Archive for June 2010

Tourist questions (or, don’t even think of asking these up north)

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

In my mailbox today landed a list of the dumbest questions asked by visitors to Banff National Park. Fortunately, I’m not going anywhere near there on my trip, staying in the Vancouver vicinity, but it’s a good reminder of what not to say to stay in the good graces of our Canadian friends.

A sample:

  • Did I miss the turnoff for Canada? (while standing in the middle of Banff!)
  • Where does Alberta end and Canada begin?
  • Is this the part of Canada that speaks French, or is that Saskatchewan?
  • If I go to B.C., do I have to go through Ontario?
  • How far is Banff from Canada?
  • What’s the best way to see Canada in a day?

And my favorite: “Don’t you Canadians know anything?”


Posted via email from Northwest Passage 2010

T minus 15 days: Here’s the plan

Monday, June 28th, 2010
Yep, it's almost that time once again for this reverse snowbird to seek shelter in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I probably go up there as often as most other Islanders go to Vegas. In fact, I was there last year, and though I did have fun, I can take only so much neon at one time. In any case, I'm really looking forward to this trip, and have been since February when I first bought the ticket (thanks to HawaiianMiles for picking up the tab for my return trip…half price tickets, FTW.)

Here's what I have on tap:

July 13 (day 0): I leave Honolulu in the afternoon, arriving at night in Portland.
Most other airlines run red-eyes to the West Coast. Hawaiian's flights leave Honolulu in the afternoon Hawaii time, getting there at night in Portland on Pacific time. Getting in late at night in Portland has never really been a problem for me in the four times or so I've taken Hawaiian. True, it may be 11 p.m. when I get there, but my body still thinks it's 8 p.m. – enough for me to be coherent enough to pick up my baggage and rental car, and settle into my hotel room (or host's home, as the case may be). Then by the time I'm settled in it's time for me to go to sleep, which I can do horizontally.

For some reason, I have trouble enough getting a sound sleep in a seated position – add the jet noise and the general discomfort caused by the seat and it becomes nearly impossible. So Hawaiian's flight schedule works well for me and usually I wake up the next morning with minimal jet lag.

July 14-16 (days 1 to 3): Portland, part 1. I don't really have a set schedule for most of my first segment. I have dinner scheduled on the 16th with a high school friend of mine who moved to Portland, got married, and started a family. I do plan to visit the campus of Lewis & Clark during that time. It always amazes me how much the campus has changed since I graduated 16 years ago. Besides that, I have a few places on my flexible agenda: visiting Voodoo Doughnut (never been, but have heard a lot about their bacon maple bar – want to try it out in person); Bagby Hot Springs, and whatever else comes to mind. Also to visit restaurant chains that have yet to make the jump across the pond – Olive Garden, Red Robin, Sonic, etc.

July 17 (day 4): Portland to Seattle (by way of Mount Rainier): The plan on the 17th is to check out of the hotel relatively early and hit the road heading north. First stop, weather permitting, will be Mount Rainier National Park for some photo ops and then from there into Seattle. After that, finding someplace to eat, then watching the sun go down on the Space Needle.

July 18 (day 5): Seattle: Hoping to get up early to get a chance to take a picture perfect shot of Seattle from Kerry Park, then planning on visiting Pike Place Market and other places, maybe the Ballard Locks, Woodland Park Zoo, or the Museum of Flight.

July 19 (day 6): Seattle to Vancouver: Making a stop at the Future of Flight Center in Everett and taking the Boeing factory tour, then from there to the Canadian border – a quick stop at the Peace Arch, one of the few places where you can straddle the physical U.S./Canada border – and then on to Vancouver.

July 20-21 (days 7 and 8): Vancouver: What? Vancouver isn't hosting the Summer Olympics? LOL. But there are a few things I plan to do while I'm there…Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, jogging in Stanley Park, and Granville Island, with some poutine (Canadian-style cheese fries) on the side.

July 22 (day 9): Vancouver back to Portland: Hoping the lines at the border aren't too long, and that I can stretch my legs again in the Puget Sound area before heading back south.

July 23 to July 25 (days 10 to 12): Portland, part 2. This is probably when I'll be spending most of my major souvenir shopping time…zero sales tax, FTW. I also have an early morning photowalk date on July 24 at Oaks Amusement Park for Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photowalk.

July 26 (day 13): Back to reality. Leaving in the morning and arriving back in Honolulu in the early afternoon.

Posted via email from Northwest Passage 2010