Well, we made it back safely from vacation, and right now, I think I need a few more vacation days to recover from my vacation. But alas, that is how it is when you have an action packed trip!
Here are the highlights:
Friday: We started our day at Pike’s Place Market in Seattle. It reminded me a bit of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fran, but with a lot more coffee. The products the vendors were selling had extremely vibrant colors, and because it was Halloween, many of the vendors and customers were dressed in costume. It was really a treat for the eyes! Then, we had breakfast there overlooking Puget Sound. It was extremely good food, and we had our first taste of Seattle coffee there.
JB bought the Dr. Groovy Copper Head Massager from a vendor that was extremely short and dressed like a fairy. It was a funny sight to see him (at 6’6″) bending over so that the fairy could demonstrate the massager. This thing is pretty incredible — instantly giving me the chills when it is used on my scalp!
I digress. So then we headed to the infamous Space Needle, and rode the elevator up to the top. The views were pretty spectacular, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It is really a pretty city, surrounded by mountains, greenery, and water. Too bad their weather sucks most of the year. Luckily, we had great (but cold) weather for our whole trip.
After the Space Needle, where we enjoyed a cafe mocha from Starbucks at the observation deck, we headed next door to the Experience Music Project. This is a music museum with a few interactive displays. We had a blast in the Interactive Music Lab, where you can go into sound proof booths and play instruments. Considering JB and I are both musical, we were able to jam together (me on the piano, him on the guitar/drums). I even tried my hand at the drums and the guitar, but I think I need to stick to the piano.
We had dinner that night at a great seafood restaurant that was so authentic that there were oyster shells piled up outside of the restaurant. We then went back to the hotel to ‘spruce up’ before checking out some bars, and ended up taking a “nap”. We woke up around 11 and decided that we couldn’t quite make it out to a bar. Damn, we’re getting old.
Saturday: We had breakfast at a place called Minnie’s in downtown Seattle. This was truly a local’s joint, as all of the servers really looked like they had just rolled out of bed, and thrift store fashion ran amok in this place. The hostess at the restaurant was a particular gem of Seattle culture, as she greeted us with a look of extreme dislike, walked over to a table, and threw some menus on it. I started to follow her, and JB said ‘I don’t think that’s for us — she didn’t tell us that was our table’. So we stood there…
She came back over and gave us a look that said ‘What the hell is your problem?’, and I said ‘we’d like a table for two, please’. She glared again and said incredulously that our table was the one she had put the menus on. We were then entertained by watching her do this to everyone that walked into the restaurant.
After breakfast, we drove 2 1/2 hours North to Vancouver, Canada. It was a really pretty drive, and after finding our hotel, we took the Sky Train into the city. We checked out GasTown (which from what we could tell was really just a place for shopping) and then found a great Indian food restaurant for dinner. After dinner, we checked out some of the area bars. We were actually denied entry to two bars because JB was wearing running shoes. I’m not sure why, but JB and I were extremely entertained by the Canadian bouncer that looked at him and said ‘No Runners’. For the rest of the night, we couldn’t stop staying ‘No Runners’ to each other. We worked it into every conversation!
We ended up at a bar called Roxy’s that had an awesome Top 40s and 1980s cover tunes band. We danced (and drank) the night away.
Sunday: Our first destination was Stanley Park, where we went for a 45 minute run through the woods. It was absolutely beautiful — huge trees surrounded by ferns and some small lakes. From there, we headed to Victoria, which is a city on Vancouver Island. After a 45 minute drive to the station, and 1 1/2 hours of waiting for the ferry, we then took a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride. These ferries carry 500 cars at a time, and it is really something to see the production of it all. We watched the sunset from the boat, and went out on the deck to enjoy the moonlight’s reflection on the water. Although it was really cold, it was also quite lovely. Besides, I had my portable heater along for the ride (aka JB).
After the ferry docked, there was a 1/2 hour drive into the city of Victoria. We then had dinner at a restaurant on the water with an incredible view of the harbor and we sat close to the fireplace. Quite romantic, I must say. That night, we went to a bar called Lucky, which was another local’s hangout. We were some of the only people in there without dreadlocks or significant body odor. The band was called Wassabi, and had a woman singing and playing the conga drums, two guitar players, and a naked drummer. That’s right, I said naked. JB pointed this out to me, but the drums were blocking our view of his private parts, so we couldn’t be sure he was totally naked. JB told me I should go get a closer look to verify whether or not this guy was truly naked. I made my way through the crowd, which was very challenging to make your way through a bunch of people dancing to reggae, and oh my God, the body odor stench on the dance floor was strong. I got about 3 feet away from the stage, and because of the drums blocking my view, I still couldn’t tell if this guy was wearing skibbies. I even asked a girl standing next to me, and she couldn’t tell. He was even barefoot. But both JB and I were fascinated by this drummer, because he was so intense (no, JB wasn’t facinated by him because the drummer was naked). This drummer had dreadlocks, made really funny faces, and did all kinds of arm movements to go along with his playing.
Monday: We left the hotel room around 8:15, leaving what we thought was plenty of time to drive to the ferry to make the 9:00 departure. Well, despite my incredible navigational skills up until this point on the trip, I suddenly became deficient and got us horribly lost in downtown Victoria. I ended up driving so that JB could navigate (and he seriously thought I was going to kill him with my fast driving)…. Well, we got to the ferry station 5 minutes too late. Just in time to see the ferry pulling away. The bad thing was that the next boat didn’t leave for another two hours, and consequently, we were now going to miss our plane out of Seattle. So, after composing ourselves (and me profusely apologizing and JB being a saint about it all), we ate breakfast at a cute cafe overlooking the water. We then headed back to the ferry plenty of time for the next ferry.
After parking the car on the ship, we went up to the outdoor deck to enjoy the scenery we had missed the night before when our journey was in the dark. We were surrounded by blue waters and sky, seagulls, and little islands covered with evergreen trees. We snuggled close because it was pretty darn cold out there, and had a lot of fun burning up the rest of my roll of film and chatting. Once we hit land, we drove like bats out of hell South to Seattle, in an effort to catch the last flight to Reno that day. Remarkably, we made it, with four minutes to spare (we had to run through the airport, and it was really touch and go when Security discovered JB’s Dr. Groovy Copper Head Massager…). We got back last night around 8…
So all in all, we had a good time. As you can tell, we did a lot of driving, and our Ford Taurus rental car frequently reeked of burning brakes. We were both relieved that the brakes didn’t give out on us on our journeys.
In essence, we did a lot, drove a lot, saw a lot, ate a lot, drank a lot, and really enjoyed each other a lot. I can’t wait for our next vacation together…
(Pictures to come later this week hopefully.)