Monday 8 October 2012

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My (Slightly Strange) List of Things I'm Thankful For

So today is Canadian Thanksgiving. I know it's true because we get the day off work, but truthfully it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving up here. It's probably because the bulk of our media comes from south of the border, and American Thanksgiving isn't for another month yet, but I haven't seen a single person in a pilgrim costume, the TV isn't airing "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving", and the only parade I've seen was a bunch of drunks trying to make their way home from the bar last night in single file. Still, I've got a calendar sitting in front of me that says today is Thanksgiving, and that I should be spending my time giving thanks. 

See? Told you.

Now of course I'm thankful for my wife, my kids, and the freedom to eat entire boxes of ice cream sandwiches without having to explain myself to anybody. Those are the kind of things everyone is thankful for, and can really go without saying. In true MKTS style though, I have a list of five travel related things that I'm thankful for. Things you probably won't find on anybody else's list....I hope.

I'm thankful for my wife's uncanny ability to pack a suitcase to exactly 50 pounds.

I never have to worry about overweight luggage at check-in, because whatever my wife throws in the suitcase, it will weigh 50 pounds. Every time. Last time we packed three suitcases and she just randomly filled them. They weighed 50, 50, and 49 pounds. I'm pretty sure that if the only thing I gave her to pack was two ten pound bags of flour, it would still come out to 50 pounds. Of course if I decide to test that theory, I'd better remember to change it back before we go. Checking 20 pounds of a white, powdery substance might not be the best idea I've ever had.

Trust's exactly 50 pounds

I'm thankful for the fact that my kids don't need food & water to survive...just free Wi-Fi.

I'm pretty sure that if my kids found themselves lost in a desert for seven days before finding a fast food restaurant, their first consideration would be to log in their iPhones to the Wi-Fi and then order some food. If their friends had some good updates on their Facebook pages, the food would probably have to wait. If Angry Birds has updated, the boy's pretty much a goner.

I'm thankful for some of the wonderful neighborhoods we've gotten to visit because I haven't updated my GPS in nine years.

The problem with having a very early GPS is that the updates cost more than buying a new GPS. Most of the time, there haven't been that many changes to the roads and we get there just fine, but every once in a while we end up touring abandoned neighborhoods and scary back alleys. My kids call this "taking the educational route", but I'm not sure I want them to learn the kind of things you learn at 3am in Compton.

I'm thankful for having enough packets of free nuts to raise several generations of chipmunks to adulthood.

I never ask for nuts on airplane flights, but if you're not paying attention when the flight attendant comes by, she usually just tosses a pack on your tray table anyways, and I've found it's easier to just throw the nuts into my laptop bag rather than try and give them back. Of course, my family sees this, and now they all throw their nuts in there too. Squirrels follow me everywhere these days.

I'm thankful for my bank's realization that nobody in their right mind would try and steal our credit cards. 

It used to be that every time we left the country, our first transaction with our credit card would get turned down as a security measure since I always forgot to tell the bank that we were traveling. Now it seems that the bank has decided that "normal use" has a different meaning when it comes to our family, and pretty much everything gets approved. I'd love to see the computer algorithm that decided $1700 of pancakes sounded about right for our family. I mean, $500 - $600 sure, but $1700 is way over the top. (That was a billing error by the way. Even we don't eat that many pancakes). 

Good, but not $1700 good.
Written by Steve Pratt