Vacation Thoughts

Two trips, some thoughts, and a new itch to travel.

Hey everyone! Guess who is back from vacation?

I managed to schedule both of my biggest things this summer in the span of two and a half weeks, meaning my Instagram was great for 18 days and then will go back to attempted artsy photos.

I went to America for the first time since 2005 when I visited Minneapolis, Minnesota first. A few weekends later, it was off to Montreal for my first Osheaga. In the interim, I took some time off from writing because vacation is vacation, and also my mom came to visit Thunder Bay. It was nifty.

Anyways, I figured my first post back from vacation might as well be about the vacations themselves. This won’t be like one of those vacation slide shows where I show Let’s start with America.

Minnesota & Going Back to America

Like I said, it’s been 12 years since I was last in the U.S. of A. Lots can change in 12 years. For example, I learned how to not wear my hair like a sheepdog.

Also, the Fast and the Furious movies went from two movies about Vin Diesel stealing cars to eight movies about The Rock attempting to blow up the sun, I think. Lots of change, and lots of things to notice.

  • When people asked us why we had come to Minneapolis, they were very confused to hear us say vacation. They couldn’t really grasp that they were the best tourist destination in an 7 hour radius of Thunder Bay, but it’s the truth.
  • Generalization time, but wow people love putting bumper stickers on cars in America. No better way to show off that you’re still a Bernie Bro than keeping the sticker of him for 2016 on your ’99 Toyota Corolla for all to see. Strong opinions on the backs of cars too, which seems like a great way to get the family behind you to all turn on each other on their way to Walgreens.
  • The main part of the trip was to see a couple Minnesota Twins games. The last one fell on Military Appreciation Day and it was an experience. While Canada seems to have a much more subdued and quieter patriotism (World Junior Hockey Championships excluded), there was a ton of out loud patriotism in that ball park: people in American flag shirts, a military helicopter flying overhead, multiple USA chants, and one hell of a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. When I hear Americans chant that they are number one, I kind of get it. They’re told it every day.
  • For some reason, debit machines that come to your table are not a thing in the U.S. and it’s oddly stressful seeing someone just walk away with your credit card.
  • When an American learned we were Canadian, they would pop if we said “eh.” Made for an easy way to make friends.
  • I’m really excited to go to my 3rd state, Nebraska, in November now. Bring on corn!


Montreal a.k.a. When I Learned I Should’ve Taken French Through High School

Montreal is a beautiful city with vibrant art and culture and an affinity for bagels. If the Habs weren’t in the town, I’d probably like to live there. Kidding, kind of.

  • Osheaga music festival is a beautiful disaster. Beautiful in terms of location, music, aesthetic, everything. The disaster was getting in and out of the park, and trying to find friends. Sorry, friends I didn’t see.
  • Nothing is stranger than meeting someone from your far past and seeing how much you may have changed but things can still be similar. Case in point – seeing an old middle school friend who has been so successful in the arts made me happy for them, and hungry for me. It’s now a more focused goal, I think. So thanks for that if you’re reading. Catching up with you briefly was a highlight of the trip.
  • Always charge your phone before a music festival. Always.
  • I hadn’t been in a mosh pit since the eighth grade (trying to impress the girl from two points earlier, I’m pretty sure) but it was fun as hell. PUP is great.
  • There is so much music that I had no idea was out there and incredible. The three days were a crash course in genres I have no expertise in, and that made it so much fun.
  • Festival stand hot dogs are not enough to sustain a person for a full three days.
  • Montreal is another city to revisit on a non-festival weekend to take in the sights. The people are so nice and the street art was incredible.

Final Thoughts

I know lots of people get struck by the travelling bug, and these are some pretty tame forays into the world. My dad sarcastically called me worldly and Carmen Sandiego when I got back. Yet for me, this is a big expansion. Minneapolis is one of the farthest places I’ve gone from my hometown, and Montreal was my first real time in Quebec.*

*I refuse to count a one-time trip to Hull to go to a casino with my university roommates. No French was spoken, and we lost what seemed like a lot of money during roulette.

So, where to next? Aside from Nebraska, my calendar is open. If you have any suggestions, comment them or message them to me! I’m down to road trip, and my flight anxiety is slowly but surely leaving me. Til next time, friends!

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