Monday, October 24, 2011

Oh, Canada


We only got to Canada for one day.  We are already making plans for my return trip to Seattle and more time spent in Canada since we didn't get to see nearly as much as we wanted.  What we did get to see was pretty cool though.  I like learning about the history of a place so we went to Ft. Langley, which is the oldest settlement in British Columbia.  That white building there is the storehouse and the oldest structure in the province.




One of the things that surprised me was how many items on display were just out in the open and allowed to be handled by visitors at will.  Since Ft. Langley was settled as part of the fur trade there were piles and piles of pelts in the storehouse along with other things.  I had a lovely chat with a lady in period costume who interpreted the fort to us.  As someone who does that at a local historical site, I enjoyed comparing notes with her on East Coast vs. West Coast and U.S. vs. Canada across a number of aspects. 









Beaver hats were all the rage in Europe at the time of Ft. Langley's settling.  They had one I could model.  I think I looked more like the female version of Slash than a settler.  Vague resemblances to rock stars aside, I really liked how accessible the place was in the way it presented itself.  We had a bit of a chuckle over the introductory movie that gave an overview to the place.  It was not a typical snooze inducing documentary (this coming from someone who likes documentaries). It was kind of cheesy in an endearing sort of way but it was also engaging and I could see folks retaining the facts it presented more readily.  So hats off to the folks of B.C. for making history fun and for the relaxed approach.  Here on the East Coast there's a level of formality to the presentation of history that is sometimes off-putting, though I hasten to add I do understand why the National Archives doesn't want some dude with greasy fingers from his super-sized meal fingering up the US Constitution.

Since the demand for beaver hats tanked not long after the founding of Ft. Langley and the winters there are mild enough that the furs produced are not high quality they turned to timber, cedar especially.  Ah, trees make me happy.  The feathery greens were so pretty.













We thought we'd have more time to explore a bit of B.C. but it got late so we headed back to the U.S.  Getting into Canada was a little interesting since Thing Two was with us and the Canadian border patrol was afraid Logo was kidnapping her own son.  The Canadian authorities were at least pleasant about the process.  One guy was downright apologetic for the trouble.  Returning to the U.S., we were greeted by a seriously surly American border guard.  Really, dude, a couple of middle-aged women and a 12 year old boy in a minivan strike you as a threat? This picture and the next one were taken at the Peach Arch Monument.  This one is from the Canadian side. Thing Two and I dashed off to take a quick looksee while Logo circled the parking lot avoiding the $10 parking fee on the American side.





Now this is the part of the post where you all pat me on the back and commend me for not getting myself hauled off and strip searched.  Logo and I presented out ID and were asked where we were from respectively.  We answered and then the guard wanted to know how we knew each other.  Now all of you understand online friendships can be normal.  Stern border guards have a narrower understanding of life in general so Logo and I looked at each other wondering how exactly to explain this.  Meanwhile in the backseat, Thing Two offered, "The Internet!"  Aforementioned U.S. border guard immediately became more suspicious in his demeanor and growled, "Care to elaborate on that?"  Dear reader, you KNOW what I do to memes therefore it is safe to assume you KNOW that every cell in my body yearned to give a snarky yet chipper, "No, not so much!" as if I were truly being offered an option in that question.  Fortunately, a few cells in my brain fired off before my mouth did and I was able to avoid a cavity search because, as I considered a more suitable response, Logo told the guy we met in a chat room and before I could make some wise ass crack about it being an Al-Qaeda chat room she clarified that it was a trivia room and we were sent on our way.


11 comments:

Jocelyn said...

Praise Jeebus for Logo answering that question. I would bake you cookies for jail, of course, had it turned out differently.

The photo with the top hat? Totally your new avatar, please.

Btw, sorry for my sporadic blog visits these days; I'm trying to figure where the time in my days is going...

Craig said...

I have a SIL from BC; really sweet lady. . .

That hat makes you look positively Dickensian. . . Beaver hats are more-or-less responsible for the entire settlement of the US and Canada west of the Appalachians. . .

And remind me never to try to cross a border with you. . .

'Cuz, like, I've had some really gnarly border-crossing experiences, even before the 'everyone's-a-terrorist' days, back when the US-Canada border was about as easy to cross as the Michigan-Ohio border. . .

Hilary said...

I've crossed from my Canada into the U.S. with someone who was American. We were stopped and detained for a couple of hours until everything checked out. It seems folks who live in different countries and who travel together are red flags. I'm glad you kept your mouth closed too.. ;)

The word verification is phalik. Enough with that space needle!

Logophile said...

hee hee

Yes, we will definitely have to do another trip to Canada.
Victoria is calling!
:>

G-Man said...

You wear Beaver well Trini!!

Suldog said...

My father having worked for the airlines, I did a lot of traveling when I was young. I thus learned, early on, that US Customs is the most disagreeable customs service in the world. Almost everywhere else, they greet you with a smile. Here, it's automatic suspicion and no sense of humor whatsoever.

Nowadays, those who weren't personable enough to meet the pitiably low standards of a border patrol person or customs agent have been assigned to be TSAs.

coopernicus said...

yeah...you two look like a serious threat to national security...
a trip to Canada without visiting the Windsor Ballet? Sure it's 3000 miles on the other side of the country...but priorities!!!

Craig said...

And, uh. . . ". . . wise ass crack. . ."

You shouldn't tempt me like that. . .

S said...

OMG! Like I said, glad I wasnt with ya, being born in Eritrea and a buttload of India immigration stamps gets those border guys really antsy!

LOL
It looked like the weather was just terrible that day, what a shame.
:P

silly rabbit said...

I've only had about a toe in Canada and Mexico... long before all the recent hoopla. I've always thought of boarder guards as being like toll booth fellas. I guess the upgrade to bad ass terror fighters has kind of altered their reality about people, though it is a serious job. Still,its a shame they don't give our country a friendly face.
Love the beaver hat!

Beach Bum said...

With such intelligent border guards you really got to wonder about the rest of the government.