Wednesday, March 18, 2009

O Canada!

There is something magic about crossing the border and arriving back in Canada. Somehow it feels different here. I can feel a little tingle in my stomach as I let it sink in that there is only a mountain range between me and my home. After almost 35,000 kms, the drive through the mountains doesn’t seem like much – except that it’s still too cold and snowy to make the trip. Meanwhile, it’s only cool and rainy on the west coast. There are friends to reconnect with, nephews and a niece to visit. I should be in my Calgary home in a couple of weeks.

I drove from Lincoln City, OR to Port Angeles, WA the day before last. I figured that I could make the 4 pm ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria – alas, I arrived at the ferry dock to discover that the 4 pm ferry actually left from Victoria and the next one to Victoria was at 8:20 am the next day. So I gassed up, had an early, tasty supper at a south Asian restaurant and headed for the KOA campground just outside town.

Yesterday I caught the ferry, received a much appreciated “Welcome back” from the customs agent once she discovered that I hadn’t overspent and I headed for Fort Street or Antiques Row as it’s known locally.

My friend Patricia in Sidney was working until 3pm but had thoughtfully hidden a key for me so I let myself in, made a cup of tea and awaited her return. Patricia has a lovely new border collie named Libby so the first order of business when Patricia returned was to take Libby for a good walk.

Patricia and some of her cousins have a weekly family dinner and last night’s dinner was on her cousin Alan’s 53 foot boat. Her cousin and his wife Toddy run whale and wildlife watching tours out of Uclulet on Vancouver Island’s coast and live full time on their boat. It was docked in Canoe Cove so they could do their yearly maintenance. It is a gorgeous ship and we all had great fun fuelled by oysters, pasta and red wine.

Patricia is working again today so I’m catching up – laundry, calls to friends on the island to find convenient visiting times, shopping for groceries for Patricia’s and my dinner tonight, walking Libby.

Ahh, Canadian soil, a good friend and a canine companion – today is going to be a stellar day!

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