We are finally in Canada, at Aunt Bef's home. (So far connecting to wifi is a bit problematic so this is Meg, using Molitor's account.) Alice is having the time of her life. Aunt Bef, or at least Aunt Bef's hobbies, are The Most Interesting Things In The World: spinning yard from wool, spinning that wool into...something that Alice could probably explain better than I at this point. Alice has already drawn Aunt Bef some pictures, which are now posted on the refrigerator. Aunt Bef is just wonderful with Alice. Very patient and ostensibly appreciative of all of Alice's efforts. And Alice Eats It Up.
Beatrice, as usually, has been excited as all get out in this new environment. A dog! (who rapidly grew weary of inquiring pudgy little hands and squeaky mouths) A balcony! (thankfully designed in such a way that a baby can't fall out...especially a baby with the trademark Large Bartelt Noggin) With a glass door to pound on and smush my face upon! A gas fireplace that I Really Want To Touch! Aunt Bef did a round of baby-proofing before we arrived, but it turns out that households that don't contain children simply can't get to that state where everything you own is old and rounded and you don't care about it anymore and you know your child is (pretty) safe.
Crossing customs was much easier than I thought it would be, never having crossed the border in a car. We spent about 25 minutes inching along Peace Arch Park. The day was beautiful. The park was beautiful. And Molitor used his patented Molitor Customs Technique of talking garrulously to the customs officer until she waved us through Just To Get Away From This Guy. They didn't even ask about fresh fruits and veggies, so we "smuggled" 1 1/2 mediocre tomatoes into Canada.
We drove through Bellingham for just a few minutes before crossing. Partly to get some gas (I thought the gas would be significantly cheaper while still in the US...I'm not sure I was right) and partly to see the town. My friends Suzanne and Dan are moving there later in the year to take up teaching professions at a university there, and it's on our list of towns to consider for our move. It was a beautiful day (though we know that there are months on end with no sun), the downtown was cute, and Molitor was excited to see a "This Way to Community Sailing Center" sign.
All in all, it was a big travel day that went better than I could have hoped. We, for the first time, started driving before Beatrice took her morning nap. This was possibly only because we were at a motel and therefore had less stuff to pack up. She then napped for almost 2 hours, which is by far the best morning nap she's had in ... months? Partly due to the fact that her parents let her scream from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. that morning, in the hopes of getting her back into the habit of sleeping until 6 a.m. I can tell you today that our efforts failed.
We stopped for an early lunch around Bellevue at the Twisted Cafe, a Cuban joint. Which was fantastic. (I will steal Molitor's thunder here and recount this tale: We ordered a Cuban sandwich, which is made up mostly out of various renditions of pig. When Molitor opened up his sandwich to fish out some meat for Beatrice, who was sitting on his lap, she absolutely shrieked with delight at the sight.) I love being back in the land where you can simply choose a restaurant at random and the food is excellent. Ethnic food (other than the "southern" ethnicity) in Norfolk was always frustratingly bad, and there were precious few restaurants of any style that we enjoyed.