April 10, 2011

Lion's Gate Bridge

Donna Granville Island


Farmer's Market Granville Island


Granville Bridge


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.

74 Responses to “Canada”

  1. Judi Anderson Seal Says:

    I sure Donna brought some knitting with her!

  2. Caboval Says:

    Well, Amazing they didnt treat you like the “Royals” you are!!!! Dont they know that sheesh!!! Cant wait to see the flowers donna has been waiting for!!!!
    Hugs, Caboval

  3. 1SkatrPie Says:

    Carlos, this cracked me up. I live 20 minutes “South of the Border” and used to visit Vancouver and, especially Granville Island with my boyfriend easily before 9/11…that is when the border became unfriendly. We learned how to get through without
    questions, but it took awhile. Basically, I have to
    tell Edwin to keep his pie-hole shut and not say a word. It seems to work! So, I was laughing throughout your story and glad you and Donna ended
    up where you did with Molly! Enjoy your trip, you sure have the right attitude, just taking it easy, that’s the Canadian way. And they are so friendly
    we always want to stay!

  4. Joan from Colorado Says:

    Dear Carlos… thanks for taking me along on your travels..I always thought that Vancouver looked like a nice place to visit.. I am from Michigan and spent many days in Ontairio, Canada.. and yes the border police take it into their heads every once in a while to detain people.. I think that it might be a quota thing..or just being bored and need to earn their pay.. other times they just wave you through.. Happy travels to you and Donna. Joan

  5. Robin Balko Says:

    Don’t they know who you are!! Sheesh!!

  6. JoAnn - Benicia, CA Says:

    Hi Donna & Carlos,

    The story of you entering into Canada is a familiar one. My parents pull a 5th Wheeler RV trailer. They shared a very familiar story about how the Canadian border patrol folks act like they do not believe any Americans that tell them that they have not been arrested and they will look up your records. If you have been arrested at any time in your life for anything, no matter what the infraction, they will not let you in. They have kept people out that were arrested in their young 20’s for some minor infraction of the law and they are now in their 70’s! If you ever had a DUI, don’t even think about trying to go to Canada! One time that my parents were stopped at the border, they went through all of the cupboards of their 5th wheel because they didn’t believe that my parents were not carrying a gun. I’m sure Canada is a beautiful place, but it sure can be a huge turn off to enter into a country that treats people with such disrespect and suspicion at the border. I understand that if a person has had an arrest in their life and they want to get into Canada, they have to write a letter to the government or do some red tape thing to get permission.

    I’m glad you got in and are able to see that beautiful country. Stay safe and enjoy!

  7. Nanci Norin Says:

    Greetings Carlos and Donna! I can hardly wait to open your email updates. Your pictures and descriptions are so vivid, I almost feel I’m traveling with you two.

    Always such a pleasure to hear from you. Many thanks for including us in your extended family.

    Happy Trails! …Nanci aka Nanmarks

  8. Jenny Says:

    Ah those border guards!!

    I hope the rest of your Canadian visit is better than the start!!

  9. Camperfamily (Kim) Says:

    Well, I think you’re special and so do about 999,999 other people in the world!!! What a funny story, and so true. The agents can get a little on edge every now and then!

    We loved Granville Island!!! We spent two days going over and enjoyed all the fresh foods and beautiful flowers! I bought some each day to take back to the hotel!!

    It’s good to know you have never been arrested by the way!!! Ha! Too funny!!!


  10. Janet Wilcox Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna, I cannot believe the patience you have to have for this trip. So many snarls and snags and yet, so much fun and beautiful scenery. Please save up the pics for when you can be back on the computer, or when you get home for us. I like to see the many places you go that I have not been. Blessings, JanKW

  11. Janice aka dg1018 Says:

    Your story of the boarder crossing was a good one, just glad you didn’t end up rejected. Donna looks so pretty standing with the daffodils.
    Look forward to many more updates.

    Safe Travels,

  12. Darlene Salisbury Says:

    Hi Carlos!
    Wow. We are traveling vicariously through you and Donna.The entry into Canada was an interesting one. My husband and I are going there in May.Hopefully ours will be uneventful.
    You are such a good descriptor or your travels. It’s so cool to hear from you.
    Continue to enjoy your trip and keep us posted as you can. It is so enjoyable to read as your share your adventures.And your pictures too. Speaking of pictures, I’m not seeing any of you.Can Donna take one of you?
    Enjoy your travels and hello to Donna.:-)
    Warmest regards.
    Darlene Salisbury

  13. SARose69 Says:

    Of course you are too nice to claim to anyone that you are “special” but you are very special to us!! You brought us Molly and McGee and changed lives forever! Can’t get much more special than that!!!

