We arrived in Vancouver last Saturday morning, July 11th. We were expected to be out off our cabins before 8 am. To expedite this they had everyone in there designated areas for disembarking quite early, some as early as 6 am. We were supposed to be in the theatre by 7.50 and wait to disembark. There was a terrible bottle neck ... 3000 people to get off the ship in as short a time as possible and being people, many had not read their disembarking instructions and the crew were fielding questions full time. The sad part was they often seemed as confused as us. Talk about angry people and a pathetic end to a wonderful two weeks. It was hard to believe they do this every week and it was a shambles. We finally got into the theatre and disembarked before 10 am then had to wait for a shuttle. We were glad to book into hotel early, just before mid-day. I could not believe the disembarkation process. Getting on and off the ship proved to be an extremely frustrating process. Perhaps they should hire clowns to entertain and keep the crowd happy.
We then spent some time deciding what to do in Vancouver with help of cheap wireless internet courtesy of the hotel. We took a short drive to Fraser River and walked the boardwalk along historic cannery sights, fuelling up on coffee at Starbucks. Later we had dinner in the hotel restaurant. It turned out to be a lovely day and reasonably stress free in preparation for the beginning the long drive back to San Fransisco.
I ended the day with my feet up as for some reason they are very swollen. It seems many people on the ship had trouble with swollen legs, feet and ankles so maybe I'm not too weird.
I did contemplate going to church somewhere along our route on Sunday but couldn't find the church I was looking for. Just as well as we had a pretty long day. Crossed the border from Canada to USA late morning after nearly an hour's delay. This time it was more of a formality although I don't think we will ever get used to some of the suspicious questions like ... where are you staying? We don't know! What are you here for? How long were you in Canada? One night is met with a disbelieving raised eyebrow. Do you have any produce? etc. We did not have to go through the finger printing, passport stamping procedure this time.
On our way again we stopped for fuel, cash and food and continued driving through to Anacortes, to the ferry to Port Townsend where we had another long wait. Had I realised the set up there in time I'd have found the little cafe up by the loading ramp. As it was we stood around in the cold, damp, slightly misty air for about an hour. Soon on our way again for the modest sum of USD$12. It was a pleasant cruise and I spoke to a biker with a book that caught my attention as he showed it to other bikers. It was something like Highway Destinations and there's a web site. While it's written for bikers with specialised information for them it would be very useful for people like us who do road trips off the major roads as it gives detailed descriptions of the condition of the roads.
Soon we were at Port Townsend and on our way to Port Angeles. By this time the light was fading and just off the ferry, pretty much in the town, although there were no buildings at this spot we stopped for a doe and her bambi to cross the road. They are so elegant, walking on tiny feet then springing without effort up the bank into the roadside scrub. We then drove through awesome avenues of tall fir trees, probably spruce and douglas firs interspersed with a few deciduous trees.
We stopped at Sequim, quite a bit before Port Angeles to take advantage of an accommodation voucher. We have ended up staying in some crummy accommodation at times but at least the sheets are clean and the bathrooms spotless. We were a little tired and I seem to remember a little spat as we chose our restaurant for dinner. Finally we ended up at Burger King because we could see it right in front of us.
I wish we'd had more time to spend in this town as it was preparing for their Lavender Festival later in the week. The next morning we did stop at one of the lavender Farms on show. Would love to have picked a bunch but not spending on anything except essentials and we can't take things like unprocessed lavender home.