Thursday, August 19, 2010

"The FlyOveriest of all the Flyover States"

It's been ages since I've logged in/blogged in here. I subbed right up until the last week of school, then headed home for an impromtu visit to NS with my eldest. We'd received bad news about the health of one of my grandmothers, so I decided to go home for quick trip and it was wonderful. I got a great visit in with both of my grandmothers, my own family, lots of aunts, cousins, and of course, some great friends. Sadly, the week after I got back, my other grandmother passed away. I could write a book on her - she was a great lady and was 97.5 years old. She didn't complain about one thing in her life - ever.

Ellie and I had a great time in NS. When we came back, my husband's parents were here and spent 2 weeks in Calgary. Gary's father helped him build a shed. Gary loves doing things with his Dad. So does Bradley. So that was nice. Then one of my ALL TIME best friends, Charla, and her husband Chris came out for a visit. We all love them and it was super fun when there were here. Their visit ended the morning after we went to our friends' wedding, which was another fantastic time. By then, my poor body was exhausted - my overworked liver most of all, lol, so I spent a week eating only veggies quinoa and trying to exercise as much as possible.

Then, we packed up and headed south of the border. Gary is working a great deal in Gillette, Wyoming; "The Energy Capital of the USA". His company has several condos down there, and Gary was feeling bad about being away from the kids so much while they were off of school, so we spent a weekend driving (and shopping...) through Montana, and 14 hours of driving later, we arrived at the condo. We were pleasantly surprised to find out the complex had a beautiful pool and hot tub and gym, etc. We didn't know that and were only going down so that we'd see Gary in the evenings. Considering he worked 12-15 hour days, 6 days/week, the pool turned out to be a lifesaver. The kids LOVED it. My friends in Calgary kept me informed of how awful the weather was in Calgary, so we were pretty pleased to be in Gillette.

Although only there for 2 weeks, I could write a book about Gillette, it's people and it's total AMERICAN-NESS. People were friendly and considered us to be big city folks. Where we were staying housed many people who were there for the coal and gas industries, so we also spent a lot of time with Americans from all over the USA. Everyone was nice. But, for the first time in many visits to the States (I even lived there for almost a year in the mid 90s) I did notice big cultural differences between Canada and the US. That is worth a few posts alone.

I enjoyed our time there and wouldn't want to be unkind, but the Wyoming landscape around Gillette isn't what you might expect. A little less Montana and a little more prairie-ish hills covered with sage bushes. That, combined with its' lack of TJ Maxx and Targets inspired me to affectionately refer to it as "The FlyOveriest of all the Flyover States".

We spent Gary's day off driving to South Dakota, through the Jewel Cave National Park, to Mt Rushmore, then onto Rapid City, for more shopping splendour. We also had our anniversary dinner there, at a great Mexican restaurant called On the Border. The northwestern Midwest is full of great Mexican restaurants, and obviously some great Mexican people.

I know this is long and boring, but it seemed strange to just jump in and start blogging again without some sort of update. And leave it to me to make a short story long.

Now we're back in Calgary with two weeks left until school. It's full of appointments. My baby boy starts full day school - Grade One- and I feel anxious about it. He'll be in charge of doing his own blood/glucose tests on his own. But, he's excited. Plus, he's got about 6 new Star Wars shirts (compliments of our US shopping) to wear. We even found a Diary of a Wimpy Kid shirt for him. It says, "I'M PRETTY MUCH THE BEST PERSON I KNOW". It gets lots of laughs.

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