Canada

Monday morning saw a return to school for those who go to learn or to teach. Liesel and I stayed indoors chatting with Pat for longer than intended before we set off for Canada.

The I-5 in Washington becomes the BC-99 at the border, just 15 miles or so north of Ferndale.

The first moment of excitement was when I managed to connect my phone to the car’s audio system via Bluetooth. So we had music: our own music.

Welcome to a windy Canada

Crossing the border was OK: my electronic visa worked even though I had a minor panic when I read the confirmation email and it said I could enter Canada by air.

The Canadian border official asked if we were carrying any firearms.

With a totally different set of priorities, the US border official, on our return later in the day, asked whether we were carrying any clothing.

Very soon, we were welcomed to Surrey, followed soon after for signs to Westminster and Richmond. You know, just in case we were getting homesick.

Welcome to a wet and rainy Surrey

We drove to Vancouver and specifically, to Stanley Park, as recommended by Holly and her family. The weather was a bit dodgy, so we thought we’d hang out in a location where we could take cover if necessary.

The Vancouver skyline

The aquarium suited us very well, some interesting animals there, including a dolphin named Helen.

Looking up at a turtle
A very small tree frog
Helen the acrobatic dolphin
Am emerald tree boa (real, I think)

Hmm, we were in two minds but I think on balance, we’re glad the only killer whale we saw was this bronze sculpture by Bill Reid.

Killer Whale by Bill Reid

There were many large ships in the sea, and just one little kayak making slow progress towrds the beach.

Ships ahoy

We attempted a selfie with a nice background and this is as good as it gets. Selfies is for young people, obvs.

Selfie, Mick and Liesel and a pretty background

In the city, there were many flags telling us about Vancouver Pride, but we still don’t know when that takes place. We did like the rainbow pedestrian crossings: almost as cool as the pedestrian crossing lights at Trafalgar Square!

Rainbow pedestrian crossing

Yes, it rained on and off, but we missed it, either being in the car, or inside at the aquarium. Mission accomplished. The drive home was easy (for me).

Later in the evening, Kira was in her own little world playing Minecraft. She showed me her chickens and her cat, a skeleton horse and a zombie horse. She navigated the world that she’d built herself: Kira’s fingers were a blur on the controller.

One thing I thought I’d never say out loud: “You can’t feed raw fish to a horse”. Kira did ride a real horse: well, real in the Minecraft world! And she confirmed that yes, the donkey is stuck inside the wall.

Meanwhile, the grown-ups were watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, catching up on events in the real world. It’s a tough call, but I think I know which world is safer and more peaceful.