Friday, July 29, 2016

Sisterhood Adventure || A Roadtrip to Manitoba

Upon the occasion of the birth of a certain charming little was decided that it was once again time to embark upon another Canadian adventure, this time to take another visit to Manitoba, to visit the aforementioned gentleman. (and his parents, naturally!)
(for previous epistles of our road trips to this land, see here and here)
The trip was quite pleasant and was made even more so by delicious coffee and conversation. =)
This was the first road trip we have ever taken in which sister love spent more time behind the wheel than I did. I left on the trip quite exhausted and spent much of our traveling time slumbering soundly.
Our drive up was mostly uneventful. Quite calm and peaceful. Sister was driving when we went through the border and the guard literally barely even glanced at our passports. I couldn't believe it. (if you remember from past experiences-see above links at top of post-I have quite a repertoire of border crossing stories) This was sister's first time driving us through the border and it seemed rather unfair that it would go so smoothly for her. I rejoiced in her success however. =)
The only "moment" that occurred was a very stressful fifteen minutes in which we were driving on E and couldn't find a gas station ANYWHERE. (for those of you who have been through the Pembina border area before, you know what we mean-there's just not much there at all for quite a ways!) For most of that time I was sleeping and had no idea of what was happening. I woke up to us driving through a little town, and I said, "wait, why are we not on the main road?" And sister said, "Well...we've been on E for quite a while now, and so I am desperately searching for gas. So you could pray for that, if you want to."
It's not that we're worried about being stranded somewhere.
But when you are out in the middle of nowhere, and you have NO phone reception whatsoever...then, yeah, it's not really a good time to run out of gas.
Praise the Lord, we finally found a gas station before completely running out!
We made it to Neepawa in record time and arrived in time for dinner.

Such great memories we always make with cousin love and her husband. So good to be back with them again. We had many great conversations and lots of laughter around that little kitchen table!

Of course meeting this little man was just amazing. We had such grand times of snuggles and giggles!
Baby laundry folding, gift unwrapping, and fun things of that nature commenced.
Our visit landed right on cousin dearie's birthday which was so special. Loved being there for it and making some amazing birthday memories with her!
His shoes!! His little tummy! =)
The first morning was spent walking and picking up a few groceries in the little town of Neepawa. 
Back home, a delicious lunch was prepared by these two while I attended to the baby. =)
I gave cousin a Pioneer Woman cookbook as one of her birthday gifts and whilst drooling over the many recipes therein, a certain sandwich recipe was discovered. It was a dreamy combination of apricot preserves, turkey breast, and cheese, all melted between bread into panini sandwiches.
It did not disappoint! Combined with fresh tomato basil cream soup, it was the perfect lunch!
Birthday cheesecake pie, brought over by cousins' mother-in-law on her birthday.
We had lots and lots of chats about life, him and I. =)
A late night of the legendary Bean Game, complete with much laughter and competitive goodwill. =) Well, mostly goodwill. We may have, once or twice, thought about losing our tempers at cousin's husband's way of weaseling in and winning effortlessly. Like how did he do that?!
But overall everyone was mostly kind to each other. =)
If you haven't played this game, you need to check into it. We love it!
One day we ladies and lil man went out on the town. (aka, to the nearby metropolis of Brandon) 
We had a lovely time filled with many adventures. 
First stop was for coffee. Naturally. 
Cousin dearie took the us to try a new certain little hipster joint which was declared a national success. 
The cups were quite small but the coffee was strong and the latte art superb and the taste divine so the smallness was willingly excused. =)
Next stop was Value Village.
Value Village is Canada's epitome of a grand thrift store chain and a most delightful place to find treasures. Sister and I make it our goal to visit a VV at least once every time we go to Canada.

