Sunday, May 31, 2009

We have reached our final Canadian destination, Yellowknife, NT. Yippee, we made it, we landed in Canada over a month ago so it feels good to be at the end of this part of our journey. We are camped out in a friend’s “shack” as he calls it. It is a lovely shack and has all we need except a toilet! The “shack” is located at the back of our buddy’s yard. It is approx. 3 X 2.5m. It has a fridge (stocked with beer I might add) cupboards, counters, a closet and a loft. Ian lived in the “shack” for a year. The bed is in the loft, what more could a person ask for, well maybe a toilet but I am sure Ian and Helen will let us have access to the house to tend to our needs.
We have some apartments lined up to look at, we have found out we can sign a month to month lease. We are going to take a 1 bedroom place that is available immediately for a month. It is a walk up so would not be suitable after Barry has his surgery. Our daughter has some furniture in storage so we are going to look to see what we can use, so the problem of not having anything to sleep on should be solved.
When we arrived in town we went down to the boatyard to see how much ice there was, there was a lot, they won’t be launching for at least a week, if then. I was asked to help put up a new roller furling, mission partly accomplished, a cotter pin is still needed but everything else is fine. We met some old friends; it was great to see them.
We visited the 5 sets of friends and family we had planned on, a bonus being getting to meet our new grand niece, Avery, James and Kendra’s daughter. In Camrose we saw Pat Barbour, now Fields, and her daughter Shona. Years ago in Yellowknife we used to make wine. One night we corked one to many bottles. We labeled it and gave it to Pat, because we would all get in trouble when we were there playing bridge and she would want to open “just one more bottle.” Well that empty bottle of wine left Yellowknife, and went to Vancouver Island; we would pass it back and forth every time we saw each other. Pat gave it to us just before we left in 2006. It made it safely across the Pacific on Cat’s-Paw IV, not falling from its perch when we went aground in the Marquesas, or when we hit those big wind and waves on the way from the Bora Bora to the Cook Islands. Miracle of miracles it was not broken on the return air trip in our luggage. Pat did not have a clue what this thing was wrapped up in four layers of bubble wrap when I gave it to her. Now she is going to have to meet us in some exotic location in order to give it back to us!!
We saw our Mexican cruising buddies Sandy and Steve from Mungo in Edmonton.
We visited Barry’s Aunt Flo, she is in an extended care facility after not being able to get out of bed one day. She seemed in good spirits. While we were there, Barry’s Uncle Ben and his wife came to visit as well. Barry could not remember every meeting him. He looks remarkably like Barry’s Dad. He told me he reads the blog regularly, isn’t the internet amazing, people you have never met can keep in touch with you as little or as much as they want, wow!
Yesterday we went and helped out at the Yellowknife Track Meet, something Barry got started 19 years ago. It is great that it is still alive and well. I had a few moments yesterday when I wondered what on earth we were doing there. It was bitterly cold, a 15 knot wind, gusting to 20 and raining. I had a t-shirt, a hoodie, my down jacket and a rain suit on as well as my hiking boots. I put wool socks on my hands, I couldn’t find my mitts or gloves in the car, welcome back to life north of 60!!
We are going to see our daughter Heather and her children today. I can hardly wait.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We have finished our cruise and are now visiting with our oldest daughter and our 2 year old grandson. The cruise was an exercise in luxury. It was lovely to have all our needs looked after, but not one I want to repeat anytime soon. Barry on the other had loved it and would take another cruise anytime. A SWINGING BRIDGE IN SEATTLE I found I would rather be visiting the exotic places the staff was from in their home environment. DO YOU THING WE SHOULD GET ONE OF THESE ABOARD CAT'S-PAW IV???It was a great chance for the whole family to get together. One night at the dining table we laughed until our sides split, hearing stories from all the perspectives was hilarious. We both enjoyed getting to know our niece from England, Amanda. She is an interesting young woman, working in the wine industry in London. She worked for a year in Paris as a waitress and her explanations about differences in the dining styles of the French and English were very entertaining.

