Tuesday, September 09, 2003
We're home! Posted here in Canada this morning, and now I'll post in Portland this evening, from the comfort of my living room. There are a few things about the trip I have left out, so I'll add those here:

This might seem silly, but I really liked the first night I swam in the swimming pool. I was super relaxed in the water, and must have swam back and forth about six to eight times. The water felt warm, and the night air was still. I liked swimming in the pool at the Red Lion that one evening. The second night we tried swimming in the pool was a mad dash on a commercial break from "Dude, Where's my Car" which included a quick dip, a couple splashes and doggy paddles, and I was back in the hotel room before the end of the commercial break.

Another thing I failed to mention earlier was that the woman at Mocambo Coffee (voted the best coffee house on Vancouver Island) remembered Landon and I this morning. It felt really special as a customer to hear her say, "You're back!" She seemed genuinely happy to see us, and I heard her greet other customers in the same manner, even using first names with her regulars. Very smart business move. This would explain why she gets a ton of customers, and Starbucks across the street gets some, but not all.

After I posted earlier today, we went down to the ferry. We were an hour and a half early, but were in the overflow section. I was scared we weren't going to be able to get on, and would have to wait until the 3pm ferry, which would have eliminated the chance of stopping in Port Townsend. When we had crossed four days earlier, we had arrived at the COHO ferry in Port Angeles about 40 minutes before boarding time, and were one of the first ones in line. I have no idea why it was different today, but it was. All I can say is that there were about 100 vehicles ahead of us, including a semi truck and about 10 campers. I did not think we'd get on. However, the guys that direct the traffic in there are amazing. They are so amazing with the way they puzzle piece every car in that ferry that about 40 of us stood watching with our jaws open. Well, not quite, but you get the picture. We drew a sigh of relief that we were able to get on the 10:30am ferry-and so we enjoyed a beautiful day in Port Townsend. The weather was gorgeous, and the water was very blue. We ate lunch at a terrific restaurant/pub on the waterfront. It was delicious. We were about the only ones in the place, and the waitress, who was also from Portland, but fills in as waitress at this place when she's in town visiting her daughter, was very nice. One question-why would you come to Port Townsend to visit your daughter and grandkids, but then work? She says she used to manage the place, but I think it gives her a sense of being needed. But, who knows-maybe she needs a break from the grandkids, and needs a little extra spending money-either way, it's none of my nevermind! I will say, however, that she was exceptionally nice to us, and so we gave her a 20% something tip.

One night when we were in BC, we decided to get a bottle of cheap wine, but there was hardly a cheap bottle of beer or wine to be found! Alcohol seems to be much more expensive in Canada. Anyway, the cheapest bottle was like 8.99 or something, and the guy at the liquor store assured us that although they were out of corkscrews, almost all hotels will have a corkscrew behind the counter. Of course. that was not true for OUR hotel! We had to walk into the adjoining restaurant and ask the bartender to uncork our cork for us. It kind of made me have to work too hard for a glass of wine, so I didn't enjoy my glass that much. However, obtaining the bottle of wine is a good memory for me.

The most repeated sound I heard on this trip was the bird chirping sound when pedestrians are supposed to cross the street. Now, don't ask me why only about 5% of the crosswalks in Portland have this sound, but in Canada EVERY CROSSWALK has this sound. There are no exceptions! Landon liked to imitate this sound, which I almost always swatted him on the butt for. It put the bird chirping sound off of its rhythm, not to mention a blind person might start crossing when he heard Landon's imitation, only to be struck down by a MACK truck. Landon thought it very funny, however.

Landon and I had a very good time, and we walked every day for about eight hours. We barely scratched the surface of the city, and when we go back, there will still be another four days worth of stuff to do. Next time, we're staying closer to the water. We walked into a hostel to ask "how it works" and get an idea of what it would be like, and the guy wasn't very nice to us. He made us feel like it was an exclusive club, and we were on the outside looking in. I said, "How do hostels work?" He said, "It's pretty straightforward." This left me wanting to reply: "Buddy, I wouldn't be askin' if it was straightforward..." But, instead, I just said, "Are the bathrooms and kitchenette communal?" In which I got the standard "yep" reply. I think I'll check the hostel section of http://www.howstuffworks.com/

Anyways, there is a special pink house on the waterfront that I really like. One of the days we were there, I said to Landon, "We need to remember that this place is right up from the pink house!" The next day, neither of us could figure out what that place was. We walked up and down the street from the pink house, and found nothing special. C'est la vie. It's kind of creepy, though.

It is so fun travelling, but there is a distinct feeling that comes over me whenever I return home. I like sorting through the mail, getting the house ready for the next day, seeing the cats, unpacking the bags, and restoring order once again. There is something about falling back into the habit of life here at our apartment that makes me feel something that I can't explain. I guess it is best summed up by saying "It's good to be home or there's no place like home." Whatever you wanna call it-I'm glad to be home!

Next trip will be Crater Lake Sept. 26-28th!

That's all for now folks.
Karli

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