The Sunday before Christmas, Stacey, Rich’s daughter, was supposed to fly from San Diego to Seattle. Her flight, however, was delayed for three days because of the snow and airline issues compounded by bad weather across the country.

By the time she arrived, it had been snowing on-and-off for over a week; although it was starting to warm up and rain drops were intermixed with sleet and snowflakes. After we picked her up, we drove north to Mount Vernon on plowed freeways and Stacey's Georoads… until we got within a few miles of our house. The roads were snow- and ice-covered and at least 18-inches of snow blanketed our house, the driveway, our Honda CRV and Stacey’s Geo (right).

In addition, the road that ran along the side of our house had been plowed; the snow from the road was piled up along our driveway and in front of the mailbox.

Rich spend at least an hour shoveling and flattening the snow so we could back out the Honda the next morning. He also had to create a pathway to the front door, using a variety of tools, including a small hoe and a chute from his riding lawn mower. We’ll look into buying a snow shovel for future storms.

On Christmas morning, we piled into the Honda (below, capped with snow) and ventured north on Interstate 5, which varied from three plowed lanes to barely one snow- and ice-covered lane as we neared the Canadian border. Crossing into Canada, the roads were plowed of all snow. RicHonda CRV, covered with snow, heading to Canadah commented that it looked like they’d mopped the freeway because they were free of gravel and debris.

In addition, within minutes of entering Canada, the sun started to shine; although, it was short-lived and throughout the day, the sun played hide-and-go-seek with thick gray clouds. Nevertheless, it didn’t rain or snow the entire day.

Looking towards downtown Vancouver, CanadaOur first stop was at the Vancouver apartment of Stacey’s ex-boyfriend’s parents. They live in a cozy two-bedroom apartment, built in the 50’s with a large mosaic in the lobby in across the front of the apartment building. Because their street was covered with snow, we had to park a few blocks away on a main street (below) and wade through 18-inches of snow to get to the sidewalk.

Jeannie, the mother, pointed out the original pink oven and stove, along with the little phone nook, and other typical 50’s architectural features.

Jeannie’s artwork, paintings on handmade, often textured, paper were hung on every wall and piled on bookcases and other furniture. I was enthralled with several paintings, especially the ones in which she pressed leaves and twigs onto the paper while it was still wet. She’d then paint on top, creating three-dimension paintings. One painting featured a large palm leaf pressed into the paper, which was painted dark red. One half of the leaf had dark shadows with a black paisley design painted on top. The other half of the leaf introduced brighter shapes of red with white stippling. The painting was very yin and yang with the black paisley on the bottom and white stippling on top.

Downtown Vancouver, Canada from marinaWe then headed to downtown Vancouver and a marina where Stacey’s boyfriend’s boat was located. Stacey wanted to remove her “stuff” since they’d recently broken up. The picture on the left was taken from the marina, which was covered with snow and some of the water was frozen.

By the time we left the marina, we were famished and headed to Chinatown, which was packed with people even though it was Christmas day. After finding a parking spot in snowy parking lots, we gobbled dim sum and enjoyed peaking in some of the shops.

With the weather cooperating, we zipped over to Stanley Park to do some sight-seeing. Below are some pictures take from Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre park, featuring the Vancouver Aquarium; walking, hiking, cycling and inline skating trails; numerous monuments; totem poles; and of course, spectacular scenery. Notice the snow and the blue skies on one side of the park and ominous clouds on the others

.Stanley Park totem polesView from Stanley Park.1View from Stanley Park.2View from Stanley Park.3

As the sun started to set, we headed back to “the states” on now plowed roads. When we got back to Mount Vernon, I concocted a quick spaghetti dinner using cans of stewed tomatoes, tomatoes sauce, olives, and spices. Our Christmas day meals consisted of mini mart coffee and junk food for breakfast, dim sum for lunch, and spaghetti for dinner! clip_image018

The next day, Friday, we returned to Kirkland, but as we neared Seattle, we were surprised to see so much snow. Evidentially, it started snowing late Christmas Eve and continued through Christmas, leaving many inches of snow. Luckily, we were in Rich’s truck, which was able to slog through the snow. Right is Rich’s truck, taken from our second story window, a few days before Christmas.