Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Leaving Seattle -to Ocean Shores

We got up bright and early to make our way to Port Angeles to go whale watching.  We got on the boat and made our way to see the orcas off the coast of Vancouver island and San Juan island.  The ride there was ok - a little chilly but calm enough.  We got there and saw the whales!  They were not what I expected... I found them a little boring - no fluke, just very large fin.  We did manage to see mom and baby though! That was pretty neat!

The way back was not fun!  I guess the winds picked up and it was a very rough ride... Did not enjoy it at all!  Not too many did I don't think!  People were puking left and right.  I managed to keep it in but came close a few times!

I was really happy to get off that boat!  felt queasy for a while but had some ginger ale and that solved the problem.  Phew!

We went on our merry way.  We stopped at a beach - if you can call it that - called Ruby Beach.  You can't swim there but it is beautiful!  We stopped at the first and the fourth one - where there was supposed to be tide pools, but since the tide was coming in we didn't get to see it.

The forests here are just amazing!  I can't explain it and pictures don't do them justice.  On the way, we passed through a couple of rainforests.  They are so dense you would get lost within feet of the trail - if you could even get in!  There are beautiful ferns everywhere and the trees are already very big - not sequoia big but huge nonetheless!

white crowned sparrow
We've seen interesting birds: tufted puffin, white crowned sparrow, pigeon guillemot, barn swallow, osprey, rhinoceros auklet, common muir, possibly a petrel, glaucous winged gull, heermann's gull.

barn sparrow

Other things worth mentioning:

  • took 10 208 steps. Not many - spent 5 hours on a boat
  • RĂ©mi was attacked by little sparrows.  That'll teach him to walk past a nest! 

Monday, June 29, 2015


Seattle is a beautiful city!  Lots and lots of green spaces - just like we like it!  There are some pretty weird looking pine trees here!  I didn't get any pictures yet... I hope to see one when I'm not driving.

We had a busy day!  We woke up quite early as our bodies are not used to the time change yet... so 5 am it is!  We had breakfast in the hotel and off we went for today's adventure.

Our first stop:  Freemont Troll.  We found a giant troll under a bridge.  We spent a few minutes taking pictures of this giant troll.  Remi almost got snorted by the troll! This is an art piece - I forget what it was created for... all I know is it's a neat thing to have in your city!

We then moved on to Kerry Park to get a view of the skyline and Mount Rainier - unfortunately, Mount Rainier is hiding in "fog/smog" - you can see a very faint mountain on the right.  Will have to try again tomorrow morning.

After going down a ton of stairs just for fun, we moved on to downtown area - under the space needle.  It's gay pride parade/festival today... rainbows everywhere - even at the top of the Space Needle!  There, we visited the Chihuly Glass Garden.  Wow!  There are some great artists out there! The glass looked like coral reefs - just amazing!

 Once we finished looking at the beautiful art, we had lunch at Dick's Drive-in.  Great little dive - cheap too!   We then drove back to the hotel to rest up before the race.  We had time for a nap and off we went.  The pictures from the race are on my phone and I'm having issues having it connect to the internet... so no photos.  I'll try tomorrow from the next hotel.

We did a good race.  Official time was 30:03 - Sophie's best time so far.  It sure was hot - and a couple of hills (yuck!)  Funny enough, no water stations... that would have been really nice... oh well!

After the race, we made our way to Pike Market Place, bubblegum alley and the big ferris wheel.  21 676 steps later - I'm off to bed as we have an early start tomorrow.  We have to leave before 6:30 to make it to our whale watching destination.  Stay tuned!  (internet is painfully slow - will add a couple pics tomorrow if it's any better - argh)

Other things worth mentioning:

  • took 21 888 steps.
  • I hate the GPS.  For some reason, I'm not meant to use one! I never turn where I'm supposed to - or is it the streets that are screwed up?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The second flight

The flight from Toronto to Seattle was pretty uneventful.  Flying first class is nice though!  They keep feeding you and feeding you while the others are starving =).  Dinner was so, so.  Beef tenderloin (that I couldn't chew), extreme mash potatoes and overcooked broccoli, a little salad, tiramisu for dessert.  We got chips, chips, chocolate, nuts, coke and that I think that's it.

 The view from above is spectacular.  At one point, you see mountains as far as the eye can see.  Pretty cool!  They do seem small from above, but you know they are humongous because you can actually see them.

When you arrive in Seattle - WOW! a picturesque view of Mount Rainier - breathtaking!  My phone didn't get a great photo but it's better than nothing.  I will have to find a good viewpoint and take a photo tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Good news: We get up early this morning - 4am - to catch a cab to make our way to the airport, where an excellent adventure is supposed to start.

More good news - we get on board and safely land in Toronto.

Bad news: Toronto airport sucks when you are going on international flight.  It's badly organized, slow and just plain ridiculous.  Anyway, we go through all the hoops and make it to our gate.

Bad news - "What's your last name?  she asks.  "Roy" I reply.  "You are kicked off the flight because your bag didn't make it.  Please go to customer service" she says. What? That makes no sense - let me on and send my luggage on the next flight!  Nope. Not going to happen.

We go to customer service - got there just in time!  There is about 6 people in front of us and soon after about 50 people behind us!  Air Canada not having a good day... what else is new?!

We waited one hour - yes, you read correctly - 1 hour - that's how long it took them to serve 5 or 6 people!!  What great customer service - NOT!  It's finally our turn...

Good news (sort of)  We are booked on the next flight.

Bad news - the next flight is at 5pm -  we have to spend the day in the airport.

Good news - the only spots left were in First class!  We will be getting dinner on the flight!  They also gave us each $20 so we can have lunch in the airport.

I just hope the rest of the trip will run a little more smoothly than the first few hours of this day!

Friday, June 26, 2015

One more day!

The time has finally come!  Today will be busy!  Last day of school - it's a PD day.  Will spend some time at school finishing up.  As soon as I get home, I'll finish packing, I'll drop the cat off at the "spa", drop the dog off at the sitter, make sure Sophie has everything she needs and off to bed.  We have to get up at around 4 - to be at the airport for 5 am!  Tomorrow will be a long day since we won't be getting much sleep and will have to makedo with the time change as well... but hey! Freedom!!

I'm sooooo anxious to get going!  We will have a wonderful adventure!

Monday, June 15, 2015

12 days left!

I'm getting really excited!  Our trip is fast approaching - which also means freedom for 2 months!

Everything is planned, things are booked all that's left is the packing!

Here's a list of things we will be doing:

  • Whale watching in Seattle area (I've not seen orcas in the wild yet - add to my list of whales in the wild!)
  • Segway tour in Seattle
  • bird watching all over - hope to see a condor - endangered bird - also the largest predator
  • Alcatraz
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Aquarium
  • Whale watching in Newport beach area (blue whales - my dream to see one! also an endangered species -perhaps my one and only chance to see one)
  • quite a few things planned in L.A. - surfing lesson, a couple of tours, lots of hiking
  • Comic Con of course
  • plan on paragliding in San Diego - depends on the winds
  • snorkeling in San Diego area
  • The list goes on and on!
Make sure you come back to read up on our adventures and to see pictures!