the obvious place to start looking was the royal tyrrell museum, as that's where most of my canadian friends (both human and dinosaur) worked.
almost immediately after walking in the front door i ambushed from behind with the most powerful hug you can imagine... i seriously thought i'd being hugged by a bear (again).
of course it was no bear, the museum doesn't typically hire them (unless their of the rare cave variety anyway ;p ), rather it was someone with a big enough heart to mimic the hug of a bear!
it was my old buddy krista. so my mystery gifter had reveled themselves first thing into the museum. that was way easier than i'd expected...
of course that would have made it too easy. sure krista was really psyched to see me again, but she hadn't been expecting too on any level...
in fact based on her initial reaction it became really clear that who ever bought me the plane ticket hadn't been advertising the fact. not only did she no idea i was coming, but she couldn't think of anyone around who might have. well that was making things a little less easy than i'd hoped, not that my list of suspects was that long.
catching up with krista was awesome! tons of stuff had happened to both of us, and though i wanted to hear more about what she had been up too, we ended up talking about all my adventures right after my being fired, especially my BC quest (as krista is from BC... uh the province not the time period!), and of course my adventures down under in new zealand and australia...
it was funny she was insisting my life had been way more interesting than her's, but i'd never thought it was. heck how could an unimportant dwarf tyrannosaur like me compete with a full on human. i mean you biped mammals out there have a run of the whole world. me all i can hope for is a slightly better opening in a museum... not that i mind museums!
after a nice catch up with krista we both realized it was time to get back to business. krista was still technically on shift, and me well i had a hatching day ticket buyer to track down.
since my first gig had me as a helper in the education and interpretation department, that was my first destination.
sadly there was no one i knew present when i showed up... in fact it turned out that most of the old gang from here was no longer with the museum, and the few i did know were out doing programs and tours.
there was a really nice girl named megan attending the office. which was a little odd. apart from lunch time everyone education-wise should have been out with the public, and not in the office. it was handy though.
she was interested to hear that i'd worked at the museum long ago, and seemed nice enough despite being distracted. not that i can blame her. working in ed during the seasonal rush can be really full on.
i noticed she was working on something with the regions stratigraphy. that is a fancy word for geologic layers.
"oh yeah," she said taken aback. i must have embarrassed her. "just a project i have going this summer."
cool! i thought. i missed seeing and getting to help with everyone's projects around this place. before i could ask anymore questions, megan got me back on my main task by asking if she could help me find someone else.
it occurred to me where the likely "culprit" would be. it had to be one of the camp team EXTREME! of the museum's badlands science camp...
megan was very helpful in helping me figure out roughly where they should be at this time of day. i thanked her, and as i started out of the education office i realized something. megan looked of sort of familiar, like we'd bumped into each other once long ago, but only briefly. she thought about this suggestion, and said she couldn't think of anywhere at moment. though if she could remember she'd let me know.
well that was a nice enough encounter. good to see the new people around here are still as nice as the ones from my time. the question that remained were the dinosaurs any nicer?!?
it didn't matter. it was time for me to track down some badland campsters. as the title implies the best place to do that is in the badlands!
with a rough idea of their timetable of the (and also having worked their 2 years ago) i was able to track down some of the blue t-shirted campers pretty quickly.
as i got closer the kids grew excited, which caused one of the staff to turn around to see what the their commotion was about. if amy was a little confused by the kids noticing "a small dinosaur" approach them at camp she was dumb founded for a moment to see me strolling up to camp!
not that she remained speechless for long! amy was es tactic to see me again!
i did manage to quickly ask her if she'd been the one to buy me the plane ticket. she had no idea what i was talking about. big shock there. oh well. she had an idea of who it could be...
this guy right here, my main man while i worked at the museum tyler. now tyler used to run camp, and here was helping out by cleaning the ever famous badland broom (you've heard of the badland broom right people of the innerweb?!?).
these days though tyler, having been promoted to, an assistant of THE museum director is now a pretty big roller... meaning if someone from camp could afford to fly me out for a surprise, it was him.
only he hadn't, and of course he was astounded to see me wander up to him at camp.
no go. again.
catching up with tyler was most excellent! yet again my exploits were the main focus, though i did get tyler to talk about his own big deal promotion. it was funny back in my days here, it always felt like i was taken for granted, but now that i'd been out on the world i suddenly seemed to be way cooler in people's eyes!
tyler couldn't think of anyone who'd buy the ticket. i tried to help him out by rattling off everyone i could think of that i used to hangout with. tyler thought them all highly unlikely.
i'd run out of people when it hit me! of course. who was the one guy i'd spent more time with here (well other than my very missing legal guardian craig)... my old roommate dan!
tyler said there was a chance of that, but he seemed unsure. i asked tyler what was up and he said it wasn't really for him to say. just i should try to track down dan as quick as i could.
well that settled the matter! i was going to go see my old roommate, and craig's best friend... if anyone would want me back for old time sake it would be him. right? no wait i just thought about this. would he? please tell me yes people of the web wide world?!?