It’s now time to leave our oasis. As with every cruise so far it comes much too soon. A decision was made to take our luggage ourselves in order to secure an early disembarkation. Eight o’clock arrives and we’re walking off the ship. Much better than waiting until ten thirty. On to the shuttle, back to our car, pack the trunk and off we go.
The plan was to travel north to a little Bavarian town – Leavenworth, WA. And no, it wasn’t to take me to prison. THAT one is in Kansas. This is quite the most unusual town I’ve seen in quite some time. Every building must be following some sort of architectural controls because they all appear to have been teleported directly from Rothenberg. Even Safeway and MacDonald’s meet spec. Did the walk-about (in Sunny Weather!!!) after driving around the blocks for twenty minutes trying to find a parking spot and found the most amazing place for lunch. Nothing exotic, but easily the very best bratwurst we’ve ever had (and there was about six to choose from). All of us could very easily have had a second one but we managed to behave.
Back to the car and onward we sped. The weather continues to co-operate and for whatever the reason, there is very little traffic. In about three hours we begin our approach to the US/CANADA border. Again, a wonderful lack of other vehicles…only two cars ahead of us.
Our turn comes up and I stop at the guard building. All the passports are in order and the standard questions pose no problems. We even have a detailed list of what we have purchased just in case that comes up. But…now here’s a new one. When were we last in Canada? Lying to customs has never been my forte’ so I answer “yesterday..we stopped in Victoria as one of our ports of call on the cruise ship”. But we never went through customs at all. Never were required or requested to produce a passport or declare anything. Well guess what? The cruise ship does that for you. It reports all passengers entering any country whenever they dock. So…returned to Canada yesterday, left Canada yesterday and are now re-entering Canada. One Day Later. So…we have now been out of Canada for one day., not ten
Exemption limits are different for one day rather than ten days. We’re well within limits for ten days…but way over for one day. Are you Serious????
Complete and utter dumbfounded glazed look in the eyes sometimes has a good effect, even more so when totally legit. The guard said she would not request us to attend the office to pay the duty given our situation. However, she said, be aware that this can have a totally different outcome in the future. Well thank you very much!! By the way…which way to the nearest bathroom?
So…very valuable lesson learned. Be acutely aware of when you leave and return to Canada. Things are not always as cut and dried as you might believe.
The rest of that trip was uneventful (thank goodness!) and we made our way into Osoyoos, located our vineyard and unpacked.
Our B&B this time had its own five acres of grapes which he sells to one of the local wineries. George (our Czech host) lived there with his wife. She worked outside the home and he took care of the B&B. His main hobby was his roses and his other was cooking.
It was easy to see the passion in his roses…they really were quite stunning. Personally I liked the aroma of the mauve ones best, but the others were all amazing. Ok…so roses are a weak spot of mine. Sue me.
His other passion was cooking. The first day began with an omelet (for each of us) that could probably have fed two. Each was paired with fresh fruit and hash browns. I guess we should be happy…don’t need to eat for the balance of the day.
The second morning’s repast consisted of crepes. Simple. Effective. Well done. Each was more than a dinner plate could accommodate (it hung over the edge all the way around). We each had one (which didn’t take the quantity down enough to get to the TOP of the pie pan he served them in. I don’t know how many he made, but it was just a silly amount). THEN he asked if we would like a fresh croissant. I looked over to his kitchen and he had two cookie sheets with at least twelve croissants on each, still warm from the oven. Uh…no thank you. 🙂 I never asked but I wonder if he was a cook in the army??
Oh…by the way. Everything he made was Really good.
Both days were spent navigating the Osoyoos area in search of wine-cellar appropriate liquid gold. And there was no shortage. Our search was meeting with a wide variety of successes. Edmonton winters, as cold as they generally are, have brought about almost a complete evaporation of the wine cellar in our basement. We have found much in the way of replenishment. Onward!!