A couple of Fridays ago I made a drive out to Drumheller to pick up a friend. She was staying in the hospital for a few days to recuperate from a minor surgery (you've gotta love rural hospitals!) and needed a ride home.

It was a beautiful, warm spring day and such a pleasant drive. I popped in CDs from three of my favourite Canadian bands/musicians and drove along the prarie, content. I spent 90 minutes admiring the scenery, enjoying my tea from Tim Horton's, singing along to my stereo, thinking about how fantastic Canadian health care is in light of the fact that this friend just spent three days in hospital and will never see a bill, and remembering how much I love this country. Every last part of it. There is nowhere else in the world I would rather live.

Also, The Weakerthans. I love The Weakerthans. I often refer to Rick Mercer as a national treasure and in my eyes, The Weakerthans are right up there, too. (The other two CDs in my stereo that afternoon were by Nine Miles to Morgan and Feist, for those who are curious.)

Anyway, I digress. I picked up said friend from the hospital and asked how she was feeling; she was doing well, so I told her we needed to make a pitstop on the way out of town. When I was 8, my dad took my brother, Jordan, and I to Reptile World on a rainy afternoon while we were camping near Drumheller. Jordan and I held a large boa constrictor named Sophie around our necks.

That picture has nothing to do with this story, except that it is of my brother and I and it was taken on the same day. I know this because of our ridiculous outfits. So, just picture those two goofy kids with a big snake wrapped around our necks. Great, now you're caught up.

I have no idea why I don't have a copy of the picture with the snake. I'll have to call my dad tomorrow and ask him to scan it and email it to me. Dad, if you're reading this- can you send me the picture of Jordan and I with Sophie? Thanks.

Edit: Thanks Dad. Wow, that is a good outfit.

Anyway. Back to two Fridays ago.

Being in Drumheller for the day, I wanted to go back to Reptile World, nearly 20 years later, and see if Sophie was still around. I knew it was doubtful, but snakes can live for a long time and I was curious.

She was not. The kind young lady at the desk informed us that she had passed away quite a few years ago. However, the new resident snake, Brittany, was Sophie's daughter. How cool is that?

So, we held Brittany. I don't know if she was smaller than her mom or if I'm just bigger than I was when I was 8, but the heft and bulk of a boa that I thought I remembered so clearly just wasn't there.

Thanks to my post-operative friend for snapping these pics.

See, my camera's not that hard to use! And boa constrictors are perfectly harmless... though that's not to say I don't get a little antsy when they start to curl around my neck. Yikes.

There were other snakes too- smaller ones, like these two beauties.

And if snakes aren't your thing, there are geckos.

Let's get closer...

And closer still...


It seems like a lot of time in Drumheller is spent looking up.

I love the vintage-y theatre sign. Speaking of vintage-y...

Why doesn't Calgary have Men's Shops with cool blue concrete walls? That's the wall that my current Facebook profile picture was taken in front of, if anyone's wondering. I'd love to utilize that for wedding portraits.

We made a pitstop at Horseshoe Canyon on the way back into town. What a cool sight- you're in the middle of the prarie, there's farmland all around, then BAM. Canyon.

Why anyone would want to live anywhere else is beyond me. Canada is amazing.

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