We finally got back on the road! I gave Harold a day off after returning from Hungary, and we left Sunday afternoon. The Silver Reef Casino in Bellingham has been home the last few days, stocking up on groceries, visiting breweries, catching Pokemon, and getting used to the new motorhome.
It was a very short drive from home, but it was quite the experience with the dogs. I had this perfect picture in my head of the two dogs laying side by side, clipped into their seat belts, happy as can be.
The reality is quite different: Teddy huddling behind Harold’s seat, as far as his harness allows, struck with motion sickness. Nacho flipping out at being restrained for so long, throwing his little body one way, then the other, trying to wriggle his way out. Rx memo: Gravol for Teddy and experience for Nacho.
Daily life in the RV is pretty much just like home, however, with Nacho stealing all the toys and Teddy being far too patient with him.
Bellingham is like a second home to us. So much has changed here since we lived close by in Birch Bay while waiting for Harold’s Permanent Resident status to come through. The wine shop we loved so much in Fairhaven has switched hands and the wine club has closed down. These days we’re more into breweries than wineries, and this small but cool little town doesn’t disappoint with 8 breweries and brewpubs.
Bellingham has a history of having it’s economy based heavily on Canadian border shoppers. A lot of it was built with Canadian profits. When the Canadian dollar is high, Canadians visit in droves, to fill up with cheaper gas, groceries, and other items. When it’s low, the economy dries up, and businesses close down.
It’s a testament to the local planners that the city has managed to find a way out of the cycle and not be so dependent on Canadian dollar ups and downs. Right now the Canadian dollar is near all time lows in comparison to the US dollar, so the town should be folding up and whimpering, as we’ve seen in the past. Retail stores offering Canadian dollar at par, is a sure sign they are working hard to attract Canadian business, but the town appears to be lively and flush. They’ve managed to attract industries and businesses that aren’t dependent on Canadian finances.
The college influence of Western Washington University has helped to give the town a liberal, hipster vibe. The downtown is dotted with cool coffee shops, bars, brewpubs, and a comedy club. Our favourite game to play is “College Professor or homeless guy”. Often the only way we can tell is by checking out the quality of his bike or the kayaks on the top of his car.
Overnight spot: Silver Reef Casino
Price: Free – no restrictions – security does regular drive throughs
Dump: Free, at the gas station, but difficult to get into
Cell & Wifi: Verizon – 4 bars of 4G LTE, good free wifi in the casino
Notes: We stay here a lot. It’s a great location to stock up on food and alcohol, and visit our favourite restaurants, breweries, and wine shops. It’s just a short drive or cycle to the ocean.