The day that I had been dreading all summer finally came. My best friend Kate had to go back to Vancouver. Not content to sit at home with my thumb up my ass, I decided to join her on a quick four day road trip just to eat some french fries and gravy. But there was one big obstacle ahead of us. I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.
We drove to Casper, Wyoming so that Kate could say goodbye to her parents before we headed to Montana. While there, Kate mentioned that she was going to teach me how to drive a stick later on that day, but her father insisted that he would teach me instead. Small backstory: My father tried to teach me when I was fifteen. It was the most traumatizing experience of my life that I never recovered from, keeping me from ever learning how to drive a manual. It was also the most curse-laden lesson ever. Some of the highlights include “Hit the fucking clutch”, “Put the fucking car in reverse”, “Jesus fucking Christ”, “BRAKE,BRAKE, BRAKE”. My father walked away from the experience saying “We’re just going to get him a fucking automatic”.
Kate’s dad being a teacher and missionary, was the most patient and understanding human in the world. Part of me felt bad yelling “FUCK” in front of him every time I stalled the car, but he kept telling me that I was doing a good job. After half an hour, my nerves were shot, my clothes were soaked with sweat, and I needed a beer. But I finally got it. Afterwards I looked at him and told him that he was a Saint before heading off to Montana for the night.
The next morning our journey took us to Seattle to see my friend Keith. Upon arriving, my dumb ass realized that I, a professional photographer, brought my camera but forgot the lenses. There was only one solution to this conundrum… break out the cell phone camera for the rest of the trip.
Keith happens to manage a dockside restaurant and made sure that we got the proper Seattle welcome. That meant lots of food, booze, and singing Karaoke where I made an ass out of myself trying to duet with Kate. I’m sure all of the dogs in the neighborhood started howling when they heard my voice. The next morning we woke up and went to one of the best restaurants that I have ever had breakfast at, and then headed to the market to do typical Seattle tourist things.
After an hour of wandering, it was time to go to Canada. At the border, the border patrol lady asked us way too many questions to the point where I thought I was in trouble. I started thinking that I was about to be denied entry or be detained because of my beard. But low and behold they let us in. Once we got to Vancouver, Kate gave me the tour of her art school, then unpacked her belongings from the car and took them into her pretty rad house which is next to Chinatown and about ten minutes from downtown.
While walking around I was pretty enthralled with the city and wanted to explore, but was only in town for the night. Instead of having a balls to wall last night hanging out together, we instead opted to location scout for our next project, drink beer, eat sushi, and watch Mad Max: Fury Road at a theater.
The next morning I had to say goodbye to my best friend and head back home to photograph a wedding. Little did I know how long the customs line was going to be and almost missed my flight. Once I arrived home, it felt a little empty and sad knowing that Kate was gone and that I didn’t really get to see much of Vancouver. So I then decided to take my wedding money and buy a ticket to go back next month and have a proper balls to wall week and maybe do a little work too.