Sunday, June 22, 2008

We're back!

With the trip to-do list completed, we are back in sunny Calgary. Some highlights:

Spokane Washington was hosting a pride parade the day we arrived (14 June). Everyone was out (pardon the pun) and enjoying the weather. What is it about pride events that motivates folks to show as much skin as possible?

Portland Oregon was hosting a pride parade too..... on the day we arrived (15 June). It's just a coincidence, I swear! Ditto on the comment about showing as much skin as possible. We witnessed a gaggle of young women sporting only star shaped pasties above the waist.

A tip for travellers to Portland: If you like staying near the waterfront, but don't like the RiverPlace Hotel's newest outlandish prices, stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott, just a few blocks south. It's much cheaper, has nice rooms, some with full kitchens and balcony, and has a full buffet breakfast complimentary! The hotel is across the street from a Portland Streetcar stop. While riding the Portland Streetcar system, we witnessed an incident where a couple of guys riding handicapped bicycles refused to situate themselves in such a way as to facilitate the movement of people onto/off and through the streetcar. The streetcar operator refused to move the vehicle until they either got off or cooperated and moved out of the centre of the doorways. Security showed up after a 15 minute stalemate and finally convinced them to cooperate. But they were making a definite stand of 'watch how we can be arseholes'. They stayed on the streetcar 2 stops, then got off. The other passengers were furious. I bought a new pair of Doc Marten's at the Doc Marten store downtown. Yay!

Seattle. We didn't get to see very much of the city proper even though we were there 3 days - we were having too much fun in the outskirts! Our hotel in Woodinville (Willow's Lodge) is a best kept secret accommodation in the Seattle area. Our room was amazing (see the Facebook photo album link at end of post). We ate breakfast (twice) at another secret gem of a place in Maltby - the Maltby Cafe. It's in the basement of what looks like an old one room schoolhouse. They have gargantuan breakfast servings - I couldn't finish my breakfast. Really. They also serve a home-made cinnamon bun that is the size of a dinner plate. That's not an exaggeration. The icing had to have been poured from a 500ml (16oz) container. We did a lot of shopping for baby Olivia. We met Team Ecland. They were lovely hosts and treated us out to one of the fave eateries nearby. We stole their American flag from their front lawn. OK - stole is a harsh word - they watched us do it. We also visited Gilman Village in Issaquah and Redmond Town Centre in Redmond (home of Microsoft). Two lovely outdoor shopping places.

A quick word about my beloved Garmin GPS. It rocked! The Garmin was absolutely indispensable in getting us to the many places we wanted to visit on our trip. It even seemed to take us on scenic trips to some destinations to avoid traffic. The traffic service worked while we were in Portland and Seattle, even though I thought you had to pay for it.

Last stop on our way home was to visit Olivia! Our grand-daughter is so tiny. I marvelled at the little fingers and toes. Darlene and I offered to babysit the dear girl for a few hours on the night before we left to come home so the parents could go out alone. It was an adventure..........

Facebook photo album.

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