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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Merritt and more

Well, we’re back from Merritt and still alive. We had a blast. It was a good thing we volunteered because round trip for ferry and gas was over $500. Split 3 ways it wasn’t so bad. The seats for the volunteers are awesome too. Those seats would probably be $300-400 themselves. We left Tuesday night and missed the 1745 ferry at Duke Point. We ended up catching the 1930 ferry from Departure Bay. While we were waiting for the ferry since we were there before 1800 we hopped in the camper and had some supper. There was a trucker in a big truck behind us. He kept ogling at us. Was so funny. He had a bag of pickles which was hilarious. I didn’t think you could get a bag of pickles but he bought one at a road side fruit and veggie stand. After he finished his supper he came out to talk to us. Gill asked him if he had a bed in his truck and he said “yes I do, wanna come try it out. It fits one by two”. Was so so funny. Then Gill and I got pics standing on the front of his truck with the mack bulldog hood ornament. We were on the newest ferry and it was pretty good except the overheight vehicles are on a deck with no cutouts so there was no breeze.
We arrived at Merritt at 0030 and the gates were closed since it was too dark to camp people. They had us camp just outside the gate for the night. We were up early the next day and they weren’t open yet so we ran to Wal-mart for some supplies. After we came back and got our site and figured out our shifts we ran to husky for a shower. It cost $7 each but I snuck up with Paul and we both had our own shower for the $7. Gill was happy to blow dry her hair. We bought a table at crappy tire that folds up for camping for $40 and a naptha lantern that Paul has been wanting for a long time. No fires are allowed there so it was nice to sit around the lantern as opposed to sitting in the dark. Wednesday night we did our first shift. We were on traffic duty. We each had our own golf cart and radio and worked from 1530-2200. It was a lot of fun and not too hard at all. It was also Paul and my 3rd anniversary which turned out really nice. Merritt was our gift to each other!!! It got pretty chilly so Gill was pretty cold by the time we were done our shift. They told us to show up Thursday morning and they would try to get us a morning shift. Unfortunately they didn’t need us Thursday morning so we headed back to our camper. We were pretty happy our shift was later when we had a huge afternoon rain/thunderstorm. We were back on shift at 1530 and they had us at the gate. The gate was a lot of fun but was harder on the body since we had to stand there for 6 hours straight. Gill and I were scanning wrist bands. Paul was flogging programs. Thursday night featured: Jessie Farrell, Aaron Lines, Shane Yellowbird and then Sugarland. It was supposed to be Pat Green but he had a family emergency so Shane got to take his place. Since our shift was over at 2200 and Sugarland didn’t start until 2250 we knew we would be guaranteed to catch Sugarland. I really wanted to see Shane Yellowbird. I talked to my boss at the gate and she said I could take a 20 minute break to take the bus to the stage, watch one song and bus back. I was ecstatic. It’s all about you. It was phenomenal. One of his band members was from Comox. Then when I went to catch the bus there wasn’t any and I didn’t want to be late so I ran all the way back to the gate. It is just over a mile away. It took me 10 minutes or so to get back but I made it. Good thing I had my shoes on. No buses past me when I was running back. I was sooooo happy to see his one song. Then Sugarland was amazing. Gill was pretty cold but was dancing up a storm. They were soooo amazing. Gill froze this night in the camper. I felt bad for her. We gave her all of the blankets but one.
Friday we finally had a morning shift from 0930-1600. We had another traffic shift. This time Gill, Paul and I worked in closer proximity. Gill and I shared a golf cart and Paul was in the area. Was so funny. I gave Gill radio duty but Paul still radioed “Paul for Rae-Lynn” and Gill would answer “Go for Rae-Lynn” even though they knew it was Gill and not me. We had a really good shift. It was really hot that day but driving around kept us cool. We met 3 guys from Nanaimo who helped to pass the time. They were super funny. They called me Rae Rae and Gill, Gill or Gill stain prounounced like a fish Gill. We were in charge of parking the day only people. Most people were pretty cool but some were knobs. We finished our shift at 1600 and headed back to the camper. We went for a bathing suit shower in the river and then cooked supper and headed to the show. There was Kelly Brock (we missed her), Aaron Pritchett, Dierks Bentley, and Hank Williams Jr. Gill was better prepared for the weather tonight but she didn’t have a coat so she was cold. I lent her mine until I needed it. We left just before the end of Hank since it was cold. He was alright. Dierks, and Aaron were amazing. We loved them. I was disappointed that Dierks didn’t sing “My last name” but he sang all of his other hits! Friday was our drinking night. Paul went to the beer garden during Aaron Pritchett but we stayed to watch the show.
