I was a bit nervous about today. Quite so, actually. Today was not only the day before my arrival in Grande Prairie, but it was also the day we would be accommodated by strangers. Ok, not complete strangers. The family who is hosting us tonight are related to the husband of a woman who sells me Mary Kay products. But long story short, I have no idea who they are.
But the day did start off wonderfully, and once again, I was hit by a wave of gratitude. We went out for breakfast to this beautiful french café in Winnipeg with Chantal, Mireille, and Chantal’s sister. I don’t know about the rest of them, but my food was out-of-this-world delicious! I ate until my stomach ached – it was that good. And as if my morning wasn’t great enough already, Chantal decides to pick up the tab for everyone! I was once again overwhelmed by my friend’s kindness and generosity. I truly am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people.
On the way back to Chantal’s apartment, she gave us a quick tour of Saint-Boniface and its surroundings. We did have more time to spare this morning, as opposed to other mornings, but we still wanted to get a head start on driving, especially because we didn’t want to put out the Gareau family by arriving late.
Our next stop: Saskatoon. And on the way, lots and lots and lots of flatland. Fields of yellow and greying brown. Definitely something I was not used to seeing. And what a treat it was to see a sunset over the prairies!
We tried to minimize our pitstops today, limiting them to gassing, stopping for a picture at the province border, and once to eat. Let’s take a minute to talk about our stop at the restaurant. Just to put you all into perspective, we’ve been sleeping about 5-6 hours per night, if we even got that much sleep, for the past 3 days. Therefor, we are beginning to see the effect of being overtired. So in a public restaurant, we decided it would be a great idea to pretend the inanimate objects on the table were characters in a story, each needing to be voiced and controlled by each of us. And of course, what fun would it be to play pretend without filming it? I honestly have not laughed this much in a very long time!! (Feel free to check my Facebook Profile if you want to see a clip of this!)
All silliness aside, we arrived at our destination around 8:30PM. Hoping we were at the right house, we lugged our overnight bags to the front door – Dorothy had told me that basement door would be unlocked but we couldn’t find it – and were kindly greeted by a cute little 6 year-old boy named Dustin. Behind him stood his parents, Dorothy and Ryan, as well as his 9 year-old brother Jordan. We introduced ourselves and thanked them right away for their hospitality. They then gave us a quick tour of the house. When they showed us the basement where we were to sleep, we almost cried of joy at the sight of three individual beds! Praise baby Jesus, as my mother would say! We were so tired, we were debating going to bed immediately, but we didn’t want to seem rude so we chatted with our hosts for a bit, at least until they headed out to their volleyball game. Soon thereafter, we started getting settled into our beds, but not before eating some delicious nacho dip they insisted we try! We managed to stay awake until they all came home from the game, at which point we presented them with a small gift and a thank you card for their generosity. We are so fortunate to have been greeted with such warmth and kindness by complete strangers. Just simply amazing.