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  • Snowbirds Fly South to Arizona, California, Hawaii, Other Warm Spots

    Posted on December 13th, 2010 admin No comments

    A lot of our friends have left for warmer climes. A couple are headed for Hawaii, another to Texas. Some are already in California and Arizona. Haven't run across anyone going to Mexico (including us; our last trip was three years ago to Puerta Vallarta).

    We spent a week in Yuma, Arizona last year, and a few articles showed up from that trip. We were too busy having fun for me to spend a lot of time writing, though.

    We stayed at or visited Fortuna de Oro, West Winds, Cactus Gardens and didn't write them up. Maybe next time.


  • Banff Bans Booze – Long Weekends Liquor-Free in Park Campgrounds

    Posted on November 29th, 2010 admin No comments

    You‘ve picked a lovely site adjacent to the river. You’ve had a wonderful day playing in the water and hiking along the shore followed by a great meal cooked over the campfire. You’ve just tucked the kids into bed and are relaxing beside the fire, chatting quietly and planning tomorrow's activities. A rig pulls in down the road...

    ...AND A BOOMBOX IS CRANKED UP TO FULL VOLUME. SCREAMS, SHOUTED PROFANITIES AND RAUCOUS LAUGHTER JOLT THE QUIET EVENING. THERE IS THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS. YOUR KIDS START CRYING.

    Far too many times, drunken idiots have spoiled a camping weekend. Loud, obnoxious, and inconsiderate party animals do not belong in family campgrounds. What do you do about them?

    I approach them quietly and politely point out that we're in the next campsite and that my wife and/or the kids are tired and need to sleep. If that doesn't work, I go to the campground supervisor/host/manager. If that doesn't work, I call the local police.

    • A few, but only a very few, do respond to a polite request to tone it down.
    • Most just tell me to f*** off and carry on.
    • Appeals to the campground management are generally not helpful for the same reason; the a**holes ignore the campground host or manager, or are quiet only until the manager is out of earshot.
    • Occasionally, the RCMP have kindly responded by evicting the offenders (Usually at 02:00 after two previous warnings. Why do they bother with the warnings? It just wastes time.)
    • If nothing else works, as on two occasions, we've packed up and moved and demanded our money back because the campground operators  are not enforcing their own regulations.

    That's why I was pleased to see an item in the Banff Crag and Canyon reporting that the Banff National Park would continue its trial liquor control for long-weekends, to help ensure family-friendly camping.

    As I see it, the problem is not liquor. It's the behaviour of the drinkers. I enjoy a glass of wine with meals and the occasional beer or highball, and you're welcome to indulge too. As long as you are courteous and respectful of others, tipple on.

    Unfortunately, the noisy obnoxious drunkards don't give a hoot about anybody but themselves. If the best solution is to ban the booze, I'll gladly forego a drink or two for a good night's sleep and keeping the grandkids safe and comfortable.

    This rant was originally published at Suite101.com, Nov 29, 2010

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