Sunday, April 15, 2007

Home Sweet Home!

In the spirit of our trip “home”, this Hot and Not segment will focus on things we encountered along the way.

Hot: Alberta roads
Oh my gosh. No comparison. There is actually open land next to the highway, instead of an impenetrable wall of forest and rocks in which angry night moose can lay in waiting ready to pounce. Not only that, but there are shoulders wide enough to use as an extra lane, you can see more than 10 feet ahead of you because they are relatively straight, and you don’t feel like you are sitting on a really old, very dysfunctional washing machine going through the spin cycle with the clothes all on one side.

Not: Loss Damage Waiver
Loss Damage Waiver is a somewhat necessary insurance plan purchased when one rents a vehicle. We were under the impression that our vehicle insurance had rental coverage on it. We were mistaken. Upon arrival to the Edmonton International Airport, we went to pick up our minivan rental (a Ford Freestar, also NOT), and were informed we should purchase LDW. The cost? A piddly $25 a day, rounding off to a stomach churning $250 for the trip. So our vehicle went from what we were quoted at, ~$375, to over $700 after taxes, etc. All in all, we spent $926 on the freakin’ rental car, as the gluttonous beast consumes fuel at a horrifying rate (a paltry 25 mpg, although seemingly less in practice). Do yourself a favor next time you rent a car: call your insurance company before hand and have them add renter’s insurance. It is worth it. (On a side note, we are glad we purchased it. Two people dropping off their cars the same morning as us are stuck with the bill to replace the windshield because it has a small chip and they didn’t get LDW.)

Hot: Elliot and Sacha
It is like they both knew they were cousins. It was love at first sight. So many kisses and hugs and beautiful moments. Awesome.

Not: 4 hour layover in Pearson airport with a 7-month old, too much baggage, and no damn baggage carts (‘nuf said)

Hot: Travelling Sacha
What an awesome little dude. He did so great on the planes and we were so impressed with his behavior on the two 6-hour drives between Peace River and the farm. Plus, he didn’t play strange with anyone, not even anonymous airport admirers. He warmed right up to his grandparents, to their obvious delight. And the biggest bonus of all: he slept just as well in Alberta as he does at home. Now we just have to decide where to take him next winter. Cuba sounds good to me.

Not: Lack of Starbucks in Timmins
My body is still excreting Starbucks from our trip as every time we were within driving distance of a Bucky’s, we took advantage of it. So expensive, but so wonderful.

Hot: Stanley Cup Playoffs
Okay, so I am a closet hockey fan. I never watch a single game during the regular season, but I am a sucker for the postseason. Mostly because I enjoy making charts with stats and attempting to formulate some sort of algorithm that will predict the outcome of the playoffs. This makes up for my lack of basic hockey intuition and knowledge. For the record, my three separate algorithms predict the following finals: San Jose over Ottawa, Anaheim over Ottawa, or New Jersey over San Jose. We’ll see which one prevails. I will keep you up to date.

Not: Going back to work tomorrow

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