Last night, we stayed in another Hampton Inn, this one in the northeast corner of Kansas City, Missouri, near Worlds of Fun Village and Oceans of Fun Village. We did not explore either Village, which appear to be components of a single, monstrous amusement park. They simply are not our idea of “must-see” attractions, although I was drawn to the amusement rides visible from nearby streets. Roller coasters and other such rides intrigue me—rides that attempt to cause riders to lose lunch and dinner and a few snacks. I may not be able to hold my meals, but I would be willing to try. Or, I should say, I once would have been willing to try. These days, I am afraid my bones might be so brittle that the centrifugal force of the rides might shatter my skeleton into a thousand pieces. Perhaps riding those beasts should wait until my last hours on Earth are nigh; twenty years hence, perhaps. Yeah, right.
Today, we shall wander east and, possibly, north. We may look for odd attractions along the way. Things like the world’s largest pod of okra or the longest intact toenail in the universe or the happiest cantaloupe or the baby with the longest beard (none of which are real…just dreamed up to fill space). Whatever we do, we will plan on enjoying the experience. We shall see what the day holds as it unfolds.
The lack of a refrigerator in my car has proven to be a serious deficiency, one that could be rectified only by replacing the car with a properly outfitted van or mini-RV. The deficiency became obvious as we passed fruit and vegetable stands, not bothering to stop because we have no way to refrigerate any purchases we might make. For example, we could have bought watermelons, but they would quickly deteriorate in the hot car. And we have opted to stop and buy cold drinks as we’ve driven down long highways; with a refrigerator, we could have an ample supply of cold drinks without the trouble of wandering the aisles of convenience stores, looking for the refrigerated sections. A refrigerator (along with a stove, sink, and other conveniences one associates with a well-equipped home) could serve us well. Thus the idea of a properly outfitted van or mini-RV is appealing. I spent some time online last night, looking for RV shows we might visit on our travels. Unfortunately, our timing is off; we’ve either just missed some shows or we’re too early for the winter shows. It’s probably best; I might be tempted to buy something I cannot afford and I would have to arrange for my car to be shipped home (trading it in is not an option, as the title to the vehicle is tucked safely away in a safe deposit box, I think, in Hot Springs Village). Circumstances have a way of dictating one’s behavior.
According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s The World Factbook, “Canada gained legislative independence from Britain in 1931 and formalized its constitutional independence from the UK when it passed the Canada Act in 1982.” I did not realize the recency of the country’s dissolution of its constitutional independence from the UK. I knew it became effectively independent many year earlier (it “became a self-governing dominion in 1867,” according to the CIA…and I have no reason to dispute my home country’s clandestine services organization), but I was unaware (or had forgotten) the 1982 milestone. My interest in perusing the The World Factbook arose from my resurgent fascination with the idea of becoming Canadian. Alas, the process of becoming Canadian is more involved than I think reasonable, especially for a man only slightly more than a year away from becoming a septuagenarian.
I have spent far less time in Canada than I would like. But I have spent enough time in the country (though it has been quite a while since my last visit) to know how deeply appealing I find the country and its culture. I’ve spent a little time in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, and a few other places in between; enough to know I should have been born in the country that is our neighbor to the north.
It’s possible, though unlikely, that our current travels will take us into Canada. But I would surely like to drive into Canada and, then, to travel the country from east to west and south to north…by automobile, by train, or by private motor coach. If Prime Minister Trudeau is reading these words, I hope he will recognize my post as a plea for him to grant me citizenship and free access to the country. And I hope he will respond in a way that I find both appropriate and humane. I know. I am approximately insane for even writing this odd plea.
Time to go down for breakfast. Thence to the road, which will take us to places we want to see and experience and embrace.