It’s Lynn’s fault.
Lynn is my sister-in-law, married to my older brother, Don. One night, after dinner at Lynn and Don’s house, which also included my oldest brother, Jim, and his wife, Betty, Lynn opined that it would be an awesome thing if the three Knox brothers went on a road trip somewhere.
Don , Jim and I looked at each other, then looked at Lynn and Betty, both of whom were grinning ear-to-ear.
After an awkward silence, I opined back:
What? Are you kidding?
First, you need to know this was purely Lynn and Betty’s dream of getting their husbands out of town for a weekend. Second, whenever I hear “road trip,” I think of the hilarious scene from one of my all-time favourite movies, Animal House.
Third, you need to know Jim is 15 years older than me and Don is eight years older, and we have only been in the same car once in the past 30 or so years, and that was going to a funeral.
Jim came up with a plan: we would practice for a potential road trip. By practice, Jim meant he would take me out to lunch at one of our mutual favourite places in Enderby to see if things went well. Jim also had this thing about only going within a 30-mile (Jim doesn’t do the metric system) radius from his Okanagan Landing home. We broke that by about three miles.
Anyway, we went, enjoyed lunch and our time together and the seed was planted. Next, Jim would take Don to lunch in Lumby, and Don and I would enjoy lunch in Armstrong (both within 30 miles).
Everything went well on all three occasions. So… could it be possible? Could we go on a road trip, just us boys? (Fourth thing you need to know: we have a sister, Diane. She is 12 years older than me and is the only one of the four Knox siblings who does not live in Vernon. She’s in Penticton. And it was boys only.)
We decided we would go to Vancouver, well past the 30-mile only caveat, which Jim was willing to forego if he could drive. There’s a reason Jim and I have only been in the same car once in the past 30 or so years: he frightens me. This is a man who got air time going up the little hill past Red Top Grocery.
We decided we would go to a Vancouver Canadians baseball game. We’d leave on a Saturday morning, go to a game Sunday afternoon, and come home.
Jim came and got us on a Saturday morning. On the way to Vancouver, we made stops in Agassiz and Chilliwack to see family members for enjoyable, albeit too short, visits. We arrived at our hotel in Surrey only to discover an error with our room. Instead of two beds and a pullout couch, there was one bed (and couch).We could have made a stink or gone to look for another hotel but three guys with a combined age of 183 were tired. So we toughed it out.
The ball game was great (though bad result: Boise Hawks 9 Vancouver Canadians 1) and we made it home to Vernon by 9:30 p.m.
It was a terrific weekend with lots of laughs and memories. So while Lynn and Betty’s plan worked, it also brought three brothers closer together and talking about a 2018 road trip.
Maybe we’ll go visit our sister. She’s only 70 miles away.