loonie.jpgWhen Aidan woke up this morning, at 5:30am, I bet he didn’t think that we’d get him up, fed, dressed, and stuffed in the truck.

As a matter of fact, neither did I.

But, hey, that’s how things go. We were intending to head down to Seattle today to do some cross-border shopping with our recently superior Loonie, and we intended to head down early, but I was thinking somewhere between 8am and 9am. By 9am today, we were almost in Bellingham with four caches under our belt. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The boy woke up at 5:30am, and didn’t go back to sleep. After some discussion, we decided to get up and get moving. Of course, Aidan calling “Change the bed!” helped getting us moving too. Note to selves, no-name diapers really don’t do well for overnight. We were actually on the road by 6:30am, much to my shock. Both Gwen and Aidan were awake — and happy?!?

The reason we wanted to be away early was because of The Border. On a good day, Seattle’s about 2 1/2 hours away. A “good day” means spending 5 minutes at the border. Last weekend at the peak rush, simply crossing The Border meant waiting 2-3 hours in itself. Clearly this is untenable with a toddler, so we aimed to avoid the rush. Not that we knew when the rush actually was, but a good rule of thumb seems like “earlier is better”. And then there’s the decision: Which crossing? Peace Arch? Pacific Highway (aka the Truck Crossing)? As it turns out, at 7:15am today the wait was only 30 minutes at the Truck Crossing.

Of course, that meant we were in Blaine before 8am. Less than 2 hours to Seattle … and it’s a Sunday … and the Seattle Premium Outlets don’t open until 10am. What to do?!?

Geocaching of course! We had loaded the GPS up with a bunch of close-to-I-5 caches, and before we knew it we had four in hand and it wasn’t 9am yet. Woot!

We continued south, with ongoing success with the caches. Now, what I haven’t mentioned so far is the rain. Pouring yesterday, pouring today. In fact, today was quite a bit worse than yesterday. I was fighting with the car, the wind, and the rain the whole day. It also makes for damp caching, so by the time we reached Bellingham, we let up on the caching and drove south.

I’ll spare you the details about shopping, but we did pick up sneakers and lots of clothes. It’s like Christmas time! Clothes (and cars, apparently) are some of the few things that actually cost significantly less in the States.

Coming back up I-5 meant picking up caches on the other side of the road! :)

Of course crossing The Border in a northerly direction causes some trepidation too … when’s the rush back into Canada? Which crossing (again)? How much tax/duty will we have to pay? We debated eating supper before making the trek back home, but one thing lead to another, and we ended up queued at the Truck Crossing again without having eaten supper. Actually, the crossing north wasn’t too bad, something like 40 minutes. The actual exchange with the CBS agent went something like: CBSA: Where do you live? A: Vancouver, CBSA: Where’d ya go? A: Seattle, CBSA: Value? A: About $600, CBSA: Good day.

That’s it. No passports, no receipts, not even complete questions or sentences!!! Ah well. Happy to be home.

Gwen will have more to say about the trip. I think she has some funny anecdotes to share.

PS: 8 cache finds today, 1 TB dropped off, 4 picked up. Nothing compared to the 26 that EastCoastTwo picked up today on Easy Street! That brings them to 110, just slightly fewer than our 175. They should eclipse us by the end of October! Congrats M&D!