Gotta love vacations - usually. Mostly.
After 5 days of fun, relaxation and sunshine, I need a nap.
I have been hit upon by a racist bigot, picked upon by a surly border guard, insulted by hotel clerks and scammed (attempted) by a pimple faced electronics salesman (boy) and credit card got demagnatized.
I included the bigot/racist because even though it was Friday morning in my office, my brain was actually already on vacation.
I have always had 2 rules in business - no crying and no hugging. I am adding a 3rd - no kissing.
Within minutes of meeting this man, I was treated to a litany of his vision of the world. For example, did I know that the Jewish folk own most of the planet, the Asains live to taken over the planet and Richmond (I had trouble following the path he was taking at that point) and how the East Indians are secretly working with the Afganistan people to take over the middle east which is why they kill their women (Oy Vey). After trying really hard to keep my breakfast down, it got worse. I begged off to attend a conference call and stuck my hand out with a smile and a "nice to meet you" when it happened. He grabbed my hand and pulled me in and hugged me and before I knew it, he had planted a big wet one on me and whispered in my ear "next time I am in town, we should meet for a little dinner and dancing." I spent a lot of time in the bathroom washing my hands and face. I left work early. I figured I had earned the right to begin my vaca a little early.
Day 1 - Picked up my favorite wee people at 9am and headed to the Go-Karts where we were to meet my brother Dave and my sister-in-law Angie for some fun and excitement. After a wee mix up over whether or not we were meeting there or if I was picking them up, we signed the waver and suited up to wait our turn on the track. The kids picked out their helmuts and with very little encouragement from their uncle, began to head butt one another like three little bobble heads. Xavier hit the road first with Lexi and I in the car behind him. Try as I might, the little cheat would not let us pass him. He bobbed and weaved all over the track which led to a bit of a pile up and one very cranky rider. The second race, with Rae and I this time following him, he got a little more cocky and while doing his best to keep us from passing, he took out an amber safety cone and a rubber tire on the side of the track. Ha! Sometimes Nanna's are not so sweet as I took a bit of pleasure in the fact that he wasn't quite so cocky any longer.
Afterwards, we all made our way to spend the afternoon at the PNE. Even though it was crowded, we had a pretty good time. The horse races were not running on Saturday so the kids couldn't indulge in their well honed gambling skills. It was a very long day which extended well into the night with kids hopped up on sugar and excitement.
Day 2 - Saw me down $30 before lunch. I had promised to pay the kids to help me clean out the garage. (My newly minted Realtor daughter sold our house within 15 days of listing). I don't recall naming an exact figure, however, all three of the kids agreed it should be $10 each. After the work we headed to the dollar store to spend their big bucks before it literally burned a hole in their pockets. As their poor little heads almost spun right off their shoulders, I sat back and decided that I should probably make an appointment with my doctor for a brain scan. The girls had decided on costume jewellry and oh lord, plastic recorders so that they could make me insane. Thankfully, those recorders broke after only 3 hours. Those were a very long 3 hours.
Day 3 - Took the wee ones home by noon on Monday and returned home to clean the house. As I was surveying my surroundings and massaging a sore shoulder, I decided not to wait another day. I was looking forward to a massage, facial and manicure and a couple of days out of blackberry reach. I quickly called the hotel and spa to see if I could change my reservation by a day and just before I headed to the border I ran into Mr. Lube for a quick oil and filter change. Things started to go wrong pretty quickly.
Mr. Lube Guy: Your belt is broken.
Me: What belt?
MLG: This one here. It will be ok for short trips in the city but any long trips your steering will be affected.
Me: Hmm, can I just have a regular oil and filter change please? I will look after the belt later (It looked perfectly fine to me and I have 3 brothers and a father who can take a look).
MLG: Do you want better gas mileage?
Me: Who doesn't?
MLG: I can make it so
MLG: For an additional $12, I can boost your milage.
