Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting Around

How I Get Around

I travel a fair amount in any given year.  In fact I love to travel.  Traveling is so liberating!  So many places to see, and things to do, and berries, chocolate and pizza to eat and coffee to drink and cookies to break with the hammer of acquisition so that I can have a piece!  PHEW!  that's hard work!  Really hard work, and I don't even want to THINK about all that hard work, so let's talk about how I get to travel instead!

The Basic Portable Cave

All stuffed bears know that if you are going to travel, you do it in style, and you make a statement.  Not just any statement, but the sort of statement that goes: "Hello people, I am a stuffed bear and you are not, and you could not possibly believe how relieved I am because let's face it you could never pull it off quite like I can!"  I find a bright orange portable cave usually sets this tone nicely!

Algonquin Park Pog Lake 2009_001a

The portable cave is a clever device invented by traveling stuffed bears that looks identical to a backpack.  People think it's a backpack and they pick up the portable cave and carry it on their back and there you have it, I'm being carried around!

Portable caves are great because often the better ones will have all kinds of cubby holes for things like your MP3 Player, iPhone, camera, cookies, coffee mug, jam and marmalade collection, blanky, all kinds of useful stuff!

This usually only works for small distances especially if you are good at ticking off the person carrying the portable cave!  Also you have to put your foot down if the person carrying you around wants to put their stuff in the cave too unless it's lunch, and you get dibs on their lunch.

For Longer Distance, there are other options:

The Aeroplane

While there are many plane "enthusiasts" out there that get all teary-eyed and mushy-in-the-head about planes, I can't stand them!  They are one of the worst ways to travel ever invented by people!

First they make you go to this building several hours before your plane is supposed to leave because they make you wait an hour for everything!  Things they like to make you wait for include proving you have a ticket, proving you have a ticket and you are who you are, proving you have nothing metal or that blows up with you (I don't really like this bit because they make me go through the x-ray machine with my portable cave and it leaves me feeling ...  err, exposed), buying coffee, actually getting on the plane, and for the plane to take off once you are in it.  It's a good thing that planes move so fast because otherwise it hardly seems worth the wait!

Then when you are actually on the plane you either get crammed into a plastic bin with everyting else bumping into you the whole trip or stuck where everyone has their stinky feet stuck under the seat cushion.

The Inter-City / Tour Bus

I only used this a couple of times and it was pretty much okay but not great.  Busses remind me of something that is not sure if it wants to be a plane (cramped seats) or a train (you can get up and walk around)  or a car (with the rubber wheels).  Busses are generally avoided by bears because we don't like the idea of sloshing chemical toilets much.  What if I fell in?  YUCKY!

That being said, I have taken the bus to neat places, and I can't really complain that much because it sure beats walking!

The Glorious Train!

I guess you can tell which way is my favourite!  The Train silly!  I especially like trains because they are big, and offer you plenty of places to go and explore and look for cookies.  Trains are cool.  The go fast and slow, and they have big windows and stuff, and you can sit and watch the world go by.  And cars have to wait for the train when it goes across the street!  Now that's power!  They don't wait for stuffed bears crossing the street, that's for sure.

People on trains are generally not grumpy except for this one man who was rude and kept asking the staff for beer because he was in First Class.  More beer wasn't going to help.  He should have asked for cookies.

Some of my favourite trains:

  • The Cookie Train!  - this train was run by a British railway company.  I got to travel first class on the train and that meant all the cookies you can eat and tea you can drink!  I ate sooooo many cookies that I got a tummy ache and felt a little sick.  The tea made my belly make "splooshy" noises.  Eventually I recovered and did it all again.

  • The VIA Train - Business Class - Now this is a sweet way to travel!  Canadian business class trains rock!  First, when you get on the train they give you a hot towel to freshen you up.  Then they give you cookies or chips and a drink.  Then they give you a hot meal with more wine, and deshert!  I got all kinds of deshert, like ceesechake, and taple mart, and chocolush chake, once they tried to foo me wiff carrot crake but I knew beller!  Then more wine, and finally a shoclud.  More wine, and then itch time to get off the mashec brain which they will glassy help you wish.  A weird chocolate-wine cloud followed me!  Eventually you recover from the shock.

