hells_half_acre: (Darkness Defines)
 This is just a note to those who may not have read the A/N on the last chapter of Vile Violent Vacations....

I'm going to Germany!

I'll be leaving in a couple of hours. I'll bring my laptop, so I should still be able to post the chapter this week...but it might be posted at an odd time, or a different day.

When I fly home, I'm flying home on a Wednesday, so there is a good possibility the chapter that is supposed to be posted that day will be posted on Tuesday or Thursday instead.

Of course, besides posting the chapters, I don't think I'll be hanging out online very much - so I hope everyone has a great couple of weeks!

Also, check out my icon! I made it myself (which is possibly why it's not that great)...in PAINT (because I don't have photoshop). But I've wanted to put those lyrics on a Supernatural icon for a REALLY long time. If anyone wants to make me a snazzier version, that'd be cool. In the meantime, I think I did ok. The lyrics are by Hawksley Workman - who I think is a fantastic song-writer. He always has these perfect lines.

Ok, see ya folks!
hells_half_acre: (Default)
We got to the Okanagan (specifically Kelowna) way earlier than expected on Tuesday, so we checked into the cheapest hotel we could find early, and looked over some Visitor's Guides.

We ended up going on a tour of Mission Hill winery (seriously cool place). We hadn't eaten all day, and Susie is such a small girl, that the wine tasting ended up leaving her quite tipsy. It made for a very hilarious dinner. The next day we woke up early and went horseback riding! It was so much fun. The coolest thing was that we got to the stables and discovered that they were run by a bunch of Germans! Yay German! I was too shy to let on that I spoke German (because it's so rusty now it's embarrassing), but Susie outed me, so I basically just told them in German that my German was horrible...and messed up the grammar for that sentence, so I certainly got the point across.

After that, it was lunch, and then just a sleepy drive down the rest of the Okanagan, before hopping on Highway 3 to Vancouver.

So now I'm in Vancouver!! My new home! Sadly, my room isn't going to be vacated until Sept. 1st, so I'm currently camped out on a camping mat on the floor of my Susan's room. So it'll be a couple of days until I'm able to unpack and go buy furniture.

I'm very excited to be here finally. Moving always makes me optimistic for the future! :-)
hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
We got to the Okanagan (specifically Kelowna) way earlier than expected on Tuesday, so we checked into the cheapest hotel we could find early, and looked over some Visitor's Guides.

We ended up going on a tour of Mission Hill winery (seriously cool place). We hadn't eaten all day, and Susie is such a small girl, that the wine tasting ended up leaving her quite tipsy. It made for a very hilarious dinner. The next day we woke up early and went horseback riding! It was so much fun. The coolest thing was that we got to the stables and discovered that they were run by a bunch of Germans! Yay German! I was too shy to let on that I spoke German (because it's so rusty now it's embarrassing), but Susie outed me, so I basically just told them in German that my German was horrible...and messed up the grammar for that sentence, so I certainly got the point across.

After that, it was lunch, and then just a sleepy drive down the rest of the Okanagan, before hopping on Highway 3 to Vancouver.

So now I'm in Vancouver!! My new home! Sadly, my room isn't going to be vacated until Sept. 1st, so I'm currently camped out on a camping mat on the floor of my sister's room. So it'll be a couple of days until I'm able to unpack and go buy furniture.

I'm very excited to be here finally. Moving always makes me optimistic for the future! :-)

And now my icon is completely appropriate! You just have to photoshop me in to the scene - chillin' with the boys in Vancouver.


hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
Tonight we are in Golden, British Columbia. Still on Mountain Time, and a good deal of distance away from Vancouver, but at least in the right province! The hotels here are a little over-priced. Thankfully, after sending Susie as a runner into about 5 hotels, we found a cheap motel a little ways out of town.

This morning though, we woke up in Jasper and went on the Maligne Lake boat cruise. Seriously gorgeous stuff. It was a beautiful day for it too, sunny with only a few little clouds. Then we drove out of the park, stopping briefly at the Athabasca Falls on the way.

The highway to Golden is CRAZY! Haha, totally what I expected for a mountain highway - runaway ramps, and hills that either burnout your brakes or leave you going 120km/h without touching the gas.

It took us 4 tries to find a place to eat in Golden. The first place was closed, the second place had such lousy service that we walked out before ordering, the third place had a very limited expensive menu...so, if you ever find yourself in Golden, B.C., just eat at the Timbermill and save yourself the trouble of trying other places.

