Friday, May 30, 2008

Nita Lake Lodge - The Tour

Remember when J and I got to stay in that swanky hotel that I told you about. And I think promised a tour - well here it is. But be forewarned this is no Tour Through Mur's House. Mostly because I could get my cough, brother to be humorous or helpful. So I did my best with what I had.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


So, who wants to drive me to Philly on July 9? 'Cause maybe I just read that Regina Spektor is opening for Ani DiFranco in Philly that night. I'm pretty sure that Jesus' return might actually be in and around that date is this is truly what is happening. WOW. Part of my brain and my heart blew when I read that. Wow. Like wow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


You can view more grad shots here.

Proud, Proud Parents

After my parents returned home from grad, they sent me an email asking if I would like my B.A announced in the local newspaper. I thought that was a rad idea and said sure. Since then we have been sending a few emails back and forth with edits of what should be put in this announcement. This morning I sent off what I figured would be the final edit. Then I received this from my Dad:
To: Laura Stewart
Subject: how about this

After 7 long, tortuous years, Laura Stewart has finally graduated from Redeemer University College in Ancaster with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Religion & Theology and Theatre Arts with a minor in English. During Laura's tenure at the Redeemer, fire was discovered and the wheel was invented. It is Laua's intent to bum around this summer, generally drinking too much, staying up too late and hanging around with the wrong sort of people. Next year she's leaving the country. See you around, Laura!
And then this:
Redeemer University College of Ancaster, Ontario regretfully announces the graduation of Laura Stewart of Brighton. Laura was a cash cow for the University, taking 7 years to complete her B.A., majoring in Religion & Theology and Theatre Arts with a minor in English. Although she wasn't always timely with her payments, she was, until her last installment, dependable. Good luck, Laura. How about some night courses in the fall?

I'll scan ya the real one when it hits the papers!

A Few More From Whistler

The price of pasta!

Johnny and I in front of Nita Lake

I ticked another one off my list!

JStew, the world class luger, getting ready to do the fastest track in the world.

Me demonstrating the height of the track.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thoughts, Goals, Time, Space and Bicycles

Fact: I am unemployed
Fact: I am very tired

After a visit to a treasured friend last week I had a thought. The thought was that maybe I didn't get the job I had really hoped for because God was giving me a gift of time. The past 7 years here in Hamilton have been great, but they have been hard. I was saying to a friend last night that this post graduation feeling is like I'm standing on a peak of a mountain - its not the tallest peak, but the view is still breathtaking. But standing on this peak, I am not unscathed. I have scars, I am bruised, I am bleeding, in spots I am broken. None of this detracts from the view, in fact it makes it sweeter.

So I think that this summer, unless God tells/shows me different I am going to try and just get enough work to pay the bills. This will leave me with time to sleep more and let my body heal, time to pray and soak in the word, time to do lots of core strengthening ball exercises, and whatever else comes my way. This of course is all up to discipline, finding the right amount of part time work (I have ideas) and a few other things. If full time work that doesn't kill me comes along and I'm supposed to take it, then I will. But I think this is the plan of action for now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

April 26 - May 17

I am not a rock star, but I did drive (or was in a vehicle) to these places in the past 3 weeks:
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Alberta
  • British Colombia


So I'm in the Vancouver Airport on my way back. I will try and continue posting pics and stories over the next week to finish catching you up. Buuuut there will be a little delay in posting as I'll be tied up on Saturday graduating from university. Subtle. Grin.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Whistler pt 1

Pan Pacific Hotel

The 6-plex John lives in from the back

Stir fry ingredients at the Mongolie Grill - employer of John's girlfriend and sometimes John

The view from Green Lake

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Van City All-Stars

Word. I am in Vancouver at my Uncle and Aunts house. John should be collecting Hayley from the airport right now and heading back to Whistler.

