Friday, June 15, 2012

Back to Seattle on a Big Ol’ Bus


After taking a ferry to Seattle from Bremerton, and then a train to Vancouver, and then enjoying almost three whole days with loved ones, it was time to hit the road, Jack.

I pretty much reversed my track back from the Marina to Pacific Central Station.


But I grabbed one shot of me by Science World. Who knows when I will be here again!

After having my shoes stolen my from my room when I got back to Seattle, I am relieved to see that I’m not losing my mind…I actually did buy two pairs of shoes and took them home with me on the long trip back to America.

It was raining again today. I left the boat around 4:00 PM, and we had spent most of that morning in our PJs enjoying the wonderful rain all around us. I love weather like this.


So the plan was to take the last train to Seattle (they only have two per day, and I wasn’t about to get up at 5:00 AM to catch the early one). While buying my ticket, however, the counter clerk mentioned that there was a bus leaving in just twenty minutes that would get back into King Station in Seattle around 8:30 that night. It was faster than the train and left sooner. Just to redeem myself, I knew about the bus but didn’t think that it would be a good fit for me to ride home. The train just felt like a better idea for someone so clueless as me. I was picturing a city bus that makes a million stops along the way.

But it didn’t. So I, of course, bought a bus ticket instead. This prevented me from having to wait for the 12:50 AM ferry back to Bremerton. In fact, I now made the goal to catch the 9:05 PM ferry if the bus experienced no delays.

I didn’t know what to expect from the bus, but it was one of those big charter buses with lots of room. Truth be told, I actually liked this means of transportation better than the train because I had an awesome view of the scenery and towns that we passed!


All of these tracks are leading to the train station, which I just departed. Goodbye, Vancouver! I already miss your cool temperatures and soft rain.


On the bus, we stopped at two hotels to gather more passengers for our trek south. I kept getting the feeling that things looked familiar to me, and sure enough, we passed the hotel that I always frequented when staying in Vancouver for my last job!

I don’t know why I found this so cool. Even Canada can be a small world?


Of the 3.5-hour ride to Seattle, an hour of that was simply getting out of the city during rush hour. Lots of people who work in Vancouver obviously live in the multiple suburbs south of the city limits. We got to slowly creep along the freeway with all of them. It was nice to sit back and relax while someone drove me home.


Did I mention that the views were just wonderful from the bus? I was up high and got to take in all the beauty. We passed lots of farming communities. I love the shape of this old barn roof.


One difference between the train and the bus is that we actually did have to stop at US Customs and Border Protection to get back through the United States. On the train a few days before, we simply cleared Canadian Customs in the train station when we arrived.

I didn’t mind this 30-minute stop. We had to wait for the bus in front of us to move ahead before we could exit our bus to head inside for passport and luggage checks.

Once again, being nice to people and using humor makes everything easy.


This was the gate which we entered to clear Customs. You can see the normal non-bus traffic in the back clearing the car stands into the country.

It felt great to almost be “home.” I love America.


Once we cleared things inside, we had to wait for the bus to pull forward to pick us up again.

One guy from Canada didn’t come back on the bus, and the driver started pulling away. When we asked him about it, he said, “Oh, he isn’t coming with us.” So he got busted at the border! Cool!


With the bags safely stowed underneath, we were on our way again. I wish that my camera could have better captured the incredible lush paradise through which we traveled. Wowsers!


I took this as proof that I not only got some great shoes while in Canada, but I also had a healthy snack on the ride home. These just happened to be in my computer bag, and I’m so glad that they were. There wasn’t exactly a bistro car on the bus that could feed me dinner!

Aren’t those shoe boxes nice? There are cute shoes inside them, too. I’ve heard back from the hotel. Other than the housekeeper who entered my room to clean it while I was gone, no one was in my hotel room.

Guess what? My room didn’t get cleaned while I was gone. When I came back, it was still dirty. So whoever had been in my room to “clean it” simply took my shoes and left. I called the hotel back but just got voicemail and am waiting to hear what they say about that!


It rained on the entire bus ride back to Seattle. I love weather like this, as long as I’m not driving!


This was at 8:00 PM. Can you believe how light it is? The sunset is just now beginning to grace the western sky. Wow, that sounds like a Louis L’amour book, huh? I should be a writer!

We finally got into downtown Seattle and made a whole mess of turns to arrive at the King Station. I had the oddest sensation that I had just been here!


Goodbye, Bus Transportation from Vancouver! Thanks for the ride, eh!

I couldn’t stand around chit-chatting with the bus. It was 8:45 PM and I had a ferry to catch 0.7 miles away at 9:05. So I booked it!


Oops! I accidentally had time to stop in the middle of an abandoned street to take a picture of eastern downtown Seattle. So pretty with the departing sunlight!


Man, another picture? Isn’t there a ferry to catch? I was close enough now and still OK on time, so I risked another photo of my walk to the Seattle Ferry Station. It wasn’t even raining on this trip, like it had been a few days before. Muuuuuuuuuch nicer to walk in weather like this.


Goodness, isn’t that pretty? It’s my awaiting ferry to Bremerton! I made it!


It’s 8:58 PM right. I arrived with seven minutes to spare. Of course, I had to figure a way to get all of my luggage through one of those twisting-people-counter-things while everyone watched. I had no idea that I could be so entertaining.

But I was glad that I had already purchased my ferry ticket back. It made me feel so prepared, even though it was all an accident!


Hi, Ferry to Bremerton! I’m glad I don’t have to wait until 10:10 PM to take the next one over. This way, I should be back in time to grab a very late bite for dinner. I haven’t eaten since my Oreo snack on the bus, and those don’t last as long as they should these days.


Just to confuse tourists like me and invoke temporary panic, the ferry next to us left just as I was walking up the ramp to the ferry terminal. Did they leave early without me?! Did I miss my ride home?!


Nope, I made it! Now I have an hour to relax (and people-watch) on the ferry until we arrive at Bremerton. This might tell you how hungry I was…even Subway sounded good! And there was one outside of the Bremerton Ferry Station that I was hoping stayed open late…just for me!


Goodbye, Sweet Seattle. I love you and can’t wait to see you again. Maybe in a couple of months we can spend some quality time together?

What a fun trip to Vancouver and back. It was a nice way to spend the week on the road.

1 comment:

  1. Another really interesting and enjoyable travelogue, sis.
    Too bad about the shoes. Don't give up on making the hotel accountable for them being stolen. Threaten to press charges if necessary. Ha! Legal advise from your mother- that's funny!! lol!


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