Back in the U.S.S.A.

After the fireworks we took a day off in our last B&B. This one was clean, tastefully decorated, located in a very scenic spot, but lacked breakfast. The hostess told us that there had been complaints, and the kitchen was upstairs, and so on, but the fact remains, it ain’t a B&B, it’s a B.


Why are you staying indoors, when …..


the view from the verandah, with chairs, is so nice? That’s Vancouver across the way.

The next day we headed south again to catch the ferry back to Anacortes. It was a beautiful day, marred only by the long wait to pass US immigration on the dock. At least they didn’t ask for our Social Security numbers and voting records. That’s months away.


The Elwha arrives.


Farewell to Canada.


Lots of water and sky.

When we got to Anacortes it was time to put the foot down and get to Vancouver WA, just north of Portland, for the night. Then it was on to Ashland OR for one night and tickets to The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Trendspotting. Avid readers will recall our trip to the Globe Theater in London and Twelfth Night (link). It looks as if a trend is emerging – turning Shakespeare comedies into singspiel. This production of Merry Wives contained musical numbers drawn from the pop world plus cross dressing, and large portions of ham. The crowning ‘achievement’ was casting a small woman as Falstaff. The key here is “small”, not “woman.” It just doesn’t cut it when Falstaff is not, as the line goes, “two yards about” (72 inch waistline). She was bulked up, and had good (i.e. bad) hair and beard, and she played him as Bobcat Goldthwaite might have done, but just didn’t have the height or width needed to dominate. Oh well. Worth trying.

Much of the pop music meant nothing to us, although the younger audience members caught the references. All of us got the big first half close, with Mistresses Ford and Page singing Blondie’s “One Way or Another” as they planned revenge on Falstaff:

One way or another I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha … etc.

That was definitely a hit. So, watch for this kind of treatment in the next Shakespeare comedy you attend.


Slender being a perfect fool with Ann Page. Costumes were excellent.


Professional singers. The regular cast members were good too.

On Wednesday morning we headed south to visit Quincy and Sarah in Brisbane (SF Peninsula). Our last photo taken in anger was of Mount Shasta.


There’s a little bit of smoke/fumes on the north side, visible in binoculars. Beware, northerners.

We had a very nice visit to Quincy and Sarah’s new house, a bay cruise in their sailboat (the Mostly Harmless), and an ‘interesting’ dinner on our last night. Sarah and I ordered lamb kebabs: she got lamb and I got free-range mutton. Tasty but tough: un-swallowable.

On Friday, July 7th, we drove down the 101 and arrived home at last. Aside from a bit of mold in the bathrooms and the odd cobweb, everything was just as we left it. The automated drip irrigation system did not explode while we were gone. Our neighbors the Bakers gave us all the mail and we settled in to read, do laundry, and check out the starter battery on the Prius (late word – it’s dead; new parts ordered). We look forward to several days of inactivity.


Canada Day–an epic by Homer



July 1, 2017. 150th Birthday of Canada. We rose early on Canada Day, but not as early as the IBBI (Int’l Brotherhood of Balloon Inflators). This arch was over the elevator lobby at our hotel.

We loaded up on breakfast because we knew we would be on the road under time pressure. We had a B&B in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The normal way to go is down to Vancouver (90 minutes), catch the ferry to Nanaimo (105 minutes) and 10 km to the B&B. The only trouble was we had not done this far enough in advance, and all the Vancouver ferries were sold out. Ferries up the coast took many hours to reach and required intermediate ferries as well. In the end, the only solution was to go south across the border to Anacortes, (3.5 hours + border delay + 1 hour early arrival at the pier) catch the ferry to Victoria (2 hours), and drive to Nanaimo (2 hours).


We saw one of the floats for the parade. The design reminded us of Animal House (“Cut the Cake!”) but the colours were way too cheerful.

We had a pleasant drive down to Vancouver, scenic all the way and no traffic. Everybody was going uphill to Whistler. The border crossing stopped us for 45 minutes but left us with enough time to buy some Bug Remover for the front of the car. When we finally got to Anacortes we had lots of time in the waiting line to scrub the front end and wax it up again.


From the ferry dock, we think that’s Mt. Rainier in the distance.


It’s a great trip through the San Juan Islands to Victoria. This is where you want to live if you own a boat.

After the two hour drive up the island we reached our B&B and almost immediately turned around to go to downtown Nanaimo for dinner and, we hoped, fireworks. Parking was less of a problem than we feared and we even found a table in a restaurant on the waterfront.


Alice had a local Dungeness crab and she finished the whole thing. Very impressive.


Around 9:30 people began gathering on the docks as well as ashore. This is the view from our restaurant – it told us we were in the right spot. Being so far north, the show did not begin until 10:30.


The little blue light was from one of three harbor patrol boats who lit their emergency lights and surrounded the fireworks barge to keep tourists out of the danger zone.


Good show.


And so ended Canada Day.


Another scenic drive, this time from Revelstoke to Whistler.


Glorioski, a picnic pullout! This was built by BC Hydro near one of their dams. We shared it with a busload of German tourists.


The snow-capped peaks never stop. This a view across Duffey Lake. The driftwood seems to be part of a real logjam from long-ago felled trees.


We blew the budget on the Fairmont-Chateau Whistler. Our view from the 10th floor was nice in that you can’t see the ‘village’ (read ‘shopping mall’). Although it’s the end of June, there was still snow at the top of the lifts and we saw skiers back from the snow, walking down Main Street in ski boots.


While others played real golf, Alice and I played mini-golf behind the hotel.


Janet and John were here for a wedding of a school friend’s son, and we went with them to the Squamish/Lilyat Cultural Center. The most interesting displays were the canoes. Some were traditionally made from whole cedar logs but trees large enough for a rough-weather canoe (the biggest) are almost gone. This one was cedar, but constructed from planks.


Each seat had a face. I’m not sure how comfortable this is.


Then we went off to a Mongolian BBQ dinner and posed for pictures. Whistler village resembles Vail in a lot of ways, but is less kitschy. Still, unless you’re a shopper, you’re better off playing mini-golf. Or hiking.

Canada Day tomorrow!