British Columbia – Day 4

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What does it mean to be a family?

To me family means cherishing the time you have with your grandparents and listening to ALL of their stories because one day they won’t be there anymore. It means spending time with your little cousins and watching them grow up right before your eyes. But what it also means is driving 16 hours home to get to the family who needs you.

Sadly, last thursday my great grandmother passed away at the age of 96. Mary Gordon was admitted to the hospital about a week before we left on our trip. At first things weren’t looking too well but things turned up a few days before we were to leave on our 3 week trip to BC when Mrs. Gordon asked the nurse if she was allowed to have a shot of whiskey. You can take the girl out of Ireland but you can’t take the Ireland out of the girl. She was always making everyone laugh with her quips. One thing is for sure she had her wits about her right until the end.

My favourite memory was whenever I asked “grandma where were you born?” she would always reply, “I wasn’t born, I was found under a rock by a leprechaun.” And you better believe I bragged about that to all my friends. I have always loved Ireland but I think I loved it more because of that little bit of fairytale.

My great grandmother will be dearly missed, though I am lucky that she gave birth to my grandmother who I am very grateful for and wouldn’t know what to do with out her. So I will continue to honour my great grandmother by spending as much time with her oldest daughter who is my wonderful grandmother and cherish every damned moment of it.

Rest in Peace and may you be dancing with my grandpa in heaven.

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British Columbia – Day 4

British Columbia – Day 3

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So the May clan does this trip every 3 years. This tradition began since before I was born when my parents went with there friends to Tofino and as friends started getting married and having kids the brood to Tofino grew to a very significant size.  As the kids got older and started working the brood began to dwindle but my sister and I tagged along for one last trip.

Every time we usually gun it to Calgary, stay a night, then gun it to Vancouver his time we have decided to meander. Plus, we are going white water rafting tomorrow. So today we managed a hefty 2 hour drive in about 8 hours. We stopped in Banff and went to the Banff Springs Hotelwhere my old friend Marilyn Monroe stayed while filming “River of No Return”. I also found this sweet lamp made out of a fire extinguisher.

We took in a farmers market where my mom bought some glass blown dishes, my sister and I bought matching bracelets (cute I know) and my dad bought a tie die shirt.

After Banff we drove down the highway a little further to Lake Louise and after driving around the parking lot for quite some time we were able to take in the beauty that is Lake Louise. There were many canoe’s out on the lake and it was very overcast so the pictures are alright. I dipped my feet in and my foot cramped within 30 seconds. We walked around the grounds of Chateau Lake Louise and I took some lovely flower pictures. Tonight we are resting our heads in Golden, BC and tomorrow its off to white water raft and 3 Valley Gap.

British Columbia – Day 3

British Columbia – Day 2

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So today involved some Ikea shopping, stocking up before the Winnipeg store opens, and mall shopping. We are currently experimenting on how to take off gel nails. My darling sister just graduated high school and got gel nails for grad and she decided to enlist the help of our cousins (who have no experience with gel nails) to take these bloody things off. The room is filled with “OW!” as you can see in the picture above.

So another low key day, tomorrow we are going to take our time getting to Golden, BC by going through Banff and going to the Hot Springs and taking in some hiking trails. So expect a more exciting post tomorrow and the days to come. Day 4 will involve white water rafting in Golden.

British Columbia – Day 2

British Columbia – Day 1

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I have been a little emotional the past 2 days having to say goodbye to my boyfriend who I will be away from for 3 weeks. He told me I was going to have a great time and that I should stop being a “rainy face”, I tried my best not to cry and failed.

So today was a lot of driving and a lot of sleeping through the prairies. The picture above it probably the highest point between Winnipeg and Calgary and we stopped here for some lunch. We left at around 5am (Winnipeg time) and made it to Calgary at about 5:30pm (Calgary time). We are staying with my darling cousins at my aunt and uncles house and currently watching some 21 Jump Street.

Anyhoo, more exciting posts to come but I promised to write everyday of my trip so stay tuned for mountains!

British Columbia – Day 1

California – Day 5

img_9847Alright so I want to be honest with this one… The magic has been left in Disneyland. The rides at Universal Studios were a wee bit lack luster I heard rave reviews about rides such as Jurassic Park, The Mummy and The Simpsons. I would say 1 of the 3 were excellent and it would have to be Jurassic Park and we rode it twice. All that being said Universal’s more interactive approach worked for them.

