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VISIT TO CANADA 2007

May 27-August 27/2007

Our flight to Canada from Bangkok was a long 18 hours but we were impressed with the service from Eva Air. Our first leg was to Taipei, where we had a 3 hour layover before catching another 777 to Vancouver. Although most of flight time was at night and we tried to sleep, it seems that the flight attendants were constantly feeding us. So between all the meals and watching a huge choice of movies on our personal screens, we were severely lacking rest by the time we landed in Vancouver. We had just had breakfast on the plane. But it was already Happy Hour in Vancouver, so the adjustment was a severe one!!

Bruce, Lisa and India

May 27 Bro Bruce picked us up at the airport and we stayed with them for several weeks in Vancouver. As always, they were charming hosts and we enjoyed every minute of their company. Especially, it was good to see India again after many years.

Retro Party

Mom and Dad flew to Vancouver and we all attended a Retro Party Birthday Party for my great cousin Beth. I put on a dress mom had worn in the 50's although it didn't fit me as well as it once fit her. Gord wore dreadlocks which really kinda suited him! Dad wore his old school jacket!

We used Vancouver as a base to visit friends on Vancouver Island and the surrounding areas.

Ralph & Donna

03/06 We had the usual laughs, like old times, with Ralph and Donna whom we have really missed since they sailed home on Ocean Girl  from New Zealand in 2005.

Bob & Louis

05/06 It was great seeing my uncle Bob and Louise
and we enjoyed our
tranquil stay on Mudge Island surrounded by wildlife and great company.

Marv & Donna

08/06 We partied with Marv & Donna, our cruising budds and long time friends who returned home from Australia and now live on their boat, Endless, in Victoria.

Merry & Andy

14/06 We stayed with dear friends Merry & Andy in Maple Ridge as they prepared for their big life style change to their new fishing camp in northern BC.

We bought a car in Vancouver, a 1999 Ford Taurus, for $2800, the plan being to sell it when we left Canada to save some money on a rental car. The car luckily ran perfectly and we had no problems with it. We drove from Vancouver to Edmonton, stopping along the way to visit friends in Summerland, Penticton, and Kelowna. We also visited our children, Chris and Vicky.
We saw some good ol' Canadian wildlife including a bear, a country icon we certainly hadn't seen elsewhere in our travels.

The mountainous scenery reminded us of just how beautiful B.C. is. We took a sidetrip through the Osoyoos area to visit some of the project sites that Gord had been involved with before we left. It was great to see that all were successful businesses, still going strong.

We noticed a significant increase in the number of vineyards around Osoyoos.

Summerland

June 15 We stayed with Mike and Jo in our old stomping grounds of Garnet Valley which brought back memories of the great times we had in Summerland.

We had a good ol' fashioned BBQ and the boys couldn't resist playing with Mike's collection of branding irons!

We enjoyed our time in Summerland visiting numerous friends and taking the opportunity to see our old friend Jane and having lunch with Terry in Penticton.
   Out to dinner and some good laughs with Bill & Sonya, Mike & Jo

Kelowna

We made several trips to Kelowna, one on Father's Day when Gord and Chris spent the day golfing

Carey & Connie

We had a great reunion with Carey and Connie and met their children at their incredible log house, complete with swimming pool, church & guest house.

Heading East

The drive through the Roger's Pass was amazing with spectacular views of the mountains, albeit mostly shrouded in clouds. I admit to a twinge of home sickness amidst the majesty of our rocky mountains.

We managed to take a few "only in Canada" road sign pics to add to my Animal Road sign section of this webpage.   We emerged from our magical drive through the mountains to the sprawling sight of Calgary, which had certainly expanded its girth since our last visit. We immediately disliked the city's traffic, confusion, new and crowded cookie cutter communities and perpetual road construction.

Vicky

We had a fantastic time with Vicky,  a long overdue father and daughter reunion . We got reacquainted with her and she modeled some of the things that we had brought her from Thailand. Unfortunately, because of her work schedule our visit was way too short!

 

Family Visit

Onward to Edmonton - we were excited about seeing my parents whom we had missed so much during our travels. We planned to stay with them for the duration of our stay in Canada.

Mom and Dad opened the gifts we brought and we caught up on all the happenings in our lives.

We had not seen
Geoff, Angela and James

 since we left 4 years ago so the visit
was a special one.

Derrick and Tiff hadn't changed a bit but my, how Taylor had grown up! It was a delight to get to know my niece again.

We spent as much time with our great friends Deb and Len as we could fit in (never enough!). We visited over fine meals, including a great Thai one! We went camping and even the rain could not deter the fun we always have together.  
On one of our visits to see James and Denise, we were surprised by a visit from Sheilagh, Gord's sis from Ontario and Trish, Gord's niece, along with her husband and kids. It was especially good to spend time with Gord's family, particularly to celebrate Denise's remission!!

Dick's Memorial Service

The family gathered together to honor my Mother's brother (my uncle) Dick Cook who passed away several years ago. Mom organized a wonderful ceremony, very touching and a heartfelt tribute to a loving and generous man. We paid our respects at the burial site where Dick's rests among other members of the Cook family

Then we  headed to the park where we each wrote a message for Dick on a balloon, released them and watched the colorful array ascend into the heavens.