I'll give all y'all a taste of yesterday sometime on Tuesday. As for now, I'm pretty exhausted and looking forward to some time to sleep, and then a time with people I haven't seen in a long time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Extra Pics - updated

I posted some pictures on Facebook of Ontario and the prairies.

You can find them here and here. Oh and now, here.

Nita Lake Lodge

Well, we talked to John's landlord and her evil spin doctor daughter this morning. They told J that they could be out of his apartment by Sunday evening, but it would mean that there would exposed drywall and plaster in various places in the apartment, that the closet wouldn't be put back together, part of the bathroom would be left uncompleted too. Also, the dryer, half the point of this reno project, was not even working. So they wanted to figure that out, or they would have to call the contractor back after this long weekend. John didn't really want this, and he knew Hayley would not want to come back from a couple weeks in Costa Rica to a partially renovated apartment. Therefore we needed to let them stay over Sunday night and keep working on Monday.

Frankly, they weren't too apologetic about leaving John without an apartment and tried to blame him for coming back to an apartment that he pays rent for, a few days earlier than he had thought he would, and that they started renos they didn't know they could finish in time. Growl.

We didn't want to stay another night on someone's living room floor - and people had been fleeing town for the weekend. Nor did we want to skip town ourselves as I only have 2 days here in Whistler. So we considered a hotel. We told the landlady this and she said she would pay for the whole thing, then the daughter (who kept doing all the talking for her Mom and who I would willingly fight on behalf of my beloved brother), said that she should only pay half as she had been staying in a hotel for a bunch of the time that the renos were happening. In my head I gave her a lot of dirty looks. Fortunately for us, Mom and Dad generously agreed to pick up the other half.

The landlady had told us we had to stay at The Legend as it would be cheaper than other places. We walked in, asked them what their cheapest available room was and were quoted 309$. Cough, too much to get people to pay for. We were pretty bumed.

There was one hotel in the south of Creekside that we hadn't thought to check. So John in all his infinite wisdom thought we should walk down to Nita Lake Lodge. The lobby was very posh looking and we were expecting to be quoted hundreds of dollars. Buuut, no, already long story shorter, we are in a suite at the cost of 159$ plus taxes. Sweet suite.

We've just been relaxing tonight with the flat screen tvs. I'll post some pics tomorrow or the next day. But this place is nice! So we're doing ok.

Saturday's Drive


Clouds - i took it upside down on purpose


John and the Duffy pass

Me and the Duffy pass

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just So You Know

We're here.

I'll explain later.

What The Schlagt/What A (written last night)

After 4 hours of waiting and suntanning in Golden, highway 1 opened and John and I were able to get forward momentum. We saw where the mudslide had been and it looked like some massive amounts of work needed to be done in order to let cars pass through again.

Eager to keep moving westward, we only stopped for gas and to pick up a couple of Hot and Ready's from a Little Caesars. John knew that one of the hardest parts of the drive lay ahead - Duffy's pass. Having now completed this pass myself, and consulting John, we're pretty sure Duffy was a raging drunk. We did Cache Creek to Lilleoot in the after supper sun. But dusk settled quickly and we did Lilleoot to Pemberton in the dark. We encountered 13 deer. It was insane hair pin turns, one lane bridges, dirt roads at times, up, down, winding, craziness.

So you can imagine how tired we were once we finally hit Whistler. We got to John and Hayley's place and we found their landlord's daughter there. Their landlord had told them that when they were gone she was going to have a washer and dryer installed. John told them that he was aiming to be back in town on the 19th, but maybe earlier. The landlord and said daughter decided that they would also tear up the bathroom floor, put new flooring in the living room, hall, bathroom, and bedroom, as well as wash the dust out of the place. Aka a few renos! In order to do this they have had to tear various part of the apartment apart. All of their belongings are in the living room and the landlords daughter was sleeping in their room that was also in massive disarray. This meant that there wasn't even room for the two of us to sleep AND the two of them have Sunday and Monday booked to finish the renos - aka the only two days that I am in Whistler to visit John. What. the. schlagt?!?

