I recently found myself in the great white North, having the privilege to attend the always-exquisite Comic and Entertainment Expo. But when those festivities were over I decided to extend my vacation to the only vacation destination that also sounds like a Batman TV show sound effect: Of course, I'm talking about Banff.
Get it now? I really shouldn't have to spell these things out for you.
Yes, beautiful Banff. One of the most sought-out skiing vacation spots in the world and only one-and-half-hours from Calgary by car! True, it was no longer really skiing season, but I don't actually ski, so it wasn't a problem. Also, I was told there were plenty of other attractions so I set out for two days of Banff's banffiest best.
And that's when everything fell apart. My mini-vacation was besieged by numerous maladies. How many? Well, five. Five maladies. That's why this is a five-entry list. Geez, I thought the Batman thing was bad. Work with me, here. So here are five things that can ruin any vacation:
Any vacation can be undone by an ill-timed malady. Getting dysentery in Mexico, getting sea-sick on a cruise, or getting third-degree douche chills from a visit to Piers Morgan's House of Pubic Hair Trimmings. My illness, however, was a bit different.
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Come for the pubes. Stay for the more-pubes."
Y'see, before heading to Banff, I had some Calgary business to attend to -- namely doing a guest set at Calgary's Yuk Yuk's on Saturday night and making Gillian Anderson fall in love with me at an X-Files panel on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, just before I got on stage, most of the corneal cells in my right eye fell off. It's kind of a lovely chronic condition I have that flares up about once a year, brought on my sleeplessness, eye strain, and dryness. In the days leading up to the trip, I'd barely slept and had been working on my laptop a lot. Also, Alberta is DRY. Super dry. Like Adam Tod Brown Prom Date dry. (Just kidding, Adam didn't go to prom.) So, yes, I went on stage (thanks to the very funny Amanda Perrin) and did my set to a bunch of Calgarians, even though my eye looked like this:
How do you like me now?!
Incidentally, I also made an ass of myself at Yuk Yuk's by complaining about my condition to headliner Darryl Lenox, unaware he was suffering far greater eye maladies. (Thank you for not beating me to death, Darryl).
By Sunday, the condition had only gotten worse. My eyes no longer lined up as revealed by this photo of me.
Due to this eye condition (and ONLY because of this condition) Gillian decided not spend the next two days with me in Banff. I mean, what else could it be? Like Duchovny, I'm an Ivy League-educated English major from the Northeast, whose slightly prominent nose only accentuates his Semetic good looks. But unlike Duchovny, I'm 10 years younger and 6 inches shorter, so Gillian wouldn't have to strain her neck during stand-up make-out sessions. Seemed like a pretty flawless pick-up plan to me. Anyway, the eye condition ruined everything, but that didn't stop me from putting a pants suit on my hotel pillow and calling it Agent Scully. So don't be too quick to call me a loser.
By Monday, my eye had improved slightly but still hurt to keep open. Nevertheless, because I have the strength of 10 men (and no legal right to remain in my Calgary hotel) I headed off to Banff. I drove the one-and-a-half-hours with my right eye closed. And even though I was already risking my life with the distractions of impaired vision and a freakish GPS that insisted on giving me directions in nonsensical "kilometers" and "meters," I was so struck by Banff's approaching beauty that I had to snap pics.
Weather, much like YouTube comments, is beyond our control (and often lame). I had all sorts of He-Man adventure plans for my Banff vacation: hiking, snow-shoeing, and exploring the sites atop cable-suspended gandolas.
But minutes after I arrived in Banff, this happened:
Either snow or one of those mythical Canadian giants came down with serious dandruff.
Yep, an unseasonable amount of snow. No one expected it. It was the start of May. Days earlier, I was wearing a T-Shirt in Calgary. Visibility was shit, and as badass I am, there was no way I could deal with one eye and a snow storm. My first day was confined to the hotel at Buffalo Mountain Lodge, which was pretty damn amazing, but the most adventurous thing I did was try to figure out how this delicious concoction could be called lasagna?
Canadians can be weird.
#3. Bad Planning
Now any fun vacation needs lots of proper planning. The kind of planning I don't enjoy. The kind of planning I don't do, and, of course, the kind of a planning I should have done. I packed for Canada like a New Yorker visiting some region northwest of his home. Wait. That's not really a metaphor. I packed as poorly as I just crafted that sentence. But maybe my lack of a hat, gloves, and boots wouldn't be a problem. After all, the next morning, the snow stopped, and the sun came out!
Either that or that giant changed shampoos.
I thought I'd partake in the wonderful Banffy snowshoeing in the lovely Lake Louise area. For some reason, it didn't occur to me that you'd need snow boots for that. In my mind, I guess, the snowshoe was the shoe. So I couldn't do that. Well, I could, but my guide explained that while Banff snowshoeing is a super fun experience, it's less fun when you lose most of your toes to frostbite after a three-hour walking tour.
Pictured above. Someone who can pack without mom's help.
Undaunted, I took a drive and snapped more pics, which is pretty much the same thing as hiking, right? I mean, I've always said that the automobile is nature's legs and the camera is nature's eyeballs.