Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh Canada...

We've had so much going on lately - so many fun things - that I've fallen behind in posting them.  Like many of you, I use the blog to keep a record for us, since I've all but given up on scrapbooking.  (Maybe when I'm done homeschooling I can catch up???)

I had no idea when I started blogging that I would make so many friends.  Some I know only through blogs and email, but a few I've had the privilege to meet in person.  And a couple of weeks ago we joyfully added to that number :D

Probably my most geographically distant bloggy buddy is Felicity, who writes from Pretoria, South Africa.  Much too far for either of us to hop in the car and meet for an afternoon, but when her family decided to visit Canada our chance had come!

While they had to fly halfway round the world, we just jumped in the car and hopped across the border.

The main crossing (from our I-5 to Canada's Highway 99) is commonly called Peace Arch crossing, and is right along the waterfront.  And look!  No lines!  How did we get so lucky?

Getting into Canada is no problem.  Though the border guard did get a bit concerned when Kerry forgot how many people are in his family.  (Huh?)

And here we are in Canada, where we are mildly amused at all the metric signs informing us that the speed limit is ONE-HUNDRED!  Go, Daddy, go ;D

From the border it's just a hop, skip, and a jump up to Vancouver.  And a bit of over-the-river...

... and under the river.  But no ships passing over us just then.

And, ta-daaa!  Lunch at a fish and chips shop with Felicity, Malcolm and a mixed bag of kids :D

Our three are at the back end, and her lovely six are nearer the camera.  The boys immediately found lots to talk about, chiefly hunting I think.  Her oldest joined the adult conversation, while her two youngest graciously managed jet lag and (probably) significant discombobulation, as they had only arrived the day before and their bodies were telling them it was midnight, rather than lunch time.

Due to Tate's imminent departure (Wyoming hunting trip) we only had an afternoon to spend with them, so we chose something close to their hotel and - hopefully - interesting to all the kids, and toured the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.

If you're in the Richmond/Steveston area (just south of Vancouver) and looking for a family-friendly activity, this is a very hands-on experience.  First, we all punched our time cards, then entered the cannery for a guided tour.

If you don't know which way to go, just follow the fish :D

Though it's very politically incorrect, this "Iron Chink" was the mainstay of fish canneries for decades.  Kerry even ran one in an Alaska cannery in his college years.  (It rapidly guts the fish.)  Our guide was careful to refer to it as an "Iron Butcher".  Most of the early cannery workers were Asian and/or native people, hence the (outdated) name.

The cannery, naturally, is built right on and over the water and the cold just seeps up right through the floor.  Quite an initiation for our warm-climate friends!  But they were all real troopers :D

The kids got to throw fish with a "peugh" (pronounced "pew")...

... find what they would be worth if they were fish...

... experience the sliming table...

... and get an idea for how dangerous it was to work in a cannery.  Without any of the modern safety regulations, all manner of blades and belts were exposed, and it was very easy to lose a finger.

This may have been the boys' favorite part of the tour ;D

Children as young as eight worked in the can loft, feeding two cans per second onto the machines.

All too soon we needed head south to get Tate packed up, and our friends were getting cold and probably tired.  It gets dark so early this time of year that it seems late, anyway.

I grabbed Kerry's camera and got a picture of him with his new friends...

... but too bad his pic of the boys, horsing around, didn't quite come clear.

Wish we could have spent more time with our friends, but we'll hang on to the fun memories and hope to see them again someday :D


Felicity said...

Ah Julie, it was a great time together!! We enjoyed it so much. Too bad the only photo of me is where I'm half blinking...! :-/
We hope to see you again... soon!

Ruby said...

Meeting people from blogland is special! I've met with a few but only other Aussies.

Choate Family said...

Maybe we can be next on your list?

dlefler said...

What a fun trip! We're close to Canada, too - on the OTHER side of the country, of course!

The cannery was interesting - I'm really glad I don't have to work in one, and even gladder for modern safety mechanisms!