Tuesday, 3 September 2013

My Spontaneous Roadtrip

My summer has been non-stop. I got a six-week job, working 32 hours a week, and balanced my part-time retail job, working usually 12 hours a week, sometimes 20, occasionally a little more. I did it because one job was temporary, so I just had to power through, and then could go back to having days off. Buuuut.... I got another job, starting the Monday after the first one ended, and this one is 40 hours a week. 8-5, Monday-Friday is great, unless I'm also working up to three evenings, and every Saturday.

It's been two weeks at the new job, and I love it. I also love my other job, and I don't want to quit either one. I actually enjoy both, but I am beginning to burn out. My part-time job promised to cut it back to hopefully one evening a week, and Saturdays, but that stills only leaves me with one day off.

But, hey, guess what! It was just labour day weekend! And my full-time job closed their doors for a whole day on Monday. The retail job asked if I wanted some holiday hours, but I didn't. I wanted two whole days off, in a row, for the first time in recent memory.

You want to know what I did? I'm sure you do, since you're still reading. I took a roadtrip to Saskatoon. It's only a two and a half hour drive, and I have a bunch of friends living up there now, so right after work on Saturday, I packed an overnight bag, hopped in the car and left. My roommate, Ann, came with me. Despite working a normal amount of hours, she'd been tired, worn out, and wishing for a getaway for awhile too. Hubby didn't come with me, because the only people he cared about (the couple I stayed with) were going to busy the whole weekend. I made the decision to go on Friday night, Ann made the decision about half an hour before we left. It was the most spontaneous roadtrip I have ever taken.

We drove up on Saturday night, arrived at the apartment, played a board game, set up an air mattress (for me, Ann got the bed - it's a long story) and then went to bed. The couple we were staying with had to leave early in the morning, so by the time I got up, they were gone. We had seen a Target on the way to their place, so Ann and I went to Target. Call us Canadian, but neither of us have ever been to a Target before. We bought bagels (for her) and gluten-free cereal and milk (for me) and then had breakfast at the apartment.

I had lunch plans, so I took off in the afternoon. One of my solitary goals for the weekend was to hit up EE Burritos, which is a Latin American restaurant, and features a little grocery store that sells authentic Mexican everything, and is rumoured to sell crazy cheap corn tortillas. I tried to swing by on my way, but they are closed Sundays and holidays. Naturally. Why can't I catch a break?

I went for lunch anyways, met my friend at her new suite, and then walked a block down to a Mexican-Caribbean resort grill. I had the most amazing guacamole I have ever had in my life, and some really delicious enchiladas. Las Palapas features made-in-house corn tortillas, and I was assured against any cross-contamination.

The whole place feels like you're in a Mexican Resort

After lunch, my friend needed sleep, because she was coming off of a 12-hour night shift, so I was left to my own devices for a little while. I spent awhile driving around near the river, without anywhere to be, and with my GPS just turned off. It was bliss. I stumbled into a Tim Hortons, got a coffee, and sipped it, observing my surroundings, and discovering I was right in the middle of sketchville. Like, that might have been a hooker, and maybe I should sit facing my car, with my purse on my lap, and oh hey, that women is totally an addict, and not to coffee.

So that was my adventure! I later managed to get right in the middle of hipsterville. You know, the trendy street, that has all the fairtrade, organic, gluten free places. I don't have a problem with that! I might make fun of it, and definitely make fun of some of the people, but I love fair trade, organic, gluten free things! I admire vegan things, I check out local things. I love Broadway Ave, for all my poking fun. However, I don't love it at 5:30 on a Sunday, the day before a holiday. Everything was closed, and would be closed the next day, except! A little Mexican grocery store! What if I could find my corn tortillas? They were closed Sundays, but they didn't have a sign about the holiday, so I crossed my fingers and went the following day. Closed. As in, locked, without a single sign or any indication. Sadface.

Anyways, back to Sunday. Ann had the key to the apartment, but she had plans with her cousins, and spent the day out. So I didn't have plans, and couldn't go back to the apartment, which is why I ended up in these places. Eventually, my friend texted me. We had made vague plans for Sunday afternoon, but she hadn't texted me, so I was just waiting. She finally did, and then I went to her place. She also works night shifts, so I'm not giving her heck for not texting me. I completely understand the importance of sleep. Both her and her boyfriend were super hungry, so they found a nearby Asian place, and he called, asked about gluten free options (the answer was about 60% of their menu) and we went. I thought it was sweet of him to call ahead like that. I'm pretty sure he was just that hungry.

