Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Road Trip Day 12- Car Trouble

Waking up in another country knowing your car isn't working properly just plain sucks. Luckily I was in Canada (which is essentially USA North) and not Mexico so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. And even more lucky, the shop was open on Saturday. I took it in, begged and pleaded with God for it to be nothing major, and then took the bus home. Today was gonna be a lazy day which was probably what we all needed anyways. The kids played in the backyard with their friend and tried to distract myself the best I could as I waited for the call from the mechanic. It didn't take long before a Canadian number popped up on my cell phone (a cell phone which got charged with $137 of roaming charges even after I called and signed up for an international plan for the month specifically to avoid roaming charges. You will be getting a very angry phone call very soon Verizon Wireless!!!!!) and I got the verdict. Evidently the undercarriage of my car was caked in mud. Probably from going from dusty roads to severe rainstorms so quickly. And somehow the muddy water got into my engine and caused it to stall. He suggested I get an engine shampoo when I get home (which I still haven't done a month later) and that was it. What? No new parts? No emminant engine explosions? It was that easy? Yes, it was! Of course finding out there was nothing really wrong cost me about $150 but hey, I'll take it. 

That night, we decided to take advantage of the light (It stayed light until about 10:30!!!) and go for a walk with the kids. Their sleeping schedule had been thrown completely off by the extended daylight and I wasn't about to try and fight it. We walked down to the bluffs above the Bow River and enjoyed the view. Calgary really is a very nice place. The geography reminds me alot of Denver. Its just on the edge of the Rockies so there are some hills but to the east there is nothing but flat prairie. If only it wasn't so cold... Here are some pictures from our walk:


Road Trip 0930  Collages64

(Pet bunnies that had be released and left to fend for themselves. Not cool people, not cool)

And just because Ben looks's so silly and cute in his Canadian jester hat...

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After the kids finally went to bed Jess and I decided to finish our day with a drink. I had received a can of Clamato as a free sample at the Stampede because evidently, Clamato and vodka is the unofficial drink of Canada. It sounded absolutely disgusting but I insisted that we try it.

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It was even more disgusting than I could have ever imagined! What is wrong with you Canadians?????!!!!! What about clam juice, tomato, and vodka makes you say "I'll have another please!"? Never again! Then we moved on to absinthe because its legal in Canada and I really have never had it.


 (Note the sippy cup and memory card in the background. Very odd)

It tasted basically like drinking mouthwash but was much more tolerable. Still, I think I'll stick to beer....


Helene said...

Wow, it really stayed light until 10:30 at night?? I have to move there. It sounds heavenly!!

Sorry about the car....I've never heard of car engine shampoo!

Looks like you all had fun!!

Alisha said...

I love hearing about your Canadian adventures. lol. I love how you added the cold comment ... glad your car was fine!

When does it turn dark where you live? In the summer it gets dark at about 10 here. In the winter, around 4:30.

First of all, Clamato is gross. I am a Canadian, and have never had it, but that sounds sick. I have never actually tried Absinthe. Now I want to. :)

Alan said...

Read your trip blog, and wanted to say just a few things:

1) I work at Heritage Park, and it is one of the best work experiences I have ever had. This place is a delight to work at for all the reasons you stated, plus volumes more. I am so glad you came and I do hope you will come back with your kids on another trip when they are older. You should take a trip on our true paddlewheeler.

2) At the height of summer (around solstace), it starts to get light around 4 am and the sun sets after ten. This is due to the tilting of the earth. In winter, it gets light at 8 and dark at 4, so go figure. This effect increases the further north you go - hence why the arctic is called "the land of the midnight sun". If you live on the equator, it gets light around 6am and dark around 6pm every day of the year. I'll take the variation for long summer days - thank-you.

3) Clamato is only sold in Canada, and it is the key to making a "Ceasar", which like the "B-52" was invented in Calgary. The Ceasar is like a Bloody Mary, except you use Clamato instead of tomato juice. Judging from your picture - your drink was missing some key ingredients like Ice, seasoning salt on the rim, and a celery stalk. It may sound gross, but it is actually one of the finest cocktails you will ever have if prepared right. It isn't really the official or unoffical drink of Canada, as we pride ourselves on our superior beer. It IS, however, the official drink of Canadian hangovers!

Thanks for visiting and shariung your adventures!


Sharlene said...

Alan I truly appreciate all of your comments however I have to say that 1. Clamato is sold in the US. I have seen it before, just never had any interest in buying it. and 2. No matter what you do to that cocktail there is no way I wont gag if it contains clam/tomato juice. Smile! Cheers!
Oh PS- #3 I did have some beers i Canada and they were excellent. I love good beer and you certainly had just that.

Jess said...

Yeah, @Alan, I don't know if there would be any possible way to make clam/tomato juice taste ok, like Shar said... :P My husband & I wince whenever we see it as the drink special when we go out...