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Visiting the Family

a travel blog by Amber

Mom decided that it would be a great idea for us to meet up with my Grandmother and go up to Canada to visit her side of the family. So she and my little brother flew in from Hawaii and I flew in from Cincinnati, and my grandmother drove down to LA to pick us up and start our journey.

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Airport Delays

Los Angeles, United States

Got stuck in the airport midway between flights from Cincinnati to LAX. I can't even remember what airport it was, I just remember sitting at the bar killing time and making friends with the bartender. Several of us were just sitting around and then we started making up drinks and such. The bartender would attempt to make a drink and then have me guess what was in it == 90% of the time I was correct, and he also created something called a Thunderf**k -- all I remember is that it was in the creamy family and had a base of couvoisier or something like that. Needless to say I had a rather good buzz by the time I made my plane. Arrived at the airport to be met by my little brother and mom who'd flown in from Hawaii, and my two aunties and my grandmother. All were starving so we ventured off to Denny's for the requisite 2 hour wait for food. After fueling up we headed onto I-5 for the drive back to McKittrick.

permalink written by  Amber on June 1, 1999 from Los Angeles, United States
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School Sports

McKittrick, United States

After the long drive home, got settled in McKittrick, a tiny blink and u miss it town in the oilfields of Middle California. I think one of the signs on the highway says Welcome to McKittrick, population 2000 (if you count the jackrabbits).

Spent a couple days visiting with the aunties and cousins and watching the littlest cousins participate in sports day. I remember those days -- having to compete etc. It was fun watching the kids and their excitement for the swim races.

But oh my, you couldn't get me to move back there again. So dry and dusty -- you can feel the moisture just sucked out of your body.

permalink written by  Amber on June 2, 1999 from McKittrick, United States
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It's off to grandmother's house we go

Santa Rosa, United States

Packed the car up and set off up 101 to Santa Rosa. Stopped in the Garlic capital of the world, sampling garlic chips among other things. Ended up in Santa Rosa to visit my grandmother on my Dad's side. A delightful tea and such was set up and we set off the next morning further up the California Coastline.

permalink written by  Amber on June 7, 1999 from Santa Rosa, United States
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Crater Lake

Medford, United States

All I can say is this was a wild goose chase with my Auntie saying this was the most gorgeous lake she'd ever been to. So very warm and just lovely. We arrive and there's 4' of snow everywhere and all u can see is fog with a bare glimmer of the lake below. My little brother decides to strip down to his shorts and wife beater and run through the snow while demanding that we video tape it all. Oh well to be young :p

permalink written by  Amber on June 10, 1999 from Medford, United States
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Packing, re-packing, and packing again

Coeur d'Alene, United States

Hmmm... don't remember much about this leg of the trip, other than the fact that we drove through Coeur d'Alene. And by this point I have packed and repacked the trunk numerous times so that I can fit all of our luggage, as well as the knick knacks that we've all bought along the way. Not too mention we have to have room for Pat's skateboard, along with easy access to it so he can take advantage of the skatepark we located somewhere in Washington before heading through Coeur d'Alene on our way up to Canada.

permalink written by  Amber on June 11, 1999 from Coeur d'Alene, United States
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In search of the Hot Spring

Banff, Canada

We crossed through Idaho and up into Canada where Pat got in trouble filming the border crossing. We then cruised through Banff looking at the gorgeous scenery and then Mom got the grand idea that rather than go into one of the hotel hot springs we needed to find a natural one. Strangely enough she succeeded and we also located a cabin as well.

permalink written by  Amber on June 12, 1999 from Banff, Canada
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Visiting an Olympic site and finally getting to our desitination

Calgary, Canada

Drove through Calgary and made a slight detour to see the remnants of the Olympic village. Then eventually made our way further east to eventually get to Hughenden, Alberta. This is a teeeeeny tiny, blink and you miss it, town about an hour or two east of Calgary where my mom was born and lived until she was 5 or 6.

We visited with all the great-aunties, saw the house my grandmother lived in as a child, and the house my great-grandmother lived in as well -- course we did have to chase the cows out of the house before we could venture inside.

My little brother was so escatic that he could actually buy beer legally, so we visited the local liquor stores a few times and Mom went golfing with Auntie Irene.

permalink written by  Amber on June 13, 1999 from Calgary, Canada
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Lewis and Clark Caverns

Whitehall, United States

After leaving Hughenden we ventured south towards Yellowstone and saw that we were near the Lewis and Clark Caverns. Mom, Pat and I went exploring, while Grandma got her much needed nicotine fix.

For more information on the caverns visit http://fwp.mt.gov/lands/site_281895.aspx and that's also the site of where the picture came from c2004.

permalink written by  Amber on July 3, 1999 from Whitehall, United States
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Where the deer and the buffalo roam

Gardiner, United States

Mom almost scalded herself trying to get away from the Buffalo. More details to follow

permalink written by  Amber on July 4, 1999 from Gardiner, United States
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Fireworks in the car, at the hotel, in the city

Reno, United States

After managing not to lose Mom in the boiling hot ponds of Yellowstone and not running over any tourists, we made our way to Reno and then had the joy of trying to locate a hotel room on the 4th of July. Tempers were flaring and we discovered that Mom just didn't like to drive in the city when we eventually back tracked out of Reno to a small lil town about a half hour or so away, whose name escapes me. Managed to finally secure a hotel room and all 4 of us promptly Split up -- Grandma down to the casino, Mom outside, Pat to the game room, and I relaxed in the hotel room watching the fireworks from the window. The next day we set off again, much calmer having had the time away from each other.

permalink written by  Amber on July 4, 1999 from Reno, United States
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I'm an ex-bartender turned librarian who adores travel and doesn't tend to stay in one place for very long. I've lived in 4 states and 2 countries and visited many more. A nifty little widget at another site had calculated that I've seen 12% of the world so I better get off the computer and out...

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