28th December (Vernon)
From Malakwa to Vernon was less than 100 km or in other words less than an hour by car.
It is all because of Murat
Vernon was our final destination. Murat lives in Vernon and he was the reason why we chose British Columbia instead of Florida for a mid-winter getaway.
His books about longevity were fascinating and besides the charm and allure of a mountainous winter wonderland in the Rockies, they persuaded us to visit western Canada.
32, 29, 17… and aha moment
Vernon has fewer than 40,000 inhabitants, so half an hour was sufficient to drive all the main streets up and down. Most Vernon streets are numbered, only few are named. That caused a bit of a problem at the beginning, due to frequent occurrence of duplicate numbers.
There was number 32 going south and another number 32 going east. The same was with number 29, 17, as well as many others. By the time we figured out that these are not duplicates but Streets and Avenues we lost few bucks on gas. After this “aha” moment we figured it all out: all avenues in Vernon run East-West and all streets run North-South. From then on all was clear.
Heading to Wayne & Diane’s
We stopped at a coffee shop. We did not want to impose on anybody and did not know what to expect, so we decided to have a snack before meeting our hosts. From the city centre was not more than 10 min to get to Wayne and Diane’s place.
Wayne and Diane have committed to open their home to us, complete strangers. They never met us before. They only knew us from two October e-mails to Murat. They had no idea who we were yet somehow they were willing to share their home, their food, and their time with us.
We were very humbled by that kind of hospitality, not because we saved few bucks on a hotel, but because they trusted that we would not trash their place, steal belongings, and cause trouble in their neighbourhood. They were one of the very few remaining people that still believed in human dignity despite living in a world of wrong-doing, disrespect, mischief and greed. Thank you ever so much Dianne and Wayne.
At the door
We arrived at the specified address. The corner house was perfectly blended with the surrounding bungalows. We parked on the street next to the house and anxiously walked up the stairs leading to the main entrance. We heard the steps. Somebody was coming up and the lock suddenly turned. The door opened. A bearded man appeared in the corridor. Oh, this must be Wayne. He was a bit anxious as Diane wasn’t a home at that time. She was shopping for our dinner (!!!).
It was about 3 pm and Wayne invited us inside. He offered wine. We did not want to impose on his time and we thought it would be best to give the hosts some time to prepare, so we gracefully suggested we would be coming back in an hour or two after sightseeing Vernon. After unloading our luggage we went back on slushy roads of Vernon to kill some time.
To be continued..
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