Oct
21
2012

Sleepless in Seattle. But not from the price of fuel!

So we got the ferry back from Vancouver Island and started to head south to the USA border. Abby convinced me that we needed to go via the nearest National car hire place which was at Vancouver airport as she didn’t think the paperwork we had was sufficient enough to cross the border in the hire car. To cut a long, boring story short, National had messed up our reservation so we have 3 x 30 day reservations and not 1 x 90 day one. Despite National not trying to get in contact with us at all, they were 1 day from reporting the car to the police as being stolen, so it was a good job Abby made us go in. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the ‘talk’ with the spotty, arrogant, cocky manager in the Toronto branch when we do eventually hand the car back in!

 

So the border crossing went as expected really. Bloke on the booth wasn’t impressed we were travelling around America and not staying in one place. He really wasn’t impressed when we told him we hadn’t booked anywhere in Seattle to stay. Got sent to the inspection area as we had to go inside and fill in some i94W forms. Waiting for us inside was a 90 minute queue behind some screaming Chinese children and a bloke that had a criminal record in Canada who was getting some grief from the border guards.

The whole experience went surprisingly slowly but we didn’t get much trouble on the desk from the young guy as I think he was more interested in Abby than anything else. One smile from her and we were in!

However the guard on the final barrier outside was a complete tit! He made me basically climb out the window of the car as he wouldn’t lean forward a few inches, so I handed him the passports and the orange form which now allowed us entry into the US. He never told me he just wanted the form so he dropped the passports on the floor inches from his feet, so I had to get out the car and pick them up. I felt like throwing something at him but decided against it. Stupid arrogant Americans! And we think the French and Italians are bad!

Anyway, things are kind of back to normal now as everything is in mph again, although I am still on the wrong side of the car and road. Fuel though is around the equivalent of £1 per litre back in the UK. Good times!

 

Seattle was a nice place and quite friendly. Abby did lots of shopping here. We wandered round the famous farmers market and saw the first ever Starbucks. We walked around the city for most of the day and did intend to go up the Space Needle but it was its 160 something birthday and only a dollar admission. We didn’t wait in the monster queue. It lived up to its name in the afternoon and rained quite a lot. We would have stayed a few days longer but wanted to try and get to San Francisco for Abby’s birthday and wanted to visit Mt St Helens on the way down. There was going to be a few long days of driving ahead!


As I'm writing this, we are watching the news about the massive earthquake that has just hit an island in BC, Canada. We first thought it was Vancouver Island but it was actually the Queen Charlotte Islands. We have also just noticed that there has been a state of emergency declared in Wawa, Ontario due to the massive amount of rain they have experienced recently. This picture is from the Ontario state news pages and shows the road we used to drive into Wawa when we stayed there about 4 weeks ago now.

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