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This is
Jenn's

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Close Quarter Century

My parents honeymooned by driving from the Nation's Capital to the Canadian Rockies. So for their 25th anniversary, they decided that it would be fun to renew their vows by packing their 3 teenage children into a 25' motor home, and retracing their path along Hwy 2 from Kingston, ON all the way to Victoria, BC, and back again. Family bonding time, they called it. The last, big, summer vacation we'd have together as a family before I went to University, they said. I would rather have done anything but, I thought. But for as much time as I spent burning through batteries in my Walkman listening to my Alanis Morisette and Amanda Marshall cassette tapes on repeat, sprawled out on the bed in the back of that motor home, watching the kilometres of the Prairies disappear behind me for DAYS, it's a trip that I will never, ever forget. I saw MY COUNTRY in those weeks. From the Great Lakes, to the wheat fields, to my first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains, and my first taste of the Pacific Ocean, all my teenage angst was powerless against the insane beauty that is where I'm from. That year, I saw the Canada Day Fireworks over Banff National Park, chased by a sighting of the Northern Lights. I was bitten by the biggest mosquitos I've ever seen on Lake Superior, and I bathed in the natural hot springs surrounding Lake Louise. I saw Hoodoos, and Totem Poles, and salmon running in streams. "And isn't it ironic," that it turned out to be the best trip I didn't want to make.

- Jenn

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