Oh Canada:) let us count our blessings in so many ways…family and friends:)
My one intention in Vancouver was to visit my Dad and his beautiful wife Gloria. They remind me that care and compassion and working with your husband/wife on a daily basis can be one of the most rewarding ways to live your life. My husband is also my best friend, we have worked together for the last, geez, can’t remember, when were we married (?) years:) Time slips into time and all the wonderful memories and friends we have acquired along the way are priceless. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to hug my father and it felt so wonderful to embrace these two human beings I admire. My Father and Gloria deserve each other in such a wonderful way. And yes, you get that our visits were fabulous! Some tea, some cookies, several amazing breakfasts, and a delicious Italian dinner and even got my little brother up who was in Washington to surprise the heck out of him:) both his kids, together in one place with him, a major miracle in busy lives. It was a joy to see my father and brother together as well, so much the same in many ways yet very different. I haven’t seen my brother since last Fall so it was a double gift for me! Photos, no, we were too busy chatting and catching up, and reminiscing a bit as well. My father has a large heart and it seems he has let go the bad that passed so many decades ago when our Mother whisked us out of the country even though a restraining order was in place…she lived her life her way, always, almost up to the end. You have to let all that stuff go, the bad baggage, as best you can, otherwise it will make you sick. Life is too short:) I’m so glad my father found this amazing woman more than 45 years ago to share his life with her! She is a treasure, my Mom now-you rock Gloria, you are such a brat! Mike saw that in you right from the start:) We are lucky to embrace you and call you family:)
I was expecting a city RV park, ugh, and to say the least I was very pleasantly surprised to be surrounded by nature. The Capilano River RV park has the river right beside you and snow-covered mountains are visible in the background and the beautiful Lions Gate Bridge leading over to Stanley Park as well. Yes it is tight, not a lot of room, but after the early morning and late afternoon rush hour traffic to get on the bridge is done, it was quite serene. Lovely staff made for a more than pleasant visit here. The shops at Park Royal are all in walking distance, there is the amazing Black Forest Deli, Mike was in heaven, full of German and Dutch tourists.
The RV park has a small army of rental C class RV’s that the European tourists use to see BC and Alberta. Refreshing to have this diversity and to hear so many languages being spoken in one place:) It had me thinking about the Border Crossing and perhaps some helpful hints we could give our neighbours South of the border:
#1 Take the “this vehicle protected by Smith and Wesson” bumper stick off your truck, it is sure to make a Customs official gleeful about sending you to secondary, or whatever they call it in Canada, same goes for silly concealed carry badges that look like fake sheriffs badges I had as a kid when we played Wild Wild West,(I always did make my brother play Artemus Gordon), you will be looking for trouble:)
#2 Limit your alcohol to two bottles of wine, or 24 cans of beer. Vancouver has some great microbreweries and wine as well, you can get that awful American swill, Bud light or Millers here if you have to.
#3 Leave your guns at home, this is the big one. With a friend, with family, somewhere locked up where a toddler won’t be shooting his mother. You won’t need them here, get some bear spray once you get here if you’re in grizzly country but leave the bang-bang stuff back there. Canadians are mostly a very polite society who have a dim view of handguns;) We let people cross at cross walks and even let people merge onto freeways:) Isn’t that an interesting concept!
Ok, enough sarcasm, I needed that after reading about some poor lady lamenting why they never can go to Canada, she equated guns with golf clubs somehow saying they could take their golf clubs everywhere, why not their rifles…poor muffin…This IS a different country-Obey and respect the laws here, don’t whine;) or don’t come:) nuff said:) I feel much better now;)
Walking along the river the wildflowers were in bloom, the resident Great Blue Heron was fishing and seagulls gathered for long seagull chats:) An oasis in the city. I enjoyed sitting on the driftwood and watching the river run an amazing experience deep in the center of a city:)
We also made plans to visit with a very dear friend Joanne. We’d met in Rarotonga in the Pacific Ocean when we were kids and it seems about every decade we manage a meet up, she pointed that out astutely:) She had plans for us and before Mike knew it he was riding the gondola up Grouse Mountain…looking straight ahead…don’t look down! I’d joked about this and gotten the “No f%@&ing way” from him earlier but Joanne was far more convincing:)
The ride up had beautiful views, the lumberjack show was a lot of puns, and fun but the Birds of Prey Show and Grizzlies were the highlight, along with Joanne’s company! We sat at the lodge and savoured a few shots of fine scotch before the trip back down. The rain held off and we had a few sunny breaks. A lovely afternoon had by all, we’ll be back! Promise Joanne, we’ll find you wherever you are in the Province and meet your horses and Gene next time!
and time to move on…the East ward call was coming. visiting with family and friends has been so rewarding but…trying to get back to Otty Lake before Canada day was our goal, but there are more adventures to follow, stay tuned as we cross the Rockies and head out onto the open plains…♫♪♫♪..oh give me a home…♫♫♪….:)
Saludos amigos y abrazos mi familia!
Wow! I think this is my favorite part of our journey so far 🙂
So glad! Much more to come! Check out my additional hints for South of the border visitors, thought I should add that;)
One huge post, so many stories, so much life jammed into such a short time! I love your spirit and your wisdom and philosophy. But be assured, though we Americans are a mixed and incomprehensible lot, we are mere humans… (Sigh. It doesn’t even feel like “we” anymore. So much crazy, so much selfish, blinkered stupid.) Cherish those Canadians of yours, and your own global citizenship ❤️❤️
Funny how that just a few ignorant people can flavour such a huge country, although we are learning that there is massive amount of ignorance about the world and everything in general. I salute you in raising two very engaged kids who give me hope for the future:)
Thanks for the wonderful post and photos, Pamela, so filled with lovely sentiment and honest evaluation. When we have traveled out of the U.S. over the years, I have, on occasion, been embarrassed by other Americans’ arrogance, ignorance of other cultures and rudeness. The “Ugly American” moniker has been around for decades, but it seems to be truer than ever now and I am embarrassed and sadden by what is happening to my country. Maybe we will just hop in our RV and head north….