So, we’re on the train to San Francisco. Unfortunately, there is no WIFI so this post will happen once we are already in San Fran. Regardless, a few things to update you all on before I completely forget them.
We left Hinton yesterday morning at about 7:45. Hilary, Dane and Norah drove us to the airport in Edmonton to catch our flight to Vancouver. After we checked in Richard realized that he forgot his knee brace in the car. Now, anyone that knows our situation, knows that we are really going to be messed up if he does not have his knee brace. Thankfully, the kids had stopped at Tim Horton’s on the way out of the airport so they were able to return with the knee brace. Whew!! During all of this kuffuffle, Richard’s water bottle got lost. Down one water bottle and we are not even out of the gate!! Uneventful flight to Vancouver. We had a few hours to kill until we could get into our Air BNB so decided to go to Granville Island. Took the Skytrain and a bus and managed to find our way there. Beautiful spot!! Took a water taxi to the Olympic Village which was conveniently close to our BNB. Walked the rest of the way there.
Now the walk was only about 20 minutes but with backpacks that seem to weigh 100 lbs after an afternoon of carrying them around, we were very happy to find the BNB and put our feet up.
Just a word about BNB’s in general. For most of this adventure, we have opted to use Air BNB for our accomodation. We used one last year when we went to New York and it worked out well. The price is comparable (or better) than a hostel and you usually have more privacy as well. If you are doing any travelling, and enjoy interacting with people, I would recommend this option.
We caught a bus this morning at 5:30 that took us over the border and to the train station in Seattle. And now, here we are on the Amtrak train to San Fran. As we will be on the train for almost 24 hours, we decided to upgrade and get a sleeper car (aka roomette). This has proven to be a very nice option. The seats are comfortable, we get to make up beds for the night and best of all, our meals are free!!!!!
We have never been on a train before but are finding it very pleasant. It is interesting to see the different vegetation as we move south. Washington has very large evergreen trees which seem to be everywhere. Oregon has more agriculture (though on a much smaller scale than Manitoba) and sand like soil. It appears that most of the harvest has been done though there are many corn fields that are no further along than in Manitoba. Maybe, a second crop? With no WIFI, I find that I am writing my self notes of things to look up later. Like, what is significance of Mt. Vernon, Washington? Who settled Vancouver, Washington? How big is Portland, Oregon? How did Salem, Oregon get its name? What movie was Eugene, Oregon featured in?
And our funny story for the day – we are now down another two water bottles – making three in total. It turns out that my last minute switch in water bottles was not successful as the lid kept coming off. After dropping a full bottle twice, I decided that it was ready for the trash. Bottle number two – gone. So, I bought us each a couple of 1 L plastic bottles at the bus station this morning with the plan to refill them until we get to someplace that we can buy a couple more permanent ones. However, Richard’s bottle rolled off the bus seat in Seattle all the way to the front. One of the passengers picked it up and put it in his backpack. So, bottle number three….gone. Sigh.