Here are my pictures from my Amtrak trip from Vancouver to Seattle. It was beautiful to look at the water, sand, and clouds while the sun was setting.
Here are my pictures from my Amtrak trip from Vancouver to Seattle. It was beautiful to look at the water, sand, and clouds while the sun was setting.
We had breakfast in the room with the food from Regency Club. We organized our stuff and made sure we were all packed.
We headed out to the Roedde House. I was excited to see it. My mom and I love to visit old historic homes. We passed the Abbott House as we walked. This is another old home but is privately owned. We found Roedde House and rang the bell. Nobody answered. We tried again. Still nobody. I walked around the house and saw that there were lights on. We rang again. Nothing. I was getting nervous. I really wanted to do this. I decided to knock and ring. That finally brought somebody to the door. Thank goodness! She was on the phone, but ushered us in.
Right away I knew I was going to love the house. It was so charming. My mom was already smiling. The young lady got off the phone and apologized. She was the only one there. I showed her my Foursquare deal where you get two admissions for the price of one. $5 for two people was a good deal. She said she was new and didn’t know anything about it, but took it anyway. I was worried that new meant she was going to be a horrible tour guide. She offered to give us a tour and since we were the only people there it was a private tour.
The house is late-Victorian and was built in the Queen Anne revival style. Gustav Roedde, the city’s first bookbinder, had the house built for his family in 1893. There are 11 rooms that you can see. We saw the parlor, living room, kitchen, pantry, master bedroom, boys’ bedroom, girls’ bedroom, bathroom, two work areas, and a servants area that leads to the backstairs. There were many original artifacts that belonged to the family and the other artifacts were from the right time period, but didn’t belong to the family. Gustav’s wife, Matilda, was very short and you can see everything has been adjusted for her height throughout the house. This house also had built in closets which is unusual for the time period. Our tour guide told us that house’s design is generally attributed to the architect, Francis Rattenbury, notable for the Legislative Buildings and Empress Hotel in Victoria. Overall the tour was great! Our tour guide was extremely informative despite being new. She had a great speaking style.
After Roedde House we looked at the outside of Barclay Manor, which is next door and is now an old age home. We decided to do Robson St. We window shopped and stopped in a vintage shop and a cupcake place. The vintage shop was too expensive, but had amazing stuff. We bought a cupcake from the cupcake place. We went into the mall inside our hotel (Royal Centre Mall) which was anything but a mall. We spent 10 minutes walking around and headed back to the room.
We checked out of our room and spent the next two hours hanging out in the Regency Club. We split the cupcake which was just ok. We read magazines, but spent most of our time watching the Frame channel. Frame channel has cameras all around the world and switches between their cameras every 5 to 10 minutes. So you get to people watch, see the world, and learn about new places. They don’t tell you where the camera is. So my mom and I used clues to guess. We would look at the language of the signs, the architecture, the people, the bags people were carrying, the time of day, etc. It was so much fun. The channel doesn’t have typical commercials. Instead, they quickly show postcard quality images of places from around the world. I posted Egypt and Japan at the bottom of this post.
We left Regency to walk around more. We visited an old church across the street from our hotel. The stained glass and wood work were incredible. Then we walked further down to another mini mall. I found a dress in H&M and waited on line to try it on. The dressing room smelled like evil nasty feet. I bought the dress cause it was on sale, but 12% sales tax jacked the price up. We ran back to our hotel and picked up our bags. Off to Amtrak.
We got to the station and they were already boarding. My mom filled out our customs forms while we were on line. We we were assigned seats and then had to go through customs. The customs agent checked out forms and passports. He asked us questions and my mom made a joke. He didn’t find it funny. He then yelled at her for writing NY instead of New York. We had to put our stuff on scanners. Then we could finally board. We were in business class. The seats were comfy and there were a lot of foreigners in our car. My mom used our coupons for a water and cinnamon bun. The train ride went by fast because the view was amazing!! If you are taking Amtrak from Vancouver to Seattle make sure to ask for seats on the right side of the train. The sun was setting as we traveled which made the view even more spectacular. Tomorrow I will post an entry just of the pictures from the train ride. We stopped at the US border. Border agents boarded our train and took our forms. The train ride was pretty uneventful except for the man across from us peeing 7 times in 5 hours. He drank 3 large bottles of sprite and 3 cans of beer. He didn’t eat a thing. Strange.
We pulled into Seattle after 10pm and despite having directions we were utterly lost. A nice man pointed us in the right direction. Many buses in Seattle are underground! Crazy I know. We found our bus, yelled at people to get our of our way, ran for the bus, and made it. The bus dropped us off 3 blocks from our hotel.