Tomorrow we head down to the Okanagan Valley. Yay mountain deserts!
hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
Tonight we are in Golden, British Columbia. Still on Mountain Time, and a good deal of distance away from Vancouver, but at least in the right province! The hotels here are a little over-priced. Thankfully, after sending Susie as a runner into about 5 hotels, we found a cheap motel a little ways out of town. It is totally Sam'n'Dean worthy from the outside, but not funky enough on the inside for the show.

This morning though, we woke up in Jasper and went on the Maligne Lake boat cruise. Seriously gorgeous stuff. It was a beautiful day for it too, sunny with only a few little clouds. Then we drove out of the park, stopping briefly at the Athabasca Falls on the way.

The highway to Golden is CRAZY! Haha, totally what I expected for a mountain highway - runaway ramps, and hills that either burnout your brakes or leave you going 120km/h without touching the gas.

It took us 4 tries to find a place to eat in Golden. The first place was closed, the second place had such lousy service that we walked out before ordering, the third place had a very limited expensive menu...so, if you ever find yourself in Golden, B.C., just eat at the Timbermill and save yourself the trouble of trying other places.

Tomorrow we head down to the Okanagan Valley. Yay mountain deserts!
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
So, yesterday we made it to Calgary - across prairies, with a short stop to see the badlands at Dinosaur Provincial Park (awesome!). Susie's reaction: "This is the craziest thing I've ever seen!" (we don't get many badlands in Canada).

We got to Calgary where we were staying with a friend of mine. She wasn't home yet though, so Susie and I went and played pool at a pool hall around the corner. Susie kicked my ass as usual. Then we played an intense game of air hockey. It was so intense that I accidentally hyper-extended my right elbow, and now I can't straighten my arm. Oops.

Then today we drove INTO THE MOUNTAINS! Man! They just come up out of nowhere. Prairie, prairie, prairie, MOUNTAINS! We stopped for a touristy lunch in Banff, then made our way for touristy photos at Lake Louise and Lake Moraine. My favorite part of tourist locations is the foreign languages. I'm especially excited when I hear German (which I did today!) and the rest of the time I just play 'Name that Language!' I'm not bad with Europe, but my really I can only pick Mandarin and Japanese out of the Asian languages.

Anyway, the mountains are GORGEOUS! And the Columbian Icefield BLOWS MY MIND!

Tonight we are staying in Jasper. It's expensive, but you get a lot for your money, and that's really all that matters. Tomorrow we are doing the boat tour of Maligne Lake, then hopefully getting to Revelstoke.

Quote of the day:
Susie: "Christ on an Octopus!! These mountains are crazy!"
hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
So, yesterday we made it to Calgary - across prairies, with a short stop to see the badlands at Dinosaur Provincial Park (awesome!). Susie's reaction: "This is the craziest thing I've ever seen!" (we don't get many badlands in Canada).

We got to Calgary where we were staying with a friend of mine. She wasn't home yet though, so Susie and I went and played pool at a pool hall around the corner. Susie kicked my ass as usual. Then we played an intense game of air hockey. It was so intense that I accidentally hyper-extended my right elbow, and now I can't straighten my arm. Oops.

Then today we drove INTO THE MOUNTAINS! Man! They just come up out of nowhere. Prairie, prairie, prairie, MOUNTAINS! We stopped for a touristy lunch in Banff, then made our way for touristy photos at Lake Louise and Lake Moraine. My favorite part of tourist locations is the foreign languages. I'm especially excited when I hear German (which I did today!) and the rest of the time I just play 'Name that Language!' I'm not bad with Europe, but my really I can only pick Mandarin and Japanese out of the Asian languages.

Anyway, the mountains are GORGEOUS! And the Columbian Icefield BLOWS MY MIND!

Tonight we are staying in Jasper. It's expensive, but you get a lot for your money, and that's really all that matters. Tomorrow we are doing the boat tour of Maligne Lake, then hopefully getting to Revelstoke.

Quote of the day:
Susie: "Christ on an Octopus!! These mountains are crazy!"
hells_half_acre: (Default)
Tonight we are in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Ah, the prairies! So flat! Yet suddenly there is the Qu'Appelle Valley, which is gorgeous.

Tomorrow we head into Alberta, perhaps stopping in Calgary to see a friend or two, perhaps going on to Banff. We are making excellent time, and so far having a good time.

Some funny lines:

How to tell you've been on the road for a long time:
Susie: I really like this hotel! I should remember it in case I'm here in the future! ... where are we?