  14. mandozee Says:

    Great post. Sounds like your haveing a great time. Mandozee

  15. Debbie Says:

    If you think coming into Canada as an American in an RV is bad, it’s even more challenging as a Canadian going into the U.S., especially on a Goldwing motorcycle (we’re so rowdy LOL)! I think that all border patrol guards are trying hard to block any terrorists.

    The suspicion that they have about guns may have some grounding in reason – when we were camping in Banff, I overheard some Americans outside their motorhome joking about how “to just let those *** border patrol guys try to take their guns away” – they had lied and got through! I live in Ontario and there is a big crackdown on guns coming across from New York.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying your time in my favourite Canadian city. We were there for our Alaskan cruise last summer and got spent lots of time there. Hope you get over to Vancouver Island also – especially Tofino, a beautiful small village in the rainforest on the beach.

  16. Debbie Says:

    If you think coming into Canada as an American in an RV is bad, it’s even more challenging as a Canadian going into the U.S., especially on a Goldwing motorcycle (we’re so rowdy LOL)! I think that all border patrol guards are trying hard to block any terrorists.

    The suspicion that they have about guns may have some grounding in reason – when we were camping in Banff, I overheard some Americans outside their motorhome joking about how “to just let those *** border patrol guys try to take their guns away” – they had lied and got through! I live in Ontario and there is a big crackdown on guns coming across from New York.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying your time in my favourite Canadian city. We were there for our Alaskan cruise last summer and got to spend lots of time there. Hope you get over to Vancouver Island also – especially Tofino, a beautiful small village in the rainforest on the beach.

  17. ~Healani~ AKA FoxytuTu Says:

    I give you cudos Carlos for keeping your cool in times of Challenge. I on the other hand have a hard time NOT stressing!!! What a saint!! I have been to Montreal and also saw the area that is called 1000 Islands. They say there are actually a thousand island there and there are the cutest and prettiest houses built on them. Anyway I hope the rest of your journey is less challenging. Be safe and Hurry we miss you here at home in S.D.!

  18. Rosemary Says:

    Sometimes you just have to make lemonade with those lemons that you get.. Your so calm and cool Carlos, and we love every thing about you.

    Wishing you and Donna easier travel days ahead.

  19. Leslee Says:

    I tell you, Carlos…this is better than anything on TV or in the movies…What an adventure…Love every single word you write. You are one amazing guy…If I might suggest…tell us more what Donna is saying through all this stuff…or does she say anything. I know she’s the best support anyone could want..

    Blessings to you both…AND…don’t ever forget..You ARE special…

  20. Barbara Bostwick Says:

    Oh Carlos and Donna, your journal entries are always so entertaining with all of the “unscheduled” events you so lucidly describe. Despite the frustrations you surely experienced, I found myself laughing out loud and making comments as though I were talking to you! Have you ever thought of publishing an entertaining little paper back of your travel experiences? I think most people could relate! My first personal experience of trying to cross the border into Canada came when I was just a little girl, maybe around 8. I was an only child traveling from Monterey, A with my parents. When we got to the border, they asked my mother “place of birth”, to which she responded Brooklyn, NY. Then to my father, “place of birth” to which he responded “Germany”. “Proof of citizenship?” Oooooooops! Never thought about that small detail, so we were holed up in a little motel in Blaine WA for three days while awaiting the Monterey County Courthouse to send verification of my dad’s U.S. citizenship. If only the U.S. border officials were as thorough as the Canadians, maybe we could put a lid on all of the unsavory characters who manage to slip into our country from north and south. All of these events, good or not so good, make for lasting memories and are mostly fun to recall. You have really had a few unique adventures so far on this tour. Stay well and happy and enjoy each day to the fullest. And thanks for sharing with all of us.
    Barb from San Jose

  21. Jo-Ann Says:

    Ok… just in case I ever go to Canada, which lane should you have gone through…? I think the bus lane sounds logical…

    You sure have had some setbacks but you and Donna seem to pull through like troupers… I live in the SF bay area and have not seen fresh crab in any of our stores. Only frozen!!! So your description made me salivate!!! Yummy…

    I know we will hear from you when you can and I know I will be eager to hear more adventures. Happy trails…

    • carlosroyal Says:

      When crossing the boarder use the car lane, not the bus or the truck lane but twice while driving on the high way I have been told by Highway Patrolmen to drive in the truck lane or the lane next to it.

