic, however, was terrible. And to make matters worse, seatbelts are not even an option in the back seat. And there were usually about 7 of us stuffed inside this jeep/SUV thing as we were weaving in and out of traffic, forcing six lanes into four lanes of traffic. And they don't even stop at stop signs! They just honk and keep going, so whoever honks first (or I guess has the bigger vehicle..) gets to go.

There is so much more but I will have to post pictures for you, as my lunch hour is jsut about over.