It’s A Small, Small World (and Canadians are really very nice)

It’s A Small, Small World (and Canadians are really very nice)

October 09, 2018
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As a family, we love to travel and adventure during the summer break.  This summer was no different as we flew cross country to spend some time in the Pacific Northwest.  Here are the quick highlights:

Portland:  Washington Park (for family see-saw time), Alphabet Street District for amazing ice cream, International Test Rose Garden, and waterfront vistas (endless homeless encampments).

Columbia River Gorge:  beautiful waterfalls – Multnomah and Latourell, playing in the river, Magic Mile Skyride (ski lift) up Mount Hood, whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River (water temperature a brisk 42 degrees!), no air conditioning in our rental house with high temperatures nearing 100.

Photo caption:  We're in there somewhere!

Hiking parts of Mount St. Helens (what’s left after the 1980 eruption) and Mount Rainier.

Photo caption:  Mount St. Helens in the background

Seattle:  Pike Place Market, walking tour and sightseeing cruise on Puget Sound, the Museum of Pop Culture, and the newly renovated Space Needle (now with plexiglass walls that tilt outward, oh yeah!).

Whistler:  stunning drive on the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler.

Vancouver:  biking Stanley Park, enjoying our downtown 17th floor Airbnb apartment.

Why Is It a Small, Small World?

On our visit to Whistler, we hiked to Lost Lake, a chilly and beautiful lake at the base of Whistler Mountain.  We swam into the middle of the lake and hung out on a floating swim platform (about 10 feet square).  On the platform was another family.  From Marietta (out-of-staters, that’s where we live).  Their daughter and my daughter shared several common friends…  In modern style they now follow each other on Instagram.  And we were 2825 miles from home.  That’s why it’s a small, small world!

Proof Canadians Are Very Nice

As we loaded the minivan in the hotel parking lot to head across the border into Canada, I pulled our passports out of the secret hiding place.  And counted them.  One, two, three, four.  There are five of us…  Not a great feeling.  After some scrambling and help from Leana, the fifth passport was located – on the scanner bed of our printer at home.  Before we left I made copies of our passports, just in case.  Apparently, I left Tracey’s passport on the scanner.  Oops.

We quickly weighed our options.  Stay together as a family, leave Tracey behind until her passport arrived, or make a run for the border anyway.  We chose option 3 and went for it.  After a brief delay with extra questioning (pull over there, everyone out of the van…), the Canadian border agents allowed Tracey in with a warning she might not have the same luck leaving.

Why the Canadians are nice comment?  While Tracey was being checked out, another border agent chatted me up, asking about our travel plans.  Upon learning of our itinerary, he proceeded to make restaurant recommendations…  Which of course we followed to great results!

Tracey’s passport was safely delivered via Fedex the next day and we were able to cross back into the US with no issues a few days later.  Thanks, Leana!

Lessons Learned

Go see the world, it's a great place.  You'll be surprised by who you'll meet and where.  Life is going to throw you curve balls.  Don't panic, weigh your options, ask for help If you need it, and keep moving forward.  That's it!  Don't be afraid to live.  And pay attention to your Airbnb listing to make sure the house has air conditioning.