Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seattle/Canada - 1992

July 27, 1992 – Harrisburg, PA

Karl drove us to the airport. It is a dull, overcast day – comfortable but very humid. Flight left right on time and after a quick stop in Pittsburgh we had a fairly smooth trip. Upon our arrival at 3:03 p.m. Seattle time, the sky is clear and it is a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier. The Cascade Mountains as you approach the airport are impressive – looking as if they were dusted with confectionary sugar – snow in July. The sun on Mt. Rainier’s snow fields is beautiful Our B&B is an old Victorian in the city – old and tired, but clean and interesting. The neighborhood is bohemian – lots of young couples. We went to Pikes Market – great place – much longer than I expected. We are very tired – had dinner at “Kills,” an Irish pub in the Post alley. I had a pastry and John had smoked salmon – lots of Irish bread. Bed early – lovely cool evening.

July 28 – Seattle, Beach Tree Manor

Great breakfast and wonderful company; we always enjoy the variety of guests. Our hostess is most interesting – loves to talk politics and seems knowledgeable. Fabulous day – weather clear, sunny, high 60’s. We walked to the space needle and took the monorail to the Center to visit Eddie Bauer and Nordstrom, in particular. Good shopping – very attractive people; very fashionably dressed. Love Seattle so far. Met Dale at Pam’s office and drove to their boat about 2 miles from downtown Seattle. They live on the boat sometimes and he uses it for an office. Gorgeous boat – 40-foot yacht. We cruised the Lake Union to Lake Washington. The city views from the water are spectacular. We drank champagne and enjoyed the sail and caught up on all their activities. We docked for dinner at the Beach Club – fabulous salmon dinner. The homes on Lake Washington are magnificent and I was particularly surprised by the quaint and colorful little houses that border the lake – boathouses. Three and four deep, each one unique and sporting pretty window bakes and tubs of flowers on their docks. We are tired. It has been a long day.

July 29 – Beach Tree Manor, Seattle

Gorgeous day – no humidity – cool morning, clear, sunny, warm day. Off to Pikes’ Market at 8:30. This is the time of day to visit – so wonderful. We’ve never seen so much fresh fish so beautifully displayed. The Seattle Art Museum is beautiful and the special exhibit of glass by Chihuly was spectacular. We walked to Pioneer Square, which was very European looking and enjoyed lunch in a sidewalk café. The seamy side of life is more evident down in Pioneer Square, which is old Seattle – saw some homeless and some winos, but still feel the balance of beautiful young people outweighs the negative. People are friendly and polite and helpful. It is a super city. Went up in the space needle and had the perfect view of Seattle and surrounding mountains. We saw Mt.Baker on the Canadian border – 200 miles away.

July 30 – Seattle

Another gorgeous day!! Hope they continue. We’re off to Mt. Rainier; it looks so close, but is a 2-½ hour drive – most up the mountain. The views on the way up to Paradise are breathtaking – waterfalls, other peaks and the glorious evergreen conifers. The Douglas firs are immense. It was the clearest day on the mountain all summer but temperatures are usually 70 and today it must be 90. We have no humidity but it is tiring with the heat and altitude. We hiked up quite a way, but not to the snowfields, which I had hoped to do! The lodge is so perfect for the mountain location. Dinner was good – lots of people here. Bed so welcome after a tiring day.

July 31 – Paradise, Mt. Rainier

Another clear, sunny day. The mountain is glorious and the air is like crystal. I hate to leave, but we’re driving to Vancouver – a long way. Arrived at Anacartes Cyclery to check on our bicycles and check out town on our way North. They were happy to see us and told us that some of the bikes needed tires, etc and that some needed helmets. You bet it was ours that needed to be replaced, so we bought two new helmets. That is about the only thing that hadn’t been double-checked. The town looks great; we still have the car-return problem, but John knows how he is going to handle it. We’ll do a little running back and forth to pick each other up and swap car for van. Vancouver is enormous – Vancouver, North Vancouver – each city across the water from each other. Beautiful, natural setting. I’d like to visit Vancouver Island, but will be there later when we go to Victoria.

August 1 – Vancouver, Beachside

Cool, breezy and cloudy – almost like Fall. Great breakfast, good company. This B&B is fine and it overlooks a beautiful cove. However, we must be getting spoiled, as it seems cluttered and tired to us. This coast is lovely. We drove to a little village, Dundarave. It is quiet and quaint with nice little shops. We stopped in downtown Vancouver. It seems like a very clean and attractive city, but we headed on South. Everything is expensive and we felt we needed to get back to U.S.A. to run some errands. Drove there Surrey to Bellingham. This town is very busy; all the Canadians are here to shop. We’re staying in a Hampton Inn and it is excellent.

August 2 – Bellingham, Washington.

Cool morning. We went to mass in an old church – Church of the Assumption. The mass was lovely – guitars and young music. The whole congregation radiated love – small families and young people were the majority. We drove to Anacartes and I drove back to Bellingham – returned the car and waited 3 hours for John to pick me up with the van. I finished my book and read Sundays’ paper cover to cover. Arrived back to greet everyone; it was so good to see them. We all went to Charlie’s for dinner. It was ok. Big day tomorrow, starts at 6:45 breakfast.

