Saturday, July 30, 2011

Visitor from Calgary and Activities

Sisters: Deb and Jeanette

We received a visitor from the neighbouring province of Alberta.  Deb lives in Calgary with husband Bob and son Jonathon.  Twice each year, these two get together and when that happens, you just know there will be a flurry of activities.

Here they are in Fort Langley enjoying lunch.
Visiting the popular Krause Berry Farm.
Although there is no photographic evidence, I am told that Deb could no resist a piece of fresh baked bumble berry pie with ice cream.

That pie alone called for a nice evening hike on one of the local trails.

The local farmers are busy bailing hay for their farm animals.
I did join the girls for the evening walk. The smell of fresh cut and newly bailed hay that permeated the air was really inviting and pleasant.

I was busy with a project yesterday but I knew these two sisters would find a treasure trove of activities.  Off they went and when they returned in the early evening, there was a lot of chatter (photos too) about where they had been.

These little Alpacas were inviting too.
Jeanette and Deb chose to visit a local Alpaca farm.  Who could resist the attraction to these beautiful animals!

There is certainly some mutual curiosity to check each other out!
What's not to like about these wonderful animals who originated from Peru, South America.
The girls got lucky at the Alpaca farm.  The woman who runs it was not busy at that very moment and, after chatting for a while, she invited Jeanette and Deb to walk around her pristine farm.  It is stunningly beautiful, clean and organized.

Jeanette and Deb grew up on a farm in Alberta.  It seems fitting that they would be attracted to this farm, the topography and the animals.
The alpacas love to get very close to the visitors who adore them.

After a while, the girls headed off for one of the many local wineries.  Their intention was to find a perfect bottle of white for some fresh halibut that was planned for the bar-b-q last evening.

Deb and I seated outside the winery.
I was driving back home from White Rock and chose to call Jeanette's cell.  To our collective surprise, they were at the Domaine de Charbeton Winery and Bistro only 2 minutes from where I was driving.  I stopped in and after some wine tasting, the girls continued on their journey and I drove home with a few bottles of wine.

Deb suits the indoor environment well, don't you think?   Did you purchase a ticket?
This is the new local lottery home and the girls chose to drop by for a tour of the place.
They must be imagining a win.....
It is a lovely home in High Point - located on 200 Street and 0 Avenue in Langley.  O avenue is right on the USA/Canada border.

Interesting sunken dining room!
Blackie's Spit @ Crescent Beach.  We have strolled this beach area often these past 30 years or so.
They drove west to White Rock and the Crescent Beach area where they enjoyed another hike; this time along the sea shore and Blackie's Spit.

These natural grasses add to the unspoiled trails in the area.  Note the yacht in the background.  It is the start of the long weekend and boats were heading out to sea.
An even larger 45' to 50' yacht heading out to sea.
After a busy day of touring and visiting, they returned home with some fresh halibut and crab cakes for the bar-b-q.  We closed off the evening with laughter and chat.

We'll see what today brings in terms of activity.  I guarantee one thing for sure, there will be some activities and I am the designated driver for today's excursions. Great fun, to be sure!

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Long Overdue Visit

Heading over the toll bridge on our way to Port Coquitlam.
 Jeanette and I had not been to visit my mid-eighties aunt in over eight months.  A visit was long overdue. 

Early afternoon traffic was quite light.

Our arrival at her condo in Port Coquitlam, BC
Aunt Kay had not change one bit since our last visit.  It's always fun to drop by.
Famous for her baking, Kay and Jeanette spent some quality time catching up on our respective lives.
 Kay was married to my mother's oldest brother.  They lived in the city of Vancouver for over 55 years before retiring and moving to Port Coquitlam.  My Uncle Ed passed away several years back.

We have to book an appointment to visit with Kay because she manages a very busy schedule with her bowling league, crib and bridge leagues, Legion bingo's, her daughters and the grandchildren.
Although lunch was not in our plans, Aunt Kay will always prepare something. But the best part has to be her baking.
Now that is what I call a pie!  Aunt Kay is by far the best baker I know. This mix of rhubarb, apples and other fruit was incredibly good.....and fresh baked too!  Yummy!

Kay is showing me her prowess with the cell phone.  While I was there she had me text her phone so that she could record my cell phone number.  She then sent me a text message.  Pretty darned good for a mid-eighties techie, I dare say!
After a four hour visit, we headed for home and Kay began packing her suitcase for a trip to Harrison Hot Springs with her daughters.  She is likely enjoying the hot springs as I write this early morning blog.

That was our Sunday.  Thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Company and Playing Tourist

Trevor and his mom, Sandi, test out the new truck.
Our son in law, Trevor, arrived on a late Thursday night flight from Edmonton.  His mom met him at the airport and they came over to our home for a late dinner.  After a quick look at the truck, a test drive, and a walk about, we could see the excitement growing. Trevor was in seventh heaven!

