Thursday, August 5, 2010
Oscar and I recently returned from a wonderful British Columbia tour. We went to the Eastern part of BC last year, so this time we stayed west. It was originally planned as a simple 3 day trip up to Whistler, BC - the city where most of the skiing events took place during the 2010 Winter Olympics. We'd found out my family's timeshare had a property there, and we chose to make the trip Tuesday July 20th - Thursday 22nd. You still have to pay a booking fee of $80 if you want the points and money refundable, but only $60 if you don't care. Since I couldn't see any reason why we wouldn't make the trip, I picked the $60 non-refundable.
However, Oscar actually got a promotion at work. Previously his hours were 12:30-9:00 Friday - Tuesday. We figured he'd take 1 day off of work and leave on Tuesday morning, spend some time in Vancouver, drive up to Whistler, stay the 3 nights, and leave early on Friday morning so we'd be back in time for work (it's about a 4 hour drive). But, the promotion changed his days off at work to Saturday and Sunday, and his hours are now 6:00am - 3:00pm. So instead of needing 1 day off to make this trip, we now needed 4! Since he'd changed departments and even switched from the Lynnwood to the Everett call center, we knew it'd be difficult to get the approval needed to change his days off for the trip. After talking it over we decided to move our vacation around and take off an entire week of work. That way we'd have almost 10 days to spend in Canada if we left after he got off work on Friday and stayed until Sunday evening.
Ultimately we decided to take a ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, drive to Port Angeles, WA to take a ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island, spend a few days there, then spend a few days in Nanaimo and the surrounding area, take another ferry to the Canadian mainland, drive up for our 3 days in Whistler, drive south for a few days in Vancouver, drive east to see Mount Baker, and then drive home. We took 3 ferries and drove several hundred miles! But it was a beautiful trip and completely worth it.
It started off with a little craziness on the Edmonds/Kingston ferry. That ferry comes quite often, but the one from Port Angeles to Victoria only comes at 5:15 and then 9:30! We were really disappointed because the 5:15 would be cutting it way to close, but 9:30 meant we wouldn't even make it into Victoria until 11:30 and we'd hoped to get there earlier. But we knew the 5:15 just wouldn't be possible, so we took our time getting ready and wanted to leave at about 4:30 to catch the 5:25 Edmonds/Kingston ferry.
However, Oscar saw that the cat food was next to the cat water just before we were leaving, and was worried that the cats would do what they've done in the past, and drop their food into their water. They refuse to drink it when it's dirty like that, so he picked up the feeder to move it to a further off spot. Unfortunately, he bumped his arm and ended up dumping about half the cat food out and into the water dish! That meant a ton of clean up for us just before leaving, and kept us from leaving until after 5:00.
But boy was there a TON of traffic waiting for that ferry. Even though we got there at about 5:15, there were so many people that we couldn't even board until the 7:00 ferry, and it departed late at about 7:30. I was freaking out during our long wait because I'd thought the drive to Port Angeles from Kingston was 2 hours, and I was sure we'd miss the ferry and still have to pay for our hotel that night since we'd be canceling so late. Oscar stayed calm while I took a walk to calm my nerves. Fortunately a man on the ferry assuaged my fears when he told me the drive is actually only about an hour, and we were able to make it at about 9:15. So even though we weren't thrilled about there not being an earlier ferry to Victoria, the 9:30pm departure ended up being exactly what we needed.
Fortunately it was a beautiful day and we saw some gorgeous views of Mount Ranier from the ferry to Kingston.
Then we took the ferry to Port Angeles a little past sunset and saw some beautiful colors in the sky.
I always crave hot chocolate when I'm on a boat.
Oscar and I had originally thought we'd arrive a couple hours early in Port Angeles and eat dinner there. But we ended up having to eat on the ferry. He wasn't too thrilled with his mediocre pizza, but I thought my polish sausage was excellent.