Until Saturday

Apr 25, 2013 by

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I did it, guys.

I finished my exams, I went to Buffalo for the hockey game, and now I’m dealing with the bittersweetness of packing up for the summer and leaving the place I’ve called home for the last 8 months, and saying goodbye to the people I’ve come to think of as family. I know that only good things are ahead of me, but there’s a strange feeling layered on top of all this happiness that is an interesting one to process.

By tomorrow, once I’ve got everything all packed into my car, I’ll be hitting the highway and driving from Waterloo all the way to Winnipeg, something I never thought I’d be doing. If we look back far enough, I never thought I’d be living in Waterloo. More recently, it was never on my radar of things to do simply because I’m a drowsy highway driver. I thought there would be someone with me to make this 24+ hour drive. Alas, I am alone, and I had to make this decision: I was to either hang around Southern Ontario for another week or so until one of my friends could drive with me, or I could hop in my car much earlier and make it home in time to celebrate my grandfather’s 86th birthday. I think I chose well.

I will be home, come Saturday.

My decision to take the plunge and drive solo was somewhat inspired by Jackie. She recently drove herself, a fellow self-proclaimed terrible highway driver, from Chicago to Los Angeles. My downfall is my drowsiness. No matter how alert I start out, or how much coffee/tea I’ve had, about an hour in, I get bored and want to nap. To hopefully avert this, I’ve got myself armed with 3 sweet audiobooks, and one is in Spanish no less. That will certainly keep my mind engaged.

Anyway, I want to say, Jackie, you inspire me. Because you did it, I believe I can too. This is no longer a hurdle or an obstacle, but a personal goal, something I want to do for myself to prove that I can.

Now… what I really want to talk about is the game on Monday. WHAT a game!

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We showed up nice and early in Buffalo after our last exam, and we were armed with a giant Claude Noel head and several speech bubbles (my favourite being “More Buff, Less Buffalo), and of course, I was sporting my electric blue wig. Who knew that thing would be such a worthwhile investment when I bought it back in October!

As we were early, we parked ourselves right by the tunnel where the players come out for warm up. As we stood there, drinking our massive king can beers, we could hear the banging of hockey sticks and occasional shuffling around of what we knew to be professional hockey players, just feet away from us. I felt my heart pound, feeling their nearness, and I let myself fangirl all over the place when they finally came out. I was squealing, I was shrieking, I was giggling and saying “Oh my god” a lot. I regret nothing.

We went up to the glass and watched the players as they warmed up. Cody pointed out a mole on the back of one of the player’s necks. The players laughed, teased each other, some were completely straight-faced and in game mode, and others showed off their impeccable hockey flow. I soaked it all in. I truly haven’t felt that exhilarated in months, possibly years.

The only real downer of the night was when Claude Noel got confiscated. He was too big, apparently. I was only disappointed because all of our friends and family all over Canada had their eyes glued to their TVs watching for this giant head, and by association, us. Sorry to let you down, everybody…

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It was the perfect way to end first year optometry. My friends humoured me by donning Jets tattoos all over their faces and putting on my Jets gear to be part of the group. There was also a great crew of Jets fans sitting in our section, and we got many a good “Go Jets go” cheer started. We got heckled by Buffalo fans (but they were much kinder than last time), and we had a couple of dance offs, to the entertainment of those around us. I even ran into an old friend from high school who now lives in Buffalo with her girlfriend. The Winnipeg connection is astounding, and it followed me all the way to Buffalo, 3 rows behind me. I don’t think I could feel any luckier, any prouder, any happier, to be from that place called Winnipeg.

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13 Comments

  1. Stupendous! There’s a word rarely pulled from the back of the closet.
    Hey Colleen, when you get drowsy pull over, walk around the car – maybe a few jumping jacks and if all else fails, sing, out loud as the miles slip beneath your wheels… or get a hotel room and make it a 3 day drive. 🙂

    I’ve done xc drives (TX to Seattle) (TX through NM) and when there’s no traffic, I get sleepy too.

    • Colleen

      Hi Maria! Sorry it took so long to reply. Thanks for your message. I loved your advice. I kept it on standby and thought of it often as I drove, but I found I did better than I thought I would. I made great time and had no real problems on the road. 🙂

  2. I am so incredibly jealous you’ll be home! Give Papa an extra big bug from me.

    • Colleen

      xoxox love you! Was nice seeing your little face on your mum’s phone!

  3. Congratulations, Colleen! Have a safe drive home!
    Seems like Monday game was a lot of fun 🙂

    • Colleen

      Thanks Alex! The trip was successful. And the game was a BLAST!

  4. Ha! Great story. It reminds me of watching Dancin Gabe in the old arena. Drive safely. I will be driving to Wpg from Van again in July. I did it last year for photography and my advice to you is to take your time. I suggest you ditch the audiobooks and get Jock Jams 1993 and rock out with Technotronic. You will not get drowsy.

    • Colleen

      Funny story – Dancing Gabe goes to the same church as my grandparents and I see him from time to time when I take my grandparents (which is every Sunday when I am in the city).
      Haha I couldn’t help laughing at the Jock Jams… I am pretty sure I have that CD somewhere. The audiobooks were good but I did have to switch it up between music and audiobooks to keep me energized. Great advice!

  5. Aw thanks for the mention! You can definitely do it. After that drive I concluded that audiobooks can get a person through anything. Now that we’ll both have mastered the long solo drive, we should probably start planning the road trip we will someday take together….

    • Colleen

      Agreed! Those audiobooks were glorious… and this road trip is obviously necessary at this point. We’ve definitely proved ourselves worthy and capable. Wherever shall we go?? And WHAT audiobooks will we listen to?

  6. Have a safe drive home and just take breaks if you feel drowsy!

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  1. A Weekend At Home - Colleen Brynn Travels - […] game that night. I’ve written about hockey and the Jets lots (here, here, here, here and here), so not going to…

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