Ryan's cousin called to see if I wanted to run away to Canada; she had a passport she'd never used and I have a brand new enhanced ID so we both can cross the border. I told her it would take me several weeks to plan such a spontaneous trip so we decided to go after school started during a week Ryan was off so he could get everyone to sports and such.
First stop was Fiddler's Coffee in Centralia
2nd stop was at Krispy Kreme in Tacoma. At this point I decided that maybe I should put our destination into Gladys the GPS. Gladys is not familiar with Canada. She had no information onboard to route our trip. Emergency Plan B was a quick trip to AAA for maps. The lady in the office also printed us a TripTik to the hostel in Jericho Beach where we were staying that night- we went Old School! Problem is, I was driving and Shar can't read a map to navigate....
I like to stop at places we don't have in our Tiny Town and the surrounding area, I knew there was a Five Guys in Marysville and I'd never eaten at one, so that was where I was headed for lunch. Shar was just along for the ride and didn't really care what we did as long as I drove. You have to love a place that has grilled onions and mushrooms as standard toppings!
At 2:00 we were passing through Ferndale, just in time for Sonic Happy Hour. Shar claims I gave her whiplash as I pulled off the freeway...
Waiting at the Peach Arch to cross the border into Canada.
Gladys is lost...
See that beach area between my fingers? That's the nudist beach, I didn't mean to end up there but they had a bathroom and we had drunk a lot of coffee and Shar can't read a map and it was pouring rain and I just had to stop. On the upside- we didn't see any nudists, everyone had raincoats on, and I was able to figure out where we were and where we were going. We're supposed to be up there in the green area in the top right corner, just under that blue frame, that's Jericho Beach.
It's an old army training camp and its right on the beach in a really neat old neighborhood. We didn't get to do much exploring since the weather was really bad (at home they were having thunderstorms and the power was out for hours) but in the evening it cleared up enough that we did get to walk a bit on the beach and hear the waves and it was enough for me to be refreshed. I stayed in a Hostelling International Hostel in Seattle last winter with my program from Evergreen and was impressed by their cleanliness, convenience, and especially their price, $30 Canadian.
I think there is a TV crime drama that is filmed in Jericho Beach and Vancouver but I didn't go look up the particulars since I remember it as rather dark and gritty and I didn't want to freak myself out if that was truly where it was supposed to take place.
Looking towards downtown Vancouver in the setting sun. I never really got my bearings on where I was looking, I think Stanley Park is off to the left of downtown in this picture and the beach we were walking on was really the Fraser River.
The next morning we hit a couple of Starbucks for breakfast and to look for a mug for Ryan that we never found (when I was cleaning up my car I realized that the sleeve advertised a specialty blend that is only available in Canada and that would have been a great souvenir to take home but we were across the border when I figured that out). Due to Gladys being on vacation and Shar's map skills and Canada's non-existent highway signs it took us longer to get to the border than I planned (and we saw a lot more of Vancouver's suburbs and I have no idea if we went through the areas that I promised my mom we would avoid...) We still made it to the border by 10 a.m. so we could have lunch at Pike Place Market and be out of Seattle by 2 or 3 in order to miss the Friday traffic.
September is looking a lot like January as we drove through Whatcom County- gray and foggy.
It was fun to introduce Shar to my favorite parts of Pike Place Market- we had Chinese BBQ pork skewers and French pastries for lunch. And I bought half a dozen macarons to treat myself later. We stuck our heads into the original Starbucks so she could say she's been there but the line was too long to wait to get any coffee. I still can't believe she's lived in Washington most of her life and never really explored that part of Seattle- when I was a kid we always took out of town guests to the Market and the Curiosity Shoppe and since the kids have been little almost all trips to Seattle include Westlake, the Market, or the Waterfront.
Our last coffee stop was Dutch Bros. Coffee in Lacey. Dutch Mafia coffee is my new obsession and I hear rumors that we may be getting one and while I'm excited to be able to get drinks I also am afraid the novelty would wear off if we had one readily available...
We had a lot of fun and did a lot of driving. I packed books and knitting and got to none of them. I didn't get to Murchie's Tea or a grocery store to buy digestive biscuits. But I got to walk on the beach and sometimes that's what I really need. Maybe we'll plan our next coffee break to Kona?