We were too tired to go over what I am assuming is breaking the landlord - tenant act. Currently we are at John's co-worker/friend Adrien's place for some sleep and then we figure something out tomorrow. John is very angry and upset, I'm tired and emotional was really just looking forward to chilling in Whistler with John and having a home base for the first time in a few days. We have some things to say to the landlord and the daughter tomorrow after sleep and extra thought. There are a few ideas in our heads on how this can be rectified.

But for right now we are sunburnt, smelly and tired. Sleeping we can take care of right now and well, John has been asleep on the floor here for the entirety of my writing this post. Things will work out.

Ha ha - oh, and I"m pretty sure I left my pj's in Calgary. Sigh. What a day!

Saturday, May 17, 2008



Cutting through

Locals in Golden

Making the most of things

The Sunshine Is Golden

So I'm sitting beside the gym of the Ponderosa Motor Inn in Golden, BC. Highway #1 is closed from Golden to Revelstoke because of a mudslide in Glacier Bay National Park. If you consult a map you'll see that the only way to get where we want to go (which is Whistler) is to take said closed highway - unless we want to go up through Jasper, which we don't. Alors, we're just sitting here in the west end of Golden waiting for the road to open again. The radio and the interweb tell us that it will be around 2pm mountain time for that to happen, but thats not a guarantee, and they'll update us about half an hour before that to see for sure. Sadly we're really at the west, west end of things, so it would be a long walk to anything other than some restaurants or hotels, so no postcards to be found for me. Actually I haven't bought a postcard yet - so sad. John is keeping very solid guard of the car as he doesn't entirely trust the growing band of travelers that are clogging up there. I can understand, its not his car.

There is a very large cross section of humanity lined up along the Trans-Canada Highway on a Saturday of the first long weekend of the summer. Oh - John just joined me in the shade of the unsecured internet land. Anyway, yeah, we're just chilling here, looking at some mountains, breathing some air.

B-Randon And Onward

I kind of ran out of time to give you the skinny about Brandon, MB. We stayed here:

It was actually pretty nice. They have a water slide - which was closed since we got there late and left early - and a bar called The 40, and they had a fridge in the room, which was nice. Oh, and lots of water pressure.

Highlights of yesterday's drive include:
  • meeting a man who has been with A&W in Canada for 45 year - the longest in the country. his name is Ron and if you see nostalgia pics in A&W restaurants of some dude in a chicken man car, its him
  • talking more about moose, and then John seeing one lumbering along the side of the road, looking a little like a horse with antlers, me going, "woah yeah" and then it actually turning out to be a hiker with a really tall backpack
  • John doing a few push-ups in the middle of the Trans Canada Highway
It looks like we're pushing on to Whistler from here. Woooord.


Alors, we're in Calgary, staying at the lovely house of Rachel and Clint. Maybe they took us to the Keg, and it was great. Maybe they have tiny lovely baby.

Prairie sunset after Winnipeg

Uhh, classic prairie pic

Miles and miles of, well, uh...

Sometimes you stick your head through the sunroof

The Indian head at Indian Head.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Then More

Word. We're in Calgary. We're at my friend Raq's place. I'm gonna have a quick shower and then come back and post some more interesting stuff.

Sometimes its weird that we did 3 provinces today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In A Van Down By The River

  • currently John and I are in a parking lot of a Holiday Inn in Dryden, stealing their internet and using their camper plugs to charge batteries
  • we slept in the car last night outside of Wawa. It was um, cold. We slept about 3 hours before we gave up because we were too cold. We've been on the road ever since
  • I think Lake Superior is creepy, really creepy
  • maybe we came up 'that road' (I can't even remember what we've been on) that snakes along Lac Superior, maybe we did it laaaaaate at night. maybe there was a lot of warning for moose. maybe we stopped at the scene of a very, very recent accident - like we were the second car on the scene - there was a dead moose, a totaled car, man. John was the one to get out of the car (he was driving), a middle aged couple were fairly banged up (nothing too serious) and another driver had things under control
  • you want to bet we took it slo-ow after that, as the EMS vehicles passed us to the other
  • we saw two more live moose, and a couple of bats
  • freaking Lake Superior
  • from The Soo to here we've seen over 70 watch for moose signs

Yesterday's ferry

Last night's sunset over creepy, creepy Superior

This morning's breakfast palace in Terrace Bay (they were BIG Leaf fans there!)

