Here I am again for another exciting installement of my travels! I bet you're all dying to hear about all I've done over the past few weeks!! I'm sure I'll finally get caught up at some point!! Well, here goes nothing...
Tuesday 5th August
It was an early start this morning, but it was ok coz we were heading to Seattle for the day!! We went to the office at 7 to catch the shuttle to the ferry terminal but it was already gone... it had left early!! So we ended up walking about 2 miles to the main road then we caught the bus the rest of the way to the ferry terminal! Once we got off the ferry, which gave a great view of Seattle, we headed to Pike Street to the Pike Place Market... the famous Seattle Market! It was huge and really cool and we watched the fishmongers throwing the fish about... they even included the crowd by throwing a "fish" into the crowd, it wasn't a real one tho... it was really funny!! After the Market we headed to the first ever Starbucks... the enemy!! We also made it to The Cheesecake Factory and had cheesecake (funnily enough) and it was fantastic!!! We got a huge wedge each, I couldnt eat all of it, which sucked coz it was sooo good! We then went shopping after to burn off the cheesecake! It worked... and I burnt off some money too... I love American Eagle, I got a pair of jeans and a free T-shirt which was really cool! Then we just headed back to the hostel... we hitched back up there, there was no way I was walking back there! Then we just chilled out then headed to bed early!!
Wednesday 6th August
Just a chilling day today, finishing up all my chores and things like my laundry (hand washed... how fun!), and sewing the rest of my patches onto my bag. It was a really hot day today so I sat outside and did it all there. I also caught up on my journal today. I rebelled against the room and made myself lunch during the kitchen's closing time... noodles again, boy will I be glad to see mum and dad again and not be eating noodles constantly!! I packed up my newly decorated bag too, so it was a pretty productive day for me... pretty boring read for you guys... sorry!!
Thursday 7th August - MUM AND DAD ARRIVE!!!!
Me, Sannah and Robine left Vashon Island today and the three of us headed to the Greyhound Station where we got the bus to Vancouver baby!!! I sat beside a girl from Toronto that I was talking to in the queue for the bus. I was telling her how excited I was to see my rents again, and she was excited about getting back home to Toronto!! So we both sat there with big smiles on our faces!! I tried to sleep on the bus to make the time pass quickly but it didn't really work! But we made it to the border and we passed through customs with no problems, tho they do ask really personal questions there... why are you coming to Canada? How long are you staying in Canada? Why are you staying there so long?? Geez!!! Anyway, it didn't take too long to get to Vancouver from the border and I sadly said goodbye to the Dutchies!! But I wasn't sad for long, I was very excited!! I ended up getting a taxi to the airport and got there just in time... the Belfast flight got in about 5 mins after I arrived and I saw mum and dad on the TV before I saw them in real life! It was great seeing them again, but dad was pretty stressed out after the flight (no smoking!!) so once he got out and had a smoke everything was ok! So we got the shuttle bus back to the Ramada Inn and Suites! Very posh compared to the hostels!! We got settled in then had a quick walk around the area, which turned out to be a pretty dirty area... we must've turned the wrong way outta the hotel!! We just headed back to the hotel where we had a light dinner then a few drinks then off to bed!
Friday 8th August
We got up quite early (mum and dad still hadn't really adjusted to the time change) and we headed for breakfast in The Two Parrots and the breakfast was huge and amazing!! It filled us rightly for the day! Once we finished we rolled out and headed to the Big Bus Tour bus stop and hopped on. We did a full circuit of the tour to get our bearings and hopped off at Canada Place coz we saw signs for TIM HORTONS!!!! Woohoo!! So we went in there and I got my ICED CAPP AND TIMBITS!! I was soo happy, almost as happy as I was seeing the rents again! Once we refuelled we walked around Canada Place which is pretty cool, a building shaped like a sailing boat, complete with sails like a sailing boat! There was a huge cruise ship parked up there too which was cool! It was cloudy so we couldn't see across the harbour to North Vancouver which was a pity coz I heard it was beautiful! We hopped back on the bus and went to Robson St, the main shopping street in Vancouver which was cool. We did a bit of bar hopping while we were there and ended up in an Irish bar.. typical! Then it was on to Granville Island for a quick look around coz the sun had disappeared and it was pretty cold. I tried fresh cherries there and loved them... I didn't think I liked cherries, but apparently I do!! I also booked myself on to a whale watching trip which I was very excited about!! We had a drink in The Keg on Granville Island then got what could only be described as a glorious bath tub back to Howe St, and took a rather dodgy path back to the hotel. We headed out to an Indian on Davie Street, Indian Bistro, and it was amazing!! Then we headed back to the hotel where I taught the rents the game of S**thead, which we renamed Moosehead, then off to bed!!
