Dogs and Flowers

I LOVED going through the immigration at Vancouver. I don’t know if all international airports are like this now, but this was the first time I’d traveled internationally since Italy 3 years ago. First, it was a lot like being at a big amusement park or a huge business conference. Uniformed personnel everywhere calling out directions and gesturing to the correct pathway. 🙂 When I was in Vegas in March for a conference the hotel staff would create a path to guide us to the correct dining area. The airport was much like that. 🙂 Although you fill out the customs declaration form on the plane, no one looks at it. You go to a kiosk and you answer all the same questions again. Of course the kiosk experience begins by placing your passport on the reader. And of course it didn’t work for me. *blush* I had the passport the wrong way on the reader. Sigh. Hard to believe I work with computers day in and day out, isn’t it? It was extremely fast, simple (once I had the passport the right way) and pleasant. The kiosk also takes your picture and gives you another piece of paper.

River House Pub
River House Pub
The plane had landed 40 minutes EARLY (yay!) so I texted Honour to make sure that she knew that. She said that she and her friend Evelyn were there and waiting. I went through a checkpoint where a real human took my original declaration form, then moved to another checkpoint to leave the area where another person took the kiosk paper, and then I was out into the open.

I confess that I was looking for Honour the Avatar.

I’d never seen a photo of Honour prime (or is the avatar prime??). I walked through the passageway looking at all the people wondering if I’d recognize her. I saw one woman with white hair but nothing else really seemed to fit and she wasn’t looking at me. I was nearing the end of the roped corridor when I heard someone yell my name. I looked up and this total stranger was waving and calling me name. She (illegally) came under the rope to greet me. It was Honour. That wasn’t Honour. Who WAS this woman with Honour’s voice and mannerisms????? It was Honour. She introduced me to Evelyn and I began work on reconciling reality with my mental images. 🙂 This person was soooooo Honour. OMG. Chestnut – if you are reading this you would have known her instantly too. closeup lacey hydrangeaIf I simply listened to her I was completely at home. I changed some dollars to loonies (but not enough as it is turning out. None of the places so far will take the CC that does NOT charge a currency translation fee. Bummer.) and we headed off on a tour of the Vancouver area.

She has named her SUV Molly, and I agree that it is a proper name for the vehicle, which is very very comfortable. As I mentioned earlier, there was haze everywhere, which put a bit of a damper on long scenic views but did not interfere with things nearby. We headed for lunch along a river (oh dear, I have no idea where we were). It was a lovely marina/restaurant called River House. We sat outside looking at the boats on the water and chatting. It was lovely and a wonderful refresher after the early morning wake-up call and plane ride. I did pass on the smoked salmon (and that’s kind of an in joke for my sister – still not really ready to face bagel/lox/cream cheese) but had a yummy salmon burger. Orange flowersWe headed back to Honour’s house to drop off Evelyn who lives across the street and for me to download podcasts for our trip (needed wifi). While I was there I met Jamie – the afore-mentioned adorable dog. She was so excited I could not get any really wonderful pics of her so these photos do not do her justice, but she was bouncing up and down and wagging her tail and was just thrilled that I had come to worship at her dogginess.

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to see other people’s gardens. I am not overly fond of hydrangea – I do have some in my yard but not in front. Honour has a variety I’ve never seen before – I think she said it was Lacey Hydrangea. I love it. I’ll have to see if I can find that back home. lacey hydrangea Also these lovely orange flowers as well – another name I didn’t recognize.

From there we went to Clair’s B&B where I am staying until we leave (there’s really not much in Honour’s house but boxes and stuff to be boxed). Clair’s is LOVELY. garden 3I need to get a pic for the front of the house but in the meantime you can check out her website. It is even lovelier than it looks there. I am in the Amber room and love it. The bed is very comfortable and the whole room is lovely. It’s true that there is no shower but there is a fantastic deep tub with feet!!! i used the hand-held shower to wash my hair today with no trouble (thereby doing a little bit to dispel my whole princess-mystique). Honour took off to do more packing. I invited Clair to join me for a wine spritzer on the porch (we’d stopped so I could pick up the ingredients). She agreed but suggested that first she finish the pruning she was doing and then we’d go to the back garden. I took a quick shower to refresh, tossed on a pareo and we headout out to the back. It is GORGEOUS!!! There is a waterfall with a lovely sound, stunningly beautiful flowers and comfortable seating. And of course, a dog. 🙂 SorchaSorcha (not sure I’ve got the correct spelling there). Sorcha is a cairn terrier. Like Jamie, Sorcha ‘knew’ I was there to love and adore and cuddle her.

