Exotic Foreign Travel

BC Ferries--the first leg of my exotic foreign trip.  Although nothing's more miserable than missing a ferry, it's actually a pleasure riding these boats on a sunny afternoon.

BC Ferries–the first leg of my exotic foreign trip. Although nothing’s more miserable than missing a ferry, it’s actually a pleasure riding these boats on a sunny afternoon.

Cocktails at the Boat House with D soon after I arrived on the mainland.  Just look at that beautiful ray of sunlight shining in the background!

Cocktails at the Boat House with D soon after I arrived on the mainland. Just look at that beautiful ray of sunlight shining on the table!

Woo hoo!  We were finally on the right side of the border to experience some of my personal favourites:  outlet shopping, unsweetened ice tea and really cheap wine.  Let the good times roll!

Woo hoo! We were finally on the right side of the border to experience some of my personal favourites: outlet shopping, unsweetened ice tea and really cheap wine. Let the good times roll!

I'm embarrassed to admit I bought a purse at the Outlet Mall.  (Yes, I realize I have a problem.)  In my defense, I experienced a rare moment of clarity (how many purses does one woman really need?) and  tried to return it ten minutes after purchasing it.  I learned that Michael Kors doesn't do cash returns.  It would have been nice if the associate who took my money had mentioned this fact, but c'est la vie.  It's a pretty bag and I didn't buy anything else (well except for a cheap box of American Chardonnay and some Chips Ahoy cookies with Reese's Peanut Butter cups--why can't we get the good junk food like this in Canada???)

I’m embarrassed to admit I bought a purse at the Outlet Mall. (Yes, I realize I have a problem.) In my defense, I experienced a rare moment of reason (how many purses does one woman really need?) and tried to return it ten minutes after purchasing it. I learned that Michael Kors doesn’t do cash returns. It would have been nice if the associate who took my money had mentioned this fact, but c’est la vie. It’s a pretty bag and I didn’t buy anything else (well except for a cheap box of American Chardonnay and some Chips Ahoy cookies with Reese’s Peanut Butter cups–why can’t we get the good junk food like this in Canada???)

Home again, home again chiggity chig!  The early morning views may be better than the evening ones, but I wasn't amused.  After lining up over two hours at the border to get back into Canada the night before I missed the last ferry to the Island and had to stay away an extra night.

Home again, home again chiggity chig! The early morning views may be better than the evening ones, but I wasn’t amused. After lining up over two hours at the border to get back into Canada the night before I missed the last ferry to the Island and had to stay away an extra night.

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8 thoughts on “Exotic Foreign Travel

  1. On my goodness, such a strange and mysterious land!
    How were you able to communicate with the natives, and their funny ways?

    If I lived close to a national border, I’d hop back and forth all weekend long just to get the passport stamps!

  2. You went across a border? Now I’m completely muddled! Do you need a passport? Oh you lucky thing: I have to fly 3 hours across the sea to get to another country. I’ve never done it to Australia, but I did fly 18 hours to the USA!

    • It’s always exciting to cross a border into another country and we ventured across one into the United States. Other than the long line-ups, it’s a relatively painless process (certainly less grueling than a three hour flight!) Towns near the border like Blaine and Bellingham, Washington are always packed with Canadian shoppers looking for deals. (D bought gas down there and it was $15 less for a fill up than back home! I think because it’s not as heavily taxed as ours.) We need passports now. We didn’t before 9/11. The least pleasant part of the process is coming back into Canada. Our border guards grill us about every penny we spent while we were away, and depending on their mood, they might send us inside to wait in yet another long line to pay duty on our purchases. You never know how it’s going to go. The one we dealt with last weekend demanded to see D’s box of wine, but let us go without charging us anything even though we’d spent over our limit for a one-day trip. On previous trips we’ve been charged when we bought far less. We always assume we’ll be charged duty and treat it like a bonus (a cherry on top of our trip!) if we’re not.

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