Updated: Aug 9, 2020
Finally! Our Monton Annual trip has come and gone. Feeling like every year will be bittersweet as we pack our things back up to head home after a memorable, fun filled weekend.
I feel very fortunate to be able to spend times such as this with family. And although it's only our second year going, it has been the most anticipated and most memorable time of our year. Being able to experience unexplainable gratitude as we wake up to home cooked meals (thanks to the early morning risers) and laughter. Doing an activity we all seem to enjoy, and basking in each others comfort by surrounding ourselves with whom we love most. This year, I feel like it's safe to say we've encountered good and bad luck. The "I can't believe that happened" echoing from person to person all weekend while we cheers to cold brews doing a recap of our day. I have a good feeling that next year, we'll know better and... Probably plan better, too! So here are a few pointers I learned over this weekend.
DRIVE DURING THE DAY
We weren't able to leave as early as the rest of the crew so by the time we headed out of the city it was roughly 3:00 pm. By the time we reached Inglis, MB, it was 6:30pm so you can only image during this time of year how dark it was outside. Since the Airbnb had no exact address, we had to follow the directions from the owner. I had no idea we were going to be driving down swivel and narrow roads, up and down hills with literally no side street lamps to help guide us. I should also add, I have a 1999 Honda Odyssey that is somehow still alive that we took for the drive, so I was so afraid that it just wouldn't make it up the hills or even stop in any case we slid off the road. It was terrifying! So I recommend, especially if you don't know where you're going, and that the directions you're given is literally no where on the map, to head out as early as you can so at LEAST you can see the damn road!
Like I said, I have a 1999 ODYSSEY! Why on earth did I decide to park downhill towards the Airbnb? As soon as I parked when we arrived, I asked everyone in the van whether they thought I'd be able to make it back up the next morning. They all agreed we would be okay, but of course.. That wasn't true. We woke up by sunrise and planned to head out as early as we could so that we could spend the full day snowboarding in Asessippi. As soon as I started the van, I just knew... There was no way I was making it back up. It was hilarious seeing the guys try and push the van uphill! When we finally got up, had our day, and made our way back. I made sure to park at the top.
BAD LUCK AFTER BAD LUCK TO.. GOOD LUCK?
As soon as we got both vans up and started making out way down towards Asessippi, my cousin, Mher, lead us down the swivel road. What looked like road - wasn't, and she drove right into a ditch!!! We didn't even make it 5 minutes from the Airbnb, it was insane! Luckily there was a couple with a pick up truck that happened to be driving down the quiet road and had offered to help. And when I say quiet, I mean, we didn't see any other car drive passed us the whole time we were stuck. So I'd say we lucked out. Eventually, they got out... And after an hour, we FINALLY made it to Asessippi!
MAKE THE BEST OUT OF IT
Although many of us may have felt stress or impatient during the unfortunate events that happened that morning, we certainly made the best out of everything. We laughed about all of what happened all weekend, and honestly, it was the best part.
You Can't Be Afraid to Fall
Everyone that knew how to snowboard (which was literally everyone on the trip except me, Jeni, and Rhosan) had one advice... And it was to go down without the fear of falling. Because the minute you psych yourself out that you're actually doing it or that you're going too fast, your first instinct is to bail. Why? I have no idea... But that's how I felt the whole time learning. It's only when you fall, you learn. (See what I did there?)
You Must Prepare for the Weather
I didn't think you actually needed the clothing gear to snowboard. I am so lucky I listened to Ron when he said I shouldn't bring my long NorthFace jacket and that I should wear a more agile one, there was no way I'd get back up a thousand times wearing that jacket now that I think of it. I also didn't realize how much I'd sweat too! My first time down, I was sweating like I just ran a 5k!! So next time I know I definitely need the right gear and clothes!
Don't Give in to Peer Pressure
By the third or fourth time down the hill, my sister and I got the hang of it without falling. The rest of the snowboarding crew insisted we take the lift and go down the bigger hills with them, and they just wouldn't stop telling us to "just come with". We gave in until we realized we had to actually guide ourselves down towards the ski lift. We just couldn't do it! I kept falling and I felt so unskilled!!! If it weren't for them losing patience from us falling so many times getting to the lift, we would have gone up and regretted it instantly. So we stayed back. Now that I think about it, if I made my way up there, it would have been a disaster. So word of advice: Go at your own speed. If you're serious about actually learning then you'll eventually lead up to it in due time!
Surprisingly snowboarding was not a sport I thought I'd enjoy or thought to learn. But if it's something that gets my family together once every year, I think it's worth the bruised buttocks. And hopefully soon enough, I'll be able to ride that damn ski lift!!!
I realized on Sunday morning, how much I needed this trip. It didn't dawn on me how stressed and tensed I've been prior to leaving and how much I appreciated being out there and just living in the present with everyone else. I opened up about built up feelings, about my work, my friends, my mom, and it was - relieving. And best of all, although I didn't spend a lot of time alone with my best friend, I was so happy he came and he was able to also surrounded himself with so much laughter and people who accept him as he is. I seriously can't thank you guys enough, even if it may have just been a normal trip for everyone else, it was definitely more than that to me. And I'm so grateful.
Until next year! 3rd Annual 2021 here we come!
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