I would highly recommend the Backlot tour where they alter between a tour of movie sets and interactive adventures which I will not spoil. The House of Horror had me screaming at every corner and had my 18 year old sister screaming, and I quote, “mommy make it stop!” as she gripped my mothers hand and pulled me back as I was trying to run out. World of Water was awesome where they played out a whole story infront of your eyes like live theatre but pretty much all stunts mixed with pyrotechnics and hydrotechnics… Thats not a word but you get where I am going. The special effects show was really interesting, they show you all their Hollywood movie tricks through past and present, from King Kong to Coraline. Now for the kicker.

img_0048This is the fist time I have been dancing on a stage in about 2 years and it was fantastic. There is a Blues Brothers show that happens about 3 times a day and my dad is a big Blues Brothers fan so we went to the show not knowing that it was interactive. Midway through the show they got everyone to stand Elwood marched right over to my sister and I and said, “you two, come with me.” WHAAAAAT?! …So I did. We were then ushered on stage to dance to shake your tail feather and it was way too fun.

All in all the day was a pretty short 10-6 (the hours of the park) but it was nice, giving me time to come back to the condo, blog, hot tub and have some wine.

California – Day 5

California – Day 4

img_9453Walt Disney, what a beautiful, imaginative and magical man. honestly who doesn’t enjoy Disney? Today was for my grandpa who went into surgery yesterday and for my grandma (Rest In Peace) who, with my grandpa, took my father and his brothers to this magical land in the 70s and made them ride “It’s a Small World” twice after they made her ride the Matterhorn Rollercoaster. It’s a Small World was fantastic though the song does stick with you. The Matterhorn was closed today to my dismay, but my family took solace in Splash Mountain… We rode it 3 times.

img_9517The first one we gravitated towards was the Thunder Mountain Railroad and being that Space Mountain and the Matterhorn were closed it was a pretty darn good rollercoaster. We took some easy rides like the train around the perimeter of the park and the Jungle Cruise but some of my faves were Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and Tom Sawyer’s Island where you take a raft to an island and get to explore pirates caves and secret hide aways. All in all it was a very tiring day. If you decide to go wear good shoes and write down where you parked your car because we forgot. Just sayin’ anywoo goodnight chumps, it’s Universal Studios for me tomorrow.

California – Day 4

California – Day 3

img_8914Most people these days go to Hollywood to see their favorite celebrities of the new millennium. I went to Hollywood to mostly explore the past. I am a HUGE fan of the 50s Marilyn, Audrey and one of my favorite 50s comedians (above) Lucille. Some Like it Hot, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I Love Lucy are some of my favorites from the silver screen. If I weren’t born in the 90s growing up on the Spice Girls I would definitely have to have been born in the 50s.
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So today we did a star walk where I found Marilyn’s star not Audrey’s or Lucille’s maybe Friday. But I snapped so many pictures of stars like The Muppets, Shrek and Kermit the Frog all have their own stars it was pretty cool. Hollywood Boulevard is a place for harassment all the wannabe’s trying to make it, “buy my CD”, singing songs like “pay me or I’m going to stalk you”, or  ”hey want a picture with Jack Sparrow” NO! …Wait a second, yes I do!

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This guy was unreal even his mouth moved the way Jack Sparrow’s did it was crazy! Made me wonder if J. Depp just dresses up like Jack for shits and giggles then goes out on the Hollywood strip and no one ever knows… Anyway moving on. We went on a tour of celebrity homes like Katy Perry (her window was open), Justin Timberlake, Jim Morrison, Al Pacino, Drew Carrey, Borat, Jen Aniston, Ringo Star and quite a few more. The tour also took us down Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive.

After the bus tour we got free access to the Madame Tussauds wax museum. Lucky for my sister they just made a Justin Bieber wax figure… Oh. Em. Gee. Lucky for me they have always had Audrey, Marilyn and Ginger. For my Dad they had Raquel Welch and my mother Colin Farrell and John Wayne and my bother, well, he was cool with Obama and the Godfather.

