First Anniversary

Jeffrey Larson

At the time of this writing, Sarah and I have just celebrated our 1st year wedding anniversary together.

I booked the Romance Package at Chateau Canmore in Canmore Alberta (this is in the Rocky Mountains). This included a hotel room suite, gift and candle lit dinner. Needless to say, Sarah and I were pretty excited about that.

Here in southern Alberta we’ve had too much rain. There have been many floods throughout the area. On Saturday as we were driving out to Canmore, we got caught in a line-up, waiting to be told to turn around. The Trans-Canada Highway was “closed due to 6 feet of water on the road about 10 minutes ahead.”

After waiting in a long line of cars for what felt like an hour, we were told we could still get to Canmore since highway 1A was still open. So we turned around and then headed to Cochrane, to get to the 1A. It was getting late, about 6:30pm -ish by now.

Travelling along the 1A, most people were turning off to get back to the Trans-Canada, but we knew that the 1A went all the way into Canmore. So we continued on. This road was terrible, there was potholes everywhere.

Over a knoll we came, and then we hit the biggest hole in the road, hitting it super hard. Oh crap. We kept driving, the steering felt funny, definitely something wrong. But there was no place to pull over, no shoulder, that crappy road. Finally we found a place to get out of the way of traffic to check it out. The wheel rim was totally dented and the hubcap cracked. Shoot. I got out the jack and raise the Jetta up off the busted wheel… with much difficulty. This place we found to pull over was loose gravel and the jack wasn’t staying still.

After I had tightened the lug-nuts on the donut spare we have, we were on our way again, upset with the dented wheel, worried that we had damaged our new tires*.

* Side-note: you have to know at this point that we had just dealt with a flat tire 2 weekends prior on our trip to Kamloops, where we ended up buying 4 brand new tires.

We made it to the hotel in Canmore at about 7:30pm, parked the crippled car and went to check in to our suite for the “Romance Package”. The lady who checked us in told us that the restaurant where we were to have our candle lit dinner was full and we could not get a table at all. Sarah and I decided to head up to our room and figure out what to do for dinner then.

So, we got dressed up as we had planned on going to a fancy type restaurant. Sarah talked to the lady at reception and we reserved a table at a French restaurant a couple blocks away.

Trying my hardest not to think about what I was going to do about the broken wheel, we walked over to the restaurant. The restaurant turned out to be pretty nice. We got a table next to the window so we could see the mountains that had been freshly covered with snow.

Part way through our appetizers, we noticed that Sarah had sprayed a bunch of orange sauce onto the front left of her white shirt. “Awe man, how did that happen?” I asked. Sarah gestured with her appetizer what she was doing and right away it happened again. The other half of the front of her shirt was covered in orange spots. A piece of the food bounced off her plate and went over her shoulder. The food apparently hit the lady at the adjacent table, she jumped and exclaimed “Ohh!” I said sorry and she — apparently not knowing what hit her — said, “Do you want it back?” We had a good chuckle at that, but Sarah wasn’t happy her white shirt was not white anymore.

It was nice.

In the morning, neither Sarah nor I was feeling too great so we slept in as much as we could and got room service for breakfast. We went down and checked out of the hotel… and since neither of us felt that great, we decided we would head back to Calgary instead of doing a hike in Banff. Now, to deal with the car.

We went to start the car and realized that the lights were left on all night. The battery was completely drained. Drained to the point that when we tried to start the car the alarm would go off since the battery power was messed. We couldn’t figure out how to silence the stupid alarm, but then using the key in the drivers door shut it off.

So now I’m trying to find someone… to help us start our car… so that we can find someplace… to help us fix the wheel of our car. I flagged down a lady in the hotel parking lot who fortunately had jumper cables. I hooked up the parallel circuit and she started her engine, and I tried to start ours… without luck. Shoot, maybe something else is wrong. Tried it a few more times, with the alarm continuously being set off. We thanked the lady for trying and pondered our options.

Sarah and I walked over to the gas station next door and asked the guy there if he could help. “So, you want to use some jumper cables, and a car to help you start yours? Nope sorry.” ARGH! We headed back to the car ticked, and I went and asked at the hotel reception if anyone had a car with jumper cables.

A nice young lady came to the rescue and I once again hooked up the circuit. Now that I had a little time to think about it, I knew to let this baby charge up for a few minutes before trying to start it. Sure enough, the Jetta started just fine after that.

Now that we have our car started we check the fuel gauge and realize we need diesel! We decided to risk it and try and make it to Cochrane to fuel up and give some business to Canadian Tire.

Well, driving that 80 kilometres or what ever it is takes a lot longer with you are driving a pot-hole filled road on a little donut spare. We eventually got there and got our wheel rim hammered back to shape. It was close, but luckily the tire was able to seal again. Regardless, Sarah and I decided to purchase an extra rim since we have actually used that donut spare 4 times this year! Now we have a full sized spare, yeah.

When we got back home we were tired so we had an afternoon nap for a couple hours.

Glad that it was over, we went to Safeway to get groceries for the week. At home we made the choice to get rid of the frost in our freezer so we could fit some frozen goods. You have to understand that our freezer’s small to start with but it was now half the size because of frost.

I thought the fun was over but wouldn’t you know it, when we were breaking the frost off of the walls of the freezer, we punctured the inside wall, making a hole perfectly aligned with one of the inner coils. Oh great now we have freon leaking out of our freezer.

Patching the hole as best as we could, I was doubtful that the fridge would survive. Eventually the fridge warmed up, not being able to stay cold… so let’s end the anniversary weekend by breaking our fridge.

We have a replacement fridge after a couple days of ice-bagging it. Fortunately, most of our big load of new groceries survived.

How’s that for a first anniversary celebration? The story is good for a laugh but I’m glad that stress is done with. Everyone we’ve told has had a pretty good chuckle and suggested we write the story down… so here it is.

2 Responses to “First Anniversary”

  • Derek Field Says:

    Jeff, that’s a pretty crazy story. You’re a good writer! Thanks for sharing it here on your blog. Congratulations on your first year anniversary. I’ll be expecting another exciting story next year. Blessings!!

  • Dad Says:

    Mom and I laughed and laughed at your hilarious story of your first anniversary. Not laughing at you because of your whoes but it was unbelievable that that many things could go wrong. You will definitely remember that anniversary – I hope in spite of it you had some time to reflect on how fortunate you are to have found each other and to share your lives together. We thank God for bringing the two of you together. Hope you enjoy a much better week than weekend!

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