Light Notes

Good Sams help with my Visa woes in Canada

WESTBRIDGE, British Columbia -- When you travel with a bunch of friends, expect some down time.

Wait a minute! I thought I was ready to go with this blog? Let me rephrase that statement.

When you travel with a bunch of friends, expect A LOT of down time.

We learned about this phenomenon on our group canoe trip this week in Rock Creek, which is near Osoyoos in British Columbia.

There were 12 of us in all, each with their area of specialty: map people, scout people and food people. I fall into the latter category, especially when the s’mores show up.

But this diverse group has at least one thing in common: We move like a herd of turtles swimming upstream.

“OK, we’re ready to roll!” exclaimed one canoeist. “Let’s head for the lake.”

It was the crack of noon.

“Wait a minute” the group chorused. “Lucy has to head over to the RV office (at The Little Dipper Hideaway) to call VISA. They’ve denied her access.”

Obviously, my shopping reputation had preceded me.

But after an intimate conversation with an agent located on a distant planet, I was assured “all was fine” — or at least that’s what I thought she said. In retrospect, I believe she may have said “toe the line, you stupid Earthling.”

Mission accomplished — and all 12 folks finally in their canoe-topped vehicles — the tortoises caravanned down the highway. But one hare turned off.

“Where’d they go?” the group moaned as tanks filled at the nearest gas station — and our VISA access was denied AGAIN!

While we waited for the scouts to return, some cranky paddlers read maps. Others ate ice cream. We borrowed money.

By then, I’d figured out that the VISA rep didn’t really want us to “have a nice day.”

“Well, I guess you’re supposed to call VISA before you leave home WITH it,” Bill complained. “But one of the map guys just used his Master Card at the kiosk to give us cash.”

Hooray! It looked as if we’d have a great canoe trip to the lake after all...

Two ice cream cones = $2.50

One tank full of gas = $60.00

A group of friends to rescue you when you’re down and out = Priceless.