Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We're Back in Canada!

We're temporarily back in Canada! Visiting Vancouver and Vancouver Island. We've stayed with Melanie, a family friend of Jason's, for the past couple of days. Yesterday, we sent our visa applications with passports for rush service to the Chinese Consulate, and shopped a bit downtown. Today, Melanie drove us to Lynn Canyon for a little hike to Rice Lake, including a walk over a suspension bridge. Pretty cool.
Last week, after sleeping near Portland, we drove east of Portland into the Columbia River Gorge to visit the picturesque Multnomah Falls. Beautiful cascading falls with a scenic viewing bridge too. Very cool. Then we carried on into Portland, parked downtown, and walked to the Portland Saturday Market. Lots of cool booths, food, and even a live band. Cool atmosphere.

There wasn't much else in Portland to hold our attention, so we drove the rest of the day through Washington State to Olympic National Park, west of Seattle. We didn't get to the parkhead town of Port Angeles until 5pm and the weather was looking threatening. So we drove into the park immediately to get the remaining view from Hurricane Ridge. Luckily for us, it was National Parks Day and it was free to enter the park! We drove the 17 winding miles up through the mountains of the park, seeing views back to Port Angeles, Victoria, BC, across the straight, and encountering 4 deer. At the top, the wind was blowing quite strongly. Completely cloudy, a little misty, and 0 degrees at the visitor centre. We could only see 80% of Mount Olympus. And even that 80% was mostly misty. But it was fun to stand in the 30mph winds as they howled up the ridge. Feeling nature's fury. The weather was a bit much for camping, so we returned to Port Angeles and found a cheap motel. Then went to see The Kingdom at the local movie theatre.

The next day, we drove to Seattle, and immediately took the Seattle Underground tour. A mix of history and humour, and a guided tour of the underground sidewalks of the old Seattle. Pretty crazy. Seattle certainly had a rough history in the second half of the 19th century. Then we met up with Tim and Daneille, Nicole's friends from Waterloo, for coffee and dinner. We went to a small thai place in the university district. Very cool place. Jason was quite impressed with his Penang Curry Chicken. Delish. We walked around for a while after then parted ways as they had a flight to catch back to Toronto before moving to Zurich in two weeks! We followed them most of the way to the airport as we had reservations at the cheap Motel 6 near the airport. The front right tire on our PT Cruiser was also looking quite bald and in bad shape so we intended to exchange cars at the Seattle Airport National car rental.

We woke up the next morning to find the tire completely flat... We had National Roadside Assistance come change our tire to the donut and we drove straight to National afterwards. We were given the choice of any car in the lot! We were quite happy to get a Cobalt like we had in Hawaii but there were none. So we picked a Chevy Impala! MUCH nicer than the PT Cruiser. But bigger. Good swap. :)

We spent a couple of hours at the Seattle Centre, checking out the views from atop the Space Needle, and a walk through the interesting, but mostly boring Science Fiction Museum. Drove past the Pike Market, then headed north out of Seattle.

We parked the car in Bellingham and caught the Greyhound to Vancouver. A short cab ride got us to Melanie's place where we are now. It's been really nice catching up with Melanie and we are both getting along really well with her and the kids. We head to Vancouver Island tomorrow for a few days to check out Victoria and Tofino. As usual, can't wait!

Portland Pics | Olympic NP Pics | Seattle Pics | Vancouver Pics


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