My mum and stepdad are in Canada, visiting old friends. They're staying in Calgary, as they've got tickets for the Stampede (see picture above). They're going to dress up in Cowboy gear for the Stampede (see picture above). But for the rest of their stay, they're going casual. They've been advised to wear "sneakers" which I believe us Brits know as trainers. My mum hasn't got any trainers, old skool or new. But she can dress casual. Smart casual.
They're spending ten days in Calgary, then they're to take the tourist train to Vancouver. It's bloody expensive but supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. There is an upstairs and a downstairs on the train. The upstairs costs twice as much as the downstairs. The upstairs is covered by glass so you see everything. You get special meals and presumably special treatment. My mum and stepdad are downstairs but they get to look out of the window and say "ooh look, there's a bear!" and they are included in the party which stops to take in a show, presumably the local mounties' performance of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.
The family they're staying with are the family of my dead dad's dead friend from way back. Strange how things work out.
The initial friendship was between two boys, my dad and his friend. My dad's friend had the get up and go, the gift of the gab, and made something of his life. He took his family to live in Windsor. We visited them. I had a smooth ride in their Jaguar, sliding on the leather seats, feeling extremely car sick as I wasn't used to a smooth ride. They were out of our league. My dad's friend smoked fat cigars, did scarily loud impressions of Donald Duck, had a finger missing, an attractive wife and two attractive daughters. One of the daughters looked like Kiki Dee and I inevitably had a bit of a crush.
My dad's friend's gift of the gab and get up and go took him to Holland to work and eventually to Canada to live for good.
The invitation was there to visit but my dad still didn't have the gift of the gab or the get up and go to earn enough money for the trip. For any trip. He never went abroad in his life, and as far as I know he wasn't in touch with his old friend at the time of his death.
I think they'll be sharing a few memories in Canada.