Now we are on to
Tuesday morning we were heading up to Vancouver, because I had never been out of the US, so we were going to Canada, dammit! Our first attempt for the border was cut short when I realized that my driver's license wasn't in my purse. I had no idea where it might be and I was hoping that it was with my boarding pass from the flight in. Luckily the border was only about 15 minutes from the resort, so we pulled a u-turn to head on back. We were apparently already in Canada though at this point even though we hadn't gone through the check point, cuz we had to go through the US checkpoint after turning around. And we picked the wrong lane that you apparently need a permit for. The customs dude was cranky! But he let us through. Back to the room, grab the ID, back to the border... We successfully got through, and stopped at the info booth to get info & maps for Vancouver. We also traded in a little US money for some Canadian. I was still all flustered and annoyed about the ID thing, however, and didn't buy any postcards.
So, we are in Canada, headed north, with no plans other than "go to Chinatown and eat some good Chinese food." We were fascinated by how all the skyscrapers in Vancouver all looked so similar:
We found Chinatown easily enough, and parked right near the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The park is free and open to the public.
We also spent some time just walking around Chinatown and then went to a restaurant. It was pretty crowded which is always a good sign! And the menu had gyozas instead of potstickers. Mom Foley would be so proud. Despite the menu having weird things like Pig's Blood Congee, Fish balls and Pig's skin, and salty donut. They also had these incredibly yummy steamed buns with meat inside. Those were fabulous! Aftger lunch, a little more shopping & wandering and then back to the car.
I wanted to go see the Capilano Suspension Bridge but when we got there we discovered that it was a whole them park thing and it would cost US$14.00 each to get in. hellbob was pretty much done at this point though, so we decided not to go. We were amazed at the Canadian gas prices - 97.9 - until it dawned on us that it was per liter, not gallon. We then wandered our way on out of Vancouver. Took a few wrong exits.
One weird thing in Canada was stoplights with blinking green lights, and blinking green turn arrows. We never did figure out what they meant. Also, I never picked up any Vancouver postcards! Crossing back to the USA took no time at all. Of course we didn't pick the wrong lane & piss off the customs guy that time!
And, we were back at the resort in time to hit the hot tub!
I had been planning on going to Mt. Baker to take a bajillion pictures, but we were tired so we decided to just hang around the resort on Wednesday. When the tide was out you could walk for just about forever. I was wandering out to take some pictures of the blue herons when I noticed a bald eagle sitting on a sand bar, so I started stalking it. I got about 30 feet from it! Later, after dinner, there was another bald eagle up in a pine tree.
We just kind of relaxed all day, and hit the hot tub again.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention how fabulous our room in Birch Bay was! This is the bedroom, which pretty much looks like your typical hotel room:
but then there was also a full kitchen:
a living room area with a fireplace:
and a deck with a gas grill:
Thursday, it was time to go home. We packed up early and hit the road back to Seattle. It was raining pretty heavy. We headed to the Pike Place Market when we got to town & did a little more shopping. If we actually liked salmon it would have been heaven! The market area was so cool with all the different levels of shops. We still had a little time before we had to be to the airport so we went and checked out the Pioneer Square neighborhood and hung out at the bookstore there. Once we were up in the air on our flight home, we finally saw Mt. Rainier for the first time!
And that is how I spent last week. And there are piles more pictures up at our web gallery