About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Stories

After both coming back to Waterloo from a wonderful Easter, both Jamie and I have some family filled stories that we would like to share with you. We hope that your respective Easter Weekends were blessed as well!

Jeremy and the Elusive Risk Egg
Once upon a time, Jeremy and his cousins would have Easter egg hunts at their Oma and Opas during Easter. Big surprise. However, as the grandchildren got older, the treasures found in the backyard looked less like chocolate and more like loonies and toonies inside plastic eggs. This was welcomed by the children as a few extra coins for coffee or laundry are always appreciated. One Easter, Jeremy, being the imaginitive and fun character that he is, made a fun suggestion that was co-created and supported by his older cousin Robin. This was the suggestion of the implementation of the Risk Egg. Every year, everyone would dump their bounty into the middle and all of the goodies would be divided evenly. While when the kids were younger, this was a nice way for them to learn to share, however, Jeremy's new knowledge from university kept telling him that this was somehow communism. Hadn't we worked so hard to change the system? How could he let this happen. So Jer and Robin suggested that before we cracked open all the eggs, each grandchild would take 3 risk eggs (we all would end up getting around 10, so this was hardly a sacrifice). The idea had some serious opposition, especially from Jeremy's sister Emily, however, his persuasive nature and Robins gentle words ushered in a new era of The Enns Family Easter Egg Hunt. (I always benefited from the risk eggs due to my excellent selecting abilities)

Although the new era was flourishing, this past year, Robin was in Holland at school and I was asleep at the switch. Before I knew it, all the eggs were opened and the chance of the Risk Egg was crushed. I was bummed. However, upon counting the number of Eggs collected, it appeared as though 2 were still out in the Wilderness. Also, this year the Easter bunny had put a few 5 dollar bills in a few of the Eggs. Two $5 bills were missing. The Risk Eggs had returned. Anyone brave enough to hunt would find a reward far greater than the risk. So, naturally, as I was helping Opa do a few things outside, he was sharing with me where the Easter Bunny had hid everything (Opa and the Easter bunny are good friends you see). Making a long story short, the risk of climbing ladders and tables for Opa turned into the greatest reward of the day. Not only a crisp $5 bill, but a chance just to hang out with Opa, a man who has been a huge insipration and source of wisdom for my life.

So that my friends, is the story of the Elusive Risk Egg. Not quite elusive enough for this champion Easter Egg Hunter.

Jamie and the Un-Eluded Kids.
After reading about Jeremy's fantastic Easter I was so happy to hear that he also, had an excellent time with the family. Mine was great too, Greek feast by the hands of the infamous Yaya, and a great time spent with the cousins. Only my time with the cousins, was slightly more... how you say... energized.
let me explain.
Imagine the Easter bunny and the Energizer bunny made a baby that laid an egg, and out of that chocolate egg hatched a supercharged hyper active bunny. Eventually, this hyper active bunny lays its own border-line plutonic chocolate eggs. It would have been this chocolate that my two cousins were chomping on all day.
And i'm afraid that by the time I arrived, it was already too late.

These are the two suspects: Ethan (7) and Maya (5)
Before you fall victim to their cuteness, be warned. that look in their eyes isn't merely child-like content. No, it is careful and strategic planning. The plan? To exhaust every last ounce of energy from their big cousins Jamie and Michael.
(Note: clearly they have been scheming for months as it appears to christmas)

We arrived to them playing in the backyard. I was greeted by a 7 year old sprinting jump hug and a shirt pull from maya. This is when i knew- The festivities had begun.

Dodgeball was the first game, followed by Tag (which is literally non-stop running in case your memory is foggy) then basketball, and skate boarding. after that, the game was running. literally, Running. ...in circles. I was truly astonished. As soon as it was time for playing blocks, My heart leaped at the possibility of a stationary activity. How could I have been so naive!?
while I admit an hour of uninterrupted couch lying would be a fools dream in that house. I allowed myself to dream.

I snuck down to the couch in the basement and shut my eyes...
...approximately 13.5 seconds later...
JAAAAMMMIEEEE! lets play Blocks! then the sound of the entire tub of blocks being poured out, half on to the ground, half on to me.
apparently blocks are only fun if at least some part of your body is sitting, resting, or leaning on your older cousin. still, I could not help think,at least we are not running.

we played blocks, hung out and actually talked (which is a surprisingly rewarding experience to sustain dialogue with a five and seven year old) these days ethan's into science, and maya is still all about princesses.

