Thursday July 5th
Woke up to silence - the fireworks have all gone. Breakfasted on cereal and fruit, fresh fruit that is - left over cherries, watermelon and strawberries.
These next two days are for visiting a couple of nurseries and resting. We, that's me, have to check out the local garden centres and maybe find one or two of our delphiniums and Janice has to do a little (Ha!) shopping. Well, Janice got started first and cruised the shops while I did the blog. After lunch we visit LaConnor. LaConnor is a tourist town, cum wee port. Most of the buildings are classy and those that aren't are expensive anyway. The real reason for the visit however, is to see the quilt museum. This is a grand affair, housed in an old mansion which has, of course, been restored after being ravaged by fire some time before we arrived (early 1900s I think). This is a "well worth the journey" visit and there are some magnificient quilts on display. Stephen says all the right things about Janice's quilts being even better than those displayed and I offer my usual grunts of praise and agreement.
Next to Christianson's Garden Centre. This is an upmarket garden centre that we'd visited three years ago. On that visit they had given us the name of Valleybrook Nurseries as being a great supplier. We subsequently visited Valleybrook and they have become a good customer. It was therefore great to see that Christianson's were displaying our delph, from Valleybrook, this time. We are finding that our delph are indeed becoming established in garden centres in the USA. I also found some "Double Innocence" in another store in town.
This evening we are treated to the company of Barb's mum, Willa and Willa's grandaughter Stephanie, also, Skip and Jean, Stephen and Barb's good friends. It was a great evening and Barb, who had worked 10 hours that day also cooked a wonderful meal. I should tell you that Barb's artichoke and parmesan dip is worth killing for.
Friday July 6th
The essentials today are visiting Skagit gardens and shopping. Guess who did which? Janice managed 7 hours, 13 minutes and twenty three seconds of shopping the Outlet Stores. I managed an hour or so at Skagit Gardens and picked up a catalogue illustrating our delph. Cool! The rest of the day was spent relaxing and helping Stephen watering newly planted trees that had been expressing some displeasure at being left in the hot sun for a few days shortly after being transplanted. We sorted that and they were duly appreciative. The evening was spent at a chinese restaurant with S and B and their old neighbour, Jean. There was great trauma at dinner - twice. Firstly I ordered a double whisky. Now, in NZ, one orders a double whiskey because the half full thimble sized single wouldn't whet the whistle of an adolescent, dwarf mouse. Not so, aparently in the USA. The double I received came in a tumbler three quarters the size of the Empire State Building - and was three quarters full!!!!! Ok I thought, I'll take it slowly... The next trauma was the chilli found in the vegetable and rice dish. This was no ordinary chilli. This one was raised in the back streets of Mexico and fed double whiskys and horseradish, grown for 29 years and dried. It was the hottest chilli I've tasted by a factor of about 3000 and I swallowed the whole lot before I could stop. I'm not looking forward to the sequel.
Ok. I'm a slow typist and we're on Internet Cafe time so on to today.
Saturday July 7th
Spent the morning in the garden with Stephen and then Stephen completed his "best friend in the whole USA" deal by driving Janice and I to Vancouver. The border crossing was a little more exciting than usual for him as he had two foreigners for company and had to jump through the same hoops we did but apart from that the journey was eventless.
The whole week with Stephen and the few days with both Stephen and Bard have been fantastic and represent a considerable debt to be repaid. We are hopeful that they will bring Skip and Jean over to NZ and allow us the priveledge of returning this hospitality. You guys were simply fantastic! Thanks a million for getting our trip off to a wonderful start. See you soon. Please. You only need the air fare.