Thursday, December 29

A "Berry" Merry Christmas

The first time I have ever spent Christmas away from the nuclear family (mom, pops, sister and bro) happened to be in Regina, Saskatchewan - I didn't see that one coming.  Not that there is anything wrong with Saskatchewan but I knew missing family Christmas would happen one day but I always pictured it while I was working away in Prague or New Zealand and unable to afford the trek home for the holidays.

My dad's sister, her husband and their 4 delightful progeny were kind enough to host me at the Berry* household with Coco the cat, Peanut the gerbil, three salamanders, one gecko and two underwater frogs for the big day.  We ate too much junk food, I tried out their xbox kinect (the first video game that is ACTUALLY a work out - I could barely stick out 3 levels!), fell for the new Zelda game so much that I'm thinking about getting a wii to play it, played some uno, took lots of naps, and exchanged gifts.  My mommy shipped me my stocking and I cleaned up with a freshwater pearl necklace, a car safety kit, some cool canvas bags, granola, a cookbook, sweet potato & cinnamon muffin mix, and - so that I'm not the only one in my office without one - my very own Fossil purse!

And now a lesson - the second you can afford not to use the greyhound you will suddenly be too good for the greyhound.  12 hours there, 15 hours back - bus limit reached!.  I sat with my legs cramped dreaming of my very own Otto, right in my driveway.  Driving would have allowed me to stop and explore all the dinky little towns along the way that called to me from the loser-cruiser.  The roommate was kind enough to check in on a regular basis regarding the attachment of my head to my body.

And a bit of a rant about the bus system - definitely not built for comfort.  Just a few hours outside regina you will be kicked off the bus in a place called Swiftcurrent.  The bus depot was "conveniently" built in an industrial park with no other sources for nourishment than their very own restaurant.  And what a restaurant it was.  $10 for a juice, a soggy ceasar salad (alliteration!) and a grilled cheese on organ-preserving white bread with rubber "cheese" inside served in a cafeteria.  The worst part was all of the old people sitting around commenting on the fantastic quality of the food.  I would hate to know what most of them eat on a regular basis.  Fine.  Swiftcurrent is small.  Calgary should be better right?  Nope.  The same set up on a larger scale - nothing outside but warehouses - nothing inside but expensive fried food.  AND there is no bus schedule posted (electronic or otherwise) so if one wants to know what time one's bus leaves or from which platform (which your ticket will not tell you) you must wait in line at the ticket/information counter in order to inquire.

*Spelling of last name changed because my aunt is fairly paranoid ;


Cindy said...

It was great celebrating Christmas with you Katie! And just a little insider...the bus depot in Regina serves better food than Swift Current or Calgary :)...which should entice you to come our way more often...Ha! Too funny about the name change. Enjoy the New Year!

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