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Jul 4, 2013

Good to be Home

Well, we are home. We have been for almost a week now if you have noticed on Instagram and Twitter.

It was a good trip and before we left I was not sure if that amount of driving, travel and hotel stays would be too much for me but even with our hotel in Seattle be less than ideal we made it in pretty good shape. I would not want to do it too many times per year but are already quickly forgetting the negative things and considering what we will do when we go back.

For about 80% of our trip the camera on my phone was adequate. But there were times, like for the above photo at Gas Works Park, that I desperately wanted my DSLR to create photos that I could see in my mind but could not replicate with the limitations of a smart phone camera. However, not having to worry about it and not have that additional weight on the unexpectedly hilly and uneven terrain of the West Coast was definitely a welcome burden relieved. I was not expecting to need as much help as I did from Angie but I was not too proud to receive it because I needed to be in good shape to get us safely through the traffic we were not accustomed to driving in.

I'm not complaining. I would say that in general all of the drivers seemed more skillful, more alert and more considerate than in Saskatchewan. However, with the lack of freeways in Vancouver and the remarkable pace on the freeways and multilevel clover leaves, off ramps and other unexpected features it was certainly a steep learning curve for me. Only a handful of times did we need to be excused for an unintentional mistake on the roads. Unfortunately, we did get bumped in the rear when a driver, who was blocking the intersection, tried to get out of it and left a couple of circular scratches on my rear bumper from the screws of his front license plate. It happens but was not the best way to begin our first day in Seattle. The intersection both of us were crossing through and turning left at was turning onto a very steep hill and so he may have accidentally popped the clutch or something simple like that. I'm hoping that a small dab of touchup paint will cover it up nicely.

My favorite photos from the trip is the one of the top but my second favorite is definitely this one of a bronze photographer taking a photo of his friends in the early 1900s. Angie snuck in their to add a nice modern touch to my photo. :-)

I will be compiling a video with a slideshow and short clips but it may take a while for me to complete so I thought I would share my few favorite shots from the trip.

So many photos like this, surrounded by beautiful greenery and nature make me think of the mosquitoes one might need to endure. This is not the case on the West Coast. Beautiful weather, unbelievable greenery, the different more comfortable feel to the air, no mosquitoes… I can understand why it is such a popular place to live. However, there are those significant deterrents such as the cost of living, the cost of housing, the cost of gas, the health insurance premiums and then, of course, those unbelievable hills.

By vehicle, the hills are manageable and we were very impressed that we were almost always able to find good parking wherever we wanted to go. Of course, my handicap placard helped us out in a few instances and it is not that parking was cheap, but it was available and accessible. I thought Alberta was doing a good job with a handicap parking spaces. If only Saskatchewan would get theer act together and start making things a little more equitable here.

Finally, I did not get to meet Chase Jarvis, himself. But his producer, and everyone else at his studio, put on an excellent barbecue for us where we had an opportunity sit and talk with them for well over an hour, enjoying just being in a place that I wanted to experience for so long, have a photo with them and make our journey that much more worth the distance, cost and effort.

Finally, I could go on trying to recollect all of the details of our trip but Angie is well on the way of having that beautifully completed a series of posts on her blog. Have a look at it and check back as she tells the tale of our West Coast vacation over the next few days.

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