My Emerald City Adventure – The Beginning


Getting There

The ferry trip to mainland Canada was smooth, the family visit in Vancouver- wonderful- (being with the grandkids is like having a warm hug of love that never ends)…and then there was the border crossing.

I couldn’t believe how long it took! We got there about ten on Thursday morning. You wouldn’t think it would be busy but they create their own busy-ness. We inched along for two hours. The sign as we entered the area warned that there would be a fifty minute wait, but time stands still at the borders. They don’t play fair either. The lane beside us started moving quickly and we figured out (too late of course) that they were being channeled into two lanes further ahead. But not us. We moved like slugs on a slippery upward slope.

I kept looking at the grass on the other side of the border, and thinking how ridiculous our man-made lines of demarcation are. It’s the same blingking patch of grass. I know…I know… the reality of living in a world with too many problems to list is we have borders and we need to maintain them. I long for the old days (pre 9/11) when we’d practically drive right through.

My First Gun Stop


I went to Cabela’s for the first time (at Tulalip, near Seattle, by the outlet mall). It’s a mega big box “outfitting” store. Think Costco with guns and fishing rods. Quite the place. I looked at the Glocks, but didn’t ask to hold one. What can I say. They aren’t pretty.

You could get lost in a place like Cabela`s. You can even eat there. We managed to get out with only one pair of wool socks for PJ and a few bags of pink mints that say oddly enough, “Canada” on them, which we were asked to pick up because you can’t get them in Canada. That’s me…I go shopping for Glocks and pick up pink mints.


We had a lovely room in the Westin Bellevue where the Emerald City Conference took place (Fri-Sun.). The room was clean and has all the creature comforts, for less than half the price of the one we had in Manhatten in July that dripped from the ceiling. For our first meal we went to P.F. Changs.pfchang We don`t have that chain in Canada, and I love it. Oh how I love it. We purchased the four course meal for two (Sweet and Sour Soup, spring rolls, Szechuan beef, pao sao scallops, rice and red velvet cake, plus tea and pop for sixty bucks! And then they gave us two $10 gift certificates. Amazing. I don`t need breakfast.

In my next post I’ll talk about our trip to Pike’s Market.

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

13 thoughts on “My Emerald City Adventure – The Beginning”

  1. I too remember the old days when the border guards just waved you by, or as an afterthought, asked if you were born in Canada. Sigh. P.F. Chang’s made my mouth water.


  2. I’d be like you with the glocks and pink mints. But according to a co-worker who had a chance to hold one lately they’re super light or this one was because the outer part of it was made of a super strong, lightweight plastic. Now if they just had them in pink!

    I was in Pike Place once for a nano second but would love to go back and explore sometime. Although I think I can forgo the Pike Place tradition of kissing the fish. Ugh!


  3. Interesting. Just saw in the Victoria paper this morning that Caleba’s is opening their first BC store int Nanaimo! Right on your doorstep. I wonder if they’ll have guns? Romance University has a good post on guns today – understanding some technical terms. Can’t seem to make the link work though.


    1. Judy
      Oh that is interesting. The place is a destination in itself! Thanks for the heads up on both.
      My RU link worked.
      Talk soon


    1. Hi JC
      HM is addicted to the pink mints. But now I hear we’re getting a Cabela’s in town, so her addiction will be more easily fed. lol.
      Sorry about disappointing SM. I am looking for a place for PJ and I to take the Canadian Firearms course. If you tell him that, he might feel better. I’d like to join the local Rod and Gun club and do some shooting. I know, it’s a wee bit out of character for me, but it’s so good for my writing.
      Next year – definitely.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


      1. It might be out of character for you, but I can totally see you touting a pink gun. You actually can get them in colours, and if you can’t (or don’t want to spend the $$ to get it personally made), they have snap on covers to go over the grip (handle)–just like cell phone cases. xo


  4. Hey, Jo-Ann. Love how you share your experiences. We had no trouble crossing into Canada last year on one of our Maine trips. We were heading toward Toronto, but didn’t make it. Not a busy crossing. Zipped right in, but boy did the guards when two hours later we were going back into the US. Definitely looked at us askance.
    We have a Cabella’s on the north side of town. It’s where I took my CHL training. It’s been almost 4 years and time to renew. I’m not much of a gun person, but you know I needed to experience shooting one if I had a chance to write about it realistically. I don’t carry the weapon, but after we started having break-ins in the neighborhood, I did move it from the closet to my bedside table. It’s loaded, but in a locked box. When the grands come over, I put it in the closet. Mine is a hand-me-down .38 I inherited after my mother died. Bless her, she went monthly to the range to practice. I should, but don’t.
    Can’t wait to hear about you and Pikes Market!


    1. Marsha
      Thanks for sharing your gun background. It inspires me. I know several men who have experience with firearms, and not one woman. And I do think, we need to know about them if we’re writing about them. I’m hoping I can find a course close to home. Your Mom must have been one strong woman.
      Best Wishes


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