Sorry to be so long. The places we stayed at had only wifi which didn't suit me because I don't have my own laptop. Anyway, here we are now. WOW! What a time we're having! Tim arrived safe and sound and we had a great time together - too short though, we were able to say "see you soon" however. Our sorties into the upper reaches of Vancouver Island were really special. Tim hired a car so we just drove and stopped whenever we wanted. The highlight though was the Butterfly place. Those big cream "nymphs" were so friendly, they landed on our legs and just lapped up the moisturiser we had lathered on. I understand people with tanning lotion get special attention - lots and lots of butterflies - I think that would be a bit over the top! Our trip up the Sunshine Coast (after the white knuckle teip through Vancouver in the hire car - me driving and Ron navagating) was amazing. Each little town has reinvented itself in order to survive. There are marinas filled with boats, 4 X 4's everywhere and lots and lots of eating places. We have had some great seafood meals. Now we are in the middle of the Okanagan and the hills are all around us. Bed and Breakfasts take a bit of getting used to - the breakfasts in the last place were amazing but the people were a bit strained - we found out just before we left that the wife was ill. A bit tough for them I'm sure. Here at our second place the people seem more relaxed. House is great, especially the bathroom. We went to a place called "Hell's Gate" yesterday just out of Hope. It was, in my opinion, totally misnamed. I saw God's amazing creative hand in that raging river forcing it's way through that granite gap, swirling, sweeping huge whole tree trunks around like match sticks, forcing them around several times before releasing them to race down the milky green race. We took a gondola thing down to the lower level and just watched in awe. Apparently, as the story goes, Simon Fraser tried to canoe the river, couldn't make it through this gap, had to climb the considerable mountain out of there and wrote that no one could possibly navagate this place in fact he said he had "been to the very gates of hell!" The name has stuck, sadly. Another special time was Canada Day. We spent it in Hope. Small town Hope. There in the main street, huge blokes were flipping 850lb tyres to see how many they could do in one minute. Later the "girls" had a turn (slightly smaller tyres, but still quite big). The streets were lined with classic cars - even a working steam roller! We had smokies for lunch. We stood in line for about half an hour getting to know the people around us. The chap in front of us said he was having a smokie so we did too. Turned out to be a very tasty sausage in a bun with condiments. The Lions club were doing the cooking and fixing - at $4 a pop they would be doing quite well. The Lions and Rotary are very evident in the small towns around here - lots of parks, picnic spots, items of historic interest all with either one of those logos. Tomorrow we are going to try to book a trip on a steam train here in Kamloops - sounds great and it will be a break from driving too. So many things to tell you and I've taken up enough for now. Our love to you all. We pray for you all often.
Ron/Dad/Grandpa & Pat/Mum/Granny
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