I live in an active vibrant multicultural condo complex. Many young retired seniors, a few families and a few dogs as well as congenial staff make up our cohesive community. I recently joined the social committee and at the first meeting I found myself part of a subcommittee formed to organize a day trip to Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls Canada. The casino agreed to send a complementary fifty-six seat passenger bus to pick us up and transport us to Niagara. Not only that, but upon arrival we would be given a ten dollar downloadable voucher for slot play. What a sweet deal. Who could ask for anything more? But here is the thing. We had to guarantee a minimum of forty- five people.
There was so much excitement and anticipation about this trip that we were confident that we wouldn’t have any problem meeting this quota. We were so confident that we requested a second bus. Luckily the casino turned down our request. We chose a date just a few short weeks away to avoid inclement cold weather and to enjoy the vibrant fall colours on the two hour drive. We forgot how busy people in our building are. Some had planned trips, some had family commitments and many had doctor appointments or medical procedures booked. It is not an easy thing to rebook a medical appointment or procedure. To register one had to sign the book at the front desk, sign a waiver absolving the condo of any liability and pay two $2 towards a tip for the bus driver.
About six days before our planned excursion it became apparent that we might be a little short of our quota. We decided to open up this offer to guests. I registered six of my friends. Signed up residents and guests indicated that we would surpass our minimum, But alas! A few cancelled due to illness and the day before because of the threat of torrential rains broadcast by our weather network that sometimes can be a little over dramatic. Our weather had been beautiful, but we were expected to get the tail end effects of Hurricane Patricia, I called the casino and they said “don’t worry, it is only rain and our buses are new and safe and the drivers well qualified.” But some did worry . I was worried because I had no idea how many people would be in the lobby the next morning at 8:45 to board the bus. Miracle of miracles forty seven people boarded without incident except that someone had to return to her unit to retrieve a piece of government issued photo I.D as requested by Fallsview. She returned with her drivers licence and we were on our way.
We didn’t see any vibrant coloured leaves on the way, only rain. Nevertheless it was a good ride. We provided water and all kind of snacks. Someone led a sing song , some one else told jokes . We arrived at Fallsview in good spirits and anxious to play the slots. or go to the tables. Most of us took time out for lunch at one of the many restaurants and some did a little shopping and went outside to take a look at the Falls. Some didn’t leave the casino. There were a lot of winners. I wasn’t one of them. There were only a few losers. I was one of them. We had fun and got to know some of our neighbours a little better.
We all slept well that night. Who knows? Maybe we will make this a yearly event.