Traveling Without Kids – Whistler – White Water Rafting.

The Great Rapids Adventure of 2014

My life has been so much richer, so much more amazing (and, ok, confusing) now that I have kids in my life. But sometimes it’s nice to get away. Just the two of us. You know, have some adult time.

IMG_3434And by that I mean, white water rafting!

It’s been on the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world’s bucket list, so for her 39th birthday, we went to Whistler and booked ourselves a trip. Outback Adventures. The Wet and Wild Exhilarator.   Class 3-4 rapids.

Sounded like a lot of fun.

big-hero-6-baymaxOk, so first off, a wet suit is not a good look for me.

I knew it the moment I zipped it up. I can hide a lot by dressing well, but in a wetsuit, all the blubber is there to see. I look like Hero 6. Before he puts on the red battle suit.

It’s like every timmies donut, every order of poutine, every extra McFatty meal I ever ate was there for all to see.

However, the good news is, I’m pretty sure that I’d be rated as a marine floatation device. I told the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world that if we all went over, hold on to me, don’t worry if I’m face-down in the water, I don’t need to be alive to float.

But I tell you, if I had put on a wetsuit every morning to go to work, I’d eat kale cookies, drink quinoa shakes and work out to videos by that torturer, Jillian Michaels.

The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world looked great in her wet suit – don’t let her tell you otherwise. However, she said she had a problem with uniboob. All the other hot girls had proper, separated boob definition. She tried showing them her uniboob and getting suggestions, they just looked at her, apparently, in complete horror. So, she tried to mold hers into two but they wouldn’t cooperate no matter how she pushed or pulled them. Not even when she tried to fake them out by zipping up her suit super fast.

It didn’t matter. She looked awesome. Even with her safety helmet on, and let’s face it, that’s not an easy thing to pull off.

I have to say I was a bit nervous at first. Not about the rafting (for some reason, I had no fear of this), but, while we waited, the driver kept yanking open the hood of the bus, banging on something inside and swearing. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world and I looked at each other. The last thing we wanted was to have to walk back to civilization in our wetsuits.

Especially since I might be mistaken for a whale and killed for my blubber.

However, we all got on the bus and trusted to the Lord or St Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, or whomever we thought my intervene on our behalf. In the end, the bus survived one more ride.
We had a long ride to the drop off point. We all had to introduce ourselves, say our name (not easy for me to remember first thing in the morning), state where we were from (again, this is a challenge), tell everyone if this was our first time rafting and, then, tell everyone our favourite childhood memory. Not wanting to have an epic fail, I immediately started thinking what would be my favourite memory. I mean, hey, my childhood was awesome, but I needed something humorous or poignant.

I could have said my first orgasm. That was a highlight when I found out I could do that. But this was a family bus, so, yeah, no to that idea. I could tell everyone about the time my brother almost shot me in the head with an arrow, but that would take a lot of backstory to build up.

soccerSo, I went with something neither poignant nor funny, just something simple. Hi, my name is “Joe, I’m originally from Victoria, BC, this is my first time rafting and my favourite memory is playing soccer in the backyard with my dad, though he was English like the guy in the back there, and he too refused to call it anything but football.”

The Prettiest-girl in the world begged me not to mention it was her birthday so I didn’t. I have to assume when she says something like that she means it, not that she’s somehow secretly hoping that I will mention it so the whole bus can sing happy birthday to her (and maybe one of the hunky guides will let her touch his biceps).

It was too early for me to be funny, but clearly not for everyone. One guy stood up, said, “Hi, my name is Bob and I’m an alcoholic.” I believed him. Two irish boys stood up and I loved hearing their accents, “Hullo, my name is Liam and h’I’m from H’iiiiireland.” There were 2 stag groups, all filled with funny guys who mostly made fun of each other or themselves. “Some play hard to get, I play hard to want,” and even an Olympian from Jordan, who was not funny, but if you’re an Olympian, you don’t have to be.

IMG_3460Our guides were all super fit men, mostly young. A few from Australia, including one who claimed, with all sincerity, that he wrestled crocs.

I thought what an amazing life they must have. Oh sure, they live in tents, but they all travel around the world doing this sort of thing, working in hotels or being guides, all so they can kayak or mountain bike or dodge arrows shot by their brother. Pretty cool. I think if I was their age, I’d do a lot of thinking about that kind of fun. Not actually doing it, you understand, but I would think about it. Maybe download a video.

It took 90 min for us to get there, a long, mostly boring and bumpy ride. When we got there, we all waddled out of the bus, a few guys peed on the road, then we all bumbled down to the water to get our instructions. The main guide told us to please pay attention, “to stop looking at Sean. Yes, I know he has an amazing body, it’s why he takes his shirt off all the time, but you need to focus for just a moment.”

I’m not sure the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world heard him. Nor did any of the women, I suspect. Oddly enough, there weren’t a lot of women on this trip. Hell, if they put up lots of pictures of the buff aussies, that would totally change.

safetyAll I heard was, blah, blah, blah, when you go under the boat, blah, blah, blah, when the boat over turns, something about death, blah, blah, blah, hit a log and drown, blah, blah, blah, body washes up downstream, something about how cold the water was and something about 100% success rate on saving the life jackets.

Then they gave us the option of not going and getting a full refund. Basically he scared the pants off of us to make us take this river seriously. He didn’t have to do that for me. I had a plan. I wasn’t going to fall into that water. No way in hell. I may be chubby, but I gotz good balance.

Anyway, when asked who the couples were, the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world and I put up our hands. We thought we’d get put with all the other couples. It would be kind of cool, a few less-than-fit guys with their girlfriends, maybe the Olympian and her new husband, maybe the model gorgeous people from Surrey or the Filipinos.

But no. We got two super fit young guys, and two father-and-son teams. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world was the only girl.

I said this was great since all the men would try to save her. Me, they’d let drown, but her, they’d fight over to save.

But I don’t think she heard me. She had on her fierce face. She was going to out row them all. Dammit. Hi, my name is the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world and this is my first time rafting and I’m for Surrey, you bastards, so watch the f* out.

She stomped into the boat, grabbed the oar and prepared to ride the sh*t out of the river. I got in behind her, sat down and wondered if I’d updated my life insurance.

Then we rowed out into the river.IMG_3469




About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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