*Susie and I see a transport truck with Alberta plates*
Me: He'll beat us though.
Susie: Really? How do you know?
Me: Because truckers sleep on the road.
Susie: Well I hope they don't...
Me: I mean at the side of the road.
Susie: Oh yeah...I guess they don't get a motel room before 8pm so that they can watch "So You Think You Can Dance"....
Me: Haha, well, maybe they do, but I doubt it!
hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
Tonight we are in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Ah, the prairies! So flat! Yet suddenly there is the Qu'Appelle Valley, which is gorgeous.

Tomorrow we head into Alberta, perhaps stopping in Calgary to see a friend or two, perhaps going on to Banff. We are making excellent time, and so far having a good time.

Some funny lines:

How to tell you've been on the road for a long time:
Susie: I really like this hotel! I should remember it in case I'm here in the future! ... where are we?

*Susie and I see a transport truck with Alberta plates*
Me: He'll beat us though.
Susie: Really? How do you know?
Me: Because truckers sleep on the road.
Susie: Well I hope they don't...
Me: I mean at the side of the road.
Susie: Oh yeah...I guess they don't get a motel room before 8pm so that they can watch "So You Think You Can Dance"....
Me: Haha, well, maybe they do, but I doubt it!
hells_half_acre: (Default)
We made it to Winnipeg! Where we had a beer with a friend of mine who just moved here last week. Yay! It was a rainy day, but we made awesome time. The alternative route from Thunder Bay to Kenora was a brilliant move on our part - I was practically the only car on the road!

I don't have that many funny stories for today. We didn't stop many places. I uploaded the Harry Potter audiobook on my iPod and then laughed at Susie as she continually fell asleep while listening to it.

Tomorrow it's Saskatchewan time! Hotels/Motels are much more affordable in this part of the country too.

hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
We made it to Winnipeg! Where we had a beer with a friend of mine who just moved here last week. Yay! It was a rainy day, but we made awesome time. The alternative route from Thunder Bay to Kenora was a brilliant move on our part - I was practically the only car on the road!

I don't have that many funny stories for today. We didn't stop many places. I uploaded the Harry Potter audiobook on my iPod and then laughed at Susie as she continually fell asleep while listening to it.

Tomorrow it's Saskatchewan time! Hotels/Motels are much more affordable in this part of the country too.

I was able to watch the S4 Gag reel too! Funny stuff. Not sure I like it as much as some of the other ones, but the elevator stuff is golden.

 


hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)

Yesterday we made it to Batchewana Bay (on Lake Superior), after a day of seemingly neverending driving (seriously, it's so much longer to get to a destination when you actually have one.) We were meeting up with my Dad in Bathewana Bay and had to be there by supper...which we managed just fine! Yay!

Today we stopped at all our favorite Lake Superior spots (Pancake Bay, Old Woman Bay), and saw a HUGE swatch of forest that must have burned a few years ago, because it's only got extremely new growth and all these blackened dead trunks. Tonight we are in Thunder Bay! Yay!

Hopefully tomorrow we can make it out of Ontario.

A couple of my favorite conversations from the road from the past two days:

The US
*Susie looking at the map*
Susie: "Do you ever notice how the US keeps creeping up to us? I mean, look! It's right here!" *points to greyed out area of the map west of Sault Ste. Marie*
Me: "Yeah..."
Susie: "It's crazy! Get back down where you belong!"

Sex
*Me and Susie see what looks like a weird pile of trucks at the side of the road ahead*
Both of us: "What the...?"
*We get close enough to see that it is a flatbed tow-truck with a truck on it, while towing another truck behind it.*
Me: "Ohhh...."
Susie: "Oh! Man, I thought 'Are those trucks doing it?!'"
 

hells_half_acre: (Default)
So, yesterday felt like the never-ending driving day! Man, it takes forever to get to Superior, but once you do, it's AWESOME.

Anyway, so, yesterday I was sure that the Big Nickle was something you could see a good distance off, but apparently I was wrong. You can see it a good distance off when you are coming from the WEST, but when you are coming from the East, it's easy to miss...especially if you think you have to go through town to get to it.

Still, we made it to the Nickle. Back in the day, you just pulled up, stumbled over some rocks, and took a picture with a giant Nickle and went home. Now, though, they charge you 4 bucks for parking..there is a bricked pathway and a fence around the Nickle, a playground and a building where you can go underground and talk about Mining. I sort of miss the days where it felt more like someone just put a random big Nickle on a rocky hill and that was it.

We stayed in Batchewana Bay at the Salzburger Hof, which serves German/Austrian food. Yay! We met up with my Dad there, which is why I didn't have time for interneting...though they did have internet. The room Susan and I were in was really nice...with a sunken seperate bedroom. I slept on the pull-out, so Susie and I actually had separate rooms for the night.

