Ross Murray on ‘How to get there’

Ross Murray on ‘How to get there’

LiQ_Mag_Cover_July2014This Ross Murray column first appeared in the July 2014 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.
Life in Quebec Magazine is a lifestyle publication covering the Quebec region and is currently published at least 3 times per year.

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Vacationing in Quebec this summer? To meet your vacation expectations, it’s important that you actually arrive. As the old advertising slogan goes, “Getting there is half the fun.” Getting halfway there, on the other hand, is no fun at all. Getting halfway there is a stopover in some drab town with a strange, unidentifiable odour and an inordinate number of citizens who limp, unless of course this is your vacation destination, in which case, congratulations, you’ve arrived! Enjoy your brunch at Waffles ’N’ Offal!

It goes without saying that you should map out your route prior to departure, but, there, I’ve gone and said it anyway, so I guess it goes with saying after all. While we’re at it, “love thy neighbour” also goes with saying, a little black dress goes with anything, and this bottle of Costalunga Barbera D’Asti 2011 goes with pasta, beef and cheese but not so much with writing travel advice.

LiQ_Mag_Abonnez-vousIt’s equally important to ensure that your destination exists. If your vacation plans include a tour of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, you may wish to consult your travel agent and perhaps purchase a more up-to-date atlas.

Call ahead to confirm that your hotel has your reservation on file and hasn’t yet heard about your alarming rash. Mum’s the word!

As for actual travel, many people rely on GPS systems to guide their way. But a GPS is not perfect. A GPS can’t predict sudden changes in road conditions. A GPS can’t fiddle with the satellite radio. A GPS can’t see what that jackass driver just did. A GPS can’t hold your coffee while you flip this guy the bird. A GPS can’t tell you it hates it when you get like this and wonder what the hell happened to “love thy neighbour”?
By all means, use your GPS (if you think you’re so smart) but don’t put all your travel eggs in that one basket. In fact, travel eggs are a terrible idea in general. Your car will stink.

It’s better to familiarize yourself with your route before you travel. The best way to do so is to make a “test trip” to your destination prior to your “actual trip.” And to make sure you don’t get lost on your “test trip,” it’s wise to make a “test test trip.” The truly prudent will make a “test test test trip.” Now you should be “ready” for your “actual trip,” but “unfortunately” you’re out of “vacation time.” And “money.”

Speaking of “money” (or as we say here in la belle province “le cash”), if you’re travelling in Quebec this summer, don’t forget that there are mandatory tolls throughout the province. Every time you enter a municipality with a population of 2000 or more, you need to slip $5 in an envelope and mail it to “Quebec Infrastructure Fund, C/O Ross Murray, Stanstead, Que.” It’s just one of those crazy Quebec rules.

Enjoy your 2014 vacation.

And remember: There is where you want to be but here is the last of my Barbera D’Asti, so goodnight.

About Author

Ross Murray

Ross Murray is an award-winning humorist and radio contributor and the author of two books ‘You’re Not Going to Eat That, Are You?’ and ‘Don’t Everyone Jump at Once’. Raised in Nova Scotia, Ross has lived in the Eastern Townships of Quebec since the early 1990’s with his wife Debbie, four children and far too many pets. After all this time, Ross feels comfortable calling himself a Townshipper; his neighbours call him something else.

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