The Hyatt was sold out. The Houston Astros were at our hotel. We got to our room and immediately saw a huge welcome basket filled with food and drinks. Nice! Then I looked up and noticed our view. We had a view of the Space Needle. It was so beautiful! We took a bunch of photos and settled in. We were exhausted.
We headed out to the visitors’ centre to see if there were any special discounts. The centre was being remodeled so it was moved to the Convention Centre across the street. There was a science convention going on. The visitor centre was just a couple of brochures and some free postcards. We left and stood outside admiring the view of the water and mountains.
We went next door to Canada Place. The Disney Wonder cruise ship was docked there. I became obsessed with it. I had never seen one up close before. It was beyond massive!!! I could not believe something so big could float. We went to the 1812 exhibit which said it was closed. I was really upset. I really wanted to do it. We continued walking around Canada Place and examined the other cruise ship that was docked there. We swung back around and saw that the 1812 exhibit was open. Yeah!!!
The exhibit was free. It started with a movie and some special effects (smoke and loud noises). The exhibit was super small. It was the size of a bathroom. There were some interactive screens and some reproductions of uniforms and guns. There were a couple of original artifacts. The exhibit had free postcards, stickers, and magnets. It also had a machine where you could take a picture of yourself as a historic figure from the exhibit and send it to yourself as a postcard. My small head didn’t work well with it, but it was still fun.
Next we went in search of a place that had these special buns but couldn’t find it so we gave up. We walked to Gastown which is supposed to be sketchy. Aside from a handful of homeless it wasn’t so bad. I wanted to go straight to the clock to catch the 1pm whistles, but my mom wanted to go to the dollar store. We argued and she won. We bought some candy and I bought some chocolates to give to UGA staff and my Au Bon Pain friends. I bought Disney Kinder which the 5 year old girl inside of me fell in love with. Each chocolate has a Disney princess inside. I bought 3 hoping for Jasmine. I got Rapunzel, Belle, and Aurora. No Jasmine :-(.
We headed to the steam clock, which really was steaming. We waited for the whistles but there was nothing. We took pictures and went into nearby souvenir stores to shop. In the store we heard the whistle. We missed it! The lady in the store told us that it is better on the hour. I knew we should have gone at 1pm. Now we had to wait until 2pm. We shopped until 2 and caught it whistling. See the video below:
We then headed to Gassy Jack. We took pictures and went to Deluxe Junk Co. which wound up being out of business. We needed to head to the Museum of Anthropology. We wanted to use the restroom and buy tickets first. We walked to the Fairmont Hotel and used their super fancy restroom. We bought four bus tickets and walked to the bus.
Our bus driver was beyond slow!!! He was driving me nuts. He gets on the phone and calls his boss and says he’s running late. Hmmm I wonder why. He boss tells him to dump us all at the next stop. I’m pissed my directions are for the bus we are on not for this other bus. Without Internet we will be lost. We get on the new bus and are left off at the University of BC. The driver informs my mom and I that we have a mile to walk to get to the museum. Super fun! We run the mile because the museum is closing soon.
I get to the museum and only have 45 mins. I figured they would discount it. Many museums don’t charge in the last hour. Nope, full price. I grab my mom’s tablet and take pictures of almost every item. The museum isn’t really my taste. I like Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and Japan. This museum focuses on Native Americans and South America. There were some Chinese, Japanese and Greek pieces, but nothing big or spectacular. I still enjoyed looking at the masks and some of the Shinto pieces. I rushed and was done in about 35 mins. My mom bought me two postcards while I was in the museum.
We headed to the Chen Center aka the 4400 Center. The area had tons of flowers which meant tons of bugs. I didn’t want to stick around. My mom struggled to take a good picture of me with the entire building. I was obsessed with the 4400 TV show so the center meant something to me.
We walked to the bus which wound up being a mile away. I was melting from all my layers. The bus finally came and our tickets were expired. We thought they were good for 90 mins from being swiped/inserted not from time of purchase. We were screwed. The bus was in the middle of nowhere. The driver let us on. There were no seats and we had to stand for 40 mins after a two mile walk in the last hour.
We went straight to Regency for cold waters and food. I had mozzarella balls and garlic bread again. There were stuffed mushrooms, but I haven’t had mushrooms since I got violently ill from them in 2010. They had chicken salad on a chip. The chicken salad looked like cat food. Seriously. With nothing else to eat I forced myself to eat some. Dessert was mini cakes. I had two minis.
At 9pm we heard the loud noise again. This time it sounded like a canon. A quick google search told me they sound a canon every night at 9pm.
