Sorry it’s been so quiet here, but I’ve been really busy at work, in the yard, and ON VACATION!
Yes, after a about a six year absence, we finally made it out to the Pacific Northwest to visit Michele and Norman in Seattle and the Inuit and Northwest Coast art galleries in Vancouver.
Pacific Northwest itinerary
Friday: Pre-Departure Antics
It’s weird. Now that NWA is out of bankruptcy, it appears they only have half their staff working. Up until now, they’ve seemed to be fully staffed and operating smoothly. Is this the NWA of the future?
Later, when we board the plane, there are two women in our seats. The one in my seat is huge, so I’m guessing she has the middle seat is hoping she’ll be able to talk someone (me) into letting her stay on the aisle.
She doesn’t get off to a good start. When I politely suggest that she may be in my seat I both get scolded for being accusatory and a rant explaining why she is in – and should remain in – my seat. She clearly does not intend to move. Across the aisle an elderly (supposedly handicapped) woman is sitting in Lane’s seat. Both women swear the flight attendants told them to sit in these seats. (A tale that is contradicted by other passengers.) The huge woman in my seat graciously offers me the center seat. I decline, noting that I paid extra for the aisle seat. Lane goes to sit in the ticketed seat of the woman in his seat, but someone else is sitting there too. Of course, there isn’t a flight attendant in sight.
I page an attendant. No one comes.
As the seats around us fill, it is clear that we really need to resolve this immediately. It is also clear that there are no flight attendants assisting with boarding tonight, so I work my way against the flow to the first class section to nab an attendant. Eventually one follows me back, takes one look at the situation and flees in search of a ticket agent. Great.
By the time the ticket agent arrives the flight doors are ready to close. Because the flight isn’t completely filled, she is able to take the most expedient course of action: She leaves the two immoveable women where they are and offers Lane and I the one available first-class seat and an empty aisle seat in coach. Lane generously cedes the first class seat to me.
Oh how I love first class! It is freezing cold and they are out of blankets, but I have enough space to write this and edit Egypt pictures on my computer while sipping a glass of wine, so I really can’t complain.
Hours later we come into Seattle through crystal clear skies. The city glitters brilliantly below. I have never seen the city like this. It is an awesome sight.
Saturday: North of Seattle
Norman says he knows how to get to the top of nearby Mount Erie and that the views from there are great.
He’s absolutely right.
Sunday: Off to Canada
Vancouver from My Window
I’m sitting in my hotel room with its semi-wrap-around windows, high above the city. And what a city it is, with the mountains and ocean and a lively urban landscape!
Plaza 500, located across from City Hall. (A building I wish I had gone inside to explore, but, as usual, I forgot that was an option.)
I wanted a hotel near Gastown, but was put off by the high prices being asked for what appeared to be pretty dumpy spots located next to social service centers and homeless shelters. I finally gave up and turned to Priceline www.priceline.com to bid on a three-star in “downtown.” As you can see, it isn’t actually downtown, but you can see downtown from here. And the neighborhood we are in is mostly a quiet residential area, so this is an ok location. Ambling around here would be a treat. . . if I can drag myself away from my panoramic view.
Monday: In Vancouver’s neighborhoods and galleries
Tuesday: Vancouver’s museums and gardens
Although it looks as if rain could come tumbling down at any moment, we decide to head for the expansive beaches near UBC’s campus.
When we drove past here the other day while the sun shone, this beach was packed with people. Today it belongs to the local dogs that eagerly fetch balls thrown far out into the chilly waters by their owners holding court along the dry shore.
Wednesday: Gorgeous garden
Thursday: Ferry Crossing
Seattle (Friday, June 8)
Tacoma (Saturday, June 9)