Sunday, July 10, 2005

O Canada! Oh yeah. For sure.


God, I love Canada.

I'm actually lucky enough to have a Canadian passport - I was born in Montreal - and it's looking pretty good after our road trip through British Columbia.

We headed through eastern Washington - due to some poor navigation on my part, with a brief detour to the Grand Coulee Dam - to take the good ship Martha S. across to the Colville reservation and on to the nicest border crossing in the world: Danville.

Then on to Nelson: a perfect mountain town. It has everything: good food, bookstores, a beautiful bridge, fantastic coffee, and intoxicating, dizzying mountain scenery. Plus, everybody is skinny there. The local newspaper has a "Pet of the Week" column, which last week featured a ginger tom called O.J.


We stayed nearby, in Banfour, for three nights - I was ready to move to Kaslo - and then took the ferry across Lake Kootenay - it must be the most spectacular ride in the world. Then on to Invermere, and some kayaking. My friend and I took a trip to Banff, hoping to find out something about the exhibition my sister, her partner, and her ex-husband had there last year. No luck - but we got to see Banff, and we also got to see Lake Louise, which looks like somebody took a perfectly beautiful Alpine lake and did some entirely gratuitous Photoshop job on it to make it even more beautiful.

Kelowna was a surprise. You don't get much Canadian wine in the States, and we chose our first winery pretty much because it was near the hotel.

The Mission Hill winery was as beautiful a setting as I've seen. It's designed like a contemporary version of a Tuscan villa. We ate like kings and I've decided to assume that the waitresses found our conversation amusing. We did, anyway. In fact, the last three days of our trip were just full of the most fantastic food. At Mission Hill we had a tasting menu, of which I especially remember the pea soup: bright and zingy, with a spoonful of goats cheese in the centre.

In Vancouver, we had another fantastic meal at Tojo's - recommended without reservation: go for one of the chef's tasting menus.

Did I run? Well, I ran four days, including one eight-miler. Man, that was hard - I haven't checked the elevation, but I think we were pretty high. But I'll run this week. Right now I'm sleepy and tired and ready for work in the morning. We've just eaten lobster and mussels washed down with a lovely Mission Hill Pinot Blanc.

I can run tomorrow.

4 comments:

Tricia said...

What a fantastic trip. I've only taken brief trips to Vancouver and Victoria; you've inspired me to do more in BC!

jeff said...

smsmh and did a trip to glacier several years ago and on the return, we headed up into waterton and back through alberta and bc. those mountain towns along the border are breathtaking! sounds like the experience was similar to yours. glad you had such an exhausting trip!

Rose said...

You ate at Tojo's! I love Tojo's! My husband and I had our celebrating-getting-engaged meal there, with a tasting menu. Ohhhhh, we still talk about that meal.

I just did my first 8-mile run yesterday morning! W00t! Next week, 10 miles! You and I *rock*! (^_^)

Riona said...

Rose, Tojo's may well be one of the best meals of my life. We had the tasting menu also, and it was beyong memorable. Congrats on the 8-miler! My first 10-miler is this weekend - we'll compare notes!

Jeff, I agree on breathtaking. And when you come from a tiny island, where you can't really drive for more than four hours in any direction - well, the scale of Canada is just breathtaking.