Clair and I (and Sorcha) sat out chatting and relaxing for quite a bit, until Honour came to get me for dinner.She joined us for a bit of a chat as well until I finally found the energy to go change back to my jeans so we could head out. Honour is making the rounds of all her goodbyes, and last night’s dinner was her farewell stop at one of her favorite Japanese restaurants. I’d put in a plug for it but I have forgotten the name. It was, however, delicious (salmon teriyaki). Honour dropped me off at Clair’s to head home for either more packing or collapse. garden 4Clair and her husband were sitting in the side garden and invited me to join them for a glass of prosecco. I did, and we chatted and it was lovely and peaceful. Clair and I have been having lots of fun chatting, so it was agreed that I’d head out shopping with her on Tuesday while Honour did the myriad of chores, packing, whatever that she still needed to do. I stink at packing (as my sister can attest) and I’d warned Honour very early on that I’d be useless at it. This is probably one of the reasons why we’ve never moved. 🙂 There is no way I can pack up a house.

Clair serves wonderful breakfasts, Claire garden 1but as it turns out I was the only guest last night. I said to her to skip breakfast – there is no reason she needed to get up and make a big special thing for me. I don’t need that much and as long as I got coffee I’m good. She demurred but then agreed. We agreed to meet in the morning for a light breakfast together – coffee and some scrambled eggs. 🙂 My fav. So Clair and I BOTH got a relaxing morning. She got to sleep-in for the first time since April, and I am in a lovely B&B with my eggs made to order and sipping great coffee.

The sun is shining, I’ve heard from Honour that she is (mostly) under control, and Clair and I are going shopping. 🙂

Clair garden 2
Rose of Sharon


I hate Halloween. Yep, I’m one of “them”. I started hating it WAAAAAAAY back in 4th grade, I believe. I had a costume that I LOVED – a black cat. My mother had actually MADE it for me. A tail. A hood with ears. I wore black pants and socks and shirt. She drew whiskers on my face. I LOVED it. I was a black cat in 3rd grade. In 4th grade I was a black cat again. And my classmates made fun of me. I’d been a black cat the year BEFORE. THAT wasn’t a good costume. Just like that – the holiday was totally ruined for me. Every year after that, the whole thing became a drag. To this day I hate it. The best costume that I have ever heard of is no costume. Get a picture frame, and when people ask what/who you are, look through the frame and say “I’m an extremely life-like portrait of myself.”

Over the years as a homeowner, I grew to despise this “holiday” even more. First there were all the years when hooligans roamed the streets, soaping cars, smashing pumpkins and in general destroying whatever they could. The “kids” who knocked on my door (despite the darkened lights) were rarely in costume, were old enough to spawn their own offspring, and never even said “trick or treat”. They’d grunt and hold out pillow cases. Right.

Times changed and now it really is more little children in costumes with parents waiting at the sidewalk. Most of them are cute and some even have costumes. Perhaps 50% of them say “trick or treat”. The other 50% merely shove their bags at you. I do think that most, even the ones who do NOT say T or T, do say thank you.

But why are we doing this? There’s no purpose. It’s blackmail. I have to go out, buy a bunch of whatever to give away to a bunch of beggars. Even after we turn off our porch light there are people who come and pound on the door. Our doorbell has not worked for years. My dog goes crazy at the noise and the people. It’s not MY holiday. That wouldn’t matter if the trick or treaters actually followed “the rules”. I remember what it was like to be little and go out trick or treating. You had to knock. You had to say “trick or treat”. You had to wait to have the homeowner GIVE you something. You had to say thank you. If the light was off, you didn’t go there. *shrug*.

Sorry. For me, this is a colossal nuisance and a holiday I could live without. I confess that I had no problems with having the holiday cancelled by the governor for the last 2 years. Tomorrow is supposed to be near 70 and clear weather. Sigh. Maybe it’s not too late to take me dog and flee.