Me: For $12, I can buy more gas. Please just change the oil and filter, I am in a bit of a hurry.
Here is where it really started to go wrong.
Surly US border guard: Where are you headed?
Me: Silver Reef Spa and Casino
SUBG How long will you be there?
Me: 2 days
SUBG: Why are you going to a Casino for 2 days?
Me: I am on vacation and will be having 3 spa treatments.
SUBG: What's in the box in the back?
Me: Car supplies. Tool kit, window fluid and the like.
SUBG: Open the back of your car. Wait - don't get out, just pop the back latch from where you are.
Me: Sorry, this is an older vehicle and must be opened manually.
SUBG: Fine. Keep your hands out of your pockets. (how does one open a door with her hands in her pocket anyway?)
SUBG: Open the box. Fine. Where is your suitcase if you are really planning on spending 2 days in the United States?
Me: Backseat. (I go to open the back door)
SUBG: Please get back in your vehicle and pull to the side for a full inspection.
Me: Oy Vey (silently)
After having my underwear pawed over, I made my way to the hotel to check-in where things got weird. I have attached a picture of my "present". It seems I arrived on 55+ mondays. I was presented with this "present" and told if I wear it for the rest of the evening then I would be entitled to all the perks of this special day. I recieved a coupon for a discount for dinner and could win prizes on the casino floor. I AM NOT 55 years old. What the hell is wrong with the world? However, my mama didn'tn raise no dummy so I took my coupon and my present and headed to my room to unpack before heading to the casino floor where I planned on winning my retirement fund. I will be working a very long time. My present was a jelly ring that when turned on lit up so much it almost caused siezures. I have attached a picture for your enjoyment.
Day 4: Ahh, there is nothing quite like the feeling of a full body massage and a facial. After enjoying a morning of utter relaxation, I hopped in my car and headed out for some shopping. I was in search of a laptop. Here is where the pimply faced salesboy comes in. Granted, I was standing there looking somewhat akin to the deer in the headlights so perhaps I had it coming. I might as well have had a giant banner around my neck saying "I am without small child to help me with my technology needs so please, sell me something, anything, because I will buy whatever you tell me I need". HA - fooled him, I am too cheap to buy whatever he wants to sell me. Turns out, the prices really were not that much better than home with the added bonus of not being able to return it as easy. Besides, by the time this kid was done, he had me spending almost $900 because apparently I needed a laptop with supercalifragalisticexpealidosious extras. THEN, since I am a Canadian (and therefore not too bright), I needed an extra warrenty to cover all US bought electronics. Hmmm, I am blonde and therefore dumb. I headed into the shoe store next in order to pick up my mood. I left depressed. I have fat, flat feet and they had nothing I could both enter and exit a room whilst staying upright. I was going to go to Victoria's Secret next for new (unpawed) undies but by that time I thought why bother. I couldn't stand being depressed again if none of the lacey stuff fit.
Day 5 - Check-out time. Seems I somehow demagnatized my credit card in the last few days. However, they offered to take a cheque since I have been there before. Nice. Good thing I did not purchase the laptop as planned since I had put all my extra cash on my card to pay for it and my hotel. It would have been a bit sticky otherwise.
Having bought nothing but a massage, facial and manicure, I packed up and left the hotel for home. I was so distracted that I drove right past the duty free store where I had meant to buy my bottle of Bailey's before crossing the border. Bummer
Newly Armed Canadian Border Guard: Where do you live?
NACBG: How long have you been away and where did you go?
Me: 2 days - Silver Reef Spa and Casino
NACBG: Did you enjoy yourself and are you bringing any goods back?
Me: Yes and No
NACBG: Thank you, have a nice day.
The last few days of my holiday will find me back at the PNE to see Trooper (shades of yesteryear), shopping and cleaning the house getting ready for a return to fall and a normal routine. I lead such an exciting life.
I tried to include photo's of the Go-Karts but for some reason they wouldn't load. Trust me, they were pretty cool.