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Day 15 - A Dam Good Day

semi-overcast 75 °F

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Our suite in Keremeos. It was a very comfortable place to stay, and it provided a nice spot for us to stop on the way between Vancouver and Spokane.

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The frame shop where our hosts have their framing business.

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Our delicious breakfast. The ingredients were already prepared, and all we had to do was take them out, toast the bread, and eat.

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The view from outside the room. The mountains are very beautiful.

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When we first checked in, our host said "let me show you the room" and walked into this woodshed. In fact, he was only grabbing the key, but it looked like that was going to be the room at first.

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The actual entrance to the room. Much nicer.

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About to leave. Today we begin driving in the opposite direction, getting ever closer to home.

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The bridge in Keremeos. The suite was called the "over the bridge" suite.

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Apparently, someone in Keremeos lives in a van down by the river.

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The crops and scenery of the Okanagan Valley. We were reminded of the San Joaquin valley by the stonefruit and grapes that are grown here. The mountains are a lot closer together though.

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Forbidden Fruit winery, a winery specializing in non-grape wines. We tried a few of their cherry, apricot, peach, and pear wines. The tasting room was very pleasant, and we had a nice conversation with the employee at the counter. We ended up buying a bottle of peach wine called "Speachless."

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Beautiful Lake Osoyoos. Also, the last picture we took in Canada before crossing the border at Osoyoos.

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On our way to Spokane, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Omak, Washington. This was our first Mexican food since leaving on this trip. It was wonderful.

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The Grand Coulee Dam. We had wanted to see it, but we weren't sure if it would be along our route. It is impressively large, and the little town nearby seems very well cared for. We wondered what the people who live there do for a living, figuring that they can't all work on the dam.

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Finally we arrived at Daniel's great aunt Barb and great uncle Merle's house in Spokane. The terraced garden and the house are very pleasant. We had a nice dinner with Barb, her son Tim, Tim's wife Abby and their kids. It was a nice visit, and we are looking forward to touring Spokane tomorrow.

Posted by danielcatherine 23:54 Archived in USA Tagged lake breakfast dam border grand_coulee_dam spokane mexican_food osoyoos Comments (1)

Day 10 - Friday the Thirteenth: Our Lucky Day for Ferries

Featuring a stop at Lake Erie Grocery Store in Anacortes

rain 55 °F

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We woke up to steady rain and cooler temperatures. It seemed like perfect weather, and made the island look all the more beautiful in the mist. We were headed back to Anacortes, and had to cross the island to the ferry terminal fairly early in the morning. Despite leaving a bit late, we easily made it onto the ferry.

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Views from the ferry as we travelled between islands, stopping at Shaw Island and Lopez Island before getting back to Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island.

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A mysterious cat puzzle on the ferry. No one seemed to be working on it or even anywhere near it. A similar puzzle was on the ferry we took to Orcas, even though it wasn't the same ferry.

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Mt. Erie in Anacortes. Lake Erie and Mt. Erie have an unusual name: Mt. Erie was named after the Battle of Lake Erie, which occurred in 1813 on the "other" Lake Erie. In the battle, the Americans defeated the British near Ohio. Later, as highly patriotic names were chosen for places in the northwestern corner of Washington, this mountain was named after that battle. The lake that is next to the mountain was called "Lake Erie" after the mountain.

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The Lake Erie Grocery Store next to Lake Erie. This store belongs to Daniel's great aunt Gerry and great uncle Don (Don is Daniel's grandpa's brother.) Daniel had not met them before, but we had arranged to see them while we were in the area. Unfortunately, the original plan (to visit on Wednesday) had not worked out. However, the rescheduling for Friday allowed more people to be there. We met Don and Gerry's son Joe, and their granddaughters Te'onna, Marissa, and Charli.

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From left: Te'onna, Charli, Joe, Don, Daniel, Catherine, Marissa.

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The store itself was very impressive and interesting. Though it is small, it seems to have a huge selection. Also, customers come in regularly (though It was apparently a pretty slow day, actually.) The store is connected to the house, so we just sat and visited and when the buzzer would go off that a customer had come in, either Don or Gerry would get up and help the customer, then come back.

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From left: Gerry, Don, Daniel, Catherine.
We had a great visit: Daniel learned a lot of interesting family stories and some geneological information, and we got to meet several relatives we didn't know before. We spent several hours there, then headed to the border to go to Victoria.

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Speaking of Victoria, a picture of the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria hanging above the counter at the store. This is apparently the ship that Daniel's great grandmother took when she immigrated to the United States.

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Crossing the border into Canada. The border guards are very inquisitive about why you are there and what you are doing. If we hadn't taken the crossing into another country seriously at first, we certainly would now.

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We made it on the earliest possible ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. The BC ferries are incredibly larger and more polished than the Washington ferries, though the Washington ferries were nice in their own way (smaller and more down-to-earth seeming).

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Washington and BC ferries compared.

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Some views of various islands from the ferry.

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The BC ferries are very confortable and well-appointed. More than anything, they feel like airports.

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Canada and the United States are similar in many ways. However, Canada has some odd chip flavors.

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After the rugged accommodations on Orcas Island, this room in an apartment in a subdivided mansion in Victoria seemed like the ultimate in sumptuous luxury.

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Our host recommended Zambri's Italian restaurant. It was delicious. We got the Italian Sausage pizza and the local turnips. Very had never tried turnips before, but they were good.

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Victoria is a beautiful city. It looks and feels clean, safe, and pleasant. There is a lot to do, and we are glad that we booked two nights here!

Posted by danielcatherine 02:43 Archived in Canada Tagged victoria ship border ferry pizza store luck cousins tiramisu groceries relatives anacortes lake_erie zambri's turnips Comments (2)

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