We decided to take it very easy on this first day, to give Lisbeth a chance to get used to her new time zone and surroundings.
I thought we'd just spend a few hours exploring Creston itself... it would all be new to her, and I'd get a chance to view it with the eyes of a visitor again. It turned out to be such a fun day...
First things first though: gifts exchange. I was very happy with my large bag of "zachte zoete drop" (requested) and several other gifts (lovely surprises). Mur got his share too of an assortment of real Dutch "lekker" liquors. I'm sure he'll love all of it! The cats were very excited with their new toys... they were a huge hit.
Simba made it quite clear: "Mine... grrrrrrrr!!!"
After a lazy morning hanging around the house, we went to downtown Creston. I parked the car and we walked towards the main street. At first, Lisbeth thought she had entered a film set. Harley Davidson motorists, huge shiny trucks, stores straight from a western movie, murals, it is so normal to me now but so alien to one who is more used to Dutch scenery.
It brought back memories of my first impressions of Creston... I now realize how little the town has changed even after 10 years. It's gotten a lot busier and some store names have shifted around, but that is about all. My previous home town Winterswijk has changed a lot more in the same time period!
So of all things, what did she choose to take a picture of? Traffic lights... harrumph! Artists!
Then we had lunch at the Real Food Cafe. We giggled as if we had never been separated for so many years - it was like we saw each other yesterday and picked right up from there.
Notice my brand new necklace? It's lovely and came all the way from the Netherlands! Please don't notice my interesting hairdo though... I blame the "Mohawk look" on the wind...
After lunch we went shopping - lots and lots of shopping. Ahhhh the joys of two women together on a shopping spree can only be understood by people who are women themselves. Murray and I go shopping, of course, but like (probably) most men, Murray is quick and efficient. When he knows what is needed, he goes straight to that store and gets it. Not Lisbeth and I, we entered store after store, just browsing, looking and chatting. Sheer bliss...
She was amazed how many people I seemed to know... but then I enlightened her that I didn't know most of them at all, people here are just this friendly. Many locals welcomed her warmly to Canada and offered tips on what to do and see during her stay.
Of course we couldn't skip visiting Creston's only museum. I shamefully admit that even though I lived next door during my first two years in Canada, I have actually never once been inside... It was small, but very nice and showed may aspects of Creston's history.
We admired a scale model of the railway. Here a picture of the old grain elevators as they were several years ago.
The bridge and Goat River Dam, not too far from where we live now.
Real Dutch Canadian china:
Creston's first school, with just enough room for 10 pupils.
Before we knew it, it was time for supper and and we went home, tired but happy. So much for a quiet start of her vacation, but we had a great time!