|Shower Girl - Nicole (L) and our daughter, Ginette, (R). Ginette is showing her 15th week in pregnancy and Nicole is simply emulating her friend.|
Another busy week and weekend.
Daughter Ginette flew in from Edmonton to assist with organizing one of her best friend's shower party. The party was hosted at our home this past Sunday. Nicole's mom (Aline) and soon to be mother in law (Kathy), Jana (future sister in law to Nicole) and Ginette - along with several more busy bees - readied our house, decorated, furniture was rearranged for a large gathering and food was prepared for the main event.
|L-R Aline, Kathy, Jana and Ginette - Busy with early morning food prep and decorations.|
|Aline and Kathy - busy and looking forward to the shower party.|
|Aline, Nicole (Bride to be) and Ginette....busy with food prep.|
|Party well underway- Kathy with Aline (mothers in law to be)|
|Jeanette was making some type of presentation.|
|All were having a good time. The party was active when I checked in.|
|Nicole, with her niece to assist, opens presents as Ginette looks in.|
|The after party when Jeanette took this photo of Aline, daughter Tamara (with her baby boy and daughter) and the shower girl, Nicole.|
Although we have lived on the Canadian west coast these past 30 years, our dually and 5th wheel were registered in the province of Alberta, these past two years. Why? Well, when I sold my multimedia production company on the west coast a few years back, I was also involved in business in the Edmonton area. Although we kept our home here on the coast, I was busy with driving and flying back and forth to Alberta. At one point, I took an Alberta driver's license because I was spending more time there than here on the coast. I knew it would be for a couple of years. During that time, we purchased our truck and 5th wheel in the USA and I registered both in Alberta. Why not? I had an Alberta driver's license! That is the short of it.
|Hitched and ready for a few hours of driving and completing the 360 degree check.|
|I am practicing my 360 walk about to ready for the driving test.|
I studied the 65 page book, wrote the test (must get 80% to pass), got 93%, was awarded a learner's license and could only pull my fiver with an experienced and licensed BC registered driver. Go figure! (I hate bureaucracy....)
|This Trailair pin system requires air in the air bag and shock to dampen the bumps. I can vouch for its smoothness when pulling.|
|My instructor and I are leaving for a couple of hours of learning.|
Forget to test the horn, windshield washer, prove that the heater fan works, or that you have three license plates,.... and you could fail the test. Forget to verbally show and tell that you can check your fluids, hoses, running lights, yadda....yadda....yadda.....and you could easily fail.
|Felt good to be pulling the fiver again.|
Yesterday morning - bright and early - I woke up at 5:00 am, re-read my study materials, committed myself to following the necessary norms expected by the driver examiner, waited for my instructor to show up (because I could not legally drive my rig without a registered license holder in the cab) so we could drive to the testing station for an 8:15 am appointment.
|My instructor, Attila, from Euro Driving School, with his driving school magnetic emblems on my truck door.|
|He wanted a photo of me for his archives, I guess!|
|I pulled my rig out of my driveway and to a local shopping centre (illegally, so it seems) and waited for Attila to show up so we could take the freeway to the driver testing facility. Photo taken with my iPhone and no flash.|
The driving test proved positive too. Only 50 demerit points are allowed. I knew the examiners were very strict. And she was. She would look at my RPM gauge at every stop sign to prove that I was at a dead stop. I could not ever touch a white or yellow line with my fiver wheels (in turns, on the highway, in urban and rural areas, etc). Although Attila had repeatedly told me not to turn my front wheels to the left while waiting to make a left turn in an intersection (one of my habits), the old creature driving habit returned and I managed to do that three (3) times during the test. YIKES! That's 5 points for each infraction for a total of 15 demerits!
The only other infraction was 5 points off for hesitating during a left hand turn at a busy intersection. I waited during a yellow light for what I believed was a speeding - on coming - car that I felt may not stop before the light turns red. Yikes!
My examiner suggested we head back to the testing facility...a full 20 minutes before my driving exam was to end! What's with that? I wondered! She told me that I had passed! She stated that I was a solid driver, experienced, cautious, able to keep speed, had good perception, always in control, and that I was comfortable with my 22 foot truck length and 40 foot 5th wheel length, in busy traffic and on the highways and byways. She did put me through the paces and felt I was quite relaxed. She liked that. So, I completed the driving sequence of the test with only 20 demerits (max 50 to fail)...and with 15 of those demerits due to having my front wheels turned to the left while preparing to turn left in an intersection.
That story told, I am now legally license in British Columbia. Before this, I was formerly legal in Alberta and every other Canadian Province and US State. I have it on good authority that BC is the only Province that now require a special endorsement to pull a 5th wheel recreational trailer over a certain weight and length. I never did check this out to see if it is true or not. It is of little consequence or importance to me now that I have gone through the process. I am legally licensed on BC now.
Now get this! You do not need a special endorsement to drive a Class 'A' motorhome in British Columbia. What is with that? I shake my head at government and its rules (more encumbrances), but BC ranks as one province that loves sticking spokes in the wheels of its citizenry. That is what is so to like about Alberta. The government there is less intrusive. It is clearly a 'want to do' Province and hence the reason we do business there.
|Jeanette took this photo from our living room window as I was backing on to the driveway following the driving exam.|
|Back in its parking spot....till we head south. All washed and cleaned too.|