  22. Barb Says:

    Donna you are so lucky to have found such a magnificent husband!!! His writting and stories are so detailed and delightful, just like were all traveling along with you.
    Carlos you also are lucky to have such an awesome wife as Donna to have postponed this trip for a year. We appreciate everything the two of you have done for us MODS. Safe travels.

  23. Theresa Atkins Says:

    Best thing to do with border guards is to have your paperwork ready, remain calm and answer their questions with yes sir or no sir. Don’t go into detail unless asked as that seems to raise their suspicians. This also works for airport security as well. But I would have loved to have seen his face when you told him you had secret military clearance. Being a federal civil servant myself working for Navy medicine I’d probably be questioned as my finger prints are on file as well. Your pictures are fantastic! Hope there are no more breakdowns.

  24. prettyrose44 Says:

    Carlos, I enjoy reading every word you write. I am amazed at how you take the time to write a detailed description for us. Not only is it descriptive but at times poetic like when you were listening to the sound of the tires on the road. I feel like I am there in the motor home with you. As others have mentioned you are such a calm person in spite of all the problems you have had on this trip which would have stressed me out. I hope the rest of your journey is problem free and everyone looks forward to your safe return to KOWL San Marcos, California. Hopefully we will get a final peek at the four owls before they leave. Thanks so much for letting us take a vacation with you.

  25. Holly Sue Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna!
    I sure am enjoying every word of your travel narrative! You are so descriptive that I feel like I’m along for the ride…even sharing that sinking feeling when the car won’t start. Isn’t it amazing that no matter how meticulously you plan, the unexpected manages to pop right up there, border guards and all! Your photos are terrific – let’s see one of Carlos too! I’m glad you settled in the USA after all…it makes Canada a wonderful vacation spot! Keep in touch when you can (and it’s less expensive) as it’s such a treat to hear from you about your adventures! Prayers for your happiness and safe journey!
    With love to both of you, Holly Sue

  26. Donna Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna,
    I hope you had a fabulous time in Vancouver and Granville Island. My sister lives there. It’s such fun to visit the outside market and walk around the entire island! I hope you had a chance to enjoy the bakery across from the market. Enjoy the rest of your journey with your positive outlook and we look forward to hearing more! Take care,

  27. debbie Says:

    omg…your description of the dungeness crab…
    absolutely mouth-watering!! mmmmmmm


  28. June Schafer Says:

    Loving your travel tales! Also wondering—–which lane did they want you in—–cars I would guess?

  29. Susan Belloff Says:

    Love your entries…so much fun to read. My favorite episode today was the border crossing story! Living so close to the Canadian border, we have crossed it many times and it always makes me nervous even though I never have a reason to be.
    Enjoy all your adventures…it is events like these that make the trip interesting and memorable!

  30. corkyandporky Says:

    You make it all sound so interesting. I always tell my students that the secret to writing is in the details…you proved it.

  31. mujver Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna,
    Carlos you are such a great writer and communicator. Have you ever thought about writing travel articles for Frommers? That way you could travel all over the place and get paid. Anyway we all miss your cute personality and your great communication skills.

    from Escondido,
    Joan (mujver)

  32. lisa tye, columbia,sc Says:

    As I sit here watching the masters..I am reading about your trip to vancouver..laughing about the border patrol bet they didn’t realize how many people would read about them later..heh heh. Your photos bring back memories to me of my alaska trip years ago.. ended up on vancouver…gorgeous area. Y’all have fun.

  33. OMG, the border crossing did not sound like fun at all, but happy you found a great restaurant later. Hope you trip is uneventful as to repairs and fixumups from now on! I am enjoying your trip stories! Thanks

  34. Shirley Charlton Says:

    It’s great to see you made it to Vancouver, B.C. Too bad you had a little trouble at the border. That isn’t out of the ordinary because I had trouble there also and it was when I was returning from the U.S. It was years ago and we didn’t need Passports to cross then. I live 90 miles up north of Vancouver. It is where the Highway 99 ends because we are mostly surrounded by water but we are still attached to the mainland. We have to take two ferries to get to Vancouver from here. It is a little town called Powell River, of about 18,000, counting surrounding out of town areas. It is a one industry town which is a Paper Mill. It has downsized to only a few hundred men and there is talk of it closing down because of the competition for newsprint. A lot of people from Vancouver and other Canadian Provinces buy homes here for their retirement because they are very affordably priced. The average home sells for $230,000. Brand new retirement homes start at $289.000 and in this economy that is very resonable. Shopping isn’t too good though, as we don’t have all the big box stores and discount stores. But if we need to shop for something big we just have to take the ferries to Vancouver or Vancouver Island to do so. Enjoy your holiday in Canada.