Then don't ask me how, but all of a sudden, a tickle/wrestle fight broke out. I'm not one to point fingers, but Im going to have to blame the kids. After all, they set the rules; Eth and Maya was allowed to attack, i was allowed only to defend. "I could fake hit, but only for fake". This presented a very difficult fight for me, especially considering it was two vs. one, and they were employing all the classic tactical tickling manoeuvres, getting me under the arms, and under the chin. They were good.

My only saving grace was that one divine word in times like these. just as I was about to go down howling, I summoned all of my strength and yelled "T". They stopped immediately. God bless the kid who invented timeouts. With this technique at my disposal for the rest of the day, I made it through the entire Easter with the kids able to love every minute.
Thinking back, man i really love those kids. and if i wasn't run to exhaustion I would't be the same.

And to the family, please next year- let's give them coins, and spare the chocolate. Besides risk eggs sound way too fun.

Happy Easter friends.

trail blazin

As we were driving back from value, (all in our new tanks that we just traded some coins for) we were in jers car talking about the weather. I said, "man it's a really nice day out, we should go for a hike or something" without hesitation, Jer turned on his internal GPS and headed for the Niagara Gorge. No excuses and no debate. it was a good idea, so obviously we were going to do it.

We stopped at the Grantis residence for some snacks and after mentioning our excursion to Sue, she had us so loaded up with food. Our snack stash ended up being more of a hibernation worthy, long term survival pack. And i gotta say; Not hating it.

we drove down to the gorge and got on the trail, and then as quickly as we could, got off the trail. The "trail closed" sign, was more of a welcome than a warning and it only led us to some cooler spots:

we chilled in some neat caves...
then we encountered some danger...
Im no snake expert, but i think its pretty obvious that this snake that we found in southern ontario is part of the Black Mamba family. likely one of the most dangerous in the world due to its un-characteristic environment. Probably sustaining itself on tourists that come to visit the falls, I had my back turned to it can only imagine that it was likely about to strike, just as Jer caught it, saving me from certain danger and immediate paralysis.
the snake measured anywhere between: 2 and 20 ft! it was too squirmy to be exact.

then climbed out to some rapids...
And of course, again cheated certain death by not falling in.

Lastly, and most importantly, relating to the post previous, we found true happiness in unemployment.

Job Search.

Well, with the last of my exams complete, school is now done, and summer has begun. However great this feeling is, its a little different than elementary school days when the beginning of summer marks the end of any commitments (even as limited as commitment was for an elementary school kid)

while yes i LOVE coming home, chowin down on Sue's food again, and seeing great friends. This year, without a job lined up, things are a little different.
Big corporate CEOs did not coming knocking on my door like i had hoped, and with a years worth of business school under my belt, it appears as though i am no better off than before. (with the notable exception to the obvious fact that knowledge is power and i quenched a thirst for learning)
Please consider the fact that a quarter of an undergrad business degree doesn't quite come with an instant career path. Plus the fact that i could seriously use some extra dough for the summer. Now toss in the fact that we plan to extravagantly depart from ontario for a good chunk outta the later part of the summer. (more info soon) And you will find yourself in my predicament.

in need of a job,
unable to commit,
kind of getting stressed.

ive spent days now getting my self together, fine-tuning the resume, and getting it out there. meeting people, shaking hands, flirting with women much to old to be flirting with, and now coming quickly to the realization: Beggars cant be choosers. but if only, SOMEONE WOULD JUST HOOK A BROTHA UP.

its been a good experience though. and as sort of a first for me- being in this desperate situation, i'd say ive learned a few things. ill probably end up back at subway. Which if you heard at least 1 of my 10 favourite Subway Stories you'll remember how dearly, yet unexplainably- I love the place. The only reason i ruled it out this year is because it just didn't bring home the bacon in the way i would have hoped for this summer. but then again... there was free bacon. so it all really evens out.

lastly ill briefly mention, that with the onset of summer, it was time for jer and i to hit VV and pick up some classic tanks for summer wear. So along with Wilm, Jer met up with me on my job search at a subway - we grabbed a bite and headed down to value.

we found some stellar apparel, but i guess i was still in hunting mode so i started talking with the manager. lets just say she basically begged me to work there (even tho that's not exactly true...lets say that) regardless, im also submitting my application there and can only think that knowing the kind of person i am, and the way my brain works, only good things will come from that.