Tonight we stopped at the Agawa Crafts place - which we always stopped at as kids. It was smaller on the outside than we remembered, yet oddly the same size on the inside. We stopped again 200m down the road at Pancake Bay. Later we also stopped at Old Woman Bay. Old Woman Bay is by far my favorite Bay on Lake Superior.

We ate dinner in Nipigon at the very ordinary time of 6pm, and were able to get a hotel room in Thunder Bay around 8:30!

Tomorrow we are hoping to make it out of Ontario, but we are taking the southern route, rather than the northern one. So...11 not 17. Basically we are taking the bottom two sides of the triangle instead of the hypotenuse. Apparently it's a good way to avoid transport trucks, and according to Google Maps, it's only a half hour longer. We'll see! It'll be an adventure.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)

I'm moving to Vancouver! Did I mention that? I'm currently driving across the country. It is Day 1 of our trip!

We didn't make it as far as I had planned. There was an accident on highway 17 just east of Mattawa with a possible fatality. That meant  they had to close down the highway to launch an investigation. Of course, this being Canada, the closest detour was 150kms behind us.

We stopped at 10pm in North Bay (we had probably only been an hour away from it at 3:30pm when we had to turn around on the 17, but alas.) and are staying at the Sunset Inn (REALLY nice rooms) for $109 (more expensive than I would have liked, but they have wireless, free DVDs, and complimentary tea and freshly baked muffins in the morning...and the Super 8 was full, and was probably just as much).

Tomorrow we are getting up at 9am (foregoing my sleeping-in plan) and driving to Sudbury to see the Big Nickle! Yay! Childhood memories will be enjoyed by all.
hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)

Well, we didn't make it as far as I had planned. There was an accident on highway 17 just east of Mattawa with a possible fatality. That meant  they had to close down the highway to launch an investigation. Of course, this being Canada, the closest detour was 150kms (~90miles) behind us. 

We stopped at 10pm in North Bay (we had probably only been an hour away from it at 3:30pm when we had to turn around on the 17, but alas.) and are staying at the Sunset Inn (REALLY nice rooms) for $109 (more expensive than I would have liked, but they have wireless, free DVDs, and complimentary tea and freshly baked muffins in the morning...and the Super 8 was full, and was probably just as much).

Tomorrow we are getting up at 9am (foregoing my sleeping-in plan) and driving to Sudbury to see the Big Nickle! Yay! Childhood memories will be enjoyed by all.

Susie started measuring distance in number of songs listened to. "We should be on the other side of Algonquin Park in 17 songs, and then Huntsville is another 7 songs after that." Usuaully in Canada, we measure distance in time, so this was a first for me. And of course, the first thing that popped into my head is "I wonder if Dean and Sam ever do that?"...I am so lame.

ETA: I forgot to mention that Huntsville is home to Hawksley Workman! Susie and I made sure to put on and turn up his Los Manlicious album as we drove out of town.
hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
On Monday morning I leave on my journey west! We are taking a few days in Northern Ontario (which, actually, is something you sort of HAVE to do, because Northern Ontario is freakin' huge), and then it's the prairies (with a brief stop in Winnipeg to see a friend) and the mountains (with possible detour to Jasper), the Okanagan Valley (because I have wanted to go there since I was a kid), and then finally Vancouver!

Susie assures me that we are living in the future, and that probably most of the places we are staying along the way will have wireless, but I remain doubtful. I mean, sure the Winchesters seem to have wireless in their cheap motels, but that's television (and also the US). Anyway, we will see!  If there is wireless, I will attempt to post my locations so that anyone who is interested can follow my (not so) little journey on Google Maps.

For now - August 17th, depart from just outside of Ottawa - my beautiful nation's capital. 

Dear Ottawa,
I will miss your river and your parliament buildings. I will your year-round Beavertail stand, and that mad jazzy dijiridoo player that busks in the market on sunny days. I will miss my swamps, and that lone dead tree that stands in the middle of the one down the road...a bird house nailed to it, though I don't know who would wade through the swamp to do that. I will miss your snow and your thunderstorms. I will miss my cottage, and the satisfaction I always got from spending my summers fixing it up. I will miss the beach near my cottage - with it's perfect Group-of-Seven pine-treed island. I will miss your colours in the fall.

There are many things that I will NOT miss, but let's keep this positive ;-)

And now...to the West!
hells_half_acre: (The Boys in BC)
My trip to New Brunswick went well. I love it out there. My best friend's family could possibly win an award for the nicest people ever - and man, the home-cooked garden (and barn) fresh meals every day certainly don't hurt. My own parents were a little absentee (one by choice, the other by necessity), so you can hardly blame me for living a little vicariously for a few weeks every summer.

