Thursday, July 21, 2011

Saying "Goodbye" to Canada....part 1

They say it is 'the journey', right? Not so much the destination, but the adventure of just 'getting there'? Because it does feel like most of the action so far has been in the process of getting this sabbatical year on the road! Our tickets had us flying out on Sunday. So, of course, me and the boys arranged to have one last party on Friday night! One last night of potluck, friends, and keroke! I loved having people over for one last party, and the Kareoke machine ran late into the night. On the food front, Duncan and I managed to make 4 batches of homemade mints for the last hurrah! And for those of you who want the recipe, here it is:

Classic Old Fashioned Mints
Take 1 package Knox unflavoured gelatin, and sprinkled over 1/3 cup of cold water (in a small saucepan).  Heat gently til gelatin dissolves (water will look clear again).  Add food colouring, and peppermint extract  (2 capfuls for medium minty... more or less to taste).  Then pour into a large bowl, and start stirring in icing sugar until you get a dough you can knead (it takes the better part of a bag of icing sugar).  Roll into 'snakes' (as if you were playing with playdough), and use scissors to cut into bite sizes (they look like little pillows).  Leave on a cookie sheet to dry.

But back to business....  After the party, we (which really means "I") spent the next 1.5 days trying to figure out how much we could fit into our "2 suitcases each" without going over the weight limitations.  I could say "2 suitcases" rather than "1suitcase" because we were flying with British Air rather than Air Canada.  But this also meant that we needed to fly from Vancouver rather than Victoria.  No problem.  One last ferry ride.  Fania agreed to drive us over.  Great.  plus... I really do love the ferry.  I thought about booking a place, but figured that the traffic was not going to be high on a Sunday afternoon (and was too cheap to pay another $20 bucks), so didn't bother.  I will admit that my panic level was shooting through the roof as we reached the ferry terminal with the sign above saying "possible one ferry wait".  ARGH!!!  Here is a photo of us in the line up for the ferry.  But we were in luck... the 8th from the last car to make it on the ferry.  Woohoo!

I do love the ferry.  And the last crossing this year was fun in all the usual ways.   It is so.... well.... 'westcoast'.  :-)   There was some naturalist on board giving a free lecture on the top deck.  Walking outside in the sun, on the way to hear the lecture, we walked past one guy sitting on a chair playing a Nirvana song on his guitar, another woman with a yoga mat spread out (and resting in some contorted position that did not look the least comfortable to me), and a group of people napping beside their coffee cups.  Just perfect.  And that naturalist was great! We learned about octopus, and glass coral, and rock fish.  I learned, for example, that they now know that rock fish can live over 200 years (compare this to 5 years for a Salmon).  They also now know that rock fish don't start laying eggs until after they are 40 years old (adding a whole new meaning to "The 40 Year Old Virgin).  This is relevant because they now know that for years, fishermen have been harvesting rock fish before they have had a chance to reproduce (which explains why the fish have been in decline).  There you go.  New piece of information to me!

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