The Plan (the whole Plan)
Day #15 : Fri 23 May : To Vancouver. Not very far, but by ferry again.
Well, we ended up in the right town, but by the wrong method. Instead of arriving in Canada's third largest city on a comfortable ferry, we drove in from Seattle, through traffic jams in Everett ...
... and in Vancouver itself, as we chose to arrive at rush hour.
Why so late?
The day started as early as you might expect, given our exertions the previous night. After yet another enormous fried breakfast, and Mark's epic struggle with the checkout clerk (to get him to put two hotel rooms on a single credit card), we ended up arriving at the day's educational content, in the form of the Boeing factory, at 11am.
Alas, the 11am tour was full, and the next wasn't until 1pm. We decided we still wanted to take the tour, so we bought our tickets, and headed off to find lunch for ourselves and fuel for Fred.
Even though we are Satwothers, the prospect of a huge breakfast ending
at 10am and a huge lunch starting at 11am lacked appeal, so we set about
finding things to do to work up an appetite. What it turned out we wanted
to do was to lob rocks into Puget Sound. And occasionally at each other.
This sufficed to make us hungry enough to force down a ham sandwich and a bottle of wine. And then we headed back to Boeing, to take our tour.
Boeing don't let you take cameras into the plant, so we can't show you what we saw. But it is supposedly the largest building in the world (by volume). And, indeed, the impressive combined volume of the Satwothers failed to noticeably decrease the feeling of a great space, constrained.
And so on to the Great White North. Very slowly, at first, owing to everyone in Seattle observing POETS* day. But the congestion cleared, and plans to take the side roads were abandoned, getting us to the Canadian border about on schedule.
The laws of Quantum Queue Dynamics state that whichever line you are in, all the others will move faster. And so it was with Canadian customs and immigration. The young woman in the booth was not the least perturbed that here were four sweaty guys with three different kinds of visa, in a rented car, and about 200% of the duty-paid limit on wine. However, she seemed to pick up on David lusting after her, and so sent us off to the office to have our passports stamped. David really needs to start fancying more efficient women.
It's a very short drive from the border to Vancouver. This doesn't stop it being confusing. Obviously sensing Rupert's confusion from the way he was shuffling two maps, a friendly Canuck pulled up alongside us in the traffic jam on the freeway, and asked us if we were lost.
The first hotel we tried thought we were too big for their beds. So we left Fred behind, rather than face more of the Vancouver traffic, and walked a couple of blocks to a more accomodating hostelry. Dinner was at an Indian restaurant across the street, which boasted less erotic, but slightly more anatomically correct, pictures than the curry house in Adelaide. It also had a manager who spent most of his time harassing his hard working (and more than slightly attractive) staff, and adjusting the thermostat. He expended no effort, however, on turning off the alarm that sounded continuously while the front door was open.
Finally, we headed to one of the pubs listed in our tour guide as good place to try the local beers. The guide lied - they had no decent beer, local or otherwise. So we walked a little further, to the Yaletown Brewing Company, which served nice beer, but was also having a "Half Way to Oktoberfest" party, complete with an out-of-work Oompah band. The place was absolutely packed. Some years ago, we all would have enjoyed this, but we all agreed it was just to loud and too full. So, decrying our agedness, we finished our (quite excellent) pints, and returned to the hotel for some peace, quiet, and wine.
* Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday.
|Previous day||Index||Next day|