We climbed the highest peak in the maritimes on a beautiful day. I played video games with my best friend and will continue to worry about him for a while yet, I think. I watched Coraline...not sure what all the hype was with that movie. We all jammed on guitar and piano and generally had a great time...and Canada remains beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing the vast western portion of it starting next week.

As a sample road-trip with my sister, it went alright too. Apparently we really are like Dean and Sam - as I find myself doing most of the driving (it IS my car, and she's a far less confident driver than I am)...also, it seems more often than not it's her getting annoyed with me, rather than the other way around. Also, if there's no conversation, I really need to listen to music - and yeah, we don't always share the same musical tastes...though, they are pretty similar most of the time. I'm sure my sister is thankful that I don't inforce the "driver picks the music" rule.

I started making playlists for our cross country trip. So far I have one called "The Prairies" that currently has only Wide Mouth Mason on it, and one song by The Tragically Hip. So yeah...more work needed. And my apologies to any readers of this journal who are not Canadian and have no idea who WMM or The Hip are...(my apologies to those Canadians who have no idea who WMM are as well - thankfully all Canadians know the Hip, and can probably tell me the one song on the play list).

I have filled 7/8th of one suitcase and 3/4 of another - and so far all I have packed is artwork, my sheets, my avatar blanket (seriously, I made an Avatar: The Last Airbender blanket last summer), and a couple of skirts and some t-shirts. I have no idea how I'm going to fit everything I want to take into my car. It doesn't help that I'll have Susie's luggage too, and she always overpacks (she also always looks fabulous, and I'm pretty sure there's a correlation).

Mostly though, I will miss the French when I move west. It's funny, because my sister has even less French than I do - and generally seemed to have forgotten that there is a vast population in Eastern Canada that speaks French. With two close friends who are French-Canadian, I've gotten used to hearing it - to driving through Quebec to visit them. And I love listening to the particular Acadian accent my best friend's family has...I'm going to really miss being only a days drive from it. Dare I say it, I think I might even miss the Quebecois.
hells_half_acre: (thumbs-up awesome)
Hippie Music Festival a success! Some great bands, man....and there's something about seeing an east-asian dude rock out on an electric sitar wearing nothing but a kilt, while on a stage made out of cedar logs and canvas tarps beside a swamp in the backwoods of Ontario, that really makes you love Canada...or just the world we live in, in general really.

Anyway, tomorrow morning Susie and I are off to New Brunswick to hang out with some Acadians. I am not sure how much I will be in touch, so I hope all you guys have a nice week!
hells_half_acre: (On the Fence)
I'm off to a hippie music festival for the long weekend! Yay!

I also saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tonight. My review: I approve whole-heartedly. I think it's their best adaptation yet. Really liked the job they did on Draco. Would have liked more blood and violence for the Sectumsempra scene, but that's mainly because I'm a sick freak. Tom Felton and Rupert Grint were both fantastic, and Dan Radcliffe was pretty hilarious on the luck potion...my sister said that it was like he was on 'shrooms. Actually, really everyone did a stellar job.

Can't wait for the next!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend (long or otherwise). I'm off to New Brunswick on Tuesday morning, so I won't be around anymore.

Oh yeah, in other news - I'm in shit at work, I think. :-(  (So, yeah, how about we just ignore that and take off on vacation and hope this house of cards doesn't fall down on my head.)


hells_half_acre: (Impala Under Bridge)
I had a nice visit with my friends (A. & M.) this weekend over in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. My French has gotten worse since my best friend moved away...two years ago now, I guess. I still understand most of it alright though - I'm an illiterate mute in French, but I can still understand it for the most part.

I like hanging out with these particular friends, because I originally met them while I was in Germany. Which means that, like my best friend, we can have conversations in an odd mixture of three languages as if that's how everyone talks.

The Eastern Townships are beautiful, but there isn't much to do there. Plus, it was raining the whole time. So, we just hung out - joked and laughed.

I saw Fired Up. Oh man, that movie is funny. I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed it immensely. It was the first time I have ever seen Danneel Harris in anything, and my belief that she is a female version of Jensen still stands.

I just got an instant message from M. saying "A. misses you, and keeps singing 'Come Back to Texas' by Bowling for Soup."

Aww...sometimes I don't really want to move to Vancouver, but its not like I'd be making the 5 hours trip to the Eastern Townships that often anyway. I just wish my friends didn't all live so far away from me...and I sort of wish that I wasn't moving even farther away. But, despite the fact that Vancouver is probably going to ruin me financially, I still think it's the best move in terms of being happier in general.
 

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