…we were able to cross the line into Canada for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas Dinner/Party.
We drove the couple of hours from Bothell to Abbotsford crossing at the Sumas Border Crossing and arrived at Anneliese and H’s home. They had graciously reached out offering us their guest room for the night and a ride to the party in Chilliwack.
On the way to the party at Judy and Elmer’s we made a surprise stop but that’s not my story to tell.
Here we are, 7 of the 10, Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Our two Manitoba Girls and Kathy could not make it to the party.
It was so good to see these ‘Girls’ face to face after 3 years.
Lovella and Anneliese brought the appetizers.
Judy’s punch was festive.
Speaking of Judy, the hostess with the mostess, she single handedly cooked us the main meal portion for the evening. Her hubby Elmer is always available to lend a hand, help serve and wash up the dishes!
She set a beautiful table and created the live runner.
She sewed the napkins and made the place cards.
Marg brought the salad and she had help plating it from Bev.
Bev baked the buns.
Judy’s Saucy Cranberry Chicken was the main event on our dinner plate, delicious. Get her recipe here.
She also made the sides, carrots and peas, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad and a cranberry gravy.
Our sweet ‘captain’, Lovella!
The wonderful dessert finale to our meal was this trifle that Julie made. Refreshingly delicious! I did not get a photo of the Black Forest Trifle that Judy made. When I lived in Western Washington I would contribute to the menu but because of the extra traveling this year they let me slide.
After our meal the guys headed upstairs to play Crokinole and chat while us girls exchanged gifts and did some catching up downstairs. We finally wrapped up the evening shortly after 11:00 PM!!
Here’s the gift I brought home from our exchange.
We count ourselves blessed and fortunate to be able to meet up again for this wonderful yearly event.
You can now look away for the saga part of the story of Dear and me getting from Colville to Abbotsford. For those of you who are more curious here goes…
Originally we had flights out of Spokane to and from the Seattle area for our Saturday to Tuesday trip. We booked a hotel room at the Spokane airport for Friday night since we had an early flight on Saturday to Seattle (7am). It takes us 2 hours plus to get to the airport from our home in Colville. Our flight back home on Tuesday was scheduled for 7:30am getting us back to Spokane at 8:30am.
On Friday we had a leisurely morning and packed for our trip. We left our home at noonish with a stop at the post office to pick up a package that was too big for our mailbox. My haircut appointment at 1:00 got cancelled at the last minute so we decided to just carry on down the road to Spokane to have a meal before we checked into our hotel. We tried The Elk in The Browne’s Addition neighborhood of Spokane. The food and service was good and we enjoyed our time there. The drive to the airport from the restaurant was short and we checked into the hotel.
We woke up very early on Saturday morning and discovered both of us had never thought about bringing our passports even though we knew the purpose of our trip was to travel into Canada. OYE and BOTHER. We as a couple are not firing on all our cylinders. Every flight on Saturday was overbooked with one flight before ours cancelled which put even more pressure on the remaining flights. We made the decision to cancel our tickets for our 7am flight and drive back home (2 hours) and get our passports and make the 5+ hour drive to Bothell instead of flying. Driving the roads back to our home we gained confidence that the roads were in good shape and the drive would be okay. We made it home, grabbed our passports, had breakfast and packed a few more things in the car for our trip.
Back on the road at 8:30am we had an uneventful drive through the eastern and central part of Washington and over the Cascade mountain range into Western Washington. We made a stop at Chateau Ste Michelle in Woodinville for some wine to take with us to Canada and then filled the gas tank at the Woodinville Costco on the way to our kids’ home in Bothell. We were at our kids’ home at 3pm. (BTW: since Greg’s stroke I’m the sole driver)
Saturday night we had a nice meal out with our Western Washington kids to celebrate Laura’s birthday. On Sunday we worshipped at Josh and Laura’s church, grabbed some lunch items at Central Market, ate our meals and got ready for our drive to Canada. Our route to Abbotsford would take us about 2 hours. We stopped at a carwash in Bellingham to get all the dirty snow off our car before heading into Canada. The Border crossing and banter with the Agent was pleasant and once across the border we found our way to Anneliese and H’s home.
We drove with Anneliese and H. to the party in Chilliwack (a 20 minute drive) and the winds were blowing across the valley and it was frigid. We were welcomed into Judy and Elmer’s warm and festive home and enjoy our long anticipated party. After the party we slept fast. Monday morning we were served a delicious breakfast and we set off back to the USA. We were at the Border bright and early and had another pleasant encounter and crossing.
Our kids were busy with work and other events during the day on Monday so we contacted some dear friends to meet us for lunch at our old stomping grounds. We had a leisurely couple hours with them over delicious Mexican food and then made it back to our kids’ home. Laura made dinner and we packed up to leave on Tuesday morning. On the road again at 8:30 Tuesday morning (our anniversary). It took us an hour to get to traffic free I-90 and off we climbed over Snoqualmie Pass again. The roads were clear with no restrictions. (Thank you, Lord). Once over the pass we stopped in Cle Elum for a break which included breakfast. Back on I-90 we made it to Spokane by 1:30pm. We stopped at Costco to pick up a few items and were back on the road lickity split. Got another snack in Deer Park and started the final leg home arriving at 5pm. Whew! Greg figured out that we were driving for a total of 22 hours all told. That 22 hours didn’t count the stoppage times.
We are still covered in snow here with no melting in the forecast. In fact we have more snow in the forecast for Thursday and Saturday.
Greg is continuing with his Occupational Therapy. We’ll be traveling to Spokane again on Monday for his follow-up with the surgeon.
And that’s the rest of the story.