The first stop on our journey was at one of our favorite cafés in Abbotsford. By that I don’t mean one of our favorite café from among the various cafés in the town of Abbotsford, but one of our favorite cafés, which happens to be in Abbotsford. It’s a fine distinction, but one that must be made since, although there are other cafés in Abbotsford, we haven’t been to any of them, and we wouldn’t want anyone to think we dislike or disapprove of them.
The Abby Café stands among our favorite cafés for several reasons. Primary among them is the food, which is delicious, plentiful, and reasonably priced. We also like the atmosphere, which is warm and inviting. The dining room features lots of wood, metal, ceramics, and hand-painted frescos, which give the place an ‘early American meets Tuscan countryside’ feel that somehow works.
About the only thing that doesn’t work, in my opinion, is the décor of the ladies room, which sports a fresco of a man with a cigarette looking into the room through a window from outside. As you can see from the photo below, it is not something one would expect to encounter in any room, never mind the ladies room. In fact, it can be more than a bit disconcerting—especially for those who, in their haste to relieve themselves, fail to notice it on their way into the restroom and then come, literally, face to face with it as they exit the stall.
Incidentally, the men’s room does not feature a fresco of a woman smoking a cigarette while looking in through a window from outside. According to the Jarhead, there is a fresco of a window painted on the wall of the men’s room, but the only woman in it is not smoking but hanging laundry on a clothesline.
To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I’m somewhat disturbed by the idea of a man lurking outside a restaurant window looking in the women’s restroom. On the other hand, I’m even more disturbed by the thought of a man lurking outside a restaurant window while his wife is stuck doing laundry. And don’t even get me started on his refusal to observe the state’s smoking laws…
Anyway…we planned our stop in Abbotsford—or Abby Land, as the locals apparently call it—to coincide with brunchtime. This, because it was two hours into our trip and, therefore, perfect for a potty break, and because I still wasn’t sure I was going to survive the trip, and I wanted what was potentially one of my last meals to be a good one.
From there we continued on through Minnesota to Grand Forks, ND, where—having checked the 49th item off of the Jarhead’s US Bucket list—we decided to stop for the night. Having decided to take a ‘fly by the seat of our pants’ approach to Canada and the mountain states, we decided to play it safe and stay in a familiar chain hotel that night. That way, we could be assured of at least one shower and one hot breakfast before setting off for parts unknown—also known as Manitoba.