Pacific Northwest 2012 – Day 3

After last night’s crazy road trip we were back in the car with Jonathan as we headed to Vancouver. We left around 11am to give us time to stop if we wanted to and make it to Vancouver before 6pm which is when we needed to get the keys to our Air BNB reserved apartment. Our first priority was getting some gas as the car was pleading for me to stop (it had stopped counting down the miles to empty and changed to the not very helpful “Low Fuel”. One thing I liked about my CR-V and even the Prius v is that it counts all the way to 0 if you want to push it.) Trusting my natural instincts, we found a station quickly after exiting the freeway. I again had to rely on my instincts to take us back to the freeway, and once on the road, it wasn’t that much further to Everett.

I was excited as we approached Pierce Field as I saw a ton of spanking new Boeing jets on the tarmac just waiting for their owners to pick them up and take them home. I’ll take a 747-800 to go please! We made it to the Future of Flight exhibit at Pierce Field in Everett at 1145 and that enabled us to take the 12-noon tour of the factory. Jonathan was again going to work (and at this point, I was starting to feel bad for him, but he was fine with not going on the tour) The tour was 90 minutes and they took us to the monstrous assembly building (which can fit Disneyland California inside – but not the Matterhorn, it would poke out the top.) I really enjoyed seeing 747-800, 777, and 787 all in various stages of assembly. There was even some freshly painted and the ones I saw from the road that were just waiting to be delivered. One really loses your sense of scale with how huge the planes really are. When you stand at the base of one of the huge hangar doors, it really snaps back into focus just how ginormous a jumbo jet is. The gift shop was a tad disappointing as it just had generic Boeing merch and not specific attraction items. We recovered Jonathan and then turned our car back on the road north and set on the highway to Canada.

In what was meant to be a quick stop to grab lunch and go, we stopped in Marysville, WA to eat at a Carl’s JR. It turned into a 40-minute affair as we had bad timing as several large groups all arrived at once and overwhelmed the newbie counter service people. At least the food was good, but now we had to book it to Vancouver to avoid being late. We were actively monitoring the border crossing times and hoping we would not be stuck there for too long. The road from Everett to the border took us through some very nice scenery near Bellingham and was a pleasant drive with minimal fuss. Thankfully, when we arrived at the border, the crossing only took 30 minutes. I did have to run and use the facilities in the adjacent park as we were stopped waiting for our turn. I hope I didn’t look too suspicious running across the grass paths to the bathroom while everyone was waiting in their cars. It turned into a non-event as the car only moved one length while I was away. Daniel was able to jump out of the car as well and get a great Gorn photo at the US-Canada border monument. I can’t wait to post it!

The rest of the trip was uneventful – just more beautiful scenery on the way. I did have to figure out how to convert the Cruze display into metric to make sure I wasn’t going too fast and to help determine how much longer we had until we arrived in Vancouver. We made it to central Vancouver right on time and went to a neighborhood called Yaletown where we had an apartment reserved via AirBNB. This was the first time any of us had used the service so we were a bit scared. Jonathan went and registered us and I could tell we needed to lower our expectations by his reaction. We were paying for location, but got a smaller than expected place where Jonathan had a fold out in a small den that was no bigger than a wall in closet. I mentioned he should sleep on the couch since it seemed much roomier and less stuffy. Once we rested and got settled, Jonathan led Daniel and I on a Seattle-like walk around Vancouver.

We headed down Robson Street to look at the shops and then headed to Coal Harbour where we walked along the scenic sea wall. The weather was perfect as the heat of the day gave way to a nice cool ocean breeze. We then popped over to English Bay Beach to have a quick bite to eat and watch the sunset before heading back to our apartment. We really covered most of the central Vancouver area in the walk so again the drive plus the walk really conked us out. When we got back to the apartment, I stayed up for a bit looking at things to do tomorrow, and Jonathan went out with a friend. Daniel conked out early and I think I’ll head there shortly.