We headed out to Steveston so I could see the town where they film Once Upon a Time. We took a 30 min train ride and then transferred to a bus. The bus ride was another 20 mins or so. Our first stop in Steveston was a chocolate place. They gave my mom a chocolate cup. I wanted to buy the #1 teacher chocolate bar, but there was no price. We then went to the Candy Dish where I bought two Once Upon a Time maps. My mom bought some salt water taffy which wound up being very good. We went into some thrift and consignment shops. We also went into a couple souvenir shops. Everything was overpriced. Tax was crazy, 12%. We went to their popular places to eat such as Outpost Doughnuts, Bell’s Bakeshop, and Sara’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream. Nothing really looked good and everything was expensive so we didn’t get anything.
Then we did the Once Upon a Time sites. We saw the library, pet shelter, clock store, pub, pharmacy, shoe store, post office, Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop, Archie’s office, Mary Margaret’s front porch, and Granny’s diner. I enjoyed seeing it all but wished they left some more of the decoration up. I also wish they sold souvenirs. You could only buy a $30 t-shirt, a $25 tote, a $6 postcard, and an overpriced pin. I bought the pin. I wanted the shirt and postcard but it was too much money. We used the bathroom at Starbucks and boarded the bus.
Once in Richmond we stopped to go to a mall. We want to an overpriced pharmacy and we visited Swarovski. We used the restroom and boarded the train.
We went to Vancouver Lookout. We were informed that despite them closing 4 hrs early we would still have to pay full price. I had a $2 off coupon for my mom and I got in as a youth. It was $27, which we thought was a lot. We look the glass elevator up, which was very cool. The view was amazing, but not worth the money. We liked looking at the mountains. I got two press a pennies. I used their free wifi to check in with some people and so did my mom.
We got back to our hotel in time for appetizers at the Regency Club. I had mozzarella balls, garlic bread, and bruschetta.
We went back to our room to unwind and could barely keep our eyes open. We were waiting for 8pm which was dessert. We watched Storage Wars and the Bachelorette while we waited.
Dessert was cookies, lemon bars, and chocolate mini cakes. I had everything but the lemon bars. At 9pm we heard a loud noise that sounded like fireworks, but wasn’t. We couldn’t figure out what it was. We climbed into bed and watched the Tony’s until 10pm.
My mom and I were debating about where to go for vacation this year. I had planned out a trip to Spain. We decided against it due to the expense and my health hasn’t been the best this year. We wanted to stay a bit more local. We decided on Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland. We flew to Vancouver, BC. Then we took Amtrak down to Seattle. From Seattle we took Amtrak to Portland. We flew back home from Portland. Below you will find my trip plan and links to my postcards from this trip:
We had to wake up before the crack of dawn to catch our 5am car to the airport and our 7:30am flight. We got up at 2:30am and wound up being ready at 4:15am. So we called to have our car moved to 4:30am. The driver was on time and actually got out of the car to help with our bags. I thought he was great and told my mom this after he dropped us off. I didn’t realize I spoke too soon. We go through the United door to check in and find out he dropped us off at United Express, which is where the small planes fly in and out of. They told us we would have to board a shuttle bus to get to the regular United section of the airport. My mom was pissed. We just spent $60 on a car service only to have to board a bus. We told the driver United International.
We went through security where I watched them being super strict with a Muslim family. We then went to Starbucks which had a line out the door. I got two water bottles for $6. We then went to our gate. I read a magazine for a bit. They opened the door that leads to the plane and a pigeon flew out. It landed on the group 4 sign. The gate people said it was on our plane. They decided to board us early. We boarded and settled into our seats. There was a beyond super smelly man who boarded. My mom and I prayed he wouldn’t be near us. He wasn’t. Thank goodness! There was also a baby with a fever and luckily the baby wasn’t near us either. We wound up with an empty seat next to us. The guy behind me spent the entire flight strumming on his tray table aka the back of my chair. There was no food and they never showed the movie they promised. The bathroom line was crazy. Two stalls for all of economy. The second time I went I waited at least 10 mins. Smelly guy was in there for almost 20 mins. Right before landing a passenger got sick. 4 doctors assisted her. They gave her an oxygen tank. We had some turbulence throughout the flight and a rough descent.
Once we landed we spent 20 mins wandering the airport looking for the 7-11 to buy day train passes. Everyone told us it was somewhere else which became very annoying. Finally a lady pointed us in the right direction. Then we got on the train. The train felt like it took forever because we were both exhausted. We walked to the hotel where I immediately used the wifi to let everyone know we arrived.
We were given a one bedroom suite. It had a living room and a double bed bedroom. It also had two bathrooms and 2 mini fridges. The view was of the water and mountains. We also got Regency Club. We got some cookies and water. Then headed out.