Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last day of the long drive - oh, the glamour!

Happy anniversary -- we survived a full week on the road.  More or less.  Right, sweetie?   Sweetie...? Hmm, I think he ran screaming from the building...

Ah, nevermind, he'll come back.  I'm in Starbucks, after all. :-)

Monday was another big day of driving, though much less than the previous days.  We had a quick breakfast (hey Mom, notice all the breakfast I keep having?) in the hotel lobby at Salmon Arm, then hit the road.  The love of my life had scoped out that the next Starbucks was in Kamloops, so guess where our first pit stop was...?

Of course, the road from Salmon Arm to Kamloops was beautiful -- mountains, lakes, mountains, lakes, yadda yadda yadda.   I wonder how long you'd have to be here before you stopped gawking out the window twenty-four hours a day?  In Kamloops, we were served by the cheeriest barista on the planet -- she had everyone laughing and kibitzing.  A quick snack, a ginormous (uh, I believe the proper name is Venti) coffee, a trip to the potty (you want details of the road, I'm giving you details of the road), and we were off again.

Two hours of Vancouver, we were reminded of the joys of the big city -- congested traffic.  At 2:00 pm?   Yup.  This is why we don't live in Toronto any more.  But at least the highways around Vancouver have mountains. :-)

We made it to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal just after the cut-off, so had a bit of a wait for the next one.   That was when we realized that wasps are carnivorous -- and perhaps cannibalistic -- as they were happily chomping away at all the carnage on our front bumper.  Nature's car-wash.

Being among the first in line, we easily made it on to the 5:20 boat, parked the car and headed up to the cafe for a (very) late lunch.  The announcer at the terminal had said it was a packed boat, yet we were able to get a table at the very front, so we could look out at the waves and islands.  It was a pretty smooth journey -- especially considering the storms we'd encountered the last time we went across!

We got into Nanaimo, and then started looking for a Mark's Work Wearhouse, as Don, ever the master of advanced planning, had just realized he'd run out of underwear.  Dog bless the internet stick, we were able to find one just up the highway.  And right next to it was the beloved Starbucks, some restaurants and a Best Western.   It was fate.

We definitely have to give the “thumbs up” to the Nanaimo Best Western.  The room was great, the staff very friendly and helpful.  Cheapskates that we are, we had opted for the "basic" room, yet it had a nice little patio, refrigerator and microwave, which would be great if we were staying longer.  And right across from our room -- LAUNDRY!!!  Here you go, the romance of life on the road: laundry rooms make us happy.  We collected our quarters, sorted and stuffed, and did a little happy dance as the machines started whirring.  Mick Jagger doesn't know what he's missing.

Of course, in our excitement over being able to do laundry, we had sort of forgotten about it being kind of late on a Monday night to find dinner.  Never mind, there was a pub attached to the hotel whose kitchen was open until 10:30.  We transferred the loads into the dryer and headed around the corner to the pub, checking in on the dryer from time to time, as there was a mother with several loads also waiting for the machine.  The pub was about the same size as the night before, albeit with only six televisions, one keno board and one online poker screen, and the food and waiter's memory were certainly a cut above.  And she understood the difference between a bottle and on tap.   I don't think we've ever enjoyed a cold honey brown (or two) as much as we did last night!

Laundry done, dinner eaten, we returned some e-mails, paid some bills (that would be the Royal We) and did some PR (ditto), while we still had use of the internet -- we're told that it will be hard to get reception on Gabriola.

And a nice, long sleep was had by all!

Tuesday will be "blogged" when we're back in the land of reception.  We're just about to head onto the ferry.


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