I had crazy dreams. Woke up groggy. I hate spiders. There was a fricken gigantic spider on my hand in my dream. Yuck!!
Anyway we headed to Northgate Mall to look for some boots for the girls. I ended up with 2 pairs of boots too. Oops!!! BUT I do need them for winter here. Totally justifiable. 4 days, 4 pairs of shoes. That’s a good holiday.
Next up? We tried to find a store but ended up lost. Found a cute seaside town though so had a pic there, gave up on the store and went in search of Walmart. Which we actually did find! Yay!
I bought some confectionary for my twitter pal @smayjay and a fish tank for me. I’m pretty damn excited about my fish tank!! I haven’t had one for three months. That is three months too long.
Now we are almost back at the border where we will get grilled about what we did and how much shopping was done. Swear I only spent $200 officer. Please don’t tax my items!
Turns out the border guy had a big Samoan tattoo on his arm so I was able to charm him and he let us through no sweat!
Four girls, one car or #4girls1car as you’ll find it on social media.
My trip started with a crazy experience. I was about to call a cab and overheard a lady on the phone calling a cab. Asked her for cab phone number. She said ‘where are you going?’ I told her, she said ‘that’s on my way come with me.’ So I did – she was so interesting. She had just returned from a month in India, she has been there 5 times and stays in the ashram – she loves it! She was wearing all her stuff from there. It was a rather random 15 mins and start to the trip!
At the car hire place (Budget car rental, only $445 for four days) the girls were reading and roaring to go – and they’d bought snacks! I love snacks.
We waited at the border for about an hour, after being asked ridiculous questions by the most serious people you’ve met we were in the states!
First stop? Any of you that know the route from Vancouver to Seattle will know. For those that don’t – outlet shopping!!!
Pulled up at Seattle Premium Outlets and we were off. Nike, Coach, Michael Kors, Sony – you get the point. Lots of big brands at discount prices.
I ended up with heels, leather shorts (yep I’m that girl), Guess leather jeans, black shirt, striped top, crazy wrap skirt thing, MAC lipgloss, and Nine West sandals. Heels were expensive but justifiable coz they’re hot! Haha.
Getting to the hotel was supposed to take us 45mins. Took us easily double that. After the girls decided we didn’t need a GPS we got lost. Well and truly.
Eventually we got to the hotel (super cheap only $75each for 3 nights) and settled in for an early night ready for a big Saturday!
The best way to wake up? Swim out to a pontoon in the middle of Okanagan Lake and jump in!
We woke early, headed to a lakeside cafe fror breakfast and then a swim. Hilariously a boat had driven on top of the pier during the night!
Unfortunately it was my last day in Penticton but we did one of my favourite things! Tubing the channel.
$10 gets you a tube hire and bus back. It takes about 2 hours to float down and is completely relaxing. The current is pretty swift, the river is wide and cute ducks come out of the reeds to greet you.
If I went again, I would bring some rope to tie all the tubes together and a bucket of drinks to get the party going on the way down.
Trip home flew by and before we knew it we were back in Vancouver.
To be honest I didn’t even know where we were going, I just agreed to a Road Trip! I knew it was somewhere in the Okanagan vicinity, I hadn’t been that way so it was an easy way to pass a few days.
I met Merica at the Sky Train and we headed off to meet Melody & Gerardo to start the trip.
It’s a pretty drive, we mostly just listened to music and discussed the differences between our countries.
At some point Gerardo realised we were fast running out of petrol and were no where near a town! They panicked a bit and turned off the AC & phone chargers. Personally I thought us trekking around to fun petrol would make a hilarious story! Anyway we made it to Meriton just in time.
Now, just to reiterate, I need food regularly. Like every 3hours or so max. I snack all day. I’m almost like a gremlin, if I’m not fed I get grumpy. So at this point I said, are we stopping in Penticton for dinner or should I grab something at the gas station? They said we would get something there, we were only 40mins or so away.
About 40mins later Gerardo asked where Kentucky Lake was in relation to us. I had a google and saw that Penticton seemed to be in the opposite direction. They checked their maps and somewhere along the way we had taken a wrong turn & were now 40mins in the opposite direction. This adding another 80mins to our trip. I was already starving so you can imagine my demise!
Eventually we got to our hotel about about 9.30pm. I was starving!!
Denny’s was the only restaurant open so I had no choice. Lucky my chicken, cranberry, candied pecan and apple salad wasn’t too bad!