I wont even mention that we all squeezed into a single change room to try on our new sun gear, and ill leave out the sideways looks we got as we exited the 4 ft by 4 ft box- one after another, after another. but lets just say it was a great day, and i felt pretty good for a guy who still remains unemployed..

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Goal #4.

Before this will make sense to you. Just quickly check out the list that i recently found. it was made at the beginning of the year, as i reluctantly obliged to scribbling down a list of goals for the year. As i mentioned; I'm so glad i did.

so. Goal #4. Win a championship.

ill be honest. i have heaps of great memories from this year. and near the top, right up there in between my birthday and st. patty day, sits RAC basketball.

Add to it that I got to play some great basketball all with some now great friends from my building.

making a long story short, the season gave me something to look forward to with some friends every thursday night, (not to mention all the saved thursday bar money)

Since the first day of a gym full for team tryouts it was clear the guys in my building could play. BUT, so could the guys from Bricker Residence.

Too many times would I walk through the concourse or overhear whispers in the library: first years were under this impression that the high-flying, dunk-a-licous, swagged out Bricker team had the title in the bag.

Well, Not if this wiry white kid had anything to say about it. in our first meeting we sadly lost a tight game by 1. In our second meeting we took them by single digits.

heading into playoffs. Little house was ranked #1, and Bricker #2. it was only tooo perfect that we met in the finals. If you know me- you know I love basketball. If you know me you know I live to be competitive. And if you really know me- you know I love to try to impress crowds.

Well the final game had all that. the game was fantastic. the crowd was full. many friends came to show support. Jer was avidly cheering, lifting his shirt in jubilation, exposing a very pasty- NO, creamy stomach which only urged me and my boys to push on for the victory, terribly close the whole way. Now, i would give the play by play, but lets be serious, I'm the only one who even cares...

so all you need to know. Little House brought home the Cup. and it made me very, very happy. Goal number 4? Check.

A scrap of paper

Flash back to the beginning of the year. First year at Laurier,

It seems as if it was SO long ago, yet also as if it was just yesterday. im sure you know the phenomenon i'm talking about. Just think back to any great memory in your life. and you'll know what im talking about.

Specifically, Im reminded of a time during the first month of school. After being hired as an SLP (student leadership position- jer was one too in his first year) i was chosen to be on the Residence Athletic Council, known as RAC to most. During our first meeting as we were just all getting to know each other, we were asked to write down a brief list of goals for our year.
Recently, i just found this list in a pile of random papers.

Goal #1. dont flunk out of BBA.
Goal #3. see if cute girls like me.
Goal #4. Play lots of basketball and WIN the RAC hampionship
Goal #5. Have lots of friends.
Goal #6. Get away with some mild shenanigans.
and if you can recall back to the post Live The Dream, it will make sense this meeting occurd shortly after the discovery of "the letter", so the last and final goal, which somwhat emcompasses them all was:
Goal #7. Live the Dream.

so after finding these seven scribbled and sloppy goals jotted down on a piece of scrap paper in my room, i couldnt help imagining how useless of an exercise i probably thought it was to write out personal goals for the year.
due to my lackluster sribbles and complete disregard for this list, which only BY CHANCE turned up, this evidence only corfirms my suspisions. i probably did think it was stupid to do something like this. But, reading it now- im way to glad that i did.

goals #1-2, surpassed beyond my expectations. while #'s 4-7 not only were accomplished, but done with style along side some fantastic friends.

now, there is that phenomenon again, it's really only been about 8 months since i've met most of these people. but it feels as if we've been friends for years. you know what i mean?

and you know who you are.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Final Duty Shift

As many of you know, I have been a don in residence this past year. There have been many good times with my floor. Snow tubing, cookie decorating, Mandarin dinners, Pizza dinners, Operation Christmas Child, the list goes on.