While sister and cousin dear tried on a multitude of items in the dressing rooms, the little man and yours truly had a most wonderful hat-modeling session with the row of hats hanging outside of the dressing rooms. This experience involved him looking at the phone screen with wide and sometimes perturbed eyes and myself trying to take a decent selfie without completely dying laughing at how hilarious he looked in some of the styles. In the midst of this little adventure he lost some of his breakfast but thankfully the hats were spared and things were cleaned up and back to normal in record time.
Record, that is, when you have a shopping cart full of clothes and you are trying to locate the diaper bag and wipes underneath everything while holding a chubby baby and trying not to get aforementioned breakfast over more things than yourself and child. =)
As you can tell by this adventure was incurred.
After purchases were made, we ladies headed out to the truck. It so happened that due to certain malfunctions, it was necessary to unlock the truck with the key, manually. Cousin dear inserted the key and turned but to no avail. She tried several times but just could not get the door unlocked. Sister and I tried our skills at various key insertion moves and twists and tricks but nothing worked. The door simply would not be unlocked. Someone mentioned asking for help but no one was wanting to that so all three continued trying to their utmost to unlock that stubborn door.
Finally a certain husband was called and the tale of woe poured out.
It seemed that he thought that the key was not being inserted properly which was somewhat offensive to us ladies as we had all been trying our UTMOST and had each inserted the key many many times. Cousins' husband mentioned asking a man for help. I was vehemently apposed to this suggestion (why in the world would a man be able to unlock the truck if three women couldn't? Exactly!) 
but eventually the situation became so desperate that cousin determined to ask for help. She flagged down a gentleman and he came to our assistance. He tried and tried but to no avail as well. He was so sweet though-he had the dearest British accent and was genuinely kind.
At last it was decided that we would have to call in professional assistance. Which we did...and then went back inside of VV to wait. By this time we were all starved, and to tell the truth, we were all feeling somewhat grumpy. Thankfully we were together which meant that we really couldn't be grumpy for long, no matter how frustrated and hungry we may have been.
Within 15 minutes the pros arrived. Well, their company logo arrived, along with a boy who looked more like a teenage bum than someone who would actually be able to successfully unlock our truck. However, he got it unlocked, and we were eternally grateful, and we got in the truck and laughed and laughed. =)
Lunch at a dear little pita place. #pitaloversunite
Now this is cool. I didn't even know signs like this existed. But I am a huge fan. Seriously, what better people to honor than new parents and mothers?
Shopping places everywhere should take note and implement this. I was so impressed.
At the mall, a visit was made to this sweet little tea shop that was bright and cheery and smelled divine!
it was also sister's and my first time to be introduced to Ardenes.
(a Canadian chain similar to, oh, maybe like a mash-up of Rue21 + Forever21 + Maurices?)
We loved it!
Current life motto. I dearly loved this sign on a store we were passing, and I took a picture so I wouldn't forget it. =)
Did I mention that we ate like queens?!
Breakfast of champions with baby of champions.
Snuggles with the sleeping angel boy.
Yet another delectable lunch. (observe little squish in the corner. Doesn't he look so huggable?!)
Afternoon caffeinated beverages. Always with plenty of whipped cream!
The last night of the visit there was a grand little cookout. The sun was shining and the fire kept away the minimal chill. Such a lovely time.
Last hugs and coffees. So very blessed to have this lady in my life. She is the dearest soul.
On the way home, we went a bit off the beaten trail and drove over along the top of Minnesota, to International Falls, to surprise one of our dear friends for her birthday.
The surprise was a COMPLETE success and the big hat, the birthday singing, and the unexpected "whipped cream in the face event" will never be forgotten!
It was a short and sweet stop of just two hours, but we talked non-stop, ate delicious mexican food, and had a grand time celebrating life + friendship!
Love these girls!

A *most* questionable little gas stop of sorts was visited, amongst multiple other fuel stops. One little pump! But it did the job.
 By the way, in case you have not noticed, our fuel stops are gas stations and Caribou coffee. You know, fuel for the car, and fuel for the drivers. =)

We had a rather desperate two hours of desolation driving along the top of Minnesota, in which we were looking and looking for a bathroom facility. (and finally eventually did find one) 
Other than that, most of the trip up to this point had been quite calm. 

We were nearing the twin cities Saturday evening, zooming right along. I had resumed the wheel and was laser-focused on home. The trip had been lovely but after all, we were nearing the happy sights of my happy place and I was excited to be back. So anyways, we were moving along, in the rain, at an, um, fairly rapid state of speed, and I remarked, half to myself and half to sister, "How completely uneventful this trip has been!"
"No weird border guards, no hold-ups at the border, no major things forgotten, nothing lost, no breakdowns, and we only ran into three sketchy guys! I'd say that was a pretty calm trip compared to our past record. It must be because I let you drive most of the time! I should let you drive more! 
Like literally, nothing has gone wrong. This is crazy."

Friends, the words were out of my mouth no more than five seconds before I popped over a ridge and whizzed right by....well, you know, a keeper of the peace. I did what I do literally every time I pass one of those white cars-I began to pray, "Lord, please, no...not tonight! I want to get home..I don't want to be stopped...just please...." 

Yeah. Like two words into that prayer, things spun into action with a little light show of sorts. 
And you can imagine the rest.