  • The Spidey Train - It's really a VIA train, but it was painted with Spider Man.  Pretty cool, but sticky with all that webbing.  I think at the end of the trip they had to remove all kinds of animals that got stuck to the train.

  • The Train I got to Drive! -  Yup, I got to drive a train in York, England.  How cool was that?  Okay, so it wasn't a very fast train, or a very big train, and I didn't even make toy cars stop, but you've got to start somewhere, right?

  • The Sleepy Time Overnight Train - Okay this was pretty cool.  I had a room and everything and got to sleep on the train.  I claimed the top bunk! 
    New cave
    Only thing was the train rocked around quite a bit and all kinds of fast trains went by making whooshing sounds.  Scary at first, but then after a while I sort of f.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz    ...huh?   Oh yeah, trains.

Big Boats 

Bears like Big boats!  The bigger the better!  There is a perfectly good reason for this, but my reason is that the bigger the boat, generally, the further you are from the water, and I am allergic!  Also bigger boats seem to have more yummy food.

This boat had no food except what we brought with us.  I consider this a small boat.

Skeena Queen

This boat was slightly bigger, and had pretty good food on it.  You can tell because I am further away from the water.  The coffee was also really good!  A bear tried to get on this boat, but they didn't want another bear on the boat, they said one bear per boat!  I was glad, 'cause he looked hungry and would probably eat a lot of food.

Not Seaworthy

This boat was one of the hugest boats I've been on!  I knew this because I had to look really really far down to see the water, and sometimes I couldn't see that far.  It had an all-you-can-eat dessert and berry bar!  A bear could LIVE on a boat like this!  They finally kicked me off the boat the third time across, so maybe not.

Biff does the Pacific Buffet

The Ski Lift

I like ski lifts.  They make skiing much easier.  Imagine if you had to make your wrangler climb the mountain every time you demanded to go down the hill really really fast in your comfy portable cave!  They would get very grumpy and probably tell you to "Stuff It" because they are tired.  Hey, just sayin!  Ski lifts come in many types, but the three basic kinds that I like the most are:

Camera Hog
The basic chairlift.  These can be a little scary for a bear just heading out for the first time, but as long are you are securely tucked in the porbable cave you will be fine.  This is the same as sitting in a chair at home that is, I don't know up to 100 feet off the ground and attached to a cable and that swings and bounces a lot.  Just like that chair at home, right?  Right!

Whiteface_139aThe small cabin Gondola.  These are even more comfy because a lot of people go in them and they have a floor and doors and a window.  This is more like riding a sky couch!  Picture a couch in a small cabin that is I don't know, up to 100 feet off the ground and attached to a cable and that swings and bounces a lot.  Just like that couch at home, right?

Halfway Point
The large cabin Gondola.  These are weird.  Say you are on the bus at rush hour, and it's packed full of people.  Everyone is standing 'cause there are no seats.  All of a sudden, the bus starts rocking and shooting up into the sky,  You are very very high above the ground and looking out a window at tiny trees and very big rocks way below you.  Every now and again you go over something like a giant tower connected to the ground and the bus rocks and sways and everyone leans and goes "Whoa!  WHOA!" when this happens.  Just before you crash into a concrete bunker at the top or bottom of the mountain the bus slows down a lot and rocks even more.  You are happy to be leaving the sky bus, but want to ride it again!

Top Secret Bear Mail

Okay. I can get into so much trouble for revealing this that you have to promise to keep this totally secret between you and me, Okay?  Promise?  Okay....

Stuffed bears have an arrangement with the World Wide Postal Network.  

We can use the postal network to essentially teleport anywhere there is a post office

Like this,

and this....

Vancouver Island_1244

BUT... there's more.  I don't know if I should be telling you this but, well, here goes...

If you are really really nice, and ask the people at the post office politely, sometimes, you can be teleported to an oven mitt.  Why an oven mitt?  Because they are close to ovens, and every bear knows that ovens cook good food like cookies and pizza!  Just make sure that the oven mitt you ask for isn't in a drawer or the wash, and you'll be next to an oven in no time! 

Due to security concerns I can't show you how oven mitts work, you'll just have to take my word for it every time you go to make cookies or pizza or pie and some of it disappears before you get a chance to have any yourself!

So there you have it, how us bears get around!