So, yesterday I boarded a Bombardier Q400 Jazz flight from YVR to YXS after spending a few days on the lower mainland. For those of you who aren’t as cool as me and don’t know what I’m talking about, in layman’s terms: today I boarded a narrow Air Canada prop-plane from Vancouver to Prince George after spending a few days in a town an hour or so inland from Vancouver.
I carefully labelled my luggage with fragile stickers (after having acquiring a few bottles of sublime BC wine two days ago) and checked in on a typically rainy Vancouver morning. While sitting on the plane I watched two guys in the drizzle outside load the luggage into the hold. There were skinny pink bags, backpacks of all sizes, overstuffed purple bags, hard-shell bags, soft bags; even a damp dog of undetermined size in a large box. Finally, I saw my bag, which was scanned and flung gracefully onto the conveyor belt. The bright red fragile stickers got impressive air time before the bag landed with an ungraceful thud and trundled on in to the plane. I looked forward to reaching my destination to see just how well I had packed that alcohol … (Adequately, it turns out.)
But back to my trip.
After I arrived in town on Monday, the friend who picked me up from the airport and I drove straight from the airport down into Bellingham in the United States to go shopping. As we arrived at the border, alarm bells and sirens started wailing, border guards dropped what they were doing and tore off in the direction of the brouhaha. Fortunately it had nothing to do with me, all returned to normal quite quickly and we drove across the invisible line after getting a stamp in my passport. Passing through Blaine, the first US town after the border, I noticed Edaleen Dairy store, which sold home-made ice cream. I suggested we stop for one. We walked in, and straight to the back of a queue consisting of a dozen people.
After half a minute though, my driver-friend declared that she hated waiting in lines, that we would find another ice cream later and out we traipsed. We did find one. At a McDonalds. Even a Dairy Queen would have been less common. Later that afternoon, while driving towards a different border post to the one through which we had entered, with me licking out the dregs of my McDonalds Hot Fudge Sundae, we passed a large dairy with the same name as the ice cream place we had been in earlier.
“Hey,” my driver exclaimed! “I’ve heard their ice creams are really good! Pity we just had one from McD! We’ll have to come back another day to try these.”
The irony was too much. I held my tongue.
But visiting another country isn’t only about trying out local ice cream or being a tourist. And I didn’t (do either). In the last three days we hung out, ate lots, talked, laughed, played frisbee, did an informal photo shoot, tried to go shopping and I made new friends.
After a busy few months at home, I breathed again …