The side mirrors on Mary's car hardly extend out at all. I never thought of that until I drove up and stopped at the customs booth at the border coming back into Canada. I smiled proudly through my open window, passport in hand, at the officer and yodelled out a happy "Good morning."
Officer, frowning, bluntly, "Why did you pull up so close to the building?"
Me, air out of my balloon, puzzled, "So you wouldn't have to stretch to reach our passports."
Officer, gruffly, "How am I supposed to get out of here?"
Me, leaning slightly forward, peering out the side window, attempting my best Stan Laurel face while biting my cheek to keep from laughing as I saw the three inches of air between us, "I can pull forward a bit and manoeuver around a bit."
Officer, still gruff, not needing to bite the inside of his cheeks to maintain a straight face, "You're almost hitting the building. Just put it in Park."
A few questions and we were on our way. No big problem.
As usual, we had a few "Oops. I'm wearing the fox hat" moments (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNHXFviVb8I ) but we did eventually end up where we wanted to be, with good friends from Sioux Lookout who moved to British Columbia 11 years ago. Some of you will remember Bill and Robin Dawes. You may notice that Robin is quite an avid bird watcher, so I ended up buying a high quality set of binoculars (holy cow - what a difference from the ones I've been using) and we spent a marvelous afternoon in the Okanagan spring air seeing at least a dozen birds that don't come to Northwestern Ontario.
I do look like a tourist with my binoculars and my camera dangling from my neck. Very nerdy. Fun.
After seeing my bare face in pictures and the mirror, and telling everybody, "This isn't really me" (actually, I tell that to the face in the mirror, too) I believe the beard may come back when we get home.
As I sit in the shade of the Rhododendrons, peeking at the snow on my webcam at home (www.dickshideaway.com) I wish I were there.... ha, ha, ha