Monday, April 7, 2014

framily || My First Solo Trip to Saskatoon

A few weeks ago, I visited my paternal grandmother in Saskatoon. Normally she stays with my parents for a few weeks at Christmas, but she's getting to the point where travel is difficult (she turned 89 a few months ago; happy belated birthday, Grandma!), so my parents offered to finance a trip up north. I love my grandmother, and I haven't been to Saskatoon- my birth city- in at least a decade, so of course I jumped on that offer ASAP!

I'm still working past feeling awkward taking pictures of people, so here is the single photo I took of my grandmother! Note the green polish she let me pick out for her at the nail salon (; And aw yeuh, dem Werther's Originals. The trip was a ton of fun. Mostly unrelated, I painted my nails with Julep's "Misti" beforehand- gorgeous shade, definitely one of my favourite blues! I had a stopover at a Minnesota airport, and this souvenir shop sums it up well enough: Also, at another shop, I spotted this tribute to one of the internet's favourite memes lately: I must be one of the few people that watched the fox video once and was perfectly content to leave it at that. An airport souvenir shop dedicating an entire window display to it is major overkill, imho, hahah.

The flights were nice- seat wasn't uncomfortable, no children being annoying, and I sat next to a fellow Saskatoonite on the second half of my trip there. He was a pretty cool dude; he wanted to know what I was doing (crocheting, then knitting) and what I was making (a doily, then legwarmers), and we talked about our jobs (software QA and something in the oil field). Kind of wish I'd gotten a pic but again with the "I feel awkward asking people if I can take their photo" thing. I want to work on that! I did manage to get this photo as we approached the (tiny) Saskatoon airport, which I feel sums up much of Saskatchewan, geographically speaking. My dad made the reservation and reimbursed me the cost of the rental, but I rented a car for the first time by myself! Things went wrong at first and so of course the waterworks started, but the woman at the counter was fantastic and helped me get things figured out. Thanks, Hertz employee at the Saskatoon airport who dealt with the crying girl with pink hair! Sorry about that!

I love my grandmother's apartment- probably because of the grandfather clock and the piano, hah. Josh and me (: The library at her senior apartment community almost had more puzzles than books, so I definitely had to try one! This one was supposed to have several hidden tigers, and according to the box it glows in the dark! The glow-in-the-dark part was definitely not true... but it was a number of years old, perhaps it worked at one point. Regardless, I definitely wanted to take it home with me when I was done! My favourite part is the cub on the lower right freaking out over the butterfly landing on his paw. So cute~~~

Of course, it wouldn't be a trip to Canada without stocking up on certain goodies I don't see down here in Texas! Kernels dill pickle popcorn, Maynards Fuzzy Peaches, motherfucking strawberry Aero that I've never seen before, Dairy Milk orange chocolate, aaaaand of course some Kinder Surprises! I don't think I kept any of the toys from these ones, they were all massive disappointments! There have been very few Kinder toys that haven't disappointed me in the last decade or so, honestly. The late 90's Kinder toys were so much better, and I am not just remembering through rosy lenses, because I totally still have most of mine! I've been thinking of taking photos of them now that I have a lightbox. Some of them are awesome, even to Adult Me, hahah.

My nail polish obsession tagged along to Saskatoon, of course. I wish I'd taken a better photo! That purple third from the right is gorgeous, it has these amazing flakies and it's definitely been on my toes since I bought it.

I had an amazing time with my grandmother. I never used to care for spending time with relatives, especially older ones. I was an ageist! I'm so glad I got over this, though. We went shopping, ate out a few times, watched a bunch of hockey, curling, and British soap operas (I used to prefer Coronation Street, but East Enders totally hooked me with Heather's wedding story arc!). One night, we went through some of her old piano music, and she told me about her friend that used to buy music for her and then sit next to her on the piano bench and just watch her play. She also had a number of Greek pieces from her aunts; apparently she used to speak some Greek! Kind of makes me want to learn (:

At one point, I was looking for something in a closet, and found a bunch of photo albums and other memorabilia; when I asked about them, she ended with, "Oh, but you're probably not interested." A few years ago I wouldn't have been (which baffles me! I've been pretty self-centered for much of my life, it seems), but I sure was this time!

Of course I didn't think to take any photos... but there were photos of my grandmother's trips to Greece over the years to visit aunts and uncles, photos of my family and my uncle's family throughout the years, and even an entire box of WWII memorabilia, including reproductions of surrender documents, etc. It was absolutely fascinating and I definitely want to spend more time looking at it all on my next visit.

The one thing I most regret not photographing was my grandma's journal. She kept a journal semi-regularly in 1979 and 1980, and there's even an entry on the day my parents were married. I don't remember the exact phrasing, but it definitely brought tears to my eyes. There were also mentions of a strike my grandmother participated in, which totally took me by surprise! I did not take her for the striking type, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures!

I have some photos unrelated to my trip that I want to share, too (: My first (failed) attempt at a pond mani! I don't think I own many jellies, actually- most of my 100+ polishes were bought before I knew any nail blog terminology like cremes, jellies, etc, and at least half of them (!!!) are untried, so I picked somewhat random colours to see which were good for ponding. The answer is, not many! Fortunately I just snagged an entire line of jellies on Amazon lately, so I'll probably be trying pond manis again sometime soon.

Here are the kitties tolerating each other in a rare moment. My awesome friend Liz sent me a care package from Oregon! Pictured are her two pugs and a rattie. Neither of us have ratties anymore (RIP, furbabies ❤︎), but once upon a time, Liz and I adopted littermates Ada Lovelace and Pumpkin (named by Liz's young daughter (; ). Her daughter is in Girl Scouts, and sure, I did could buy from my local Girl Scouts, but why not support a friend? (: Plus, Liz and her young'un Allie threw in a Girl Scouts Brownie pin, an adorable heart-shaped tea strainer, and a hand-written thank-you note! I'm toying with the idea of keeping an actual blogging schedule. So far, the "blog when you think about it" approach has had me abandon this poor thing for weeks at a time, so that's obviously not working! I figure Friday Faves will be easy enough to do, and I love the idea of sharing all my miscellanea, so perhaps there will be Sunday Hoard Stuff posts!

According to Checkiday, today is International Beaver Day, Metric System Day, and National Beer Day, so in with that in mind, happy unofficial Canada Day ;)

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