travels

Memories of Manon…

Memories of Manon…

To my absolute delight, Manon came to Vancouver

For those of you who do not recognize the name, Manon was one of my very first viewers. We have kept in touch over the years and this year I finally got to give her a hug!

Her amazing smile brightened every moment I spent with her

Manon was everything I had thought she would be and then more. She was so elegant, gracious and thoughtful. She touched my heart and soul.

Perhaps one of the most endearing memories I have of her visit is the way, each time I thanked her for something, this melodious “you’re welcome” would come singing back at me. It was just so darn charming and I will hear it each time I say “thank you” to anyone. It will stay with me for the rest of my life. It also reminded me of the value of such a small response.

I heard about the fact that her local friend had been unable to do some of the sightseeing that Manon had hoped to do so I made a plan to make few things happen for her. We spent one day here in my area of White Rock and then headed into Vancouver to take in some local sights and then Manon took me on a foodie tour of my own city! I am so glad she did.

An incredible pork belly tempura egg at TUCs Craft Kitchen

If you would like to see more of her visit, and some of the sights I took her to see, you will find the playlist here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD5qHqxL7Gc&list=PL5vqmdK8t5s–mKrsxAHf6v4z9UgGdUV7

I would not be honest if I didn’t tell you I will truly miss Manon, her smile and everything she brings to this world. I cried when I met her and I didn’t want to cry when we parted. I worked hard to put us both into our “rational” brains before we went our separate ways. She left me a truly magical note that I couldn’t read until I got home because I didn’t want to drive in tears.

As the tears streamed down my face reading the card I was overcome with the joy and gratitude that she came Vancouver and that I got to be part of her real world, even for a moment. As I closed the thank you card I fought to smile, nod my head and say…

“… you’re welcome”

52. Red flags and the difficulty of telling the truth

I ventured across the border into the US yesterday. As usual, it was an interesting adventure. I had taken it really easy loading up the trailer – pack some, rest some, repeat until finished – and was feeling good.

 

I drove to Sumas crossing as it is the closest one to where I needed to go – Deming, Washington – and I also like the fact that the crossing is not as busy as the ones closer to me. Life was good. I was relaxed. I drove forward to the customs booth. “Nationality?” he said “Canadian but travelling on a British passport” I replied. “What did you say?” I repeated the words. He took my documents. Then he went into a tirade of words which I didn’t understand because I could not hear them over the burble of my Jeep’s V8 engine. “Could you repeat that please, sir?” Be polite, be patient and above all don’t get smart, Sal.

 

Omg, he repeated and I still didn’t hear. “I am sorry to have to ask you…” I was hanging half out of the window at this point, screwing up my eyes, trying to give him the body language to get him to understand his mumbling was not making it over the delightfully guttural burble of Mickey Blue Eyes (name of my Jeep). By now “he” was not amused. I knew he would send me in for vetting because they always do. What I didn’t know is that he had red flagged me for serious scrutiny for immigration “stuff” (not sure what the stuff was!!).

 

There is something to be said about being someone who crosses the border not too often but often enough to have a track record. The more senior guys, inside, took one look at their screen and said “So, you have become a Canadian! Why aren’t you using your Canadian passport?” I would have thought that was pretty darn obvious but held my tongue “Because I have not, as yet, applied for one”. “Why not?” Oh my, I wanted to scream “…because I didn’t know there was a necessity to do so when I still had a perfectly valid passport in my possession”. I took the safer route, “…because I didn’t make the time to do that yet”.

 

But not the end of my problems. Next the really nice man from the food and wildlife section was asking me what I had in the trailer. I listed off as much as I could in terms of apples, oranges, celery, a couple of avocado, cheese… then I faltered. I just couldn’t remember what was in my fridge. I wasn’t trying to be smart, I was struggling to remember and that made me more nervous. I apologized and used the age card “… gee, this getting older really does effect the memory. If I have forgotten anything it is not intentional, it is because I genuinely cannot remember” Then came the really embarrassing part “When did you load the trailer?” What could I do but tell the truth “A couple of hours ago”. “… and you cannot remember what you put in the fridge?!” I didn’t know how to answer that except with a very pathetic “… apparently not and I am embarrassed to admit that”. ‘I see we gave you a pamphlet on what foods you could bring into the States about a year ago. Why didn’t you follow that instruction?” Again, I resisted the “…because, obviously, I lost the darn thing!” and said sheepishly “I lost it”.

 

Notes to self:

1. Get your Canadian passport sorted out ASAP

2. Keep that allowable foods pamphlet in the trailer!

3. Find out why oranges can come from the US but may not return. Weird. Apples can but not oranges clearly marked that they come from the US. Anyone know why?!