Monday, October 22, 2007

Off To The Fair

Our family has a long tradition of road trips. Road trips are de rigeur for the Collins Family. With Banana and McMonk, I have driven across our nation TWICE, been to Vancouver Island (a 14 hour jaunt, not including the ferry crossing), up to the mountains at least monthly and back and forth between Edmonton and Calgary (a paltry 3 hour trip) more times than I can count. Our trips are always enjoyable and always a bonding opportunity. The girls and I love our chats, be them winding down before bed or trapped together in a metal box, tearing down the highway.

Two years ago, we started a tradition quite by chance. One fall afternoon outside of our favorite record store, we saw a poster that caught the girls' eyes. There was to be a Pop Culture Fair, where you could get t-shirts, music, collectables, and other trendy knick-knacks that was right up their alley.

"Oh, this looks like fun, " McMonk said.

"We should go." Banana said.

"Hmmm, it's being held two weekends from now, in Edmonton." I remarked.

"Oh well," remarked Banana, "that's the end of that."

They both looked pretty sad when they realized that the event was 3 hours away, as my car had just been totalled in an accident. They saw us with no way to get there. I thought it would be a good bonding thing, remembering all the trips we had done in the past and decided right then and there that we could do it - it would just take some arranging.

The weekend of the fair, I got them up early and told them that we were going to go, and not to worry how. They were extatic. We called a cab and took it to the airport. From there, we rented a tiny little car (for all of $38 a day plus gas) and proceeded to drive to Edmonton. We played our music, joked, stopped for lunch, went to the fair (which was good, but not the highlight of the trip), wrote haikus (a different, long story) and had a wonderful, wonderful day.

This weekend, we did a return visit to the same fair. hightlights of the trip included:
  • a dance party at the Millet turnoff by the side of Highway 2

  • stopping for a Tim Horton's fuel-up of sugar and caffiene (me with hot chocolate, the girls with Moccacinos) as our first stop

  • our vegetarian exclaiming, "Mmmm, gravy and chicken" and meaning it

  • Banana saying, "Everything that's important to me is in this car." McMonk and I, thinking it meant us, responded with a heart-warming, "Awwwww." Banana clarified by saying, "I meant my bag of candy."

  • having a Zen-calmness test by getting stuck in traffic for 45 minutes on a detour

  • imitating the Zoolander-dance-and-drive actions as we'd pass other cars on the highway

  • planning our Free-Range Rodent shop that we will someday open beside our Scary Clown Hotel

Making time to uphold traditions is important. It gives us all something to look forward to, look back on and bind us together as a family.

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