10 August 2011

Why Gil just isn't big enough

When we arrived at the Canadian border, no one there was able to process our work permits (once upon a time we planned to do work during our year of retirement), and we were informed we would have an hour or so wait. Fortunately, driving around in your house leaves plenty to do, so we passed the time with lunch, reading and playing cards. We did contemplate having a beer, but thought the timing may be a little inappropriate. A while later one of the border guys came and knocked on our door (service!) to let us know the right person had arrived and was ready for us. We had seen this person drive up and park their car next to Gil, so we think he may have come over from another border crossing point just for us. With a stamp of our passports and the stapling in of a somewhat ungainly piece of paper, I was an Australian again, and now authorised to work in three different countries. Brad continued being an Australian, but is now able to work in two countries.

Whilst waiting to get our papers processed, we observed something else interesting, an impressive number of people having to surrender their firearms before crossing into Canada. This shouldn't have surprised us, we were leaving the United States, but who brings their gun on holidays to Canada, knowing they are going to have to surrender it at the border anyway? Is it just in case they spot a deer on the way? The closest thing we have to personal defence, is a can of bear spray and Brad's buck knife... but don't tell any would be assailants that. This has led us to compile a list.

Popular Things People Take RVing:

  1. A car, any car, towed behind your RV.

  2. A boat.

  3. A motorbike.

  4. A closed in trailer which appears large enough for a car. They may contain cars, but I like to think there are things like lawnmowers and outdoor settings in there.

  5. Other assorted outdoor toys (canoe, kayak, dune buggy, etc).

  6. A plaque, preferably wooden, in the dash with the names of the people on board and the town and state they are from. The closest thing we've got is a green kangaroo sticker on Gil's rear which may well not come off. Our dashboard has a pink post-it with Fahrenheit to Celsius conversions, National Parks annual passes, “The Official Seal of Awesomeness” and bits of paper I've been too lazy to put away.

  7. A BBQ. Not just your small table top grill (these make sense given what happens when you cook anything with an odour), no I mean your full, having the extended family over for a Saturday afternoon celebration size BBQ.

  8. A dog or several, and not just lap to medium size dogs. I met a couple with three chocolate labs several weeks back, and a few days ago a Doberman and something else lab-ish got out of the RV next to us.

  9. Bikes (we'll admit we envy these).

  10. Potted plants. Okay we've only seen this once, but the bloke got out a patio's worth of flowers.

When Brad was researching what size of vehicle to get for this trip, people told him we were crazy to think of spending a year in a 21 foot RV, now it's making sense why! Ooops I mean 22 foot RV, Gil has taking to occasionally lying about his length in order to secure camp sites in National Parks. For the record, he's comfortably fitted each time!

Before I go, somehow we think this takes the fun out of motorcycling:

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