  35. Vee Miller (VeeTX) Says:

    Next time you cross an international border, wear your owl shirt and make a “sandwich” sign out of poster board with pics of Molly, McGee and the owlets on both sides – underneath the pics write, “deet, deet, deet!” Surely at least ONE border guard will then recognize you as “The Royal Family!” :-)

    Thanks for the travelogue again – and you relly could write for Fromme’s.

    We love you and are so happy that you’re having a good time on your journey. Keep those cards and letters coming our way!!!

  36. francie bowers Says:

    Dear Donna & Carlos, thanks for the update…I almost feel like I am on the trip with you. You seem to be taking all the ‘bumps’ in stride…good for you! I love Canada, the country and the people, too! Lots of Molly watchers there I think! Have a wonderful time and hope no more misadventures…enjoy!!

  37. joanne Borle's Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna…
    To see u are right here in Vancouver puts a smile on my face :0)
    Your in my stompin grounds he,he..
    I am sorry it is so rainy today and will be wet for several more days according to the long range forcast. Vancouver is a beautiful city when the sun is out! It is also cherry blossom festival time .. I hope you get an opportunity to see the trees in bloom. Here are some streets you see the trees in bloom right now:
    I am not sure you will read this in time but thought I would send it to you anyway.
    I hope you enjoy your stay.
    Take care.
    Joanne aka joanne51
    Burnaby, B.C. > part of the greater Vancouver area.

  38. Carlynne Allbee Says:

    Oh, how wonderful to see the Lions Gate with Donna in the photo. That meant you were in Vancouver and Stanley Park. then I read the blog. First time I went there was with my grandparents that lived in Seatle. Saw the Totem poles and there was a real life Mountie in his dress red uniform walking around making us feel welcome. Next time I went there was as an adult and my favorite geese, the Canadian geese are so tame there in Stanley park that they mob you. Kind of surprised to not to see a photo of Donna surrounded by them begging.

    Thank you so much for your blogs about your travels. Good luck and good traveling.
    Carlynne aka littleguys

  39. Sherrie Says:

    Carlos & Donna,

    You should have told the lady that yes you are most certainly special, you are Molly The Owls human’s and didn’t they recognize you. Should have given her a MOD card LOL.

    So sorry to hear about the problems, but it will all work out and you’ll have a great adventure.

    Thank you so much for the postings and pictures.



  40. Judy Ambrose Says:

    Thanks for the post, Carlos. You’re so funny when you say “not to worry”. It’s just something that you would say and makes me smile. I’m so glad that you and Donna have had a little time to relax. I don’t know, but your trip seems a little more like work to me.

    But have lots of fun and stay safe. Hi Donna!!

  41. Marian Gall Says:

    There is a floating restaurant across the water from Stanley Park called The Seven Seas. A buffet which has any kind of seafood you can think of. They also have steaks etc. Really fantastic.
    Also the right lane for a large motor home towing a vehicle is the car lane. We lived in a 34′ motor home and towed a truck and which lane was always confusing until someone official told us we were a car. Go figure.

  42. PegRod Says:

    It is such a joy to be part of your travels. Comments by Royal fans take us on little side trips and journeys that are a great joy, too.

    You mentioned seeing blue starfish at the Aquarium in Vancouver. My favorite underwater photo (from a UCDavis student project at Bodega Bay, California) is a blue starfish!

  43. Liela M. Maielua Says:

    Sounds like your trip is going well how special that you can relieve some moments from the past. I know what you mean about immigration at the border I grew up in northern MN and went into Canada on a regular basis even way back then they could be difficult.

  44. knittinghiker Says:

    Love hearing about your travels! Sounds like it’s adventure. Thanks for posting and sharing pictures – really enjoying them!

  45. pensacolakit Says:

    wow, adventtures in RVing.,,many good stories to tell and for us to enjoy. sure glad you chose California over Canada or we may never have gotten to know you guys and Molly. Thanks for the updates and great photos!


