Friday, October 23, 2009

Seattle/Victoria Trip, Day Two (The Clipper)

Okay, so day one was not exactly riveting, I know. We spent most of the time in a plane, so of course there wasn't much to report. But don't worry, day two got better.

We had decided that we wanted to take advantage of being so close to Canada and hop over the border for a day. Victoria B.C. is less than 3 hours away by clipper ship, so we thought that would be a logical destination.

We had to get up earrrrrrrrrrly. For some reason, the clipper only leaves at 8:00 in the morning in the off-season. We were supposed to be there to check in by about 7:00. So, we woke up around 5:30, got ready, left the majority of our luggage with the concierge at the Seattle Doubletree, and took a taxi to the clipper. It was a cool, drizzly morning. Typical Seattle in October.

***Before I start posting pics, let me share this: our camera is horrible. Yup, horrible. It's a Canon PowerShot--you know, just a point and click kind of deal. It's only about 6 years old (I think we got it right before we got married), but it's obviously at the end of its life. The automatic lens cover doesn't close anymore, and sometimes it actually gets stuck half-way open and blocks half the shot. It's kinda funny that it's so quirky. People give us odd looks when we're banging on it, trying to get the lens cover to open. Anyway, I'm just sayin'. Our shots will not be award-winning ones, but hopefully they'll give you an idea of what we saw. ***

So, here's a little shot from Pier 69 in Seattle, where the Victoria clipper leaves from:

Here's hubby (holding both of our coffees!) and the clipper we took:

The clipper ride to Victoria was probably one of the highlights of the trip for me. It started out kinda crappy, because the boat was packed. I was hoping that we'd get to spread out and snooze or read or just be left alone, but it didn't work out that way. And I'm so glad it didn't, as I'll share later.

The clipper is a double-decker. All of the seats are inside (and out of the rain). The top deck has fewer seats, and that's were we went. The seats are arranged in clumps of six--three on one side, three on the other, and a table in between. We ended up sitting with an older couple who live in the Victoria area and a middle-aged couple from Seattle. My ears instantly perked up when the lady from Seattle said, "My husband is a travel writer. He's writing about traveling to Victoria in the off-season."

A writer! A travel writer! Man, how do you get that gig?? And do you have some travel advice for us???

We started up a conversation that lasted the entire three hours of the trip. I relished every minute of it. Both couples gave us lots of advice about Seattle and Victoria, and they were all just joys to be around. The older lady sitting next to me started talking about a commercial currently on TV in Victoria for a local insurance company. She and her husband shared how much the commerical drove them crazy. Evidently it shows a lady who is a very bad driver, and a voice-over says, "You don't drive like her. You shouldn't pay like her." The point is, of course, that if you are a "good" driver, your rates shouldn't be the same as those of a "bad" driver. But the way the point was made drove the couple batty.

"First of all, it's just demeaning. But more than that, it uses improper English. You don't drive like her, you drive like she."

Oh, man! Did I mention that I really liked these people?? They all started discussing grammar and syntax, and oh, I was in hog heaven! Ha!

I found out that the writer has actually just published a book. How exciting! He said it is his third book, and it's called Literary Feast--The Famous Authors Cookbook. What a cool premise--he went to various local and national authors and found out what their favorite recipes are and then compiled them in this book. Food and literature always go hand-in-hand. The author is Terry LaBrue, and the book is a bestseller at right now! He said that he just got a contract with Costco to sell it in their stores. That's hitting the big time!

I'm going to have to split this post into two sections so it won't get outrageously long (and the boys should be waking up fro their naps soon). Next post: Butchart Gardens and a cool pub!

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