After a short one hour flight San Diego complete with a free drink on Southwest Airlines due to the St. Parrick’s Day holiday, I changes planes to a flight to Seattle. All was going very well, I was pleased. With a 20 minute layover the gate for the second leg was half of a city block away. There was time for a pit stop in the ladies room and a few minutes before the boarding call. As I stood there waiting to board I considered my drink options. You’d think I was a real boozer but the truth of the matter is I’m a frugal bargain hunter working to get the biggest bang for my buck.
I decided on a Rum-Rita, a delicious concoction of Rum and margarita mix the had a nice kick and a delicious tango citrus. After the drink, some peanuts and a cracker/pretzel snack pack I stretched back as much as the tight seating afforded and took a short nap. I’d been up since 5:30 AM in order to get my almost 4 mile daily walk in, finish up the last minute prep for the trip and await my youngest son’s arrival to ferry me to the airport. I was definitely due for some z’s before landing and the 140+ mile drive to Vancouver BC.
I had booked a rental car so I’d have transportation available to do some sight seeing while there and the care and air fare to Seattle were a better bargain that air to Vancouver.
We landed to a brilliant sunny day, blue skies unheard of in March on the coast of BC. I was really lucking out. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. The car pick up went smoothly. They gave me “pick of the litter” in my price category after trying to talk me into an upgrade and adding additional insurance. I chose a nice shiny black, freshly washed Nissan Sentra and headed out toward I5 North to Vancouver. After two hours on the road I had only traveled as far as Burlington . Traffic had been bumper to bumper on I-5 at no more than 25 mph. I could’t imagine where all the traffic was going or where it was coming from and by then it was after 4 PM. The GPS was predicting another two and a half hours to Vancouver. I hadn’t been able to figure out how to move the seat back into a less than perpendicular position and my hip joints and back were screaming in protest. I couldn’t pull over due to the heavy traffic and difficulty with making a lane change.
Finally traffic thinned out and I kicked it up to 65 or 100 kpm as the sign indicated once I crossed over into Canada.
I finally arrived at the apartment I’d be staying in for the week and after unpacking and a few moments to regroup I set out to a grocery for some provisions for the evening and breakfast. After a day of nothing but airline peanuts, crackers and a hard boiled egg and cheese stick I’d packed I was famished.
I checked with the front desk and found an IGA grocery only four blocks away. It felt good to get out and stretch my legs and breathe the moist crisp air. The sidewalk was filled with other walkers and I noticed there was a true bicycle lane with separating curbing from the motorized traffic. Many cyclists passed by as I strode toward my destination. I opened the door to a complete deli and produce department with a great variety of fruits and vegetables. Prices were a bit steep but I had to do a quick mental gyration to convert Canadian dollars to US currency. The exchanges rate was about $1.28 Canadian to $1.00 US. I selected some berries, avocado, romaine and zucchini. They had an extensive baked goods area that included multigrain breads and rolls of all kinds as well as muffins and pastries. I chose a lovely warm loaf of seeded multigrain bread. Across from the breads I discovered an escalator to an upper level where there were all sorts of dairy, meat and canned offerings. I decided on a box of linguini and a jar of sauce, a container of Greek yogurt, some butter for the bread, a nice dark roast, fair-trade coffee and some lemon curd for a treat.
After paying for my choices, I headed back to our room. The day had been a sunny one. The sidewalks were dry and there was still a slight bit of sunlight peeping through the clouds at the horizon. I loved the room we had gotten. It was on the 21st floor and on the southeast corner of the building with a view down the street to the waterfront. The dining table sat in an alcove with floor to ceiling windows on two sides and breathtaking views of the city lights.
My companion on the trip had a full itinerary of things she wanted to do and see. Since I had been to Vancouver before I was willing to have chose our activities for each day. I’d met her about three years earlier but had only seen her on an occasional basis. I felt confident that we would travel well together.
When I got back I started a supper of sautéed zucchini in marinara sauce over the linguini. Delizioso! We sampled some of the bread toasted and it was outstanding too. It was a perfect end to the day. We decided to light the gas fireplace and curl up on the cozy chairs to read and listen to music for a little while before retiring.
The next morning dawned bright and sunny and we headed out to the University of British Columbia camp to visit the Anthropology Museum and the Nitobe Japanese tea gardens.
The museum was amazing. I highly recommend the docent tour. It was rich with information about the Pacific Northwest native peoples, their art and culture.
Traveling to new places can be very relaxing and mind expanding at the same time. I’ve always loved to travel and see new places and people. When I’m away I can really let go of all the day to day responsibilities. When I’m home I can’t sit still. There’s always some chore calling me. This trip will be just what I needed.