Saturday, 27 June 2009


Off to bed in a few minutes. We've had some great adventures on the road.

Today we crossed the border into Canada and had a heart stopping moment when the customs officer asked us if we had visas. We thought we were to receive a routine stamp, suddenly we are seated and waiting, waiting, wondering how we could have missed something so important and basic. Eventually we realised the girl was probably a newbie and had never seen a Kiwi passport before. We were relieved to see a more senior person show her what to do and hear the clank of the stamp.

Happily after a few re-routing adventures with our GPS and it's failure to recognise Freeway interchanges and our hotel address we arrived at the Comfort Inn near Vancouver Airport.

Tomorrow we get a free shuttle to Canada Place and the Cruise begins.

We've had a few food adventures too. Somewhere we stopped at a roadside Grill and Bar. It was full of character and the floor was scattered with peanuts, some in tidy heaps under the tables. We were told the oil from the shells is good for the hardwood floor. We ate beef stroganoff which fitted the atmosphere. Cheap, reasonably tasty and filling. The peanuts were in large bowls on each table. A free snack offering. We tried them and first were surprised because the shells were hard to crack open. Then I realised that they had been roasted in the shell. Interesting. Then we tasted the saltiness and looked at each other trying to work out how you get salt inside a peanut shell. My guess is that they are soaked in brine then baked. If anyone knows exactly how it's done I'd be glad to know.

This morning we went to a lovely little restaurant that does home style cooked meals and bakery with style. We were told they serve very healthy meals full of vitamins and minerals. I had a waffle topped with cooked strawberries and canned, aerosol cream, with maple syrup and margarine or white butter on the side. I had expected at the very least fresh strawberries as this was in the middle of one of the best berry growing areas. TWJ had 2 fried eggs, crispy bacon, chopped, (diced) fried potatoes, buttered toast and jam. My idea of healthy food seems to be very different to some Americans. At another place we had a homestyle lunch. I chose roast beef, TWJ chose beef on sour dough sandwich. The salad was adequate, TWJ's sandwich was enjoyed, my roast beef, cauliflower and mashed potatoes were all perfectly cooked then smothered with a bucket of gravy which to me was not worthy of the meal .... I forget that meals come with gravy over, rather than on the side and as I don't usually have gravy it always disappoints. Edit We stopped at Sedro-Woolley. The town is notable for the Loggerodeo which runs from the end of June to July 4th and features murals and amazing statues carved from cedar with chainsaws. We saw no sign of the Loggerodeo. I remember being highly amused that the restaurant we bought lunch at was called Surf and the Asian man who served us wanted to come to NZ but needed to know there would be other Asians so he wouldn't stand out as different.

Tonight we bought a bowl of icecream at the Hotel Restaurant and carried it up to our room where we have blueberries, fat and juicy, which we bought near Abbotsford. We also have some sweet, fresh peas in their shells to shuck and nibble if we get hungry waiting to board the ship. The Shuttle will pick us up about 11.45 am and we could have an hour or two to wait before we are actually on board the ship.

I don't know what they are going to charge for internet on the ship so the rest of this adventure may be continued in a day or two or it may be after July 11th.

Blessings to all my readers and be sure that I am thinking as healthy as possible for the next 2 weeks. I love buffet food because I can pick out the bits I like best and the healthiest at the same time. I know buffets are Danger Zone for many but for me they offer choice without effort and I stay mostly sensible.
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