April 10, 2011
We waited around in Tacoma, Washington at the KOA for our motor home registration to arrive by FEX. We did not want to go into Canada without the registration, we were supposed to have had it before we left San Marcos but it had not arrived. Not to worry it arrived by the time we had finished our week of laundry and we were off again for Canada. We were told to take the truck route to the boarder, which would get us to the north side of Vancouver without going through town. The trip was uneventful until we arrived at the boarder; there were truck lanes, bus lanes and car lanes but no Big-Rig RV lanes. Which one do we take? It was not clear and since we look more like a bus than a car I took the bus lane. When I arrived at the guard stand the first words out of the young lady’s mouth was as she looked at the long line of cars, “Why did you use the bus lane you are not special.” I told her I did not take the bus lane because I thought we were special but because I thought it was the lane we were suppose to take. She decided we should be punished and made us park the motor home, get out and go inside to get clearance. As we had approached the boarder I had seen a sign the read, wait time 20 minutes. I told Donna this was going to take twenty minutes. We went inside with the pink slip we had been given. I handed it and our passports to the agent inside. He looked at the pink slip, read what had been written on it and told us to take a seat. The place was basically empty. We waited as I knew we would, finally he called Royal and Donna and I started to approach but he instructed Donna to wait. When I stepped up, he said, “Have you every been arrested?” I said, “No.” He gave me a I don’t believe you look, but I let “No” stand without saying word. After a long pause he blinked, then said, “Well, then why were you finger printed? Without hesitation I said, United States military top-secret clearance. This set him back with an, “Oh.” Then he said, we could go and at the same time kind of apologized with, it was a long time ago, before our system was computerized. As I turned and walked off the said, “It didn’t say why you had been finger printed,” justifying why he had asked the question. I looked at my watch as we walked out the door; it had been about twenty minutes. I laughed to myself.
The RV Park was not far from the boarder but due to the Vancouver’s stop and go commuter traffic it seemed like it took forever to cover those last few miles. I was looking forward to parking the motor home and kicking back but that was not to happen because when I went to unhook the Jeep. It would not start. The battery was dead. This also meant that I could not put the Jeep back into the drive mode because the shifter is electric. Okay, now what do I do?
I stopped a man in a pickup and asked him if he would give us a jump. He agreed and we got the Jeep started and discounted. We then parked the motor home and left the Jeep running long enough to recharge the battery. I couldn’t find any reason for the battery to run down, except maybe the lights, which are automatic, did not shut off like they should have. Whatever the reason, I hope it does not happen again. I have a battery charger and today I bought a long extension cord so if it does happen I will be able to use the motor home power to recharge the battery.
We spent the morning at Stanley Park, in Vancouver and visited the Aquarium while there. We saw blue starfish, transparent jellyfish, beluga whales, seals and sea otters. It was a perfect day with warm blue sunny skies. In the afternoon, I watched the Master’s Golf Tournament, while Donna got some naptime. When we were broadcasting The Owl Box I said I loved Canada and the Canadian people and nothing has changed… everywhere we go and everyone we have met are so friendly and nice, except of course, the border customs guard, where I think it is part of their job to be a little unfriendly.
We visited Home Depot looking for a hitch pin, which they did not have but another customer overheard the conversation and he told us where we could find what we were looking for plus he took the time to give us directions on how to get there. Like I said, friendly people. I checked my watch; it was getting too late to make a run for the hitch pin. The store would be closed before we could get there plus I heard my stomach growl so it was off to a restaurant instead. Donna spotted what appeared to be a really nice restaurant; The Keg, located next to, “Can you believe this, The Park Royal Shopping Center?” We were not disappointed; we had two fabulous prime rib dinners. I had mine served with the catch of the day, Dungeness crab, amazingly fresh, sweet and cooked to perfection. No need for a shell cracker here, I just snapped the shells with my fingers and delicate white meat appeared. I then dipped each precious morsel in the warmed salted butter, closed my eyes and sent my taste buds to heaven.
Don’t be surprised if you do not see a post for several days. My computer gave me a warning that it will cost around $20 per megabit for data transmissions using my internet connections and to make a cell phone call will run about a dollar a minute. This RV Park has WiFi but only in one spot and that is not where we are parked.
Today we got up early and headed for Granville Island, which brought back memories of a time long gone by. Have you ever noticed how some things are just not meant to be, or as others would say predestined. Back in 1986, I had spent some time in Canada looking around and at one point planned to move to Vancouver, British Columbia. I liked the idea of living in a big city with all the amenities and I thought Vancouver had lots of opportunities. Vancouver hosted the World Expo in 1986, as it was Vancouver’s Centennial year. Real estate values were down but I had the feeling they were going to boom again. In fact, Donna and I put in an offer on a new place located next to the Grandville Island Bridge. We had made the decision to move to Canada, but it was not to be, our offer was rejected. To this day I still don’t know why, but the next weekend we were back in the States and bought a place instead in Del Mar, California. I don’t often look back but since we are here 25 years later looking around, I wonder what our life would have been like if that builder had accepted our offer. I find it hard to imagine it turning out much better than it has. Last night, we did what we did when we were here twenty-five years ago; we attended a live playhouse performance…The Philanderer by George Bernard Shaw. Fortunately, this is its last week and after last nights viewing we know why, but that does not dampen our love for live theater; we plan to see The Graduate next week when it opens at a different playhouse on Granville Island.