We drove up to check out Portland for the long weekend. From Vancouver it’s about a 7hour drive so we left at 2pm on Friday to attempt to beat the traffic to the border crossing. Waits can be atrocious but luckily for us it was only about 45mins.
When we arrived at the border they asked us the usual questions – intentions in Portland, how long are you staying etc. We ended up being slapped with an orange sticker on our windscreen which basically means you have to go park so they can interrogate you more. I swear it was only when he saw Billy’s Aussie passport. Kiwi’s would be fine.
They take your car keys and you head inside where they ask you more questions and check your passport out. We had both recently been in the States so our Visa’s were fine.
The rest of the drive was beautiful, with an amazing sunset and Billy being an over efficient DJ – only the best will do!
Our hotel was great, the Marriott Waterfront. Billy went to park the car while I checked in. Guys should always send their girls in solo to check in. I got free wifi for the both of us for the duration of the stay and a water view. Room was large and the bed had heaps of pillows. Very important. They weren’t the best pillows but you could make a good pile out of them.
Saturday morning we were up early to explore the city. We went all along the waterfront, through the farmers market and into the city, stopping for breakfast.
I dragged Billy shopping – although I would call it purchasing. To save his whining I already knew what I wanted so we were in and out of Clinique & MAC in no time. USA is much cheaper than Canada for most products plus there is no tax. Yeww!
Exhausted from the 35 degree heat and 5 hour walk and some bevvies in the sun at a brewery we headed home for a nap.
Sunday was zoo day! Only $20 for the both of us, we spent half the day wandering around looking at the Tigers and monkeys. Crap food, but I don’t expect much at a zoo.
We made it in time to watch my mate Jimmy play in the Portland AFL grand final. Jimmy kicked a bag and we even joined in for their awards giving at the pub afterwards. He’s been living in Oregon for 7months so it was great to catch up with him!
After a few drinks we went to another brewery around the corner for some beers. We had one each and shared a tasting palette of 6, which was only $8. Love America.
Dinner was at Trader Vicks where we shared a Tiki bowl (by share I think I drank 3/4’s and Billy pretended to drink) and had delicious tapas. Poke and coconut shrimp for me, hummus and calamari for Billy.
Half cut we trudged back to the hotel for an early night before the drive back.
On the way to Portland there was a Starbucks at every stop so we presumed it would be the same on the highway back. Little did we know!
We stopped at McD’s for my breaky, I was hungover and hugely in need of some bacon and eggs. Billy wanted to be ‘healthy’ and was after a coffee so we stopped at the Starbucks. Unfortunately a group of about 20 school kids had just gone in so he abandoned that idea instead thinking to get one at the next exit. But there wasn’t one…. For the next 2 hours! I must admit to being slightly amused at first but he was so grumpy by the end even I was hanging out to find it!
Coffee and ‘healthy’ food down we hit the road only to stop at the premium outlet stores. Billy got lots of stuff, I didn’t buy anything. I nearly bought some fudge but saved by waistline the cm’s. Soo much cheaper in USA. The mall is only 2 hours past the border so lots of Vancouver-ites head there for their shopping sprees. Have to be careful though or they can sting you on the border for tax!
Coming back through the border was easy, a few questions and we were through. Only 40kms from there to Vancouver so we were home by 5.30 to celebrate Canada Day!
We checked back into the hostel after a long leisurely boozy lunch at a Greek restaurant presuming we wouldn’t be able to get home last night. Little did we know!
The weather had been terrible – nearly as much rain in 24hours as they have in a year. Plus the snow was melting. Not only was it flooding but there were mudslides. The town 20mins east of us was evacuated and so was Calgary. Pretty full on. They aren’t expecting the highway east to open for at least a few days, west (Vancouver) maybe a day or so. The hotels and hostels were full with stranded tourists. Supermarket was empty – everyone stocking up.
The roads opened at 8pm and with a 10hour drive ahead we settled in for an hour nap. I was exhausted and quite keen to stay in Banff to wait out the weather however the girls wanted to hit the road so as to not miss work.
We were turned away at one exit – the massive river flowing straight across the highway but found another one. Following the river – flooded in the forest right beside us was pretty nerve wrecking. Plus we were chasing the dark.
After about 2-3 hours we were through the worst of it. I’m really glad we got out then as the roads have potentially closed again. Plus we got a refund on our accom – winning!
We’ve stopped for 2 naps to keep us going and are only 2.5 hours from Van now. Can not wait to hop in bed and close my eyes!