So here I am in Hong Kong.
The last time I wrote you, i was not in Hong Kong. HOW CRAFTY AM I?
Not very, actually. Which is why I stopped writing for a while, and then I got all busy. And then it was a birthday party, and then I was travelling again, and then it was a birthday, and then it was a birthday party.
But now it is Sunday evening and I am in bed with a nice cup of tea (that is not a code word for Charles) and I have four priorities before I head off to bed and one of them is you.
You're wondering -- where WAS she? An excellent question. I was in Canada. Or most accurately, I was INSIDE my sister's warm home, I was inside her warm vehicle and I was inside a cabin. I was NOT outside. No.
WHY? Why would I go to cold snowy Canada, sans children who were the ones who are desperate for cold and snow?
Because my daddy was turning 70 and there was no way I was going to miss that! Frugal Blake turning 70! Imagine! Mo had spirited him off to New Orleans for a weekend of pre-birthday celebrations, and then they came back to Edmonton knowing that they would be staying there for three days before heading back to Yellowknife.
Dad was not expecting little sister Mandy or me to be there. So we hid in the basement. Then Mandy called Pam's land line on her mobile phone. She chatted, and chatted while walking up the stairs. Then I think she tapped him on the shoulder and dad burst out laughing.
Then it was my turn.
I listened to my family laughing, then walked up the stairs. Slowly. I walked towards my dad and just leaned against a wall. And waited. This was too much for mum, who said, "Oh Blake!" and then dad turned, did a classic double, triple take, and said, "well I'll be! Tessie woo!!!" and gave me a big hug. then he did a lot of throat clearing, probably because he is allergic to cats and pam and edd have two.
The next day we drove out to Jasper. Mum got a speeding ticket. We rented two cabins at Pocahontas Cabins, and our stay there was brilliant. We had such a good time. Let's get this straight, for me to have a good time, the following were necessary:
a) warmth (central heating and a fireplace)
b) comfy bed (yes, even when sharing with mandy)
c) no pressure to go outside and do something insane like sit in a hot tub when it is so cold outside your wet hair is forming into icicles while the rest of your body is getting very warm from the hot tub water. no thanks, i can stay inside and watch HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, a movie which includes 80's music.
it was a great recommendation. we had so much fun. of all my family, i hadn't seen graeme for the longest. and i didn't get to spend much time with him at all. but, i think he knows.
one day mandy and i went for a run. please do not think i am contradicting myself. exercising in the cold is different than being in the cold. when you are exercising, you are quite warm except for lungs which were not impressed. and as trucks passed us (the drivers were impressed) the wheels would blow up salt from the highway on to our faces, yuck. anyway, we ran 6k in about 42 minutes, which was impressive considering the slip factor and the COLD! thanks for the run, kitten.
one night we played a great game that had us laughing hysterically. i believe i won, as well, which made the trip worth it. then dad opened all 76 of his birthday cards. that was so divine. some of the highlights were:
a card from my father in law doug which started, "hi this is doug..." and dad was laughing so hard he had to stop twice before he managed to read the card in full.
the card from lita, which included a lottery ticket...does she know my dad!
cards from old high school friends which included pictures of a very greaser-looking blake and some rather risky looking ladies!
there's something fantastic about retreating away with loved ones. no phones, no one to bother you but YOU. and it was great. except i did miss my tiny papoosies and mother chucker. except at 7.20 am when pam (who brought alex) was texting mandy, "i'm bored, what are you doing?" and mandy and i texted back, "going back to sleep". LOVE IT!
we were meant to stay for three days but only stayed two. afraid of a snow storm we headed back to pam and edd's on the sunday to watch the superbowl and eat great chinese food and pizza. and i believe mum and i shopped. (surprise!) and we did that the next day as well. (good times).
twice, my dad, who is as frugal with words as he is with greenbacks, stated that this was his best birthday ever. well done mum for organising such a wonderful family event. we all had such a divine time. thank you pammy and edd for opening your home to us. grae grae...thank you for taking this lyons to TIGER WORLD and for being so open with me about your bra preferences. mandy, thank you for watching TODDLERS AND TIARAS with me...i have a new trainwreck obsession! and frugal blake...thank you for being the sort of dad we put our lives on hold for just so we can celebrate with you, that you are you. we love you.
however, i do wish to formally request that we go somewhere WARM next time.