Friday morning saw Trevor heading to White Rock to visit his dad and have the Ford dealer
connect the daytime running lights on the truck.  It is the law in Canada.  All vehicles must have daytime running lights.  Most European countries mandate daytime running lights too.

Trevor was leaving on Friday afternoon for Penticton and a stag party for his future brother in law.

Saturday saw Jeanette and I on the motorcycle.  Great weather called for a nice ride.

Abbotsford, BC.  The local fruit farmers were very busy yesterday.
These unique machines rattle or shake the raspberry bushes and collect the fruit.  We smelled the raspberries everywhere the farmers were harvesting. How nice that was!

Here is one of the unique raspberry harvesters.  It was on Vye Road (8th Avenue) in Abbotsford.  It was heading for a raspberry patch somewhere close by.
The local farmers have plenty of fruit and vegetables to sell and many have roadside outlets.
We took the back roads we enjoy so much.
Our destination to on Saturday was Cultus Lake.  It was such a beautiful day with plenty of sun and fair temperatures.

The Cultus Lake water park was chocker block full.  Families were enjoying a really nice summer day.

The Provincial Park picnic grounds @ Cultus Lake.
We took a brief ride into the town of Cultus Lake before heading to the south side of the lake and into the Provincial picnic grounds.  This area must easily accommodate 300 vehicles.  It wasn't full when we arrived but it was when we left, a few hours later.

Families, fun, food, laughter and games.
The Chilliwack River - from the bridge.
Check out the fisherman in the centre right of the photo.  He was in a quiet pool next to the raging white water.
 We rode east along the Chilliwack River.  It was running fast - and we believe it was at least a 'class 4' or quite possibly a 'class 5'.  Running the rapids would not be for the faint of heart.

This kayaker was in control
Maneuvering the gates
A brief rest before they portaged back up river.
Goatel 6  (Like Motel 6)
In south Abbotsford - on 8th avenue- is this wonderful little farm with a roadside fruit and vegetable stand.  The owner built this Goatel 6, these past few years (a takeoff from the popular and cheap Motel 6 chain in the US),  and it is a really neat place for families to mingle with and watch goats, donkeys, llamas and chickens.  We stopped to have a better look and take some photos.

Very friendly goats.  One was having a baaaaaaad day!!!
These goats have a great place to call home.
Note the sign and the writing on the right side.  Happy Hour all day?  Ideal for Rv'ers....and the price is right too!
So we took advantage of a truly summer like day - one of the few we have had here - and enjoyed it to the fullest.

Families were out enjoying the waters at Cultus Lake, kayaks and paddlers were navigating the Chilliwack River, farmers were busy reaping the fruits of their labour, the goats were in fine form and we got to see it all from the seat of our ride.  What a great day!

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To Seattle, WA - Export and Import of a Vehicle

Approaching Seattle, WA  
It was another gray day on the Pacific Coast yesterday when we headed for the US border. We made the drive to a south Seattle Ford dealer to pick up the F-150 truck our son in law, Trevor, purchased a couple of weeks ago.

The skies in Seattle at 9:45 am were no better looking than 1.5 hours earlier at home.
Our timing was quite good because there was light traffic going through Seattle.
The Seattle Ford dealer is located at the south end of Boeing Field.  One hour earlier and the expressways would have been riddled with rush hour commuters.

Downtown Seattle.
F-150 Ford FX4  4X4
Michael, the sales person we dealt with, was true to his word.  The truck was waiting and ready for the drive back home.  After exchanging pleasantries and signing a few more documents, we headed for the USA/Canada border.

I-5 northbound.  Jeanette took this photo.  She was following me in our Nissan truck.

Arrival at our home in Langley, BC.  Jeanette is about to take the truck for a test drive....before Trevor and Ginette get their hands on it.

We had to get to the US border before 3:30 pm to officially export the truck from the USA.  Once that was done, we headed for the Canadian border to import the truck into Canada.  With our paperwork well planned - and all documents in order - the process at Canada Customs was quite seamless too.  Within about 15 minutes, the paper work was accepted, the GST was paid, the Excise Tax was paid, the serial numbers were confirmed, and I was on my way.
Jeanette is about to drive away.
That is her racing off.
Trevor is flying in to Abbotsford airport this Thursday evening.  He will pick up his truck and drive to Penticton for a future brother in law's stag in that BC Okanagan Valley city.  From there, he will meet up with his wife (our daughter, Ginette) at our friends' home in Peachland (just 30 minutes up the road from Penticton) for their drive back to Edmonton, Alberta.
Waiting anxiously in our driveway for Trevor's arrival.
This is not the first time we have purchased, exported and imported vehicles into Canada.  In fact, this truck is the 7th time we have done this.  With a hot Canadian dollar (to the USA dollar) and vehicle purchase costs so much lower in the USA, it makes little financial sense, to us, to purchase locally.

Thanks for dropping in.