It’s not often you meet people who you consider to be your soul mates. I had the immense luck in finding people who fit that exact description when I was just 18 years old and had moved to Prince Edward Island to attend the University of PEI. These girls were Carolyn, Sarah, and Jessica. And we lived in a beautiful building called Bernadine Hall aka Dirty Bernie.
I met Carolyn (from New Brunswick) first when she wandered into my dorm room on the first day and asked if I had sticky-tac (I believe?). After that we took countless Photo Booth selfies on my then pristine, white new MacBook (now disgusting and grey) and became fast friends. One time I came out of my dorm room to discover Carolyn sitting in the hallway with all her Engineering textbooks surrounding her. I asked “Watcha doin’ Care?” and all she could reply with was “My brain was too big for my room”. Seemed like a legit reason so I sat down next to her and did my homework with her. Carolyn is one of the smartest and most caring people I know and I am so happy to call her my friend.
I then stole Jessica (from Alberta) away from my very awful roommate (another story for another time) and she was forever stuck with me. Even though she made fun of my Jonas Brothers posters and forced me to watch YouTube clips of The Simpsons in hopes that I would get it, I still clung on to her like the Big Friendly Giant she is. Within in the first few days of meeting each other we discovered our mutual love of Anne of Green Gables so we decided to book our seats on the bus tour that took you to all the LM Montgomery hot-spots. I knew Jessica was a good friend when she saved me from falling into the Atlantic Ocean while taking a photo and even accepted me as I slept on her shoulder and snored very loudly on the bus. She’s a good friend.
Finally I met my sweet, sweet Hobbit, Sarah (from Ontario). Sarah was basically attacked by Jessica when she found out she was 19 and could go to the club. I then latched on and forced Sarah to also be my friend (a recurring theme apparently). Sarah also had a really bad roommate so when she came into Jess’ dorm room where we were all hanging out and casually mentioned that her roommate was moving into a new dorm, I barrelled past Sarah and started tossing all my stuff into her dorm (remember my awful roommate?). I think Sarah eventually got used to my beautiful, melodious snoring and only wanted to shove a pillow over my face a few times. We would sometimes just sit on our beds across from each other and have entire conversations. Over Facebook. She has the most amazing sense of humour and we laughed A LOT.
We have spent the last 8 years of our friendship living in separate parts of the country and now we have all managed to be on the West Coast with Care and I living in BC and Sarah and Jessica living in Alberta.
Recently Carolyn and I had the immense pleasure of being able to go visit Sarah and Jessica in Calgary, Alberta. What a trip it was!
On our first day, Jessica, Sarah and Jessica’s amazing sister, Kelsey, decided to take Care and I on a hike to Peyto Lake near Banff. After a small (smelly) detour we eventually got on the road and made our way to the lake. It was a beautiful drive through the Rockies and I really never got tired of seeing the mountains.
Slowly (because of me) we made our way up the mountain to get the best view of Peyto Lake. It was an extremely wet day and I quickly learned that one needs to re-apply the waterproof coating the North Face rain jackets in order for them to still be considered waterproof. I basically looked like I had jumped in the lake. My friends are good people. I am not in any way shape or form a hiker and they were kind enough to not leave me to the bears even after my constant complaining and asking for breaks.
Since it had just been Sarah’s birthday a few days earlier, I decided it was necessary to bring birthday decorations on the hike. I got these babies at Target (RIP Target Canada).
Isn’t she beautiful??!
Adventure is out there!
The birthday girl looks over her queendom.
On our way to our next destination we made a friend but from a distance because we are not idiots like the girl who got out of the car to take a selfie with the bear behind her. The bear who started to walk down the hill right towards her. Idiot.
After that we pretty much got home, threw on comfy clothes, and collapsed from exhaustion.
The next day we made our way to the Calgary Stampede! I had very vague memories of attending the Stampede as a child and all I can remember are the Port-A-Potty races where they attached Port-A-Potties to wheelbarrows and raced them down the street. I was pretty sure there had to be more than that.
I purchased my friends matching bandanas so we could be adorable together but when a lady in line at the C-Train asked if we were in a gang, I questioned whether or not they were the right accessory.
Initially it was a BEAUTIFUL sunny day when we got to the Stampede. We got tickets to the final rodeo and near the end, the weather went disgusting. Before that happened we witnessed my personal favourite, Mary Burger, an incredible 67 year old Barrel Racer who completely floored me with her 17.99 second time. Check out the Calgary Herald article and interview HERE.
At one point I considered purchasing a giant white cowboy hat when the rain started monsooning down but the $4 poncho seemed more reasonable. And more stylish. #StampedeOOTD
Who knew cowboy boots could be both cute and functional? (Most cowboys probably know that already but my main aim was for a themed outfit.)
We basically just had to laugh it off because the rain became a theme of the weekend. We still had an absolutely amazing time at the Stampede and I am so happy I got to spend it with my friends.
On our final day I decided I needed a family photo with my dog-sibling, Max McLeod. He, too, wore a gang-bandana. He doesn’t look scared of me at all.
We went to have lunch (but should have been breakfast but I take too long getting ready) at Boogie’s Burgers in Calgary. The food was INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS. If you are into deep-fried anything, I recommend the deep-fried mac and cheese and the Aztec Milkshake (made with cayenne, cinnamon, and chocolate).
We then wandered around Inglewood, Calgary’s resident “hipster” neighbourhood. It’s only right that they would have an awesome “modern cowgirl” shop in town with artfully displayed boots. This shop was called Cody & Sioux.
It was a perfect reunion visit and I couldn’t ask for better friends. Special thanks to Kelsey for chauffeuring us through the mountains and to Iain for handling an estrogen-infused household for the weekend. I owe you a Red Bull.
Check out my little video of our hike to Peyto Lake and our Insta #WeekendAtDirtyBernies for more fun photos from Sarah, Jessica, and Carolyn!
Till next time!