Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One of the Most Exotic Things I've Ever Done....

Two edits straight from Erin herself: My map is off. we were two hours west of Edmonton, not north. AND they wear wranglers, not levis. Shoulda known... actually. Levis have their own preppy store now, which means they're probably not actually that great of jeans... 

One of the most exotic things I've ever done....

Is go to a wedding in Canada.

Hah! I'm quite serious, and that's not meant as a jibe against Canada at all.
When I was a freshman in college, my closest friends were people I'd met in an international student orientation before the regular orientation started. One of those girls was from the middle of nowhere in Alberta, Canada. Sweet Erin was SO great at humoring us sheltered missionary kids, and when she decided to marry her high school sweetheart, two of us got to go up and and attend the wedding.

It was one of the most fun weekends of my life, in a semester that held a whole bunch of the most fun weekends of my life! We had such great girl time and friend time, AND it was a rich cultural experience.

I mean, we're not just talking Canada... like Toronto or Calgary or Vancouver. We flew into Calgary and drove through Jasper and Banff, which tie with Glacier National Park in Montana as the most beautiful mountains I've ever seen.....


One morning on highway 16 (2/6)

Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

Those aren't my photos, because mine were taken on an old point-and-shoot, and are scanned, like this one below:

And then from Jasper and Banff we drove to Edmonton, which is the northernmost North American city with a population over a million. So.. it's pretty far north. But we didn't stop there. We kept driving.... until we got to some small town in the middle of nowhere that I can't remember the name of. I'm not even sure what direction we were driving. My map below is a wild guess. :)

And from that town, we drove 45 minutes out of "town" to get to Erin's house. Or rather, "property", because that's what it was. Acres and acres of land in the middle of nowhere. For goodness sake, their house backs up to a lake, and it's THEIR LAKE. And Erin was marrying her childhood sweetheart and next door neighbor, except next door neighbor up in the-middle-of-nowhere Alberta means 20 minutes on horseback to the fence in between their two properties (I think).What a way to carry on a romance, right?

It was amazing. For this jungle girl, country living in Canada is super exotic.

It's the kind of place where kittens hide under wooden porches:

The kind of place where they build their own houses, the men wear Levis and cowboy hats, and evidence of hunting is everywhere:

The kind of place where you let guests stay in the loft of the log cabin outside:

The kind of place where the decor on the back of the couch in the living room is a wolf someone caught.... and the back door of the living room opens out to their own lake....

The kind of place that has their own horses, and a ride on the horses can last for an hour and not leave what is technically still the back yard:


It was SO much fun to hang out with Erin, to see her life and her family. The wedding was quite a trip for me - I'd never really been to a real American wedding, let alone a country Canadian wedding (note the flag below!).

I mean, get this, the guys wore cowboy hats:

And even cooler, Erin's dad actually walked her down the aisle with a gun under the other arm, which resulted in much laughter:

Amazing. We decorated the reception hall decorated with hay bales. You know, this sort of barn feel (this isn't it though, just the same type of thing):

barn wedding

So much fun.

The perfect place for....


Keep in mind, I was raised around conservative missionaries, some of whom didn't dance because they believed it was morally wrong, and most of the rest didn't dance in order to avoid offending the others. So... two stepping at Erin's wedding was the first dancing I'd ever really done.

And it was truly the perfect way to learn, because my friend and I from Chicago were two out-of-town visitors in a small community, which gives you next-to-celebrity status for the evening. You know, sorta the fresh meat thing. It was the same way in our small community overseas. Not only that, but Amber and I had grown up overseas, so we were exotic in that community just like their lives were exotic to us. So.... the groom taught us to two-step, and then two other boys in jeans and cowboy hats swept in. And instead of feeling stupid, I felt rather in-demand, hah! It was brilliantly fun and completely country ....

and... I caught the bouquet. :) It so happens I'd met Isaac one week earlier in Chicago, and already had my eye on him.

And finally another one of our amazing Canadian friends drove in from Calgary, got in a dance with the bride, and swept us away into the night and back to the Calgary airport.

We left proclaiming our appreciation for cowboys. Especially ranching Canadian cowboys in Levis with an accent so strange that it was almost Irish. ;)

Erin, your wedding was SO MUCH FUN.
You can tell because I'm writing about it six years later!


Annie Peterson said...

Kacie, I love it that you are taking your old stories and turning them into blog posts! It is fantastic!

And Canadian accents - I'm sure these were different, just like various regions of America have different accents, but I visited Vancouver a few months ago, and the accents sounded like Minnesota, mixed with a bit of English. SO interesting!

Togenberg said...

Very cool! Love the idea of meeting on horses to carry on a romance. And the gun down the aisle is too crazy haha

Bethany said...

Wow, that does look like fun! I've been to Canada but not that far north-- it's gorgeous!!