Terry Fox, overlooking the nation (via Thunder Bay)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ferrys, Rain, Sun, GPS

So remember when I said we were doing things in an approximate way? Well I meant it. John’s girlfriend’s father gave us his GPS unit to use in our travels. It’s not quite as slick as the unit we used to head down south, but still helpful. We figured it would strongly suggest we take the 407 north to the 400 and upwards. Surprisingly it didn’t. It suggested we take highway 6 as far north as we could – Tobermory. Cough, what?

When we scanned out on the GPS map and it said we needed to drive across Georgian Bay. This troubled us as we don’t have an amphibious car. Consultation with John’s map book revealed there was a ferry. As we continued to head north through Guelph we thought we should find out maybe when the ferry was leaving, what it cost, etc. One of John's friends randomly had the ferry number in his phone, we called and we decided that we could make the 1:30 ferry.

We made the ferry. It was choppy. We were a little nauseous for a bit. Got our sea legs and rode out the hour and forty-five minutes.

We are now in Sault St. Marie and just had supper and we're heading up Wawa way to likely sleep in the car.

I'll get some pictures up when I'm not using weak wireless at Dairy Queen.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Johnny's here, our bellies are full of nachos and good cheer. And we know that woman at the Brassie doesn't know squat about music from the 80's. Well, other than the fact that Aerosmith is her favourite band.

This is a trip of approximations. There are some rough goals. Roughly, this is how we're going. Roughly. Roughly there may be some sleeping in the car. Roughly we're going to Wawa. That makes me giggle. Waaaawaaaa! Approximately we are both already really tired because we stayed up to a million at night the entire time we were in Brighton. This, oh this, should be a good trip!


Two words: Indiana Jones


Maybe my parents surprised me today - maybe this morning they asked me if I might want to drive with John to Whistler and then fly back in time for grad on the 24. Maybe I said, "well, I don't know, me and my lack of job are pretty dang busy, but I guess I can fit it in."

We leave Wednesday morning.

Expect as many updates as I can manage.

Maybe Dad is sending his camera with us.

We are kicking off this voyage with a time of fellowship and Brassie Nachos, Tuesday May 13, 2008, 6:30pm. You are invited. But if you're gonna come, lemme know via email or the comment section so I can warn the Brassie staff.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just In Case You Didn't Know

Monday = new cycle of American gladiators

Wednesday = season finale of America's Next Top Model

These truly are exciting times to be alive.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Creation, Fall, Redemption

Sometimes it makes me sad that I have to spend time in thought and prayer about who is safe to submit to/be submissive with. It sucks that I've been wrong.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Not The Way It Should Be

Today when I was driving home I passed a bus stop near my apartment. At the bus stop was a girl. She looked to be between the ages of 14 and 17. She was wearing flip flops, a long flowy skirt and a t-shirt. Her hair was long and fell in tight spirals, her face adorned with glasses and ears filled with music coming from headphones. It was raining. This girl was singing, it looked like she was singing in full voice to the music pumping through the headphones. And she was jumping up and down, dancing to the same beats. She didn't care how many cars were driving by.

But do you know what my first thought was when I saw her? I wondered if she had some sort unmanaged mental illness. So because she was unabashedly singing and dancing in public, I thought there was something wrong with her. Then I realized the something was wrong with me and the thinking I'm surrounded by here in this hemisphere.

