Thursday, September 15, 2011

Starting the slow journey home

I tried to wake up for breakfast, really, I did... but the snooze and I had too good a relationship Wednesday morning.  Finally, the lure of the expresso machine dragged my sorry arse out of bed.

A brief visit with Tony and Joanne, but then we really had to frappe la rue -- we had a six hour drive ahead of us.  Hugged more good-byes, bid adieu to the coast, and headed inland to Enderby.

Tony and Jo had suggested we stop at a nice family restaurant in Hope for lunch.  We must have gotten off at the wrong exit, though, because we weren't seeing the place they described on the left... we did see a family restaurant on the right, though, so hopped in there for a nice sit-down lunch.  "Premium" grilled cheese for me, Montreal smoked meat for Don.  Heart attack in bread, but worth every clogged artery. :-)

Heading out of town, of course, we discovered the exit and restaurant they had been talking about -- oh well, next time!

Then we were driving through the mountains -- ah, mountains!   Gorgeousness everywhere.  Unfortunately, that gorgeousness was accompanied by... er... some digestive issues for me.  Yes, in the middle of the mountains, where there's nowhere to stop.  I crossed my eyes and prayed...

We pulled into Merritt, which is, apparently, the only city in all of Canada with no Tim Horton's.  Don found a gas station, even though we'd just filled up (and gotten a wasp sting -- ouch!), and refilled the top eighth of a tank while I spent some time admiring the lovely decor in the public washroom, and listened to about 6 others come and go.  (Hey, you want to know all the stories of the road, you get the bad with the good -- you should know by now that I'm a firm believer in ugly truths as well as the pretty ones!)

Feeling much better (some time later), we hit the road again. Don spied a Chapters, and we spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to get to it -- the roads into the mall were pretty darned convoluted!  They didn't have the magazine he was looking for, drat.  And now we were running late -- not late, late, but later than we'd wanted (we like to spend a lot of time in a new place to relax before the show).  Time to skedaddle!

We'd wanted to be in Enderby by 5:00 at the latest, we pulled in at 5:40 -- damned tummy and drunken road planners.  Gregg, the owner, greeted us and showed us where the PA was, then gave Jody a call -- she was putting us up for the night in her RV just down the road.  We headed over to her place to get the lay of the land before it got dark.  Electricity, but no running water in the RV, so we were welcome to come into the house to use the bathroom, and she would get her son, Phoenix, to haul up a jug of drinking water for us.

We went down to the house to find the bathroom, and met Phoenix -- what a great kid!  Jody should be (and is) proud.  Very self-assured, considerate, respectful and polite -- he met us at the door, offered his hand with a "pleased to meet you".  As we were heading back to our car, he asked us if it was OK for him to go into "our" trailer to put the water in for us.  What a sweetie!

I commented this morning to Jody how much we had enjoyed meeting Phoenix, and what a great kid he is -- she responded with an enthusiastic "I know!" (which I loved), and "you didn't even get a chance to know him!"  Apparently this twelve-year old also rides a unicycle, juggles, plays several instruments, and is now learning trumpet (if anyone in the area has a trumpet they aren't using, we know a person who'd love it!).  Now we REALLY want to come back to Enderby, just to see this guy in action. :-)

We still had to set up for our 7:00 start (!), so we headed back to The Cliffs to put our stage together.  One cord to the right speaker wasn't working, but we found one that was, so no problem.  As we were getting ready to play, we saw a vaguely familiar face walk in -- kind of strange, as we'd never played in Enderby before.  It was Bonnie, who had seen us at our Kelowna house concert in February, and had brought a table full of friends with her.  Yay!  Always nice to have friendly faces.

Though it seems there are many friendly faces in Enderby, and The Cliffs seems to be quite a happening sort of place.  One of the early-arriving locals helped us balance out the sound on our first song, and she was an enthusiastic audience member throughout the evening -- even coming up to give us big hugs and thank-yous after the show.  We like hugs. :-)

The Cliffs has been around for a while, but Gregg took it over just a few months ago.  It's a lovely cafe, with a little stage in the corner, lots of patio seating, art on the walls, wireless.  Delicious food (many vegetarian and some vegan options), and the kind of spot where you feel at home just hanging around and visiting folks.  They seem to have a number of regular patrons, and many of them spoke of how great it is to have such a venue in town.

We finished our first set, and headed off stage to take our break -- but two of Bonnie's friends were leaving.  "No! You can't go yet!" she said, "not before you hear that song!"  And so we hopped back on stage to sing "Sweat" before this couple departed -- apparently they were newlyweds, and Bonnie thought this song should be dedicated to them.  I ask no questions. :-)  But they laugh and love it, and then we get our break.

Dinner was supposed to be a part of our payment for the night, but we ended up chatting so much, we completely forgot to order anything!  We had a chance to meet Tom Radcliffe, who we'd known online before (and thought still lived in Victoria, but he's moved), but had never met in person.  He's down in New Mexico now, but was on tour here, himself -- he's also got a house concert in Kelowna on Saturday, so we're completely missing hearing him, but I'm sure we'll get a chance again, as we both seem to be coming to BC quite often.

The room had been VERY hot for the first set, but there was a nice breeze coming through the door for the second -- phew!  We must have been playing everything double-time, though, because we had to add a few songs to our planned setlist.  We each added a couple of solo tunes, and I realized how naked I now feel doing things solo -- I much prefer having someone else around to play with!

After the show, Gregg realized we hadn't had dinner (and the kitchen was closed), so invited us to come in for brunch the next day, instead.  He took off, as he had to be back at 3am (!), and left one of his waiters to lock up when we were finished packing up our gear.  When we were done, we asked her if there was a place to grab a sandwich or something -- she said there was a Tim Horton's about 25 minutes north (OK, Merrit isn't the only place without a Tim's), or a McDonald's and 7-11 about 10 minutes south.  Ouch.  We really should have ordered that dinner...

We opted for the shorter drive and, yes, each managed to choke down a filet-o-fish and fries.  Road food.  With a vengeance.  But this McDonald's had free wireless (maybe they all do now? not a clue...), so we were able to check in with Louise, who has confirmed a gig for us in Calgary -- yay, Louise!  I have a craving for sour cream and onion chips, so we grab some at the 7-11 and then head back to the RV for a second dinner of potato chips and wine. Dinner of champions!  That treadmill will be getting a workout in October, lemme tell you (as I type, in fact, I'm noticing a wee roll of fat is covering the front part of the mousepad -- ugh!  Anyone know of ab exercises you can do in the passenger seat?!?).

And on that lovely visual... here endeth day 24. :-)



  1. Just reading this makes me smile -- and notice the roll around my middle too!

    when you get here, I'll have the ski machine all set up for you :)

    I know all about that Chapters -- on the left hand side as you come down the hill but.... getting there is a whole other story!

    And seriously? fries in the middle of the night? oh my.

  2. We were desperate. :-)

    Looking forward to the ski machine -- hopefully I'll remember how to move...