Saturday, 15 September 2012

Home Again

A group of us had a late breakfast at the Spot Café before going for a walk in the park.  Some went for a game of Pitch & Putt, while P and I rested on the beach watching the boats and enjoying playing in the sand.

Then one final fat burger before driving to the airport.  Returning the cars was seamless, and P and I snuggled up on the plane to have a fair bit of sleep, though I was happy to know that I wouldn’t be back at work till Tuesday.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Cycling and Walking

French Toast breakfast at the Spot Café.  Then the 3 of us jumped on bikes (and a trailer) to cycle round Stanley Park.  It seems to be the main thing to do in Vancouver, and it was clear why.  

Such fantastic views of the bay, with seaplanes landing and tugboats plodding along.  

We stopped off on the beach to play in the sand with Penny, which she loved. 

On returning the bikes, we started walking.  Down Denman Street, spotting a good restaurant for our last evening together (The Boathouse).  Then all the way down Davies Street, stopping at a couple of good second-hand/thrift shops.

Then we walked all the way over the main bridge to get to Granville Island.  Fantastic views of the city, but a long way to walk.  Especially as we had to double back a long way to actually get to where we were heading.

We stopped off for some well-needed food in a great little fish restaurant, and went in a few shops.  Which included a hammock shop, where we decided to buy an enormous family hammock on a whim!  A splurge, but you really can’t get hammocks as good as American hammocks in the UK.

As I was exhausted from all the cycling and walking, we took a taxi to Gastown to see the old gas lights and architecture.  Then back to the hotel to meet the others for dinner.

The restaurant was slow, but we had our own corner and the food was terrific.  My steak was especially good.  Penny was a bit restless at the beginning of the meal, which was hard, but she settled down eventually.  And we hung around for ages, making friends with other diners too, as we went through all of our top ten experiences of the trip.  Mine were as follows:

10 – 3Cs Cowboy music show in Cody
9 – House on the Rock Inn – Submarine Pool and Hot Tub
8 – Dave’s all you can eat attempt in Butte
7 – Chicago – Architecture and posh dinner at The Signature Restaurant
6 – Seattle Karaoke
5 – Dressing up in the 1880’s Cowboy Town
4 – Cycling in Vancouver
3 – Yellowstone
2 – Rushmore
1 – House on the Rock

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Canada Ahoy

We jumped on the Monorail with Matthew, picking up Katie and Dave on the way, as we headed towards the markets in the middle of Seattle.  Stopped off at Ludi’s on Pike for a brilliant hash brown and bacon breakfast.  Then we wandered through the markets, along the waterfront to the Curiosity shop (which was nothing much, in my opinion).  Then quickly into the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) shop before meeting the others back at the hotel, and we found a tremendous fountain on the way back.

We then drove to Canada, meeting a pleasant but firm border guard as we tried to get across.  Anca had had to leave us in Seattle as she had some last minute visa issues, so we were down another person at this point.

Vancouver was very impressive as we approached, such an impressive city by the bay with mountains in the background.

After driving down Robson Street, we got to our rooms at Robson Suites.  Walking back up Robson, we found Earl’s on a recommendation from a local.  And it was fantastic, being fairly Penny friendly with amazing food and great service.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Washington and the Ocean

Stopped off just over the border in Ellensburg to see Dick and Jane’s garden, full of lots of homemade colourful art.  Then we chose to have lunch in a beautiful converted yellow church, where they had made Heavenly Loaf (fluffy ciabatta with cheese, garlic and plenty of salt, yum!)

Arrived in Seattle, realising that we were nearing the end of our trip by hitting the ocean.  The roads were undergoing repairs and were hard to navigate, but Charlie managed to get us to our posh hotel, The Maxwell.

Got to the Space Needle just as the sun was setting, was hilarious to see it ‘unset’ as we went up in the lift.

Afterwards we all jumped into taxis to get to the karaoke place.  Charlie was looking after Penny for the evening, so I snuck out to have tacos with them before they headed back to the hotel.  Singing was fun, as always, with lots of enthusiasm all round.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Eating and Driving

Drove to Butte for lunch, and not just any lunch.  We headed for Trimbos pizza so Dave could attempt the 5lb Jumboli Calzone challenge.  An enormous amount of food on a plate, he did pretty well, getting through about a third of it.  They did make yummy pizzas, but not sure if I would want to gorge my way through 5lb of it. 

Dave’s attempt was fantastic though, even when he turned a bit pale, he wasn’t sick.

This was a day of lots of driving.  We stopped off at the $50,000 bar which was covered in endless $1 silver dollar coins.  The barlady Phyllis sang at Jamie, and the shop had plenty of fun things in, including an infinite drinking bird which we just had to have one of.

Arrived late in Coeur d’Alene, and had a meal at Tomato Street restaurant where you could draw on the paper tablecloths with crayons.