Last time we drove to the States in our van, I meticulously and foolishly pre-planned two-weeks' worth of meals. I had ziploc bags lovingly packed with marinating steaks for BBQ-ing and pre-cut chicken for a stirfry. I was incredibly organized and very proud of myself.
Unfortunately, I'd forgotten about that pesky Mad Cow crisis that was on at the time. Needless to say, we spent a good 45 minutes or so at the border while the guards went through our van with a fine-toothed comb and confiscated most of our food, including our dog food. Sigh...lesson learned. Sort of.
This time, we were determined not to make the same mistake. Yet, when I was cleaning out our fridge before we left home yesterday, the carrots, asparagus and cauliflower just looked too good to throw away. "Ah," I told myself. "They couldn't possibly have a problem with any of those. I'll bring them along." Wrong.
We arrived at the border last night quite sure that we'd get through without any problem. We answered the guard's questions easily. Meat? Nope. Firearms? Nope. Knives or other weapons? Nope. Vegetables. Uh...yes. What kind? Carrots, cauliflower and asparagus.
"Oh," said the guard. "I'm not sure our current regulations on cauliflower." You've got to be kidding me. "Our agriculture guy will have to take a look at it and let you know."
Seriously? I'm sure there may be some perfectly legitimate reasons for banning cauliflower imports. It's possible that the Americans don't want to have our Canadian flatulence further polluting their air. Or perhaps they're afraid that we might share it with American kids and get them hooked on it. Then what would happen to the obesity problem? They might have kids eating vegetables instead of chips on the side! The horror!
Anyway, after a relatively quick 15 minutes, the border guards informed us that cauliflower was not a threat to national security or air quality. We were allowed to keep our precious vegetables and continue on our way. Whew! Crisis averted.
Ultimately, we ended up staying at a lovely RV park by Birch Bay. Judging by the number of RVs that had decks and gardens, and by the fact that the office was already closed when we arrived at 8-ish, I'd say the place catered to retired folks. However, the highlight of the place was that we got cable TV (!) and were able to watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics (although from an American station). Yay! Way to go Vancouver--you did good!
Tonight, after a pit stop in Seattle to pick up a new bike rack that would accommodate Jaxon's trail-a-long bike, we arrived at another great RV park just north of Portland. It's right on the river and has cable TV and wifi. Yep, we're really roughing it. Great spot, especially because it's really too cold to be outside sitting around the fire or anything like that. Instead, we played a couple games of UNO and Battleship while watching the Olympics on TV.
We're having a great time and are looking forward to seeing some sun and warm weather soon. We're following the Olympics as closely as possible although without Internet access, it's hard to get Canadian news. We have gold, silver and bronze paper with us and Jaxon's job is to make a paper medal every time Canada wins a medal. We're hoping by the end of our trip, our cabinet doors will be covered in them.
Take care and happy Valentine's Day. And Americans, watch out, I'm planning to eat cauliflower tomorrow!