Bless his heart...he really was a nice young guy. We went through the whole thing:
Him, "M'am, are you aware of how fast you were driving?" 
Me, "um, yeah, I have an idea....around __?" 
Him, "HMMMM. And may I ask what's your rush?" 
Me, "Well, umm, I just wanna get home!!!"
(or something equally idiotic-why can I never think of something witty to say at this point?)

He let me off with an "official epistle" (cause that just sounds nicer than saying ticket) 
and told me that he was only going to fine me for half of my offense speed. (in other words, the amount I was over the limit; he only charged me for half)
Which was sweet of him but it was still a horrific amount.
When the whole deal was over and I rolled up my window and resumed driving, everything was deathly still. I stole a glance at sister. She looked back at me: "Well, what am I supposed to say? How many times do we have to talk about this and how many times does this still have to happen?"

*monkey hands over eyes emoji*
It was a lovely journey with the sista, overall. We had a marvelous time, many memories made, and another successful road trip for the books!

Sometimes I feel a little strange posting these adventures, because they are somewhat personal, but I want them documented for myself to remember some day, you know?

Y'all have an amazing weekend!


  1. Oh Chelsy. These stories. I can't. Hahahaha!!
    That precious little cutie, though!! He is absolutely adorable and I'm rather jealous of all the baby time you got! Makes me miss my baby cousins. :) Also, random tidbit, but I love you Aqua/mint hoodie with the lace at the bottom! Looks cute with the navy maxi skirt. :)

  2. Love these posts -- and that mantra "life doesn't have to be perfect but your outfit can be" -- #YES.

  3. Love it!! the way you tell the story is just great :)

  4. your sister adventures make me laugh. because when my sister and I are together (and we both live at home), generally something always happens! And I have been to Manitoba and to Brandon. I love Manitoba. Especially my little spiritual children in the faith who live in Altona, Manitoba! But yes, be aware, one must plan ahead for gas stations! If you love Value Village (my sister lives in Regina, Sask), you REALLY must visit an MCC - a Mennonite thrift store. Where everything is SUPER cheap. Really!!! Go to the one in Altona the day after they restock and you'll buy the store out! happy sister-memory making! love in the Lord, your sister, Amy from western NY. =) PS - while you're in Altona, go to Prairie View Press, where you will buy all the books out because they're all quality reading!!

  5. Oh Chels, this made my day! And that squish-able little guy...adorable!! I just smiled and smiled reading this. :)
    Love ya!

  6. Oh Chelsea, please don't ever stop posting these! I cannot even begin to say how much I enjoy them. Truly, I will start laughing out loud and my siblings will come over begging me to tell them what is so funny. All of your posts are absolutely wonderful, but I must say that the sisterly road trips are my favorites. They make me feel normal. :) Thank you so much for taking the time to write posts and share them with us. You are such an encouragement to me!

  7. Oh, your road trip stories are seriously some of the best. You could definitely fill a book. :) And I love thinking of your expressive voices in moments like these: "I stole a glance at sister. She looked back at me: "Well, what am I supposed to say? How many times do we have to talk about this and how many times does this still have to happen?"" :) And, man, can't get over how ADORABLE that little guy is!!

  8. Oh darling you are one of the best storytellers I know! I love reading of your sisterly escapades! I'm voting that your next duo adventure should be to my a certain home in South West Michigan!

  9. The remark "like a teenage bum" makes you sound uncharitable and, therefore, un-Christlike. You are not representing our Lord and Savior well with this remark. Did you bother to pray for him or just judge him and shame him on your blog? Did you even bother to thank him? What do you want a bet his skin wasn't white since those seem to be the only people with whom you associate?

    As a suggestion to improve your writing, show your reader rather than tell your reader. If, for example, you think someone looks like a bum (Heaven forbid anyone not look like middle-class white folk!), you could write something that describes what your senses experience, thereby connecting to your reader.

    1. Thank-you so much for your comment. I stand rebuked and completely agree-that was extremely inconsiderate of me to use that term. One of my biggest weaknesses is speaking before I think (or in this case, writing before I think) and I need to work on that. I really appreciate your honesty in mentioning this.
      I honestly have no idea what color the man's skin was. To me, skin color matters not in the slightest. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight" is something my family has always held to and believed very strongly. "White people" are not the only ones with whom I associate-some of my very dearest friends are not "white" and skin color has absolutely nothing to do with my friendships.
      Thankyou again for taking the time to comment-I really appreciate it!


Comments containing profanity and/or hateful language will not be published. I will not be posting comments with questions regarding either John's or my extended family. If you have questions about them, please go ask them on their blogs. =)
Also, anyone with a question related to a post must provide their full name. Feel free to email me with questions on topics not pertinent to the post. Thanks y'all!