The place was called The Asain Bowl, and it was really a hole-in-the-wall Asian place, but it was legit Asian. I think they do Vietnamese, Thai and Korean food, but it was the real stuff, not the American versions of it. The waitress was surprisingly helpful, knew what gluten-free was, and checked with the chef before putting in my order. I had a Pad Thai, which is probably my favourite Asian meal.

My friend dropped off her boyfriend, because he needed to do something, and then the two of us drove around, chatted and caught up. We haven't seen each other in a really long time, but I love spending time with her, because we're a lot alike in a lot of unexpected ways.

Eventually, she needed to nap to work again that night, so I texted Ann, and headed back to the apartment. We sat around chatting until going to bed, and the couple we were staying with got home pretty late.

My morning plan was to get up at ten, get ready, get gas, meet Banana at eleven, check out that Mexican grocery store, and then go for lunch at her favourite restaurant.

I got up at ten, started getting ready, and was nearly ready when the couple was up and about. So I talked to them for a little while, and then realized it was quarter after eleven. So I finished getting ready, and went to get gas. Banana gave me the (ever-loving) gears for being late, as usual, but I didn't even care. The whole weekend was about not stressing out. We went to Broadway Ave, and discovered that the little grocery store was closed, depressingly, and that everything good on Broadway was closed too. We went to La Bamba, her favourite place, and it was closed. We also went to Leydas (an entirely gluten and nut free restaurant) and it was closed. So was The Griffin Takeaway, which apparently has gluten free sandwiches and stuff. Essentially everything local and small was closed for the holiday.

During our driving and hunting, we passed a fresh fruit stall, and I bought some Taber corn, three kinds of fresh fruit, and some potatoes. I love stalls like that.

The biggest onions I've ever seen

We eventually found a place that was open and had gluten free selections. The Spadina Freehouse, which is quite the opposite of free. I don't understand the name, but it is a fancy restaurant. We sat on the patio, and looked up at the Delta Bessborough, easily the fanciest and most prestigious hotel in Saskatchewan. I had a fancy schmancy cranberry apple salad, and we shared some sweet potato fries. Something went wrong though, because we got our food before our appetizer, so then they took the fries off the bill. I know a restaurant like that has an image to uphold or whatever, but I was a little surprised.

Our view, the Delta Bessborough

After that, we went to the Midtown, mostly because I *needed* to shop at Lush. I really needed to, okay? It's somewhere I go every time I'm in Saskatoon, and usually I walk in with a low budget, only buy one or two things, and then spend the next month thinking about the products I should have bought. This time, I just found the things I had been thinking about since last time, and bought them. I spent a little more than I would have liked, but I don't regret a single purchase. This is the second I've been since diagnosis-day, and their appeal to me has raised a lot because of that. Everything is gluten-free, except three oatmeal products (a soap, a body bar, and a face mask - all of which I've heard wonderful things about) and a beer-based shampoo. I can totally trust everything else. (*Disclaimer: I'm sure there are other products, either in the past, the future, or in bigger stores, but they do clearly list all of the ingredients on every bottle, and they minimize the amount of crap in everything, so it's all just a little more trustworthy than the average shampoo bottle.)

We also shopped for some clothes, and I bought one dress shirt. I tried on a bunch, but I just wasn't really in a clothes-buying mood. Banana bought a bunch of stuff, but she starts university right away, so she really did need those boots, and those coloured jeans, and that new purse. As much as I tease her, I actually totally get it. I bought a whole bunch of new clothes before starting my new job. It's just necessary.

I would've bought the boots if I didn't have giant feet

I only made two other purchases. One, I'm really excited about, and the other was probably the most frustrating thing of my weekend. My husband decided, about a week ago, that he wanted a gyroscope. At first, he just sent me a link to one. Then, he said Wal-Mart didn't have it. And then he spent Saturday, while I was at work, going to every store that might possibly carry it, and getting more and more disappointed. When I planned my spontaneous roadtrip, his one and only condition was that I try to find one. On Sunday, during my driving around and killing time, I passed Toys 'R' Us, and I thought if anybody has it, it will be them. So I willingly entered parent-hell. That store is massive, and overwhelming, and I was so thankful that A) I do not have children, B) I did not have any children with me and C) I was not pressured to buy the perfect gift for anyone. I cannot imagine trying to be in that store if anything of those things were different. I managed to escape with only spending $2! (I found baby socks for $1/pair, and had to buy one boy, one girl pair! Hubby wasn't quite as impressed as I was.) Oh, right! So, they didn't have gyroscopes. They were listed on their website, but the manager of that department said they haven't had them in a few years.

