Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Road Trip Story & Gift Card Giveaway

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Sprint

Update: Thanks for everyone's participation and your great stories. The lucky winner is #63 "Miss" Anita! I will be emailing you with the details.

It sounds like something out of The Amazing Race. The mission: Put two harassed adults, two energetic young boys, and one dog in a car packed to the hilt with Christmas presents and vacation necessities. Then - and this is the kicker - send them off on an 18-hour road trip in the middle of winter. When it's put that way, I wonder why our families haven't arranged for straight-jackets and heavy medication. Despite the apparent insanity of the plan, we embark on one of these road trips at least once per year. It's kind of like labor: the pain is forgotten quickly and plans are enthusiastically made to do it all again.

So was the case when we packed the car on a cold December morning and set off from our Salt Lake City home, heading for Victoria, Canada. Not only did the trip involve a decidedly long drive, spanning 1000 miles, several treacherous mountain passes, and a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride, but it was done in a pummeling snowstorm. Snow doesn't make those treacherous mountain passes seem any more benevolent. Some jokester actually named one of them "Dead Man's Pass". Funny. To put the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae, our youngest son, who was 2 years old at the time, started making suspicious heaving sounds just south of Seattle, which lasted all the way to Victoria. I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that the heaving sounds transformed into something far less pleasant.

On the first night of this auspicious road trip, we stopped for the night somewhere in Oregon. The night was thankfully uneventful and we woke up at the crack of dawn to start on the final leg of the trip. As I was getting two bleary-eyed boys dressed for the day, my husband took our dog, a sweet black lab named Tiana, out of the hotel for her morning constitution.

It was a cold, dark winter's morning and the clouds from the passing snowstorm were still laying low to the ground. No one else was outside, except for one man who was bent over into the trunk of his car, diligently packing for his own road trip. Once Tiana had finished her business on the hotel's patch of grass, she enthusiastically bounded into the parking lot. Before my husband could stop her, Tiana ran over to greet the man who was still leaning into his trunk. Since there wasn't a hand available to rub against, Tiana vigorously goosed the unsuspecting man. Apparently, he jumped higher than an Enron executive at the sound of a whistle and let out a yelp that would have made Tarzan proud. My husband managed to hold in his laughter long enough to apologize to the very forgiving gentleman. How we needed that comic relief in the midst of our memorable journey!

And now it's your turn to tell your own funny holiday road trip tale for a chance to win a $200 Visa gift card. To enter, leave me a comment below and tell me your funniest road trip story - or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. The contest will begin at Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 9 am and will end Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 5:00 pm. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.


No duplicate comments.
You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
This giveaway is open to US Residents aged 18 and older
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
Please see the official rules here: Official rules

For more funny road trip stories, and 8 more chances to win, please check out the BlogHer review/giveaway round-up page.

Winners will be chosen using a random number generator.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

About Me

Please check out my recipe blog, Cookin' Canuck.

My name is Dara and I am a wife of a supportive husband and mother of 2 young, energetic boys. I have been interested in food and cooking as long as I can remember. My mum is a fabulous, instinctual cook and I like to think that I picked up some of that from her. She grew up in Jamaica, plus my parents spent the first two years of their marriage living in Malaysia. As a result, she often used (and still does use) spices and flavors in her cooking that were rather unusual at that time. My dad, who has always been our Sandwich King and can make a mean batch of scrambled eggs, took a series of cooking classes several years ago, which spurred on a baking streak that we all appreciated.

I am a Canadian by birth and in my heart (yes, I'm a Canuck), but have lived happily in the United States for the past 15 years, and in Utah for the past 10 years. I was born in eastern Canada, but spent most of my childhood and early twenties in Vancouver. It is a city graced with the beauty of the mountains and ocean. Vancouver has an inspiring food and restaurant scene that is stimulated, in part, by the melting pot of cultures.

Although I tend to think about food and cooking a lot, it is not related to my job. My husband and I are consultants for families who wish to set up intensive behavioral programs for their children with autism. We are dedicated to making these amazing children reach their full potential.

I hope you enjoy the recipes on Cookin' Canuck and are able to use them when cooking for your family and entertaining friends. I aspire to give you recipes that make you think, "This isn't so hard after all!" I hope the reviews on Points of Review are helpful to you.
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