Friday, July 29, 2011

Food Revolution Road Trip11: Final Days

It's curious, this year. None of us want to go back home. Maybe it's the amazing beds that I'm sleeping better in than even my bed at home, or the freshly prepared eggs at the breakfast bar. (really! I saw them being cooked!)

Either way I want to just live at the Ameritel.

We spend our time shopping, browsing through the downtown area of Bend, and lazing the days away. Bend would be a food lover's dream, with restaurants populating a good portion of the downtown area. Kevin and I can't help but stand and take deep breaths in doorways.

In the evening we walk to Greg's Grill, which has become one of our favorite places to visit. Their sweet potato fries are the best we've eaten, and the Ahi Tuna sandwich something we can never get at home. There is so much good food here, we want to stay. Enjoy. Eat.

A funny thing always happens at some point in our vacations, and I'm not sure sure how or why it comes about. Suddenly, we want to return to Canada. We miss colored money, our usual coffee, home cooking, the routine of every day life. We miss home.

I think in my travels, some have thought that my stories and things I observe come down to what I don't like about the USA, or criticisms. Rather, I've found more this trip to celebrate and be positive of then previous. While there are downsides, like there are in every place (and Canada shares many of these), there are so many wonderful opportunities to find local, fresh food now that I'm surprised. From healthy treats at gas stations to restaurants that offer kick ass fresh food, to even Starbucks having healthier options, things are looking up. I'm really encouraged to see that the efforts that people have made are already making such a difference.

There are many obstacles and facets that contribute to the issues that both our countries face and at times, the job seems so daunting. Despite it all, I still believe that education and awareness, as well as lots of healthy options for people, will help. Less marketing aimed at children. Easier access to healthier food. What I've noticed the most is people can, and do, make change.

So even if it seems insurmountable or something small, make change. Rock that boat. Don't be afraid to ask for healthier options at a restaurant, or choose to shop at a Farmer's Market instead.

Michael Pollan says that you have three meals a day to vote. I add that you also have plenty of opportunity-right at the grocery store.

On the last day, we finally cross the border back home. Borders always make me nervous, and this time is no exception.

"Where is home?" This guard is young, maybe only 27 at most.

"Sechelt, BC Canada," John answers.

"And why are you visiting Canada?" The guard suddenly realizes his faux pas. He catches himself, but not before we start giggling. It's plainly obvious that he wants to laugh, but is working hard not to. The one thing he can't suppress is the twinkle in his eye.

"Um, we live here?"

"Of course." the guard asks us the rest of the questions required, then gives our passports one final look before he snaps them shut and the faintest hint of a smile plays on his lips.

"Welcome home."

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