Saturday Gill slept all day and rested. Paul and I went to see the hypnotist but they didn’t show up. We came back and had a river shower and then we went on shift from 1730 till midnight. This time we were selling tickets for booze in a booth in the beer garden. The line up tonight was : Beverley Mahood, Gord Bamford, The Wilkinsons, and then the Judds. I really wanted to see the Judds and actually everyone tonight but we were on shift. From our booth they set up a screen and we were able to see the Wilkinsons and then the Judds. When we finished at midnight I caught the Judds last song and then there encore song. The encore song was “Love can build a bridge” . It was so amazing. I thought about my brother Ray (RIP June 2002), the whole time. I actually started crying during the song since it was sooooo emotional. This was one of his favourite songs. I had goosebumps and felt he was there with me. After that I headed back to the beer garden to meet up with Gill and Paul. Tickets were $5 each and Paul ended up being tipped 4 tickets. Gill and I only got 1 free drink each. Gill walked home at 1230. I walked home at 0200 and then Paul was home at 0300. He ended up falling asleep outside by the lantern. I woke him up and told him to come to bed.
We decided that since we did all of our shifts and we were there that we may as well stay for Sunday’s shows. After we got up we packed up everything and then went for a river shower. Then we headed to the main grounds. We walked around for a bit. We bought souvenirs (a t-shirt each for Paul and I) and Gill bought a hat and a belt buckle. Then we got to spin the wheel at the Chevy tent. I only won party beads and stickers, and a keychain. Both Paul and Gill won t-shirts. They were super cool. Both mediums though so I won’t be wearing Paul’s medium until I lose some weight!!! There was Rick Tipi, George Fox, Jo Hikks band and then Sarah Evans. Jo Hikks and Sarah Evans were awesome. It was really hot and really windy so Gill and I were covered in dirt. We rolled out at 1800 and headed home. We were very very fortunate to catch the 2135 ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay. We ended up getting home around 0100. We were all very tired and dirty. Brandon picked Gill up and after I shower I was in bed.
Monday was my birthday and was sooooo awesome. I slept till 0900 and then since I missed Logan so much went to check on him and Dad. They were taking a nap and Dad said Logan had been up since 0430 that day so I took over so Dad could rest. Was good to see my little man again. Every time I called Dad while I was away Dad said things were awesome. Logan was really really good for him. I was so happy that Dad wasn’t dying of exhaustion. He didn’t call any of my backups. Logan is soooo fast at scooching now. He does miles and miles around the house!! He is very very close to the regular crawl now. Paul and I returned the camper to storage and took Tikka to the beach and then went home to relieve Grandpa of Logan. Then Monday night we headed to Boston Pizza for my birthday bash with : Brandon, Gill, Jen, Dale, Nate, Barb, Gary, Pam & girls, Laurel, Angela, Lorne, Sophia & Aaron, Rebecca, Alan, Bria & Finn. It was sooooo awesome. BP gives you a free piece of cake too. I ended up with $45 in gift certificates for Scrapbook Central and $50 gift certificate for Stampin UP and Dad treated me and my boys for supper. I am very sad that Rebecca and Angela and Jen are all leaving Comox this summer.
Tuesday the 15th I was up early with Logan and then I took Tikka for a run. I ran from St.Andrews up the hill to the end of the bike path and back. Laurel says it is only 1 km but I still think it is 1.5km. I was very proud of myself for finally turning over the new leaf and deciding to eat healthy and exercise even if I am sore because my body feels like it is 100 years old. Then at around 1230 we headed to the airport for our flights. I flew on West Jet at 1410 to Edmonton followed by Winnipeg. Dad flew at 1435 to Calgary followed by Winnipeg. From Comox to Ed I had 3 seats to myself and Ed to Wpg I had 2 seats. I love west jet for blocking those off for me. Was so much nicer travelling like that with Logan. We landed at around 2000 and Dad was late getting in but arrived at 2145. Logan and I killed time at the airport until 2110 when uncle Bruno arrived. I took 4 photo booth pics with Logan on my back, had some dinner, filled out a survey on the computer for 100 bonus aeroplan points. When Uncle arrived I realized that my carseat was damaged. They ripped off one of the harness systems. They ended up giving me a $250 West Jet future travel credit. The car seat must be installed with the cars seat belt right now but it still works great. Paul will take a look at it when I get home. We were in bed after midnight.
Wednesday we hung out at Uncle Bruno’s all day to relax and had supper at Auntie Evelyn’s. I ran 2 km to Auntie Evelyn's and then my calf started to hurt. I wanted to run the 2 km back but it hurt too much so I walked back. Thursday morning I was going to get a perm in Winnipeg. I ended up changing my mind and I got a fabulous hair cut with many layers, tons of blond highlights, and side bangs. I am sure Gill will love it. I wasn't able to run today but am definitely going to run tomorrow (friday) Then tonight we went to Rumor’s comedy club to celebrate Dad and my birthdays. There was Auntie Olivine and Uncle Bruno, Auntie Elsie and Uncle Frank, Dad, Me, Lynne & Craig, her friend Paula and her friends Rami and Pilar. It was a blast. The comedians were hilarious.
Tomorrow night Dad is babysitting Logan and Lynne and I and maybe Craig and Paula are heading to Morris to catch a bit of the rodeo and a concert by Shane Yellowbird. I am sooooo stoked since I only got to see one of his songs in Morris. We pay only $20 and we get entrance to the rodeo and to see Shane!!!
Saturday is Dad’s big birthday party with the whole tribe and I can’t wait. I gave him his birthday present this morning and he cried. He loved it. It is a file folder mini album that Barb inspired me to create. It turned out really well and he said it was a priceless gift!!

Enjoy the pics. The rest are on facebook or soon will be.

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