Last Wednesday was my Birthday. Earlier in the month, the elementary school in our town asked me if i would be interested in driving the bus for their track team to the University of Alberta Butterdome for the Edmonton Journal Indoor Games. This trip was not for the finals but the qualifiers. I decided to go since it was mostly just for the afternoon, and i thought it would be fun.
About 8 or 9 years ago, our oldest son was on the elementary school track team. They usually do well, quite often placing in the top 5 or so teams, which is not too shabby for our small town. When i went back then, it was just as a parent. It was our first venture into the world of team sporting events and i packed a VHS recorder the size of a shoebox. Somewhere, we still have poorly shot video of our son running around the track. I remember that you can't tell how well he did because the whole time he ran, it was zoomed in on him so there's no way to tell where anyone else in the race was running. I remember that he was one of the student athletes that was picked from hundreds to be interviewed for the evening news. We were pretty proud.
This time, i was driving the bus. If you drive a bus to the Butterdome, there's parking for about 5 buses on the North side of the Jubilee Auditorium entrance. That's where i was going to park. Also, that's where the 50 or so other bus drivers from schools across Northern Alberta had planned to park. It was school buss pandemonium. Our only option was to enter the west entrance of the front side of the Jube, find a place to off-load, then exit the east side Jube entrance, then try to find a place to stash a 64 passenger school bus. It didn't help that snooty Jubilee doorman guy was stopping every one of us to tell us we couldn't unload there. REALLY! In the time it took to flag every one of us down to tell us that, we could have been unloaded and gone, but i was polite and went to unload on the curb side of the east entrance. In an effort to find a place to park, i ended up nosed into a parking garage behind the Butterdome. I wasn't going to try park in there, i just needed the room to position myself to back all the way back out to the street. I'm sure the attendant thought i was an idiot. I ended up driving all the was back to Westmount Mall to park. There was a lot of other buses there in the same boat.
Westmount Mall is a very practical mall. It seems only to have stores that you require for ever day needs. I needed frivolous shopping type stores to keep me occupied for 3 hours. The best they had was a Dollarama. By the time i left, i'm sure they though i was a shop-lifter because i had gone up each isle about 20 times.
I headed back a little early and luckily enough, i snagged one of the bus parking stalls at the Jube. I was even able to catch the boys run their heat in the relay race, so the day turned out OK.
...........one of the highlights of the trip was being able to run windy Groat Road into the river valley in a school bus........4 times. Rest assured, i made the most of it.
.............something else, my spell checker just suggested i change Dollarama to diarrhea, isn't that odd?