Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't Forget Your Passport!

And the title of this blog is more than a TV show played on's actually sage wisdom - but perhaps I should start with a wee update of what I've been up to for the last few months before I get into the nitty gritty.

My travels commenced in early December with a unplanned trip out to Hawaii to help my sister and Mum get ready for the Honolulu marathon. Yes, I took that bullet and hung out in Maui with my bike for a week - oh how difficult is my life! The day after I returned home the snow started to fall in Vancouver (and we ended up with CRAAAZY 2 foot snowbanks...where do I live again?), but luckily I was only home for 48 hours before jetting off to England for some family fun time!

The purpose of our sojourn in England was to attend the first marriage of one of mother's parent's offspring (read: cousins on my maternal side). There were plenty of jokes about the fact that Karen is the youngest of the seven of us and the first to really grow up! Below is a picture of us in chronological age from Karen to Rosie - there are a number of other photos floating around from over the years that are far cuter - but I don't have access to a scanner!!!

The ceremony was fantastic and the party afterwards was even better! So great to spend time with the fam and have Granny show us all how to party it up! However, for me, by far the most exciting part of the trip was when my dreamy then-boyfriend asked me to marry him! The night before Karen's wedding we went out for dinner and I came home with a beautiful ring!!! We shocked my Mum - it was quite entertaining!!! Unfortunately three days later Chris and I parted ways in a rushed goodbye in the Heathrow airport (so romantic!) as I returned home and he jetted off to start his new flashy job as a policy analyst with the federal government in Ottawa. :(

So back to Vancouver...full of snow...BLAH! Seriously - this winter has been spectacularly bad! Lucky for me this has been the winter of training camps and in early February I headed down south for a series of camps starting with Team BC in Palm Springs and then off to Santa Rosa with the Trek team. Santa Rosa was a DREAM!!! I loved it - definately a week to remember. We were treated like rock stars - we even had our own chefs! We sported the awesome new Trek kits (and I'm SUPER bad at taking pictures or else I would have a picture of them for ya!). Bottom line being that it's SO great to be with such a positive, well run organization - I can't wait for the rest of the season! Below is a pic of my perennial teammate Leah Guloien and I gunning for it at the Valley of the Sun criterium in early February. (We're sporting the fabulous Team BC jersey)

HOWEVER, the real great story from the past few months (I'm still working on distancing myself from it to find it funny...not sure if enough time has passed as of yet) comes from my journey between leaving the camp at Santa Rosa and returning home to Vancouver for my 1 week of home time before jetting back down to the National team camp in Tucson (well Tubac to be more precise!) where I am now.
As part of the aforementioned rock star treatment, the Trek Red Truck staff drove the team trailer 16 hours south of the border to Santa Rosa. For anyone who has had to travel with a bicycle, you understand the utter relief of having someone show up with your bicycle unharmed by the airlines (and your pocket isn't assulted either!) While I didn't send my bike home with the crew (I was staying a few extra days in Marin county), I did send my very large duffel bag home - hoping that the airlines would be less extravagent with their baggage fees if I only had a bike bag to load.

That evening as we were heading out in the team van for dinner we were contemplating whether or not we should have locked up the rental house. We had yet to have done so during the trip, but I decided to make a joke and point out that while the bikes were now gone, it was only the easy stuff to steal that was left - like laptops...and passports. Right, passports - OMG...NOOOO!!! At that very second I realized that I, being oh so brilliant had shipped my passport back to Canada in the Trek trailer.

At this point I would like to point out that in general, I like to think of myself as a responsible, organized and intelligent person. Shipping one's passport back home is not behaviour fitting of someone with ANY of those traits! Needless to say, the following 48 hours were on the stressful side. I called (and in this order): Steve (who was driving the trailer home), Chris (who had just landed in Vancouver to come visit me!), my Mum (who can fix EVERYTHING...right?), my Dad (who has similar magical powers to that of my mum), Air Canada, Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Border Services Authority, the Canadian Embassy in San Francisco and my coach Jeremy. There were a mixture of responses - mostly empathetic...and generally confused and landened with "how exactly did you do that?"

We tossed around a number of options on how to deal with the problem, but in the end Chris ended up scanning me a copy of my passport and my parents (who decided on a whim Friday evening to spend the weekend in Victoria) took my passport to the WONDERFUL folks at Air Canada who greeted me off the plane with it.

So in the end: no harm, no foul. However, I would still advise that you keep your passport with you while travelling!!!

And on that note, I bid you adieu from Tubac, Arizona with my passport in my purse!

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