Sunday, July 12, 2015

I Guess We Missed the Boat

When eight intrepid seniors, brought together by marriage and with retirement in common, sit reminiscing about their travel experiences, the memory banks open and hilarious events start to spill out. Cowboy Ron, Ed the Negotiator, Joke-a Minute Jim and Practical Carol are part of the motley crew comprising the author's contingent of six in-laws. Each, at one time or another, has a role to play in the events that occur on their travels. Reviewers have termed it “laugh out loud hilarious”, “an exhilarating read” and “definitely a ride worth taking.” I Guess We Missed The Boat was just named the top Travel book for 2013/14 by Reader Views in Austin, Texas.

"Barry Finlay has made the transition from mountain climbing (Kilimanjaro and Beyond) to hilarity in this new book (I Guess We Missed the Boat). His descriptions of the trials of international travelling, though not funny at the time, are "laugh out loud" hilarious. The stories of his travels with his congenial in-laws and friends are told in a manner that makes you feel that you, too, were involved in the event. Not only are these people seeing the world,they are having fun doing it." - Elizabeth  - as reviewed on General Store Publishing House site.

Barry Finlay is a multiple award-winning author of the hilarious I Guess We Missed The Boat, the mystery/thriller The Vanishing Wife and the inspirational Kilimanjaro and Beyond – A Life-Changing Journey (with his son Chris). Barry has been named to the Authors Show’s list of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading.” His fundraising efforts to help kids in Tanzania, Africa led to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his philanthropic work. Barry lives with his wife Evelyn in Ottawa, Canada.

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5`Focus on the journey, not the destination.' Greg Anderson
By Grady Harp
Finally we are enjoying a focus on the `older generation', loosely defined as retirees who are well enough to retain the sparkle of adventure as is evident in such successful films as `The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel', `The Bucket List', `Quartet', `The Artist' and others. Well here is a book about retirees who love to travel, understand the restrictions, forego the amenities at times, cope with the inconveniences, and all the while have a laughingly great time, free of the ties of family that being younger usually means.

Barry Finlay uses this memoir' to forward to our consciousness the varied experiences he and his fellow Canadian retired friends have enjoyed. He opens his book in a somewhat `seen its better days' motel room in Miami, and to get the gist of how the book runs its course, it is best to quote his description of the characters of the comedy: `There are eight of us congregated here. To my immediate left is tall, slim, and stately Ed the Negotiator. He is the elder statesman of the group and has a full head of white hair, making those of us whose hair follicles seem to have retired long before we did insanely jealous. To his left is his wife, Carol, the Practical One. Her travel notes and accounts of expenses are legendary. To Carol's left is Cowboy Ron, the real-life cowboy who has an amazing talent for training horses. Next to Ron is his wife, Nurse Linda, who decided to follow her dream later in life and acquired the necessary qualifications to poke and prod people. There are two choices in life for those who like to poke and prod others, and, apparently, Linda didn't want to work in airport security. Even though her profession continually warns against it, Linda is the only smoker in the group and one of two with a severe coffee addiction. Joke-a-Minute Jim sits next to Nurse Linda. I have learned that Jim has a joke for every occasion and, like most of us at this age who are able to hide our own Easter eggs, Jim occasionally has "senior moments" and recycles his jokes. But they are still funny because the rest of us can never remember the punch line. At times we would all be willing to swear on a tower of bibles that we had never heard it before, even though we probably had--on several occasions. On Jim's left is his better half, Short Brenda. She may be vertically challenged but she is also the gregarious one of the group, always friendly and smiling, and a lab and x-ray technician in the medical profession. Finally, closing the circle is my wife, Evelyn the Problem Solver, who always manages to think her way through a situation and come up with a solution. She is the second one addicted to coffee, a.k.a. the Travel Arranger, and the reason we're all here. As for me, well, I'm average.' Barry Finlay, by the by, is a highly honored Canadian government official, mountain climber (his previous book `Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life Changing Journey' not only is a best seller but instigated his career as a philanthropist.

