Over the weekend, I had a whirlwind visit back home to Ontario to attend a childhood friend’s wedding.
When I accepted the position here in Bonnyville, I’d already RSVP’d to the wedding and panicked that I might not be able to make it. (Not that it would have been an issue, my friend was surprised when I confirmed I’d be coming after the move.)
I was excited with the prospect of a visit home before Christmas, and counted down the days until I could cuddle my parents’ cats and my 11-month-old nephew.
My planning wasn’t great though.
I didn’t think of how taking the red-eye back to Ontario would affect me, completely forgetting about the time change, or when I’d be able to have a good night’s sleep.
I didn’t land in Toronto until 5:30 a.m. on Friday, and didn’t stop until I arrived at my apartment in Bonnyville around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Visiting friends, family, and the local hot spots kept me busy.
I hadn’t told too many people I was visiting because I didn’t know if I’d have time to see everyone. This left me the chance to surprise people when I did run into them, sharing my tales of getting lost in rural Alberta (all the time) and attending the rodeo for the first time. They teased me about my lack of a winter coat, and my shock with thee being snow in September.
At the wedding, people were surprised when they heard I’d come from Alberta and some wondered the excuses of those that didn’t show up that were considerably closer than I was.
It seemed like barely a day had gone by when I was packing up my luggage, and running through the house to see if I’d forgotten anything. (I did, I’m just not sure what yet.)
Just like when I left to drive across Canada in June, the hardest goodbye for me was saved for last. My mom and I parted ways in the airport after avoiding the inevitability that I was leaving again and wouldn’t be coming home with her.
Through our tears, we said our goodbyes and I stumbled my way through security. A small delay had me getting back to my car around midnight Alberta time, and I had the bright idea to drive along Hwy. 28 listening to a true crime podcast that had me gripping the steering wheel as hard as I could.
It was a great visit home, where the lack of sleep was ignored to have the chance to watch my friend be a beautiful bride and dance the night away with her new husband.
I wouldn’t have changed a thing.