We left the cruise and headed west from Vancouver, we stayed a couple of nights with my brother in the interior of British Columbia. He has retired since the last time we were in Canada, so we got to see his new home in Okanagan Falls. There are falls there, although they are now controlled by a damn that the wine industry in the region uses to control the river for irrigation purposes. We were amazed at the number of vineyards, they were everywhere. Bob and I went for a lovely bicycle ride down the valley along Skaha Lake. The path is on an old rail line bed and is a much better choice, in my opinion than riding on the busy highway. The Canadian Ironman competition is run in Penticton which is just a ways up the road, so lots of folks use that highway to train for the race. Bob and his wife Barb were working at the polls for the provincial government, a lucrative few days work for them.

We are presently getting to know Quinn, our third grandchild. He is a very active, co-ordinated little fellow. He takes after his mother who used to have me running a merry chase at that age. He travels around the playground at a trot, his balance is unbelievable, both Barry and I kind of gasp at some of his antics. The other day he was teetering on the edge of a step (keep in mind, he is only 25 months old) he overbalanced and managed to step down without mishap. He climbs up the twirly slide; Trish figured his Dad has taught him how to do that but no, Quinn just figured it out. He is quite the kid.
We are spending May long weekend here, today Trish and I did a lot of yard work while Grandpa entertained Quinn. He was actually a great help as we spread some hay in the corral, spreading peat moss on the garden was also a hit, but we waited until he was sleeping to repot Trish’s bedding plants.
We will head to Alberta on Tues. hopefully to visit lots of other folks; so far I have managed to line up 6 different folks we want to say hi to. Barry starts work June 1 so our plans are to get to Yellowknife a few days before that. The ferry across the Mackenzie River seems to be running now.

Monday, May 04, 2009

We are on Vancouver Island now. We are staying with Barry's sister Sherran, her daughter from England arrived yesterday so she has a house full. We haven't seen Amanda since she was about 10 so it has been wonderful to get reaquainted with her as an adult.
We have been busy visiting with Barry's Mom and going to look in the "barn". The barn has all of our wordly belongings in it that are not on the boat. We have been sorting through our cold weather clothes as well as work clothes to try and decide what we need to go back up north. I finally found my parka today so I am a happy camper. One of the boxes had hosted a mouse family in it so it stunk and some of my clothes were slightly chewed. It gave me a good excuse to throw away a few items. I should have just taken everything I did not want to take with me to a good will store but we did not allocate time to do that. I am sure I could happily pitch half of the stuff in the "barn". I did manage to come across some of my cook books, which I dearly missed on the boat, so I will be able to feed us in style. The car is going to be packed!!
Barry's Mom has a new pet. It is a rag doll cat, she is very beautiful, a creamy white colour with grey paws. She has long hair and striking blue eyes. Her colour will change as she ages (her fur will darken to grey) and Georgie says that she notices changes weekly. Chat is only 8 months old and is a very inquisitive cat, she is quite playful and Barry and I had fun with her and her toys.
We head off for our cruise tomorrow. The cruise leaves from Vancouver and calls at Seattle, Port Angeles, Victoria and Port Alberni before returning to Vancouver. All of Barry's siblings, their spouses, Barry's Mom and his niece from England will be on the cruise. His sister suggested it and said we should have a fun get together instead of just meeting at funerals, good point.
I have been some re-entry anxiety, yesterday I went shopping for runners and left one store because there were too many people in it. I actually bought the second pair of shoes I tried on because I couldn't face all the choices there were. I am also worried about finding a place to live in Yellowknife. Barry has become the optomist and figures we will have no problems, there will be plenty of partially furnished apt. that we can move into, yeah right!!! It is funny when the roles change, I find his optimism quite hard to take, he must be crazy to think that way, is that how he views my usually sunny outlook on life???