As I write today, tiny buds form on the poplars outside my window, the birds have returned and my thoughts turn to travel. I always feel a wanderlust this time of year. It isn't certain whether my itchy feet will take me to Eastern Canada, the United States or Europe this summer. Still, I know one thing for sure — I'll have interesting adventures wherever I go.
We can all have exciting experiences when we join a scheduled excursion in a fabulous location, such as the guided tour I took of the Vatican, but I'm thinking of the random, crazy things that can happen when we're away from home. Sometimes they're the most fun of all and usually the most memorable.
Like the time my friend Lori and I motored through the Rocky Mountains dragging my parent's old tent trailer behind a 1973 Ford Comet. I must have done some fancy footwork to get my dad to agree to that harebrained scheme.
We were young, penniless, and somewhat unscrupulous girls. However, we were also resourceful, had enough chocolate almond bark to keep us alive for days and could imitate a variety of English accents. What possible good could that do us, you ask. Stay tuned.
It all started when my car died in downtown Jasper, Alta. Four barking coughs, three chugs, a series of splutters and the Comet ground to a halt in the middle of an intersection. Lori and I stared at one another in horror. Vehicles behind us honked irritably. Thankfully we managed to push the car to the side of the road, then hopped back inside to plot how to get it fixed. Problem was, the repairs had to cost less than $23.96 since that was the extent of our cash on hand. Did I mention this was a harebrained scheme?
Fortunately, there was a garage nearby manned by kindly young men. They thought we were cute when we sashayed up to their door and described our misfortune in thick Cockney accents. (Enter devious plan.)
"We' ave a wee spot o' trouble wiv us borrowed car. Could yer 'elp us, then, guv?" Lori trilled, and I followed with some equally deceptive drivel.
We made idle chitchat with the unsuspecting fellows as they pored over the problematic car, all while maintaining our guise as innocent young girls cut adrift in a foreign country with a loathsome loaned automobile. What liars we were! What utter scallywags! What a horrible abuse of feminine wiles.
There was a nasty moment when they asked us where precisely in England we were from. And another when they said we should chat with another of the mechanics who was from Kensington, an area of West London. He'd be back right away, they said. Yikes! Nevertheless, we fibbed our way through that too and were back on the road in half an hour.
In conclusion, it would appear as though the theme of this tale is less about the thrill of summer travel and more about how lying through your teeth nets big rewards, but I hope you can forgive me. Just this once.