This was our first trip out of the country. One of us was on business and the other was along for the ride. We had never left Cate for so many days, but she was in the competent care of her grandparents. Going on about three hours of sleep, I had been up since 5 a.m. because I don't go to bed until I'm packed. If making all the preparations for our travel, plus getting our home ready for our seven day absence while anticipating Cate's needs during that time wasn't enough, we had a shindig the night before, a not-to-be missed formal affair for the grand opening of a newly completed project.
It was dark thirty and the car was packed. The six of us drove to the airport. The new wills were signed and filed, food was in the fridge and lunch items figured out, and a long list of helpful friends, necessary phone numbers and a few ground rules were completed. Bye bye. Tears welled up in my eyes when I turned my back to get on the plane. For some reason, planes can make me cry.
We lucked out the entire trip to Seattle, never having to share our three seats, making the trip very comfortable. According to the route map, we flew over Kansas. The agricultural quilt was beautifully laid out with squares with circles inside them and also plain squares. The huge territory seemed empty of towns. Later, I saw a little town I recognized by the Air Force Chapel which I had visited a long time before. Knowing it was Colorado Springs but without perspective, we still couldn't find Pike’s Peak. And then the magnificent Rockies just popped. Being in the air and seeing those awesome peaks rising up towards me was one of the most beautiful sights in my life. My nose was glued to the window. I realized I was singing to myself. My heart just automatically turned to prayerful song – For the Beauty of the Earth and The Majesty and Glory – so well displayed before me. I said a prayer of Thanksgiving. I love flat Texas, I love the beach and I love those mountains.
We broke through clouds just before landing at Seattle. I realized Fall was in full session, the vibrant yellow, green and red set against the abundant dark green spruce, prettier than any fall I could remember at home. Driving out of Seattle and passing the Boeing Plant, I thought Burt would wreck the rental car trying to see the planes and drive at the same time.
A lovely park surrounded the border crossing in Surrey. While waiting, we watched dog enthusiasts going through their paces with their dogs. The border patrol didn't wave us through (2000). She did ask us where we were from and then was a little miffed as to why we had New Jersey plates. After asking our destination and our reason for being in Canada, she let us pass, never once asking for the birth certificates we thought were required and had spent time in procuring.
Near Vancouver, we finally got on a poorly marked Route which headed us into town on a 4-6 lane road that went right through the middle of town, complete with stop lights, buses, bicycles, car wrecks and any other road hazard that could generally have been avoided with a nice interstate or bypass.
This was before airlines charged a fee on every little bag. With all seventy-eight pieces of luggage streaming behind us on the brass cart, we followed the bellman down a long hall and turned down two more short halls. The last hall was a foyer with three doors. I knew this was a good sign! And it was! Our room was quite comfortable. The walnut walls were paneled on the diagonal which cast a golden glow on the room. At the top of the walnut walls, a twelve inch border of beautiful art deco plasterwork melted into the curved ceiling. The furniture was old in a good way and fit the room. The bedding was plush - a red, green and taupe floral linen duvet, the first duvet I had actually seen.
an American in Vancouver just getting started
Yesterday, when I decided to finally sit down and post about this trip, I discovered the adventure began thirteen years ago that very day. Wow.