Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Washington-Blaine, Victoria BC and the Fam

We LOVE the Pacific Northwest but ya better put yer mudflaps down while here!  The ground never seems to dry out completely and remains a semi-solid mud machine that injects brown matter into puppy paws and tennis shoe treads.  It then drys gradually, leaving remnants indoors on light colored surfaces.  Oh well, that should be our worst (We're near Canada now-gotta say a lot of "ehs")

Next adventure is the arrival of Sue's family in Blaine, WA at a 1000 trails preserve, 
Birch Bay, where two rentals were ready for Sharon (sis) and Norm and Phil (bro).  All arrived on time without mishap or delay and we celebrated our reunion with a special bottle of wine provided by a friend of my sister (Thanks, James!)

Since the sunshine is so fickle in this area, we wasted no time in scheduling our ferry ride through the San Juan Islands into Victoria, BC.  

The 3-hour ride passed quickly with animated conversation on the Topic du Jour, which can be any subject in which there is an opposing position.  This was taken by my brother, Phil, who is from DC and a Beltway Boy and wannabe political pundit.  

To the relief of our fellow passengers, we disembarked for a Customs Clearance at the inner harbor and proceeded to hang out in Victoria.  

We did some touristy stuff in the city of Victoria 

Weather was "Chamber of Commerce" perfect.  Photos say it all.

Then we got on a bus (gas-powered!) to Buchart Gardens

Next day we headed for Vancouver, BC and had to go through the Border crossing and Peace Arch.  
They seemed to have no hesitation letting us in but the US side was a bit more hesitant.  By that time, my brother's moratorium on shaving during his vacation was taking a toll and he might have seemed a bit scruffy, as if hiding in sand tunnels for awhile.  However, he was the only one who actually had a passport so they waved us back into the US.  (I guess that's one of the perks of living in DC and working for lawyers.)

Vancouver is an awesome city.  There is no one there over 30 years old--just young Asian children on skateboards and bikes with electronics plugged in their ears.

We got lost and took a nice scenic drive along the coast on the Sea to Sky Highway while trying to find the Suspension Bridge.  

This is a swingy bridge over a big gorge and river that moves while you are crossing and makes many people sick.  And people actually PAY to be terrorized in this manner.

It was fun.  Frank got a photo of some the Asian children mid-bridge.  He likes to make the young girls giggle while he aims their camera and says "Look Sexy".  

Afterward, we hung out in GasTown and went to a place on the waterfront called Steamworks Brewery.  It was near the tourist SteamClock and right under the huge Observation Tower.

Next day was totally rainy so we all hung out in the Muthaship and ate a wonderful pork loin dinner, ate junk food, drank everything alcoholic, watched movies, discussed the Topic du Jour and played Scrabble.  

Cassie got a LOT of attention that day! 

 Cassie learned quickly how to make the command "Sit Pretty" work for her.
A wonderful time was had by all. 

Frank & Norm investigated an RV issue outside between showers.

During our stay, Frank barbequed burgers and brats one night, and chicken and FRESH asparagus another night.  Here is Frank organizing the grill orders.

He did his usual excellent job of manning the grill and cooking everything to perfection.

Our last day we went to Lynden, a charming German/Swiss theme town.  We had an amazing huge pancake-like confection for breakfast.

 Mural on a town building.


That identifies the silly pic of Frank and me behind a cardboard rendering of a dutch boy and girl.

We had a wonderful family reunion and look forward to many more!  Everyone took off in different directions--Eureka, CA, Washington DC and Frank and I went enroute to meet friends in Grand Coulee Dam.

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