Now some of you may be saying, “Uh a wax museum… Woo… Hoo…” seriously you will be giddy, it is the next best thing to actually meeting them I swear. There was no Kiefer Sutherland but hey, he was in my house that one time! …Yeah you’ve seen that photo with my Spice Girls shirt.

Now dinner, I told my father about this place before we left as I heard it was great from my BFF Vicki B. My dad decided to ask a local for his input on where to go guess what he said… Bubba Gumps which is exactly what I suggested and that my dears is where we went. It is the ultimate Forrest Gump experience, they quiz you and they have signs for the waiters, if you want them to come to your table you flip it to “Stop Forrest Stop” but if you wish to be left alone you flip to “Run Forrest Run”. Now the only people to have watched Forrest Gump were my parents… In 1994… When it came out so us kids were S.O.L. for these quizzes except I did know one.

“My momma always said, “life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Boom. Done. Next. Brittany is the winner! Anyway food and service was great in fact my father told our waiter (and I agree) best service we have had since we have been here.

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Disneyland tomorrow sailors… See Ya REEEAAAAAL Soon!

California – Day 3

California – Day 2

img_8731BooYah! Today we spent our day at California Adventure which is an extension of Disneyland and home of Paradise Pier. If you do not like rides don’t waist your time sailors. California Screamin’ which is the roller coaster literally takes your breath away. It count’s you down then shoots you into a series of drops twists and turns and you don’t catch your breath until you hit the deck. Another awesome ride that is fun for most… Unless you don’t like getting wet is the Grizzly River Run. You take to the rapids in an 8 seater raft and get soaked along the way.

After MUCH convincing we got Courtney on to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and this is what she looked like…

img_8780Yeah some chick is covering my face… Thanks! We had some dinner at Downtown Disney just outside the park at the ESPN restaurant. We closed the night with World of Colour which is the water show that plays every night. The water follows along with the music and projections are shown on a fan of water and the music is fantastic.

img_8890Tomorrow we will be Hollywood swingin’ and I will finally get to see Marilyn’s Star!

California – Day 2

California – Day 1

img_84881What I have learned on my trip so far:

  • They love Jack in the Box, there is one about every mile.
  • If you blast Katy Perry’s “California Girls” in your rented car with the windows down the locals WILL stare.
  • Around mothers day they sell bouquets of flowers on the street.
  • Putting sand on your sisters tongue WILL make her stop talking.
  • Kelp fights are hilarious to watch.
  • You can ride a mobile hammock.
  • I must own a beach cruiser or a quike.
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So I made it to California with my family, my clothes and two fully inflated lungs. Yesterday involved a lot of travelling and resting so I am going to count today as day one. We went to Huntington Beach to soak up the sun. The day began pretty cloudy, all you Winnipeggers are laughing, BUT the sun prevailed despite what the KTLA news man said this morning.

QuikeWe lounged for a bit then decided we wanted to get a little exercise so we took out a quike and it was hilarious. We raced with a few other families… and we won no big deal. We walked out to the pier and found some street performers doing flips and asking for my money. We did some shore front shopping and then went to Ruby’s for dinner.

img_8631Ruby’s made another one of my dreams come true, eating in a 50′s style diner. It was really cool, right on the end of the pier in the middle of the ocean. They wore red and white striped dresses and diner caps the Coca-Cola memorabilia littering the walls, checkered floors and black topped bar stools. It was a very quick get in get out kind of place but good food none the less.
img_8635We ended off the day with a walk along the beach and a view of the lovely California sunset. It’s off to bed for me soon tomorrow we are taking on Disney California Adventure Park and Paradise Pier Roller Coaster, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Golden Gate, Cars Lot and “A Bug’s Land”. Tyler and I are going to take on all the rides and we will try to get Courtney on some too.
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California – Day 1

British Columbia – Day 17

Today we went to Edmonton and went to West Edmonton Mall and went to the water park, it was awesome. I went on the sky screamer five times, so did Court. We went on Nessies Revenge four times. I also went on the Sun Runner, Raging Rapids, The Howler, The Twister and Blue Thunder wave pool. We got a cabana while we were there too, it was neat.

We checked in to the Comfort Inn and then went to Boston Pizza for dinner, went shopping and then went to bed. Tomorrow we are driving to Winnipeg all day.

British Columbia – Day 17