August 3 – Anacartes Island Inn [27 miles]

Another fabulous day! Everyone is up to get on those bikes. We had a Dutch breakfast (the lady to runs this Inn is from Amsterdam) and we biked 4 miles to the ferry. No problems – short ride to Lopez where we biked to Lopez Village – about 8 miles. The Idlewild Inn is lovely – new but very Victorian in design. The Innkeeper is married to a movie star (Garret?) Our Inn is at Swifts Bay. We biked about 27 miles and collapsed upon arriving at our Inn. It is a lovely cottage and our room is spacious and very well done. Rahut and Christopher are the Innkeepers and are very interesting. They have thought of everything. They have a hot tub, robes, sandals, etc. Biked to Shark Reef Park to view the sea lions. Beautiful promontory of rocks looked over on San Juan Island.

August 4 – Swifts Bay Inn [17.5 miles]

9:00 am breakfast – cool morning. Very lovely serving – pear muffins, apricot & blueberry preserves. Omelettes of Brie, apple & ham. Juice of pear, banana, peach and pineapple juice – fabulous. We have a short day so went on a bike ride to MacKaye Harbor and Stanley Spit. The views of mountain and ocean are so magnificent everywhere. We changed and caught the 3 o’clock ferry to Orcas Island – van also. John is driving, as it is hilly and narrow roads. We drove to Rosario, a resort on the most exquisite bay. It is impossible to describe the mountain and ocean combination. The water is royal blue. We had dinner at Orcas Hotel (the chef’s mother is from Harrisburg) - food just OK. We have had very mediocre food for too much $$. Ferry back again.

August 5 – Inn at Swifts Bay [23 miles]

6:30 am breakfast – Wow – tired. We are catching the 9:30 ferry to San Juan Island. What weather: cool mornings – sunny, moderate afternoons. Best day yet. Ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Bought lunch at a deli and biked 10 miles of rolling hills to Roche Harbor. It was truly a picture-book spot: two old white wooden hotels sitting on the edge of a royal blue sound filled with yachts. Mountains rise up all around and lovely homes are tucked into the hillsides blending in with the trees. We sat on the dock with our lunches and biked 10 back to the Ferry at Friday Harbor for a beautiful sail back to Swifts Bay on Lopez. We watched the sails flapping around in the water and watched airplanes taking off and landing in this gorgeous place. Cocktails here at 6! Must pack up as we’re off to Sydney and Victoria B.C. tomorrow for 3 days with panniers only. Bay Restaurant for best dinner in Washington – super chef – a friend of Robert and Chris’s.

August 6 – Inn at Swifts Bay [18 miles]

Left in the rain for our trip with panniers. The rain had stopped before arriving in Sydney, but we kept running through showers. We lost our leader and ended up on Rte 17 for a white-knuckle ride to Victoria. We covered about 18 miles, but it took us 4 hours as we had too bad breakdowns. We missed lunch completely. The English Inn is tired – food expensive.

August 7 – English Inn Victoria

We have a shower day – nice, cool temps. We took public transportation to Butchart Gardens – these are truly beautiful. The flowers are massed mostly and there are special gardens – rose garden – Japanese garden – sunken garden. Every imaginable flower arranged tightly in raised beds. We had lunch at the Blue Pagoda – excellent – cafeteria style, but done to perfection. We went to Oaks Bay with the Oakleys and Merrills. It is a lovely suburban village on the water. What a gorgeous location. Dinner at the Sticky Wicket – great pub; music on the roof later – fun, fun day and evening.

Saturday, August 8 – English Inn [18 miles]

Most of our group left early for the ferry to Friday Harbor, but Marion, Don, John and I decided to bike for a later ferry so we could see the Victoria Museum. It was well worth the time, but you could have given it a day. The different vignettes showing life in early Victoria are just great and take you back to 1900.  Victoria is a fabulous city – the cleanest and most beautiful I have ever been in. The Northwest is truly a remarkable area – mountains, ocean, ideal temperatures lows 42, highs 80, no humidity. Our days are in the 60’s – some mornings as low as 50, but the sun is hot and the air cool. We really love this part of the world. Biked about 18 miles to catch the 6 o’clock ferry at Sydney to Friday Harbor. Quick supper at the bistro.

August 9 – Inn at Friday Harbor [37 miles]

Beautiful morning – down hill to breakfast at Front St. Café. This place is still so undeveloped and this is the busiest town in the islands – not too busy by Eastern standards. Took ferry to Anacartes and biked from there to Whidbey Island Ferry to Port Townsend. Long day – lots of steep hills but fabulous temperatures and a very invigorating day of bicycling. We stopped at Captain Whidbey Inn for lunch. The views are unbelievable everywhere you look – such natural beauty. We biked over the bridge that bridges Deception Pass. This giant gorge that separates Whidbey Island from the peninsula is so magnificent it takes your breath away. I could barely look. The bridge must be a mile high from the water below. The Manresa Castle is kind of different – an old seminary turned hotel. Gorgeous view.

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