  46. Carol Watt Says:

    Charols and Donna,

    I laughed so had while reading about your boarder crossing. I thought I was going to need a diaper. I do hope you got that hitch pin in good Donna better double check) cause if you didn’t well that would be another story. The Aquarium is a fantastic place to visit. Branville Island looks like a wonderful place and that Farmers Market is so inviting. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Wishing you the best. God Bless you.

  47. Sherry Kelly Says:

    Your troubles along the way make your travel postings so interesting…but we want them all to have happy endings! Enjoy your special time together.

  48. Becky Says:

    Mr. and Mrs. Royal- Wow. What a great little story! Love hearing all your news about your travels. Looking forward to more pictures. Thanks so much.

  49. Leslee Says:

    I’ve been wondering if those border guards were Americans or Canadians? Or both!!!

  50. sarah lewis Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,
    Thank you for including us in your travels. It is so fun to ride along with you. What adventures you have! Happy trails,

  51. I could hear the “007 James Bond” melody in my head as I was reading the Royals Border Patrol story. What an adventure! I am sooo luvin Carlos’ journal and relish every new entry!

  52. Naomi in Vancouver Says:

    Hello Donna and Carlos,

    So glad you made it to our fair city despite the hiccup at the border. Border hiccups go both ways, – I as a Canadian going in to the US and as a Canadian returning to Canada from the US. Always a barrage of questions and the feeling that you are being accused of some unknown thing, guilty or not. Best to keep your cool as you did and only answer what is asked and no more. Doesn’t stop me from crossing the border though.

    Yeah – you made it to Granville Island!! I have a part time Saturday job on the Island where I work for Maiwa Handprints in their Supply Store in the Netloft Building. Such a magical place, Granville Island is with all the artisans, the market, the buskers, the theatres, restaurants etc, The little Ferry, the Aquabus that is in one of your pictures is the mode of transportation that I take to get to work on Saturdays.

    Trusting that the rest of your stay here will be a pleasant one and that you manage to get around a bit to see the beautiful display of cherry blossoms.

    Have a great time – I will check back with your blog and follow your journey!



  53. Jerri Weed Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,

    KSBORN and Hubby KS got to Live in Vancouver for a Year while we left our Home in Phoenix, AZ. Motorla needed his Help at the Time. It was in May 2001. Will never forget it because when 9/11/11 happened that was the 1st time The Borders had been closed and All Flights were being sent to Vancouver.
    The niceset Folks I have Ever Met in my Life were in Vancouver Until they got into their Cars then it was Run for your Life. LOL–We lived in a Fishing Village called Ladner or Delta. Now KS Luvs Halibut Cheeks. Oh So good.

    Things U all Should do while in Vancouver:

    Grouse Mountain and See the Observatory–Next Capilano Suspension Bridge–Pretty Cool–A Great Restaurant and it Revolves and So Cool to see The Whole Downtown.

    VanDusen Botanical Garden–Also Bloedel Conservatory-Queen Elizabeth Park–Also has Birds

    Great Shopping on Robson Street

    Now Take the Ferry to Victoria or Vancouver Island From Tsawwassen and See The Butchart Gardens and Fun thing to do is Whale Watching Off on Oak Bay. Oh Donna would Love High Tea at the Fairmont Empress. Oh So Good. I still get My Tea from them.

    KS could Go On and On. But Better Stop there. We really Enjoyed the Year we lived there.

    Please Send Photos When U can. KS Misses BC and You All. Safe Travels

  54. BonnieKay Says:

    As always it is a pleasure to get your post. I just have to laugh at some of your stories. It is like we are right there with you. What a joy. Have fun and we all wait your next post and adventure.

    PS Of course you are both special. Wonder what they would have said if you had told them just how special you REALLY were!!

  55. Ping1 Says:

    Hi Royals

    Having been to Vancouver twice from here on the East Coast, I am getting a vicarious thrill reliving my wonderful visits thru you guys. You must be saints to put up with your border guards, breakdowns, battery problems, etc. and still have your wonderful sense of humor! I, OTOH, would probably have parked the RV, sold it, rented a car, then flown home! Your serenity is awesome!

  56. joly2u Says:

    Don’t have to be a prophet to tell you what your life would have been. You would have established a natural back yard and broadcast live views of Canadian barn owls! But we’re glad you’re here. Hope the exercise in patience that has been your trip has worn that part out, and things will all be ease now. Thanks for the update.