When Banana and I were at the mall and went into Go! Toys and Games. I honestly just walked in, walked up to a sales lady, and asked if she had gyroscopes. She squinted, and tilted her head for a second, and I was just waiting for the no, and then she walked across the store, picked up a box, and said, "This?" I bought it and walked out. I was excited that I'd finally found it, but mostly just frustrated at how elusive this one toy was, and how desperately my husband wanted it. I guess I left out how many times he texted me over the weekend asking if I'd checked certain stores, and reminding me to look for one. I was just fed up. But I found it, I bought it, and I was done. This might be why we don't have children yet.

The last purchase I made was red lipstick. I've been looking at red lipsticks for awhile, I've bought a couple really cheap ones, and I hated them all. I decided I just couldn't pull of red lipstick, and moved on. But it's such a trend right now, and I so love the colour red, that I couldn't let it go. I read a blog post last week about finding the right red lipstick, and the blogger said to just go to Sephora, and pay $25 for one. You could buy $5 ones, but you'll probably end up buying five or more before you find the right one. Just give in, and ask the professionals to find you one. So when I saw a Sephora at the mall, I dragged Banana in. "Dragged" is a loose term. She spent more than I did.

I started looking at the lipsticks, looking for the cheapest brand (I'm sorry, I can't squelch the frugal deal-finder inside), and several brands were $23, so I settled for that. Then I found a sales lady, and told her my diemna. That being that I'm insecure, unsure about my skin tone, I have red hair, but I really want a red lipstick. She showed me several on the back of her hand, I pointed at my favourite, and she had me try it on. I liked it, but I was afraid I looked like I was playing dress-up. After much fretting, she got a make-up lady, who reassured me it did look good, and talked about different tones of lipsticks. She showed me a few more in a similar tone, and I liked one or two, but before I tried one on, I had to show Banana the one on my face. She's really good at going, "Oh, Robynne, don't buy that." She went, "Wow! It's shocking, but in a very good way. Definitely buy it." So I didn't even try any more on. I bought the first one, and spent the rest of the day wearing red lipstick... And a florescent pink dress. I'm not sure I would have paired those two on purpose.

So that is officially the most expensive single piece of makeup I've ever bought, but I think it's totally worth it.

Oh, because this is a gluten-free blog, I should mention I did consider buying gluten-free makeup. Sephora does carry a few lines, and the lipsticks run $40+... So I figured just plain lipstick is an okay start.

And that was my shopping day.

It was almost dinner time at this point, so I went back to the apartment, where the wonderful couple we stayed with made dinner for Ann and I. I am jealous of my friend's creative kitchen skills, and access to fresh produce. She recently had several people say "This grew in our garden - here, take it." And as such, made zucchini and fresh tomatoes. We also had chicken, and some of the corn I picked up at the stall. She did everything on the barbeque, so it really was the perfect end of summer dinner.

She spiced the chicken breasts with a variety of italian spices, and italian flavoured olive oil, and tossed them on the BBQ. Next were the zucchini slices, which were marinaded for about fifteen minutes and then grilled. The corn she soaked in water for about half an hour, and then peeled enough to remove the silk, left the husk on, and tossed them on the BBQ. And finally, she drizzled the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with feta cheese. Isn't it just a lovely meal? Everything was splendid and delicious, and it was probably my favourite meal of the weekend!

Shortly after dinner, we packed up, said our goodbyes and hit the long road home. We got home a little on the late side, but I would have been fine if I'd gone straight to bed. But, you know, when you haven't seen your husband for two days, you don't go straight to bed. We sat up, talking all about our weekends, and then I just plain did not want to wake up this morning. I had plans to do up my hair, wear my new red lipstick, and all that, but no. I rolled out of bed and went to work.

Overall, I feel rested, and relaxed. I'm happy, I'm socialized, and I'm so ready to face another week of too much work. Actually, it's a short week thanks to the holiday! This So I am good to go. I loved my little vacation from life, and my adventures, and my spontaneity. The weekend was exactly what I've been needing. I promised everyone I would visit again, probably the next time I squeeze in two days off. And next time, I will bring my husband. We will take a little trip together. I promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment