Last Wednesday my friend Suzanne and I left during the wee hours of the morning (okay we meant to leave in the wee hours but didn’t leave until a normal time of morning…) to start our road trip to Edmonton for our friend Aila’s wedding. I don’t have a drivers license (something I have been saying I mean to rectify since I got my leaners three years ago but don’t actually seemingly plan on doing…) so poor Suzanne was doing ALL the driving. I was being brought along (to quote myself) as entertainment and gas money 😉 Due to the only-having-one-driver thing we weren’t going to go all the way to Edmonton in one go (about a 13 hour drive straight through). So the first day we put our friendship to the test and drove 11 hours to our mid-way destination. Friendship bore through. I think. I hope. Suzanne…?
After staying overnight with some of Suzanne’s family and learning how to play Skip-Bo We drove the last 6 hours to Edmonton where we were going to be staying with some of Suzanne’s friends for the weekend. (Seriously, this girl has connections everywhere!)
Once in Edmonton we went straight to Aila’s house (-to-be?) to meet up with her and drop off some of her things we’d carted over. We stayed and chatted for a while (which was really nice because the rest of the weekend was all prep and set-up so there wasn’t a lot of time to just sit and chat).
Then, then we went to go find the house of the friends of Suzanne.
Now people, we are two nineteen year old girls. We were not using a map, but relying on a GPS and were unaware that in Edmonton, apparently there are sometimes multiple streets with the same name. Being blissfully unaware of this fact we typed in the address of the house we were going to. The GPS directed us “there” but to our dismay, we couldn’t find a house with a house number that matched up… So Suzanne started texting her friend to try and find out what had gone wrong. We found a house down a connecting street with a number that matched up and sat in the car outside like creepers while we tried to figure out what had happened. (It was during this wait that I perfected creepily rising up with your seat from a lying-down position).
Eventually we discovered that GPS had autofilled to Road when it should have been Avenue or something so we were fifteen minutes in the wrong direction. Off we went again. The GPS told us we had arrived. We decided to leave our suitcases in the car when we went to the door (just to make sure it was right, you know).
Yeah, it wasn’t.
Turns out it should have been like, Drive or something, not Avenue… Edmonton, why so many streets with similar names?
Thankfully this time we were literally less than a minute away from the right house (cause that’s not confusing, two streets with practically the same name connecting perpendicularly…)
So we arrived, told our woeful tale, were accordingly (and appropriately) laughed at, and went to bed.
Friday we went to West Edmonton Mall for the late-morning/early afternoon and then went to the camp where the wedding was taking place to set-up the chapel.
The Chapel before the set-up
Aila was so incredibly organized that set-up went amazingly fast! She knew what she wanted to have where and everything was ready and finished to be put straight out, it was great! And once everything was set out it really looked great too!
The Chapel, set and ready
Then was rehearsal. (fairly uneventful) and rehearsal dinner! Got to kind of get to know the groom’s family and friends a bit better (they’re mostly from Edmonton, the Bride’s gang was mostly from Winnipeg) and got to know a couple of the bridesmaids who I had’t known as well a bit better so that was fun!
Saturday was another trip down to West Edmonton Mall, this time with the bridesmaids! Some shopping was done (as is customary in shopping malls) but WEM isn’t just any shopping mall… It’s a shopping mall with a Sea Lion tank and shows, a probably-pretty-close-if-not-actually-full-sized pirate ship in water, a full water park with slides and a wave pool, and, the crowning glory, a full amusement park: Galaxyland.
Now on Friday I took Suzanne on a gander through Galaxyland because we wanted to go on some rides. I know that I love roller coasters and I’ve been to Galaxyland before but Suzanne had never really gone on any big roller coasters, certainly none with loops. My goal was to get her onto the “Mindbender”, the world’s largest indoor triple loop roller coaster and the first roller coaster I ever went on that went upside-down. This was the roller coaster that started me on all roller coasters.
The “Mindbender” roller coaster in West Edmonton Mall’s Galaxyland
We bought day passes (cheaper then individual tickets) and started slow. The swings. Height, speed, but no feeling of danger. Then a small roller coaster. A mini pull-you-up-and-drop-you (think really mini Tower of Terror without the story aspect). A slightly bigger roller coaster which was a hit! Riding off that adrenaline I got her onto the full-sized Drop ride “Space Shot” (120ft high so not too shabby)
Our on-ride photo from the “Space Shot”
That one wasn’t such a hit. She didn’t hate it, but she certainly didn’t enjoy it much. We did a few smaller coasters and rides to “recover” and then, then it was time to try the “Mindbender”.
I managed to convince, coax, and reason Suzanne onto the ride. As soon as we were strapped in the the car started moving I heard her shout “Becky, what have you done?!” to which I laughed.
Guys, she loved it! Closed her eyes on the loops but hey, I totally do that too sometimes and I have been on quite a few upside down roller coasters. She can now say the first upside down roller coaster she ever went on was the world’s largest indoor triple loop roller coaster. And now, she’s fully ( /overly) prepared for her upcoming trip to Disneyworld!
After the adventure at the amusement park we booked it back to the camp to help set up the reception hall. We got decorations that couldn’t have been made earlier made-up, tables placed out and set, candles organized, the boys strung up the lights, it looked great! It was a very rustic theme. Burlap runner on the tables, baby’s breath flowers as centre pieces, candles everywhere, mini homemade chalkboards as table numbers! I loved it, the little details were wonderful!
The Reception Hall set and ready
The next day, Sunday, was Wedding day!
The friend Suzanne and I were staying with is really good at hairstyling and nails and stuff so she graciously offered to do our hair and nails for us in the morning before the wedding which was fun! Then we raced off to the camp!
Suzanne was doing guestbook stuff and I was lighting all the candles before the wedding and then the reception (we arrived a bit later than we’d hoped so one of the bride’s younger brothers had already started on some of the candles) but soon we were ready and then WEDDING!
It was a lovely wedding, Aila looked gorgeous in her dress! They had each written their own vows which were so sweet and you could just tell that everyone was so happy about the wedding. it was just so right =)
The new Mr and Mrs
Then was the reception where none of the speeches went too long or were boring and few overly embarrassing stories were told. There was a meal, a dance, and then the new couple was sent away through a tunnel of sparklers.
It was a wonderful wedding, Josh and Aila, I wish you two all the best. May God bless you richly in your life together!
Monday, Suzanne and I packed up the car again and were off. We went through Calgary to go to the Zoo. It was damaged in the floods this year so it was only partially open but it was still fun and we got to see quite a few of the animals out and about.
Tuesday was another 11 hour driving day to which I think our friendship stood the test (Suzanne?) and then we were home. Aila was married. Holidays were over. Back to the grindstone.
It was a great trip. Suzanne, thanks for putting up with me and not kicking me out of the car on the side of the highway somewhere. Aila, thanks for inviting me to your wedding and letting me help out with set up and stuff. It was really nice to be able to get involved. Suzanne’s family and friends, thanks for letting me stay in your houses even when I didn’t know your card games or was allergic to your cat. Good week, would do again.