 A bench was reserved in Dick's honor with a plaque engraved in everlasting memory. The site was selected because my uncle used to love to walk along that area of the Saskatchewan River in his younger days.

Back at the Folk's House Gord BBQ some burgers and we had a great visit with Mom & Dad, Bob and Louis, Bruce, Derrick, Tiff, Taylor, Geoff, Angela and James.

At the Lake

July 16 

We all went out to the lake for the weekend which brought back memories of the old haunt on Mission Beach at Pigeon Lake. Everyone stayed at the mission and we had a few days of relaxing, visiting highlighted by a show of fireworks off the dock.

Mom baked a cake to celebrate my  B-Day

Ginny with her bros-Bruce, Geoff and Derrick.

Derrick took James water skiing but by the time he got going the sun was setting over the lake

August 11

Another weekend at the Lake, this time with Chris and Vicky. Again, we stayed at the Mission, enjoyed listening to Chris, Vicky and Gord play guitars, relaxed around a campfire and engaged in a rousing game of volleyball.

 

The Gang....l to r

Geoff, Derrick, Taylor, Tiff, Angela, Vicky, Chris, Mom, Ginny Dad, Gord, James

 

It was so good to spend some time with our kids, catching up on their lives.

 

 

We got the opportunity to attend the Folk Festival with both Chris and Vicky, compliments of Geoff.

ANOTHER Birthday celebration in Edmonton, as if getting older once a year isn't enough!   We spent lots of time with the parents. Pictured left, we are at the Park enjoying Pizza by the Lake.

August 23

Three months had gone by so quickly and now it was time to catch our flight back to Thailand and the boat. After tearful goodbyes, we started our drive back to Vancouver. We stopped along the way to visit Vicky and Chris once more.


Cruiser's Reunion in Langley

We had the most fantastic time with our long-time friends from our early cruising days.... We have shared so many unique experiences together and it was nostalgic remembering all the good times we had that for some reason have never been duplicated in quite the same way.

We first met Russ and Shirley (Wandering Star) in San Francisco and travelled with them along the coast to Mexico. They remained in Mexico for another year after we took the Puddle Jump to the South Pacific. We met Dale and Gary (Reaction) on the radio on our passage down the Oregon coast. We shared the experience of being in the same storm which created a lasting bond. It was not until Santa Barbara that we actually met face to face and from that point on we travelled together to Mexico

We met Ralph and Donna in Morrow Bay and our friendship immediately clicked. We travelled with them all the way through the South Pacific to New Zealand. We parted company as they sailed their boat back to Canada from there. They are settled in Nanaimo and have sold Ocean Girl.

Ginny and Gord (sporting his new beard to keep warm in Canada)

Back in Vancouver, we finished up last minute
chores and made plans to sell the car.
Marv
came to visit and he and Gord decided to
attempt Chillies Rellenos.

Although the Chillies Rellenos were
truly a Gord & Marv version, they were absolutely scrumptious, which I think surprised even them!

Brother Bruce and Lisa

September 27

Alas the time had come to pack our bags and head to the airport for our 2:30 am departure. It was exactly 4 years to the day since the last time we departed Canada and set sail for new adventures! We wonder what will be in store for us over the next few years.

Our flight was 20 hours long but again Eva Air made the journey comfortable. We made a connection in Taipei and arrived in Bangkok late morning. We had to arrange shipping our baggage to Phuket because the domestic airline would not carry all the weight we were totting! It was pouring rain and we hailed a taxi. Even though we had put some of our luggage in storage at the airport, we still had so much that the small taxi could not close his trunk. I sat straddled on top of a backseat full of bags already!

By the time we unloaded our cargo, everything was soaked, including ourselves. But we got the job done and returned to the terminal to board our plane to Phuket.

We were greeted in Phuket by torrential rain and blustery winds. We gathered our luggage from the cargo terminal and took a taxi back to Yacht Haven. The rain was pounding down harder than ever and we looked like we waded through the ocean to get to our boat instead of trudging down the long dock, all our baggage in tow.

We finally got everything inside the boat and attempted to hang our wet clothes wherever possible before crashing into bed.

The next day I unpacked to discover that the red dye from our baggage had stained all of our clothes and that the cruising books I had purchased were somewhat water damaged as well. But it was good to be back "home."

It took a very long time for us to adjust to the extremely high humidity and temperatures compounded by the jet lag we were experiencing. The monsoon season was definitely upon us in Thailand and the rain seemed never ending. With all the fans running, the temp in the boat was always at least 30 degrees but much hotter outside!

Over the course of the next couple of months we concentrated on boat projects. The headliner in the forward and aft cabin was replaced, wood trim in the head, a new grate in the cockpit, a sea hood built over the companionway hatch, shelving and cupboards built, the dinghy painted, the chain marked, new batteries installed, new countertops and faucets and, of course, lots of cleaning!

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