Saturday 9th August
Another trip to The Two Parrots set us up for the day, and we got the ferry (a bigger boat than yesterday but that's not hard...) to North Vancouver, then the bus which took us to The Capillano Suspension Bridge!! It was a bit cold and a lot wet so we braced ourselves with a visit to the cafe! Then we headed to the bridge. It was pretty high up and scary for me but I did it!! The weather cleared up pretty nicely too which was good! Once we went over the bridge we did the Treetop Adventures which was pretty cool! Once we came down from the canopy we crossed over the bridge again and got back to Vancouver and headed to Stanley Park to go to Vancouver Aquarium. I was looking forward to it coz I'd heard it was great, but I wasn't overly impressed to be honest. The pools for the dolphins, seals and sea lions, and beluga whales were way too small in my opinion and the whales didn't look so happy. But the rest of it was good, they had a good collection or fish and weird and wonderful creatures!! Once we had finished looking around the place we headed to Gastown, named after Gassy Jack, the founder. It was raining loads and we got soaked watching the steam clock! We then went to The Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. It was amazing! For the price of your main course you got a choice of soup or salad then ice cream and tea or coffee for dessert!! So cool, and the inside was really cool too!! We then headed to the Chinese Night Market and mistakenly went onto Hastings Street... I've never seen so many homeless people in one place! It was scary!! We eventually got to the market and I used a Portaloo... disgusting and I swear there was a rat in it... gross!!! The market was rubbish too so we decided to walk back to Gastown via a different route. We were walking along when we saw a chalk line on the ground and writing... Warning, red light district, tourists turn back now! We laughed it off, walked about 5 steps, turned around and called for a taxi back to the hotel. We never thought we would say we were glad to be back on Granville!!
Sunday 10th August
It was an early start for me this morning, I was going whale watching!!! Woohoo!! Dad came down and waited for the shuttle bus with me, then off I went! It took about 45 mins to get to Richmond where the docks where. We met the crew then off we went!! Unfortunately the whales were at the bottom of the San Juan Islands and it took over 2 hours to get down there, but once I saw the Orca whales, it was all worth it!!! It was amazing to see the orca's in the wild, and we were really lucky coz 3 different pods had come together, so it was a superpod, excellent!! They got really close to the boat too but I was too stunned to take any pics!! We didn't spend much time with the whales tho as we had to get back so the crew could go out again with another group! I was really disappointed and next time I go, I'll go from Victoria, coz the whales were like 20 mins from there, we could've spent hours with them! So I got back to the hotel and met mum and dad in The Two Parrots where they had been drinking all afternoon! Dad had gone for a swim in the Pacific Ocean and had come out blue after about 15 mins in there! I wud've loved to see that, mum said his face was hilarious!! I was hungry so got myself food, poutine to be exact (cheesy gravy chips for those at home!) and mum and dad had wings. Then we went out shopping where I got a new watch finally which is pretty cool! We went back to Robson Street and went back to the Irish bar and had a few drinks again then staggered back to Granville where I got a slice and dad got fries, mum picked at both but didnt really eat... man she was hungry! Then it was one last drink in the Two Parrots then we crashed out in the hotel!
Monday 11th August
Today was another early start coz we had to go pick up our car and headed to Seattle! So we had brekkie in The Two Parrots then went to the car hire office. We got a Toyota Camry, a hybrid car which was gorgeous and really comfortable! So we headed down to Seattle and got stuck at the border for about 2 hours which was ridiculous!!! We had lunch reservations at the Space Needle for 1.30 and we weren't actually leaving the border until about 12.30! So we stopped off at a rest stop, got the number of the Space Needle and called ahead to let them know! We eventually got to the Space Needle at 2.15 and went up for lunch. It was really good tho, and very strange being in a revolving restaurant!! Once we finished up we headed to the Observation Deck and had a look around. It was cool, we saw Vashon Island from there and the views were really nice! Then we went to Pike Place Market and had a walk around then walked up Pike St and did some shopping there. Dad bought me 2 pairs of jeans which was great! Then we headed back down to the market by which stage was closing down so instead we headed to a bar on the Pike St Hill climb. We then headed back to Vancouver, no problems at the border this time, and mum and dad went for final drinks in the Two Parrots and I crashed out in the room!