It's been a long time coming, but I finally managed to wrangle my bestest heart friends to head west and come visit me.
It was a big moment for me. As a blogger I have traveled and visited other people's homes but this was the first time I'd opened up my home not only to my blogging friends but their children as well. I wanted everything to be perfect. So I chained my husband to the grill and commanded him to prepare us a divine feast to devour upon our arrival and then I raced to the airport only to find the moment I was on a rural stretch of gravel and far away from any civilization that I had forgot to gas up my car and was running on fumes.
Thankfully I had an emergency canister of gas in the back (or rather, my husband had a can of gas for his lawn tractor which I gratefully stole and used for my own purposes) and made it to the airport just as Cat and Kate and kidlets were deplaning.
After the hugs and tears (I had something in my eye dammit) I led my tribe back to my place to meet my husband for the very first time.
He hasn't met too many bloggers other than the one he regularly beds so he wasn't quite sure what to expect.
Luckily for all of us he was too busy being horrified admiring a certain plush penis to actually concentrate on any of our conversations.
Boo was a bit in awe of the fact a phallic stuffed Toadie could make it's way across the country, through airport security to land in his kitchen. I kept catching him staring at the penis and Mia with a look of abject horror mingled with a bit of pride.
I'm betting he wished our daughter had one of those to play with.
Oh Toadie. How I've missed you and your nut sac. So glad you came to visit.
After a brief visit which involved a lot of red meat and boxed wine, it was time for my girls to continue on with their road trip and head to the western coast of Canada. Somehow, after a few glasses of wine, my husband thought it would be a great idea if I joined them.
I think at this point he'd have done just about anything to get the damned floppy penis out of his house. Apparently there is only room under our roof for one pair of saggy balls and those balls belong to him not a three year old with a weird attachment to obscene toys.
What the hell, I thought. A road trip with my bestest betches? So I can travel across the western half of Canada to meet more blogging betches?
Sounds like heaven to me I thought as I kissed both my husband and my children goodbye and stuffed my suitcase in the back of the huge Yukon Hybrid General Motors had thoughtfully provided for the western leg of the road trip.
First stop was a small blogging meet up in Edmonton.
Picture children running wild and mommies ignoring them as we stood around and bonded.
Wait, that sounded bad. We mommies relied on the daddies we brought along to safely supervise our children as we totally ignored them.
Who knew such great bloggers lived so close to me?
Before I knew it, it was time to hop in the wagon and set off to the west.
Except, um, where would I sit?
Jasper, Emilia and Gigi. Three peas in a pod. Er. Truck.
With a little help from my darling Boo, and some creative luggage cramming, room was soon made for my arse. Sure it was way back in the trunk and the kids kept calling it the naughty seat. I was just happy to know I'd be spending the next six days crammed beside the suitcases with my knees up by my ears.
At least I was on my way.
As my husband said, "Suck it up buttercup."
After a few hundred pit stops to empty the pea sized bladders of various toddlers, we soon made our way to the mountains.
It's hard to complain about leg room when one is in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.
We made our way to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge where we swam outside with a mountain view, sipped wine while watching the sunset behind the mountains and drank in the magic of the moment.
Just so you know, deer poop looks a lot like chocolate candy for a one year old boy named Jasper in Jasper.
Picture the three grown ups yelling "No Jasper! That's not candy!" It happened a lot.
Oh no! A Bear!
After taking in the wildlife, which may or may not include three young children from Toronto, we packed everything up, jumped back into our vehicle and headed south for Lake Louise.
This hall way once has seen the likes of the Queen of England and a myriad of other royal and/or inspiring people. Then we arrived. We are decidedly less regal so there may have been some yelling of "Put your shoes on! Don't take your clothes off! Quit jumping on the chairs!"
We like to keep things real wherever we go.
It was at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise that a group of women bloggers who shall remain nameless ended up showering naked together and the Blue Thunder was spotted by an innocent tourist. All though as Katie noted it was less smurfy blue by this point and more a lovely aqua green.
After we classed up the joint in only the way the six of us could, we headed to British Columbia.
Which meant climbing back into the naughty seat. The bellhops loved watching me get in and out of the vehicle.
Cuz I'm the picture of grace and elegance you know.
I learned several things in the back seat of that Yukon on the stretch of road to B.C.
One, my legs are longer than they look and I really am bendy.
Two, put two head strong three year old girls beside each other and one of them is invariably going to get smacked in the face with a rogue shoe.
Three, three year old girls have a really high pitched scream when hit by said shoe.
Before long, we arrived at our next pit stop where our host, the beautiful and friendly Angella D opened her house and her refrigerator to our little caravan.
I like to keep it classy. Big smooches to Kicky Boots and of course Angella.
Angella has a really good looking little brother. Who isn't even twenty yet. Which meant my tongue was hanging out for a teenaged boy.
I still feel dirty.
Before we knew it, it was time to head to Vancouver and visit my other heart friend, Mr. Lady.
I'd been waiting a long time to get my hands on this woman's children and I made the most of it while I could.
Three of three is absolutely adorable. And she loved me which made her even more adorable.
Since a huge blogging conference is just days away, I'd like to take this moment to point out that while Mr.Lady and I sound similar, we really are nothing alike.
Sure we have blonde hair, a nose ring, glasses and tattoos.
But as you can see, she's a midget.
A hot midget, but a midget none the less.
It wasn't long before we decided to abandon the children with a hotel sitter (which we will be paying for until we're eighty) and descend upon Mr. Lady's husband (the Donor)'s restaurant for a bit of child-free grown up time.
Let's just say they make a wicked mojito at the Vancouver's Mortons.
I was on my best behaviour.
Mr.Lady pulled a rabbit out her hat (she's magic like that) and before long an impromptu bloggers meet up was taking place in the Donor's swanky restaurant. A big thanks to all you lovely ladies who showed up to treat us with some West Coast hospitality.
Ladies nite out is never complete until someone makes an ass of herself by grabbing another's boobs.
Just so you know.
The next day I made my first tour of Stanley Park, where I was blown away by the ocean, the mountains, the trees and the complete lack of hookers.
Who needs hookers when Her Bad Mother tries to hump you in the park?
Our time in Vancouver was too short. Soon it was time to climb back into the naughty seat and head up to see Catherine's family.
Just so you know, Her Bad Grandmother is even cooler than her daughter. And Cat's dad and step-dad? They could just be the most perfect men ever.
It was a fantastic trip, one I will never forget and one I will forever be thankful to all of our sponsors for making it possible.
Everyone should have a the chance to take a roadtrip with their bestest friends at least once in their lifetimes.
When all is said and done, I walked away with new friends, new memories and a completely new respect for contortionists.
It's good to be home.
Although, I will miss little Mia's Stink Eye.
I can't wait till she's a teenager and starts to roll her eyes at me.
Then it will feel just like I'm at home, where ever we are together.
**Links and names to come once shortly. I'm running late and can't do it right now.**