AndyO Blog

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

B.C. Vacation: Sandcastles and movies

Today we went to the Parksville public beach to see the Beach Festival sandcastle sculptures. I was expecting some

amateur sculptures, but these turned out to be pretty amazing. The winner of the festival was an entry called Plumbing Nightmare that showed a bunch of guys trying to fix plumbing problems around a castle. One of the images was a guy sitting on the toilet reading a newspaper.

After that, we went to the playground next door that was one of the best I've ever seen. It had everything from zip lines to a mini water park. Cameron and Drew loved it, as did all the kids. We figured out later that the Canadians still install all the good playground equipment, instead of creating "litigation-proof" equipment, like what we have in America. Just look for a teeter-totter in a new U.S. playground, and you'll see what I mean.

Later in the day, Cameron and I decided to go to Nanaimo to see a movie called "Barnyard." We got there about 45 minutes early, so we walked around the Bay Mall, looking at the different stores. One that caught my eye was The Sony Store, where I found some great portable speakers for my Clix. Unfortunately, the Visa folks didn't understand how I could use my credit card in Canada, and the sales rep and I spent 15 minutes on the phone with them to sort it out. I like their vigilance, but it was annoying when it took so long to verify my identity.

Cam and I were actually late getting to the movie because of the Visa incident, but I still had to buy some popcorn and snacks. When I went to hand the snack bar guy my credit card, he promptly said, "Oh, we don't take those."

"You don't take debit cards?" I asked.

"We don't take debit cards or credit cards."

He sent me to the cashier in the box office, who told me I was out of luck unless I wanted to go to the bank (even though she had let me pay for my movie tickets on my credit card).

Seeing my frustration level rising she offered, "You can just pay with U.S. Dollars, but you won't get any exchange rate."

At this point, I didn't care. If I lost some money in the transaction, it was worth it--because Cameron and I were starving. I paid $13.00 for my food, and Cam and I went into the movie. It's a good thing the movie ended up being pretty good.

posted by AndyO @ 10:55 PM   0 comments