Wendy and Nils

Canada Story

     After enduring the awkward tedious routines of preparation for the ceremonial rite of passage that I personally contested in dispute for elopement, and subsequently proceeding with the legal documentation of conjugality of which I thoroughly embraced, Wendy and I were on our way to celebrating a much anticipated un-pasteurized honeymoon.  We traveled to the Dominion of the Commonwealth of Nations a.k.a. Canada.  Not the fridge flavored waters of the Hudson Bay or the snooty French Republic of Quebec, but the rugged Canadian Rockies.

     We woke the morning after our wedding with no signs of exhaustion or a hangover, so that meant we saved plenty of energy for the honeymoon.  We mailed the documentation completing the process for our legal union, and drove to the bus station in the pimped out “Live Free or Die/Just Married” truck loaded with a Taser gun rack and a 2.2L four cylinder engine.  For the first time, I realized the benefits of marriage when I passed thru the security checkpoint at he airport.  The attendant found my weaponry and paraphernalia, but then noticed my wedding ring and winked me thru.  As our travels continued, I kept an eye out for ominous signs of bad decision regarding our marriage and nothing foretold disaster, but I was a bit concerned when we arrived in Calgary ‘cause the sun was just beginning to set and it was midnight.  After we snuck by the customs officials at the Calgary airport, we rented our car, which was supposed to be a classic Renault Le Car but in error they gave us a Hearse.  I wanted to spoil my new wife, so I took her out for a late dinner at Denny’s and we slept on the side of the highway in the back of the car.

     We spent the next morning driving to Banff National Park and celebrating Canada Day.  I asked a park ranger what event in Canada’s history that the holiday marked, and he said he wasn’t sure, but it was a good day to drink Molson Golden and grab the shotgun and hunt for dead cattle.  I couldn’t find any places that rented shotguns, so I figured I wouldn’t be able to celebrate in the festivities, but we did pull off to a hiking trail that surrounded us in the American Alps, and we decided that it would be totally awesome to live in Banff.  The main attraction in the town of Banff was traffic and construction, so we settled into our deluxe honeymoon suite and quickly moved on for a hike in the park.  Banff National Park is very well maintained, and our first hike took us thru incredible scenery over catwalks and commando bridges on ziplines and up ladders.  We arrived to a desolate open valley where Wendy wanted to stay for the rest of her life, but it was near some hot springs that smelt worse than dad farts, so we left.  On our way back to town, we spotted a huge moose or something.  Actually, no one spots wildlife in Banff.  You just get stuck in traffic and wonder what’s going on until you pull up to a family of animals frolicking in the road. There are warning signs posted everywhere about the overabundance and dangers of wildlife, which is deceptive ‘cause there’s not that many animals.  It’s not like you’re on a safari or anything.  I would also argue that the “wildlife” is more domesticated than wild considering people were getting out of their cars and posing for pictures with the animals and feeding them.  We arrived later that afternoon to the town of Banff to see what Canada Day was really about.  I think it’s one of those holidays where you make fun of the other nations in the world ‘cause they don’t have real freedom, even though it’s you that lacks freedom, considering you can’t go to the park and light off your own fireworks or drink beer in public, so you sit around and let mosquitoes victimize you all evening.  It seemed like Canada Day fireworks were never going to be shot off, which they weren’t because Banff is too close to the North Pole, so it doesn’t get dark until two in the morning, so we gave up and headed back to our honeymoon sweet and took advantage of our luxury accommodations.

     The next morning we ate breakfast at a fancy Swiss chalet were I wondered if I was allowed to check out the cute body on the waitress even though I was now a married man.  We decided to spend our day at Lake Louise.  The lake’s beautiful aqua-blue waters can be seen with a backdrop of the most dramatic peaks in the world, while you surrounded yourself with coach busses and Japanese tourists.  We went out on a canoe and started realizing the true meaning of marriage as we argued about who wasn’t paddling hard enough or in the right direction.  We later took a horseback ride through a long section of mud created from a precisely perfect mixture of dirt, horseshit and piss.  The ride took us up to a teahouse that was too busy to serve tea.  In any case, the view was amazing and the horses were really cool even thought they smelt funny and Wendy’s wouldn’t behave or walk fast enough.  I needed something to literally numb my ass, so we had some desert and beer at the Fairmont Chateau, which provides you with a pristine view of the lake while you dine.  We spent that evening in the town of Banff where we dodged construction vehicles and thought about buying stuff at the high-end gift shops.

