Rachel "Sparks" Blackman (seattlesparks) wrote,
Rachel "Sparks" Blackman

O Canada...

So, I spent my weekend in Vancouver. Here's the journey log, more or less. :)

Day 1 (Friday)

Got a very late start, due to printer giving me trouble when I tried to print out directions. See, instead of my usual route from Seattle up to Rose's house in Vancouver - which I can drive in my sleep, since it involves a grand total of TWO turns after I get onto I-5 - I was driving to the Chilliwack area to pick up FJ and then head West on the Trans-Canada (Route 1) towards Vancouver. Since driving to Vancouver and then driving to Chilliwack and then driving back to Vancouver would make the trip at least two hours longer, it seemed more sensible to do this.

So, FJ had sent me two sets of instructions...a map from Yahoo!, and her own from-memory landmark instructions. However, I got partway up I-5 before I realized they didn't match. I spent the next couple hours on various state routes, passed a huge accident which (it turned out later) was blocking my turnoff, but finally got back on the right road. At that point, it wasn't so bad; FJ's family drove her to the Tim Horton's just past the border crossing, and I met up with her there and drove off to Vancouver.

We had a nice chicken-and-vegetable dinner at Rose's and then sat around trying to figure out what to do. After several hours of sitting around and chatting, we decided to go out to Denny's for a 2:30am snack. On the way back, we found that the World Cup game that night had been won by Korea; many people were driving around honking madly, waving Korean flags. We got hit on by two carloads of cute, celebrating boys (one set in an SUV, who nearly ran us off the road while trying to ask if we wanted to go to a party with them) and drove around Stanley Park to see the view from the various waterfront lookout points, and then finally went home. Though that was an adventure too, through the huge crowds of Korean people celebrating in the streets!

Then off to sleep on Rose's futon-of-death, which ended up with me flat against one wall and sunk into a valley along the edge, and with poor FJ repeatedly falling out of bed onto the coffee table.

Day Two (Saturday)

Woke up a bit late, battled for the shower with various people, and then headed out to get some food and wander around the city more. Didn't really do much of anything noteworthy. Upon returning home, however, we found that Rose and Jason's minivan was dead. We jumped the van using the Beetle, and then drove to the nearby Canadian Tire to try and get a new battery. At first, we thought the place was closed, but then found it wasn't. Yay! New battery for the minivan, and a new air mattress for the futon-of-death.

Then we went off to Alison's 'Whups, I got deported from Ireland' party, which was the whole reason to go up there. In actuality, she was really 'refused permission to land' and not 'deported', but still. She had gone to Ireland intending to work for three months, but didn't have her work visa and didn't lie to the customs officials, so they were very apologetic and tossed her in jail overnight (though they ordered her pizza and chatted with her to keep her company) before they sent her back to Canada the next day.

The party was interesting...far too many people packed into Karen and Alison's little basement apartment. Eventually we spilled out onto the lawn. It was fun, and I met some neat new people, and FJ met an old school classmate she hadn't seen in five years, and it was good. But by the time we left about six hours later, we'd had to all go back inside and try to quiet down, and it was WAY too stuffy and crowded, and both FJ and I started to hit 'panic attack' mode from claustrophobia and stuffy air. So we bid Karen and Alison and all our new friends farewell, and headed back to Rose's...where we promptly all collapsed.

The futon didn't eat me this time! Yay, new air mattresses!

Day Three (Sunday)

Woke up, but found myself stuck in bed because FJ wasn't up yet; climbing out of the futon would've involved climbing over her. Usually she's awake way before me, but this time she was stubbornly sleeping in. Hey, no complaints, I go back to sleep. A while later, FJ remembers that it's the Queen's Plate - a big Canadian horse race - that day, so wakes up and turns on the TV. We watch that for a while, and then head out with Rose to go see 'Spirit.' Which was fun to watch, but... eh, not really as good as I'd hoped. The main moral I learned from it was 'Whether Lakota or mustang...males are /dumb/.' (Yeah, I'll just LEAP OFF A CLIFF INTO A RAGING RIVER AND GO OVER A WATERFALL. Brilliant.)

Then we wandered into a few other shops, and started back to Rose's. But we were hungry, so we stopped for food. Then we were going to go back to Rose's, but she remembered an ice cream shop she /had/ to take FJ and I to. A place called 'La Casa Gelato'... they have 192 ice cream flavors out at any given time. Some are bizarre...Rose subjected FJ and I to 'Chocolate Chili'...which tastes like wonderful chocolate, until you swallow and realize 'my throat is melting because someone poured fresh lava down it!!' Neither FJ or I was going to fall for tasting the Kimchee or Wasabi flavors after that, though we did get subjected to Beer flavored ice cream (which tasted like, well, beer). However, some people really like those...and there were plenty of other bizarre ice creams (Curry? Chicken soup?). And every one tasted EXACTLY, frighteningly, like what it was named. But there were also a lot of normal flavors; the Black Cherry ice cream was to DIE for, and I got a cone of that. Mmrph. If I take the job offer in Vancouver, I'll have to go there for that ice cream more often.

Then we swung back to Rose's house and got our stuff, and I set off back eastwards on the Trans-Canada towards Chilliwack, to drop FJ back off. We sang 'Chess' the entire way...not that we hadn't been subjecting poor Rose to our renditions of it all weekend as it was. About an hour drive to Chilliwack, and I dropped FJ off at her house and set off westwards on the Trans-Canada. After a brief scare where I was momentarily convinced I had missed the turn-off for the Sumas border crossing, I made it to the border. And promptly discovered the new, accurate directions that FJ had given me were unusable due to road construction. So once again, I set off to find my way along strange back-country state routes. Finally, I reached Bellingham (in a bit under an hour, which is the best time you can expect from ANY route) and got back onto I-5, and then just headed home.

E-mail to catch up on and stuff!

Of course, I also did some thinking while up there. Between Rose and Jason making preparations to job-hunt and move to Maryland, and even just things like FJ getting a (very cute) new haircut and starting riding again... I came to realize that my life has been pretty static. Oh, sure, where I live changes - now I'm in a house instead of an apartment - and where I work changes...but really, what else? I am, more or less, the same person I was a year ago. I haven't had any particularly interesting new life experiences...maybe I should go out and make a change somehow. Maybe I should go look into that job in London more seriously, or take some time off and try to travel the world, or hell, just even try to start dating someone. I dunno... I just know that I'm starting to feel dissatisfied with stasis, but I don't know what direction to move in. Just that I need movement of some kind...
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