Well today I had my last duty shift, where I patrol the halls with my menacing DUTY DON vest. This has been a time for me to reflect on the past year. The good times and the bad. While the nitty gritty of some of my experiences is confidential, I have come out with some amazing stories and some even better friends. Also, throughout this year, you, yes you, the one reading this, have become my friend too. I love the fact that you come to read this blog and because of this, I feel that I need to right a wrong that has been done to you. During all this reflecting tonight, I realized that something you read on this blog was a lie. While it was only a very small white lie, a fib some may say, it was still uncalled for. Read back to One Stud Lookin' For a Valentine. You would remember from this post that I told you that I baked the cookies that sat so fresh on that plate. This was a lie. My roomate baked them. Alex, the one I mentioned in another post entitled, Roomies. I should not have taken credit for his wonderful bakesmanship. Thankfully, he has forgiven me.

Now I ask too, for your forgiveness. I usually like to go above and beyond to right the wrongs I have committed. That is why tonight. For the first time ever. I. Jeremy Enns. Baked Banana Bread. (now there's a nice alliteration for all you poets out there) Yes Mother. Yes Oma. I know you may be reading this and it is true, fresh banana bread.

I did this for you. Yes, while it will mostly be me and a select few enjoying my favourite baked good, you can now rest assured that the online profile you read back on Valentines Day is accurate. (also, I'm still single by the way, not one got back to me.. surprise surprise) My last duty shift has been a good time for me to reflect on the year past. Hopefully you aren't mad at me.

ps. thanks again to Alex who saved the day and took it out of the oven while I was dealing with a situation. Thanks to him, my first attempt turned out delicious!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The End is Near

While this title may make one think that I am speaking about the end of time, relax. However, this is something that is still very important: EXAMS ARE ALMOST OVER!

I'm sure that many of you may have noticed the severe lack of witty and (hopefully) enjoyable reading material that Jamie and I love to post on this blog. For this, we are deeply sorry. It saddens us as much as it does you. However, there is much hope. Jamie is working on some killer posts for his successes of this past year and once exams are over, we will be revealing some exciting summer plans!

Please hang in there and if you have been using this blog as something to read for study-breaks, we apologize. For everyone finishing up their semesters, hold on to the hope of the summer. It's almost here...

Friday, April 1, 2011


As it turns out the madness in my march did include its healthy dose of basketball. On monday my Intramural team made an unexpected run to the finals where we lost a hard fought game to finsih 2nd overall in our division. Not to shabby for a bunch a' throw together first years.
more significantly, on Sunday RAC hosted Rez Rumble. If you are not familiar, this year i have dedicated some serious time as a member of the Residence Athletic Council (RAC) and its been a blast. REZ RUMBLE is potentially one of our biggest events aside from our
weekly leagues. what it is, is a charity student-don basketball game. To get to participate i got to raise money for the chairty Right to Play and thank to Little House I raised almost 300. our overall goal for the 14 residences was $2500. we exceeded that and raised almost 400 bones! the game was a blast. it was East vs. West All Star style. with the campus split down the middle to divide the teams. little House falls on the east side and we were donning the blue jerseys. we did our best to fill the bleachers and a lot of students and dons came out to support the charity game. at halftime we had a dunk comp, and prior to we presented the charities with the much neccessary novelty sized cheques of course...

This snap is a pic of most of the players and coaches. it was one of the highlights of the year for me. especially as part of my RAC memory. that was a great day. and Laurier did some great stuff for two great charities, Right to Play and Bracelet of Hope.

we won by 1. sick game.

Ice Ice Baby.

This year Jer and I applied to be Ice-Breakers during O-week next year. The role of a Breaker is basically to ensure that your designated floor of first years have to best time possible, and feel extremely welcomed to Laurier during the Orientation Week. My breakers, Pat kate and richa this year were unreal and im stoked to do the same next year along side Jer.

This application process for ice breaking is surprisingly rigorous as the position is quite popular. i believe there is approx. 200 ice breakers each year and this year over 800 Applied!

first you submit an online application

>> then if thats accepted you make the interview stage.

after the interview. is perhaps the most memorable part of all applicants. THE CREATIVE.

if you havent seen our creative yet. (facebook circulates quite well) this is what we threw together.

click here to CHECK IT OUT