      The next morning we ate breakfast at a fancy Swiss chalet were I wondered if I was allowed to check out the cute body on the waitress even though I was now a married man.  It started feeling like I was having Groundhog Day déjà vu.  I was confused, but Wendy managed to guide me in the right direction.  We were going to start heading for Jasper, a town named after my brother in laws dead dog.  On our way we saw a black wolf.  At this point, I’ll refrain from any racial jokes.  We found a secluded place for a hike, but Wendy was frightened when we discovered bear poop, so our hike only lasted about a minute.  I didn’t argue with her ‘cause we had also discovered a swarm of mosquitoes, the most abundant form of wildlife in the park.  In any case, we came across a bear later that day, but they must be harmless, considering everyone was getting out of there car to take a closer look and pose for pictures with the happy beast.  The drive to the Icefields Parkway was filled with astonishing landscapes and majestic peaks.  The icefields themselves reminded us why Canadians are hippies, because the receding glaciers are undeniable evidence of global warming. The fact that pot is basically legal in Ontario also supports the Canadian Hippie Hypothesis (CHH).  We decided to spend a romantic evening by a fire under the stars at one of the most renowned campgrounds in the area, but the moment we got everything set up heavy rains moved in, so we changed our game plan, and had an argumentative night in a wet tent.

     The following day brought good weather, so we woke up early to take advantage of it.  We checked out some random waterfall that was surrounded by a chain link fence, which protected us from getting a real good view of the falls.  A nearby hike brought us to one of the most successful breeding grounds for the famous rocky mountain mosquito and our hike was transformed into a swift jog.  As we drove towards Jasper, I realized we hadn’t abducted anyone yet, so I picked up a hitchhiker.  We took her on a field trip to the Path of the Glacier, where we finally got a real feel for the impressive movement that glaciers appear to have, even in their stillness.  My plan backfired, as we realized our lonely French speaking trapeze artist hostage had every intention of spending the rest of our honeymoon by our side, and I realized that gleeful naïve French accents are undeniably annoying.  We abandoned our captive at the Path of the Glacier and swiftly drove off to the town of Jasper. There we had lunch at a bistro, which served hemp sandwiches and had other menu items that supported the CHH.  We made a quick pit stop to check out the fancy hotel we had reservations for in a few days. There we party crashed a formal catered event until we were stuffed on free food and drinks, and continued on to the Meitte Hotsprings.  With all the mountains surrounding us in Glacier and Jasper National Parks, none of them had a navigable route to their summit, except near these springs, so we climbed to the top of this peak and got an incredible panoramic view of the Front Range and the mountains of Jasper.  At this point, I realized the hard way that Canada is not as influenced by European politics as our hyper-conservative rightwing AM radio talk show hosts would like us to believe.  If Canada were a true political surrogate of Europe, wouldn’t there be topless, if not bottomless bathing at public swimming facilities?  This disappointment almost ruined my honeymoon, but my newlywed wife promised me that she’d make up for it later.  We had a late outdoor dinner in Jasper that evening under the sun, ‘cause it never goes down, with the mosquitoes, ‘cause they are unrelenting, and we slept in the car, ‘cause we had booked an early morning rafting trip and it seemed wasteful to get a hotel room just to sleep for six hours.

     Our rafting trip began with a long drive to British Columbia that lasted so long that I began to wonder if I was being taken hostage.  When we launched, our guides seemed a bit overprotective, and for a while I’m thinking “Man….. I’ve tube-ed down crazier shit than this on the Boulder Creek”, but they eventually led us to some good dangerous fun and we all got our moneys worth, even though there were no injuries.  We slept on the bus ride back to Jasper, so it only seemed to last a few minutes.  Our afternoon was spent in Jasper waiting, a.k.a. drinking beer, until we could check into the Fairmont Hotel.  The service at this classy hotel was outstanding, which made me realize that rich people do get better treatment.  We took advantage of all the facilities that we could during our stay.  That evening we ate dinner, indoors I must add, at one of the finest restaurants on the premises only to be swarmed by mosquitoes.  When we asked management why they didn’t shut their doors to keep the mosquitoes out, they said something crazy about living in harmony with the wilderness and nature. This once again verified the CHH.

     We continued to take advantage of the amenities at the hotel throughout the following morning, and then we headed for Calgary to experience the highly publicized “Calgary Stampede”.  The trip back thru Jasper and Glacier National Parks was uneventful, considering that we had already seen it.  We started realizing the dire significance of the Calgary Stampede as we looked down the main drag and could see nothing but oversized big bucket cowboy hats.  Lines of people were waiting to get into the bars, which excited me, because originally I didn’t realize that this was a drinking holiday.  I’m convinced that the drinking beer is a Calgary Stampede necessity designed to help everyone ignore the smell of animal shit, smelting iron, body odor, amusement park rides, and country music.  At the main stage, we saw Canadian rockers Finger Eleven perform.  This is when the surrounding smells improved, as I realized that even cowboys smoke weed.  A casino was on location, were Wendy came out a big wiener with a triple bar at the slots.  We spent the night dancing to country music bands that played Lynyrd Skynyrd covers while surrounded by Canadians who loved to drink cheap American beer.  We left the Stampede at 3:00am and went to the airport, parked our car in the rental car return area, and slept in it until our flight departed.  The trip home was predictable, although the full body cavity search that I usually receive when crossing the Canadian/American border was unfortunately avoided, because Wendy explained to the customs official that I had already received one, considering that we were returning home from our honeymoon.

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