I left off at Seattle. After a long and invigorating couple of days (and several happy hours) Taylor and I packed our bags in Tess’ apartment.
Taylor, ever the careful one, double, triple, and septuple checked that we had everything. I lounged on the couch while he paced, peeking under the table and lifting up pillow to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind. Tess had left early that morning to go to work. We could lock her door from the inside, but once it shut, it would be shut FOREVER.
Naturally this put Taylor into a mild state of panic, aggravated by the fact that we were scheduled to catch a ferry in the next half hour.
“Did you get your cellphone charger?” he asked.
“Did you get your toothbrush?”
“Your laptop cable?”
“You didn’t leave any…underwear or anything around?” He squinted at me.
“No. I did not leave any underwear around.”
Satisfied, he bundled everything up and we made for the car. He winced as the door clicked shut, but there were no explosions or sudden nightmarish screams. After an interesting ten minutes spent trying to back out of the parking space and maneuver the car down the alley (imagine trying to get an elephant out of an elevator) we were on the road. Taylor gripped the steering wheel. Last time he was in Seattle, he had gotten lost trying to get to the ferry. I could tell from the hard, vaguely crazed glaze in his eyes that it would never happen again.
“You know,” I said. “I was thinking about gasping really loud and telling you that I had forgotten something, just to see the look on your face.”
The look Taylor gave me wasn’t remotely amused.
“Yeah,” I continued. “But then I didn’t, because you are stressed out right now.”
“I’ll feel better when we get to the ferry,” he said.
We battled Seattle’s confusing layout (Laura argues that Portland is a billion times worse) and ended up in a long line of cars waiting to board. Taylor turned off the car, leaned back, and sighed with relief.
I opened my purse, and gasped as loud as I could.
The look on Taylor’s face was entirely worth it.
Now, I’m pretty sure that I’ve been on a ferry before, but not for many years. What I knew was that I wasn’t afraid of boats.
What I didn’t know was that I get a little seasick.
Thankfully, the ferry ride was brief, and I spent the rest of the drive up to Taylor’s aunt’s house napping in the car.
Taylor’s aunt lives in a peaceful little town on the border between Washington and Canada. I had never met her, and Taylor hadn’t seen her in many years, so it was a privilege and a pleasure to be welcomed into her home like we were. That first night she made a fantastic dinner and we chatted until Taylor and I, still exhausted from the hours of walking Seattle the day before, had to crash.
Taylor had mentioned to me that we were going to be staying in ‘a room above his aunt’s garage’. So I didn’t quite expect this:
I KNOW, RIGHT?
I had no idea that ‘room above the garage’ actually meant ‘beautifully decorated studio apartment with full kitchen and bathroom’.
Note the sunburn on my nose, by the way. Somehow the only place that got burned this trip.
Taylor and I promptly decided that we were going to live there forever, and when we eventually get forced out by the police, we will try to recreate that apartment in every detail in some cheap studio above a bowling alley somewhere. A nice little lesson in not needing a beautiful space to make a space beautiful.
Taylor woke me up early to catch another ferry, this time to Victoria, BC. We already had tickets (thanks to Taylor’s aunt’s beau Mac!) and I was excited, despite the hour. I had never been to Victoria before. In fact, my trips to Canada had been limited to a skiing trip where I mastered the bunny slope, tried a single ‘beginner’ level hill and then spent the rest of the day nursing my wounds in the lodge with a mug of hot chocolate. The fact that there was a Canada that wasn’t a snow-covered mountain came as somewhat of a surprise to me, and so once we got off that infernal ferry (goddamn rocking hellboat) I was ready to explore.
People tell me that in Victoria you are supposed to go shopping and have tea. We did neither of these things. What we did do was a ton of walking. We grabbed some coffee and spent the majority of the morning just going up and down the city streets, remarking at the shops and the people. We discovered a church with madly ringing bells and a park that actually had some dead people in it, but it was still a nice place to take a break.
Following that, we took a jaunt over to Parliament where countless twenty-something boys took glamour shots of their girlfriends. Seriously, this goes beyond the typical tourist, “LOOKIT ME I’M IN CANADA” pictures. These dudes had their DSLR’s out and contorted to achieve artistic angles, while their girls looked demurely into the distance. Taylor and I were having none of that. Here I am being a statesman:
Obviously I am the least embarrassing travel companion. Taylor was proud to be seen with me in a public place.
We snapped a few more shots of Parliament and then began the hour long process of finding a place to eat that wasn’t frighteningly fancy or prohibitively expensive. We nearly settled on a place when we noticed the beautiful waitress was wearing towering black high heels and short skirted club-wear. I glanced at myself in the front mirror, frizzy hair, baggy shirt, no makeup, and decided to go elsewhere.
During lunch we both realized that we were completely exhausted. We had planned to catch a ferry at seven, putting us home at about nine, but what were we going to do for the next several hours? Our feet hurt, we were tired. Still enjoying Victoria, but that would change if we were forced to stay there too long. So we caught the ferry early and headed back.
On the way, there were some pirates.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing in aforementioned snazzy loft, enjoying each other’s company chatting, and laughing. I took a twenty-minute bath, a luxury I don’t have in my terrifying spider-infested apartment. We went to bed early, to prepare for the drive home.
After our goodbyes in the morning, we sped back towards Oregon, stopping only to have lunch with wonderful couple (and old friends) Alice and Caleb, and at pretty much every rest stop because I have a bladder the size of a kidney bean. By the time we were home, I was glad to be home.
And that’s the story of our vacation.