Friday, September 6, 2013

Pacific Northwest Trip June 2013 Day 1 Sunday June 16

This is the first of a series of posts dealing with my tenth and most recent trip to Seattle as adult, this time also covering Portland. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports.  What few updates there are indicated by NOW in brackets.  Neither Portland nor Seattle are part of Day 1, but they’re coming!

Hi everyone

Unsurprisingly for the first day of a trip I was awake early and had to kill time a bit before leaving my apartment. Walked to the McDonald’s on Douglas & View for breakfast. I saw the 72 bus to the ferry terminal after leaving the restaurant and could have dashed for it but decided to take it easy instead and wander to the first stop of the 70 Express bus. It was a nice morning (I was even in short sleeved pants even though it was before 8) and thought it might be nice to get some shots of the Parliament Buildings.

[NOW: Just to clarify, my starting point was Victoria, BC].

En route an obvious panhandler started to approach me. I declined before he could ask me for money. He said, “What?!? Do I look like a @#$%ing panhandler?” I mentally replied, “Well, Yes” but outwardly kept quiet and kept going.

When the 70 passed through downtown Sidney I noticed that the nice sandwich shop near the main southbound bus stop was replaced by some women’s clothing store, Miss Kitty’s I think, something risqué like that.

Surprisingly, at the ferry terminal most people still opted for the cashiers rather than the automated ticket machines even though the lines for the cashiers were long and not all the machines were in use. I also like that the machines, unlike the human operated booths accept debit cards.

On the ferry I got a day bus pass for Vancouver. The cashier there (the book and magazine area) reminded me that fares are cheaper today being a weekend, but I opted for the day pass anyway. Today was meant to be the day of the trip for relaxing, not a lot of planning, so I didn’t want to have to start planning the day around bus transfer expiry times.

Parts of the above were typed on the bus to Swartz Bay, then on the ferry.

Upon the ferry‘s arrival at Tsawwassen, I noted that the transit busses were now closer than before to the Arrivals part of the ferry terminal. I took the 620 Express bus to Bridgeport Station, the Canada Line SkyTrain to Vancouver City Centre Station, crossed the street twice to Granville Station, took an Expo or Millennium Line SkyTrain to Main Street Science World Station, walked to the hostel (C&N Backpackers).

There was no place to put a lock on the lockers; $2 coin slots had been removed. A key zipper on my backpack broke. I was offered a private room, accepted, but then was told it was extra, so I stayed in the room already chosen. I started heading out and took off my coat, noting the weather changing. I ate lunch at Subway then took the SkyTrain one stop and then doubled-back, decided to put a few more things in my pack since I could lock my stuff away properly.

I took the SkyTrain to Granville Station and bought a new backpack at the Bay. I visited Chapters then walked to Gastown. I took a SkyTrain from Waterfront to Granville Station where I met up with my friend Sheila. We actually talked for seven hours, having dinner at Burger King part of the time. It was fun to do on the quietest day of the trip but I can pretty much guarantee that this is the only point in this trip where I will be able to fit in a seven hour conversation with anyone.

I took the SkyTrain back to Main Street - Science World Station where I returned to the hostel in preparation for my meet with another friend, Luca. There was a little confusion but we did finally meet and had a nice chat at a nearby pub.

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