  57. Gwen Says:

    Carlos, I so look forward to your wonderful stories of the road. Thank you for keeping us with you. Your writing is beautiful, as are your pictures. Wishing you happy and trouble free travels!

  58. Sally in Aus Says:

    Wow!! I am loving being along for the ride in the RV.I have never travelled to Canada or Northern America so your journey is educational as well as fabulously entertaining!It certainly helps to see the funny side of difficult times on holiday.Being a Hippy from the 70s I travelled Europe in a POP TOP Combi Van as many Aussies were doing way back then.Listening to John Denver as we rolled down the Autobahns with the baby in the back seat …some of my happiest memories.I know you and Donna are making great memories and having fun . Thank you so much for sharing your travels.

  59. Linda Stauffer Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna,

    Thank you for taking us along for the ride on your vacation adventures. We enjoy all your stories and pictures. Be safe and have fun.

    Linda Stauffer
    Harrisburg, PA

  60. Julie Says:

    I enjoy reading your blog so much. So interesting! It feels like I am traveling right along with you, seeing all the sights.

    Yesterday on my way home from the store I had to slow down for cars in front of me-and wait, and wait. Couldn’t figure out what was going on. Finally when it was safe to pull into the other lane and pass, I realized there was not 1, but 2 very large RV’s pulling smaller cars behind them and traveling at a little slower pace! I thought of you and smiled and wondered if those people were having as much fun as you and Donna. :-)

    Have fun and safe travels!

  61. Lela Anderson Says:

    My husband an I had a similar exp. going to Canada in our RV. Too funny!! Boy those border lanes are skinny. When returning to the states, almost didn’t get back in. I’m American & have a CA. Drivers lic. but my birth certificate is French.(father station there in the USAF). They are very DIFFICULT when things don’t match up. Happy travels to you both!!

  62. Lisa Says:

    On all of my travels to Canada, the Canadian border agents have been as nice as can be…it was the US agents on the trip back that always gave us a hard time and had to “make an example” and embarrass people for no good reason. Thank you again for sharing your travelogue with us…I’m enjoying every minute of it!

  63. Jan Halstead Says:

    Getting in the bus lane was a smart thing to do. There should be a sign for RVs since there are so many out there. All the stress and trials you went through with the Owl Box prepared you for your present experiences.(joking) You know how to keep a cool head. Happy you are having more enjoyable moments than troubles and you have been safe. Thanks for the great pictures and stories. We love going along. Jan in Indiana

  64. Ricki Says:

    Donna got to see her daffodils!!!!

  65. OwlyKats Says:

    Oh Carlos,
    You Are always so cool underpressure & such scrutiny. We should all be so calm & understanding. LOL about Fingreprinted due to US Military Top secret clearance, That is the truth.
    I am so glad that you and Donna are having a great vacation. The pictures are beautiful.
    I love the way you eloquently describe your travels. I was laughing so hard this morning; What a great way to start my Week!
    Travel Mercies for You & Donna
    Kathleen S

  66. Joyce Hebert Says:

    isn’t rving fun…never a dull moment…lol…thanks for the posts and keep us in the link…

  67. Deb Bloom Says:

    I just wanted to say that we travel in our motorhome full time. We have the problem with the battery needing to be re-charged on our tow vehicle every time. We have a Dodge Durango that we tow and this happens all the time on long trips. Not sure why it happens to us either. We take a battery charger with us.

  68. donna Says:

    Thanks for the updates Carlos & Donna, sounds like your having a great time. I just love reading about your adventures, you crack me up!!

  69. Sandy Says:

    wow, what a crazy adventure your having. There is always something to buy, repair and do with an RV…just like a home. Glad that you guys had decided to move to San Marcos after all…The world’s most famous owl box came into all of our lives.

  70. PAULA Says:

    As usual, I find myself laughing at your adventures/mis-adventures!! You’ve developed quite a gift for writing. Keep ’em coming! And good adventures to you and Donna.

  71. selena Says:

    Oh Carlos and Donna – at least you know WE love you!!! Glad you’re happily on your way. Great, great story :)


  72. Nancy Says:

    Boy I sure didn’t know how hard it is to cross the border. I went to Vancouver Island with my parents in the 60’s. That was a long time ago. But I remember how beautiful it was. Hope your vehicles don’t give you anymore grief. Always good to hear from you. From Nancy from Utah.

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