And Finally!

I have at last got this working on my laptop instead of the ipad, which makes typing a lot quicker and easier! Passwords long forgotten; you know me and IT by now, surely? It all made for good time wasting. There were one or two loose ends to clear up, from my point of view and a few more pictures to show you; so, here we go.

The trains seem to go through the middle of Seattle; the fish in the Seattle Pike Place Market and stuff you could buy all over the place were amazing! This was where I got my new belt, hand made in front of my very own eyes!

My ankles have almost returned to their normal size but my head is still in a diferent time zone; I was wide awake at 0500 this morning but somehow Mary is sleeping through it! Talking of which, Mary almost got stuck in the mud on our bear watching day, with those waders on! Both Zach and Ty managed to pull her out and with her waders still on; just a wellington boot might have been a different story! It was only four miles but it was a hard slog and my thighs took two days to recover; seems to have been a recovering holiday! Not as bad as the American couple who drove away from the small Homer airport straight into a ditch! The owner’s wife was in hysterics after they left; they got them out very easily by lots of people, including me, sitting on the tailboard and tilting the vehicle back up enough to get a grip if put into reverse. Why so amusing? “Oh, people are always doing that, it happens at least once a week.” Which explained why no one panicked and they got them out easily by a well used and tried method; only a slightly bent number plate and dented pride to show for the occurence.

I never really mentioned the visit to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver. Great film and talk by a real live person about the Apollo series of flights. Who knew the Space Station is twenty years old? Took us by surprise and by golly it is HUGE.

The moon landing was described in fantastic detail, took both Mary and I back to the Wembley Studios of LWT; David Frost hosting the moon landing show and the audience sat waiting for those first signals from the spacecraft as it came back out from behind the moon. It was like 600 people were all holding their breath at once; you could have cut the atmosphere with the preverbial knife. And in the exhibition afterwards there was an episode of Quatermass, the BBC series, playing quietly in a corner in dear old black and white. Used to frighten the willies out of me.

Vancouver is a vibrant city but also terribly expensive and many apartments have been bought mostly by the Chinese, our taxi driver to the airport told us, as holiday homes. (😱) This has pushed the property prices up to almost obscene levels and then you realise those down and outs we saw wandering the streets between Gastown and ironically the Chinese district, have not a snowballs hell in chance of getting a roof over their heads. Can you believe Napoleon Bonaparte once said, β€œChina is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she awakes she will shake the world.”

Gastown has the amazing clock powered by steam but only five minutes beyond that is poverty row, a truly depressing sight. Why don’t we all just stop all the wars and spend that money on looking after people. If only it were that simple. Man has always wanted to do battle with man? Why? And we continue to destroy the South American forests. As our lovely daughter Laura said, we just never learn, do we? Rather strangely, I watched Peter Jacksons film “They shall not grow old.” on the flight back home. It brought me back down to earth rather faster than the Boeing 787 Dreamliner did and I really think that film should be compulsory viewing in all schools. What a waste of effort, time, money and most importantly human life, that all was; indeed we never learn because we had another go with the Second World war. Stop, humour is needed.

The Wedgewood Hotel dining room is fantastic and we did laugh because the waiters are so dressed like the guys in ‘Hello Dolly’. We half expected them, especially on Wednesday night when they were much busier and rushing about, to suddenly start dancing and burst into song! The Maitre D’ we had made friends with two years ago was on duty and Scott, who had looked after us the night before had tipped Tim (for that was his name) off that we were in. Tim came over and said hello and greeted us like long standing friends. We talked about Ruby the waitress we both hoped would make it, for she was a trainee last time and we discovered that she had. But had moved on after about two years, “But she is going to be very big in this business one day,” said Tim, speaking very highly of her. And one of the other guys had said the night before, “I miss Ruby.” When we left both Tim and Scott shook us warmly by the hand and we told them that they should open a place on the East Coast to make it easier to get to possibly for a long weekend! They said they would talk to the owners. 🀣

We were served by two Irish waitresses for lunch on Granville Island; great stuff to hear those soft accents, a real change from those loud American voices that we had almost nearly got really fed up with in Alaska. And going back to those down and outs and cannabis, a chum called Stuart Wood,Β  who lived round the corner from us in Ash when we lived there, had never smoked and once said he could never see the sense in putting a load of leaves into paper, putting that in your mouth and setting fire to it. Go listen, if you have not heard it, to the great Amercian comedian Bob Newhart’s take on Sir Walter Raleigh bringing tobacco back home and you will see exactly what Stuart meant.

They don’t do logging anymore in Alaska, they just have huge fires. I bet you had never heard Alaska mentioned so much, until recently with their high temperatures; when we left Anchorage they were praying for rain to quell the massive fire that was raging and in the sea life centre in Seward the girl serving coffee was wearing a mask …. indoors! So, where next for our intrepid adventures?

Another visit to a laundrette by taxi; put the machine on and go watch Bald Eagles? Or simply travel and hope the sun goes down eventually.

Mary’s big one is coming along next year; so, anyone any suggestions? All gratefully received. On our current bucket list is definitely a return to Greece, maybe even this year and perhaps St.Petersburg for next year?

Take care everyone until we next meet M & M βœˆοΈπŸ¦…πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ₯‚πŸ₯‚πŸ₯‚

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Malcolm and Mary

Malcolm worked for LWT. Mary worked for TRL. They live near Camberley in Surrey and did achieve their life long ambition to visit New Zealand. They have two daughters Laura and Hannah and two grandchildren Zach & Safi. Having done the big trip they then went to Canada, which was amazing. Scroll down it’s all here. They have visited Venice that they both so fell in love with in 2009 again. And recently returned to Lefkada for one week in glorious sunshine. Where next? Well, Canada is calling again in 2019; this time including Alaska. So stay tuned if you enjoy the ups and downs of travelling.

4 thoughts on “And Finally!”

  1. Been a good read this ‘ere blog of yours. Sounds like a fab trip and got us wondering what doing Alaska would be like. We’ll be doing Seattle again next year, but for Mary what about the middle east? Oman is definitely on our to-do list.

  2. Hi M&M, well, if it’s Mary’s ”big one’ next year, perhaps you should do it all over again! πŸ‘Thanks for the reminder about Bob Newhart, he’s hilarious, especially the call about tobacco. I’ve just checked it out again, makes me laugh so hard. https://youtu.be/_XDxAzVEbN4 It took us both a whole week to recover from the jet lag and before we felt anything like ‘normal’ and were eating normally again. Mind you, it was good for the weight loss!! πŸ˜‚ Plenty of photos too for the YCC competitions! Look forward to your next adventure. Take care. xx

    1. Thanks guys. Sat talking to a brick wall and clock, here at radio Frimley Park!! And not sure if I’ve been punch balled or counter sunk! Ha! Not sure we have the dosh to do it all again, but I haven’t kicked that hotel into touch, quite yet.?πŸ‘πŸ˜±
      Take care!
      Thanks for being there!
      M & M xxxx

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