So my immigration papers are in order now and we are on our way from Vancouver to the American border to enter Washington. We had little problems at the border, I just had to buy a piece of green paper for $6.50, get a nice stamp in my passport and we were allowed into the USA. The landscape was quite flat and very rural, with many of the local enterprises geared towards farmers. In particular there is an abundance of cherry farms and vineyards and the farmers often come in the form of tobacco chewing, gun belt wearing, rootin’ and/or tootin’ cowboys.
Within half an hour we arrived at our destination, Lynden. This is a town originally founded by Dutch settlers. To prove this is so, they have built windmills and placed windmill iconography all around the town.
The community which Anna and Todd reside in sits on the outskirts of town, nearby fields and surrounded by spectacular snowcapped mountains which cover the horizon. Interestingly the estate only allows the residents to be over the age of 50. There is also a club house with facilities such as widescreen TV, kitchen, pool table, exercise bike, treadmill and much more.
This got Sacha thinking and she enquired, “is this place assisted living?”
“No we don’t live in assisted living” replied Todd and Anna in tandem.
“Really? it sounds like assisted living to me” continued Sacha.
“No, don’t be crazy we are not old people, we do not need to be assisted to live.”
“Why do you live in an old peoples’ place then?”
They are not all that old, and they live by themselves, the cleaner only comes around once every fortnight”
“You have a cleaner?!”
Pancakes and Crunchy Ravioli
The food I have had here so far has been amazing…wait…let me qualify that,… I am amazed at the food I have had here so far.
The first morning Sacha told me that we must go have breakfast at IHOP (International House Of Pancakes), as they do on TV, apparently. Well on route to Bellingham to have our first American breakfast Sacha was listing to me all the possibilities of toppings for pancakes and the array of sauces that I was about to enjoy. However, once we reached the establishment and were seated, we peered at the menu, (which had nice pictures of all their delicacies I may add), we saw that each option had a calorie count. We stared blankly at the menu looking through each option one by one, then around the room to look at what the locals were eating.
From what I could tell the calorie count is used by locals as a sort of point scoring system. Possibly the more points that a person gets, the more local they are? Well if that was the case the old man to our right eating a comedy styled cream pie was the clear winner, and most local by far with 2000+ points. I doff my cap sir.
For our next experience of dinning out, we decided to go european and elected for some Italian fare. So back to Bellingham we went to the local Italian restaurant.
Again we had a calorie count on the menu, and again we proved we were not locals by any means. However this is not what stuck out in my mind. What clings to my memory (and probably my colon) was our starter.
We went with the ravioli and calamari option. It seemed an unconventional combo, but I am no food snob. Having said that I was not prepared for the deep-fried food that was landed on our table. Yes, OK , calamari should be deep-fried, this is correct, this is good, just how all squid should be served in my opinion. Deep-fried ravioli however,…well I’m guessing that this delicacy was not inspired from mama’s kitchen in some quaint sun-drenched village sat on the outskirts of Bologna, brought over to America perhaps by an immigrant farmer who dreamt of introducing his Italian culture to the States where he could make a big buck. This does seem unlikely.
So as I crunched on my ravioli I sat wondering how my spaghetti Bolognese was going to be presented.