US of A Road Trip: Day 1

You know that on a road trip the strongest bladder determines the pit stops. That was certainly true of the week-long road trip that my mom and I took across the Pacific Northwest.

It all started with an idea... mom wanted to go shopping in the US of A. This shopping trip would actually be a road trip... but it would actually be my birthday present. One thing for sure... it was going to be a lot of driving.

It started with just going to Spokane... but then after researching the stores in Spokane, it came very apparent that we weren’t going to Spokane... we needed to go further. How about Seattle? But then why go to Seattle when we can go to Portland. Yes, Portland Oregon. Known as North America’s Best Big City, we decided that this would be our actual destination.

After packing Alistair full of shoes, clothes and a little Ukrainian treat, we set sail for a 9 hour drive to Sandpoint Idaho. We drove through the Crowsnest, through Cranhole and all the way through to the US/Canada border in Yahk BC. Before we hit the border, mom and I figured that we needed to ensure we had the same story for what we would tell the border guard. After finalizing it, we approach the little hut and get the green light to approach his booth.

Border Guard: Where are you heading?
Me: To Portland Oregon.
Border Guard: What is the purpose of your trip?
Me: To help your economy!!
Border Guard: ...

Clearly he wasn’t in the mood for humour; I thought I was hilarious.

We had officially entered Republican territory. There were signs everywhere indicating that the McCain/Palin ticket was the way to go. Uh... ok.

After finally getting to Sandpoint (Megan Fun Fact: Sandpoint is the hometown of Republican VP hopeful Sarah Palin), we drove around the quaint town looking for an even more quaint hotel and restaurant. I hadn’t let mom pee since Fernie; she was starting to get antsy. After driving down some streets and not seeing anything of particular interest... we decided to stop in at the gas station and ask how much further Coeur d’Alene was of a drive. Oh, and to let mom pee.

We do our thing, I hound the shelves for some Combos and we ask the lady behind the counter for her opinion.

Bad idea #1.

Mom: How much further of a drive is it to Coeur d’Alene?
Crazy lady behind the counter: ...
Mom: hello?
Crazy lady behind the counter: Maybe 30 minutes... maybe more... I really don’t know mamn’ – I’ve never been.
Mom: oooook...
Me: slowly backs out of gas station, walks quickly towards Alistair, get in and lock the door.

We both gave each other the WTF look and the decision was made by the sound of squealing tires out of the gas station parking lot. We were heading to Coeur d’Alene.

Bad idea #2

Forty minutes later, we were in Coeur d’Alene and in desperate search of a place to rest our heads and some food for our bellies. After driving the strip twice, we decided that Red Lobster would be the destination. Um... McDonalds would have been 110% better...

After eating a little bit, we made our way to the hotel, found a fantastic room (but only after hearing the life story of the uber odd front desk dude) and tuned into CNN. Sigh. Sleep time.


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