But this book is rich in humor of recalling his and his friends adventures to such `resorts' amenable to retired people such as the US hotspots of Montana, Ohio, Las Vegas, Vermont, New York, across Canada, and on to Scotland/England/Ireland/Wales in 8 days, a bus tour in Italy, a trip to Greece, Egypt, the Caribbean, Tanzania, Cuba, Portugal, Mexico, and more. Yet instead of the usual travelogue diatribe, Finlay treats us to the foibles travelers face, especially after the influence of 9/11 on their travel. As he reflects on this book he states, `I'm thinking about this disparate group as we sit in the confines of our Miami hotel. We are a group of retirees who have had the good fortune to save enough money for travel. Or, we're working to supplement our pensions so we can travel. As we like to say, "We're spending the kids' inheritance and will leave them with any remaining bills." It's not that we are addicted to travel, but we have all worked long and hard to have the extra cash to travel as much as we do. We don't travel as much as some, but we travel more than others and we are very fortunate to be able to do that. We're eight different people with different interests and backgrounds - the TRAVELLING WOBLIDIX. This is an exhilarating read. Grady Harp, October 13

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
4Hilarious travel accounts: the good, the bad and the ugly
By Thalia
Having read and enjoyed Barry Finlay's `Kilimanjaro and Beyond', I was keen to read his travel memoir "I Guess We Missed the Boat, particularly as I'm a travel fan myself. Indeed, this book will particularly appeal to those readers who enjoy travelling across the world and to those alike who enjoy immersing themselves in other people's accounts of such adventures.

Finlay's `memoir' is written almost `blog' style, recounting travelling tales of his and his group of friends and relatives, retirees who have taken a number of journeys together across the world. His down-to-earth casual conversational style brings a sense of kinship to his memoir, almost making you feel that you're a part of their holiday adventures.

Finlay has clearly taken advantage of the comedic value of many of their travelling mishaps and challenging circumstances, retelling them in a humorous style guaranteed to win some laughs. More than anything, you'll laugh along as you'll find yourself relating to many of these episodes which, no doubt, you will have experienced yourself in one way or another.

I particularly enjoyed the group's vivid descriptions of the places they had travelled to, including parts of America and Africa, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and numerous other parts of the world. I found myself mentally taking notes for future holiday plans of my own.

Like Finlay's Kilimanjaro account, this memoir also has a philanthropic aspect, with their recounts recognising the disparity between those from more affluent parts of the world and those in some of the poorer countries they travel through. Always looking to help, Finlay doesn't hold back on pointing out that even the small things, like gifting a toothbrush and some toothpaste go a long way to easing the pressures of those less fortunate in life than ourselves.

I Guess We Missed the Boat is available in paperback only at present, probably as it was just released this month (October 2013), retailing at $19. Hopefully, a kindle version is on the way with a more competitive price for those of you out there keen to join Finlay on his travel adventures. It's definitely a ride worth taking.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
4Amusing and Entertaining
By ReadingintheGarden
"I Guess We Missed the Boat" by Barry Finlay is a travelogue in which a group of retirees reminisce about their world travels. This book is filled with amusing anecdotes, annoyances, and mishaps of their vacations in awe-inspiring and even exotic global destinations. They raced through Scotland on a warp-speed bus tour with sightings of the queen. There were memorable camping trips, Cuban boat tours, and topless beaches in the Dominican Republic. I enjoyed the fact that the author didn’t take his travels for granted. He appreciated the experiences and the people he encountered. At age sixty Barry Finlay actually climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with one of his sons—and that’s a whole other book you can read—"Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey." But back to "I Guess We Missed the Boat." This book was like a pep talk. It renewed my itch to go out there and see the world, or at least as much of it as my budget will allow. I may never get to see giraffes and elephants on the Serengeti, the great pyramids of Egypt, the ruins of Pompeii, or ride in a gondola on the canals of Venice, and I’m sure you’ll never find me climbing a mountain, but that’s okay. The point is to seek your own adventures (within your own budget). So, watch out Portland and Chicago, here I come!

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