I think I need to dance and sing in the rain more.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Hopes Shouldn't Have Been Up

Turns out I shouldn't have had my hopes up to go road tripping with John to begin with. The grad gift isn't able to happen any more. Bring on the monthly payments baby! (throws pennies in the air and begins to dance)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogging Into The Future

So Blogger finally gave us the ability to schedule posts to be published in the future. Which, ack, I did with this post. I'm sitting in church right now, but while I'm doing that, this post is being published! Wah! I've been waiting for this feature for a while - 'cause some days I get more ideas than are readable by you, my friendly bloggership. So then I have to keep the ideas and put them as drafts and remember to post them later, or just scrap them. Now I can write them and schedule them to be posted the next day, the next week, etc.

I was thinking about this and how it could be used as a tool. It brought to mind the first season of Alias. One of the main character's best friends is a reporter. He discovers all of this stuff about a pretty evil organization and they kinda sorta wanna kill him for it. In the interest of pursuing the truth he continues to chase after the story even though his life is threatened. But he does something sort of interesting - he knows that he's about to go somewhere crazy dangerous and that really really bad things could happen to him, so he writes up everything he has so far and gives it to another reporter friend. He tells her that if he doesn't come back, that something has happened to him and that she has to publish the story. Its kind of like a wacked out insurance policy.

Soooo, if I think I'm going somewhere dangerous or something, I'll write up some post to let you all know that I've been drugged and left near a pier in Hong Kong or something. But likely it'll be that I got lost on the East side looking for a better deal on fixing my car's air conditioning, and didn't get back in time to unschedule the post. Hong Kong is nice in the summer. :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tell Me On A Sunday Please

The truth comes out, and is broken to me in a beautiful way:

Fat contains lots of energy (calories). If we don't use this energy we store it as fat in our own bodies, saving the energy for future use. Sadly the fat often ends up where we don't want it, leading to podgy stomachs and big bums.
- from
I had always wondered what was causing my podgy stomach and big bum.

I'm An Adult Now (Boo)

So sometimes (read many many times), being an adult sucks. I'm sure that's why I managed to stretch my undergrad out for so long - to avoid officially becoming one.

My plans for this summer have been in a constant flux - things fall through, firm up, fall through, etc etc. Its left me feeling a little like I'm swimming in a sea of grey, looking for a life boat of black and white details. As it stands right now, I'm in Hamilton for the summer (though this seems to be subject to change) but without a job.

The joblessness is coinciding with the need to pay my car insurance bill - which I choose to do in one lump sum because its cheaper that way, and I have so (oh so) many other monthly payments to make (once again the undergrad shows its ugly head). Luckily it seems that I am getting a cash gift from my set of wealthy grandparents that will help a lot with this bill.

The suck-tastic thing is that I have to use my grad gift to pay for my car insurance (believe me i am very thankful for my car, for the use of it and i know how lucky i am to have it). Especially since I am relatively commitment free, there are a few ways I could think of to spend that money, and oh, maybe all of them have nothing to do with continuing to be a whipping boy for the insurance industry.

This ties in and creates some rage/angst/sadness in the context of what is happening next week. John is coming to Ontario. He is flying in and then driving his girlfriend's car back to Whistler. None of his guy friends are able to ride back with him and then fly back. My brother is one of my best friends. We may not operate like typical best friends, but daaamn, I love him, I love to spend time with him - we have so much in common (which i know, we grew up together in the country, but a lot of siblings are very different from each other). We love to talk about music and books and politics and sports and religion and people and pretty much everything.

We had talked, back in the day when it looked like we were going to graduate at the same time, that it would be super cool to tour Europe together. John, uh, needs to finish up still, but that won't be for a while. So no Europe. But here is a great chance for us to spend some really cool time together, and then for me to see family and friends in B.C and come back for grad. But standing in the way is car insurance, rent, phone, phone, internet, hydro, osap, line of credit, Redeemer - all bills. I need to stay put and make money. I need to pay the bills. I hate being an adult right now, its depriving me of time with my only sibling (and best friend).