Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May day.

The Little Bastard has been watching back to back episodes of Mayday, which can only mean one thing: We're going on an airplane.

It took 3 Lorazepams and a gin and tonic to get him on our flight to Peru last year, and that was just for me. The kid is a nervous flyer  – who isn't? But he also loathes my idea of a so-called vacation.

Unlike many people content with a swim-up bar and seven days of all-inclusive Caribbean bliss – I prefer a bit of an adventure with my umbrella drink. If I am going to get traveller's diarrhea, I want it to be memorable – for instance – outside my tent, in the middle of the Urubamba. Finding the Southern Cross is easy when the nearest softly-lit washroom is 2 days away, by donkey. My child on the other hand, prefers 5 stars, 800 thread count sheets, a toilet, and tickets to a professional sporting event.

To thine own self be true.

Since writing the above sentence, I drove the Little Bastard to school and witnessed a cyclist being struck by a car. The cyclist had an apparent death wish – no helmet, and he was wearing headphones. The driver was elderly, and hopefully wearing adult diapers, as she likely shat herself when the blue haired asshole landed on her windshield like a bug. The kid was okay, and the old gal will likely lose her license – but my point is – life can change in an instant.

Why sit around a pool, when you can dive in?

Take for instance, Halifax Investment Advisor, Bernard Miles. To him, a bull market means running his ass off, down the streets of Pamplona – inbred bovines in hot pursuit. Bernard's idea of a holiday is participating in July's annual Festival of San Fermín's running of the bulls. According to him, "What guy doesn't have a bit of an inner Hemingway?" Too many of them, I say.

Bernard doesn't invest any of my money, because I am spending it – but if I had two nickels to rub together, I'd give it to someone who is wise, and knows how to live. Like Bernard. My child will inherit a big fat sense of adventure – hopefully not for a while – although I admit to a recent obsession with The Big C – in real life – and on television. Watching Laura Linney dealing with her destiny is not only brilliantly funny – it leaves me in tears. Screw RRSPs and tucking money into a 401K. This is it.

So, off we go, in 13 days. Plenty of time for my clients to load me up with work, on the off chance I fall off a cliff or get run over by a drunk Croat. And, while this next adventure is what I call "soft" compared to last year's schlep to Machu Picchu – it does involve 6 flights, 3 days of 'Anne Frank goes to a coffeeshop' in Amsterdam, and 7 days of biking the Dalmatian Islands. The fact that we'll have our own washroom onboard a yacht, means this next adventure is my attempt at striking a happy balance.

If you're feeling somewhat under appreciated and in need of an adventure – call Maritime Travel, or consider joining this weekend's Merlot Militia in Annapolis Royal. The old HMCS Cornwallis military base has gone through a bit of a renaissance since closing its doors back in 1994. Today, as the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, this multi-functional property – nicely situated on the Annapolis Basin – is host to a series of Boot Camps. I use the term Boot Camps loosely, as this first 2-day retreat is designed for those whose idea of a push up is a demi-cup underwire bra. To enlist, or to design your own Boot Camp, call 1-888-830-4466.

Not content to sit around eating bonbons all day, Annapolis Royal is where explorer Samuel de Champlain wound up, on his scurvy-riddled search for beaver. As we all likely will, Champlain eventually stroked out – shitting his pants one final time – leaving his relatives to bicker over his estate.

My bet is, Champlain left this world with a smile, no regrets, and some fucking incredible stories.

Happy May Day, May Day.