Escape Plan

Thursday, June 02, 2016 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Home to Vancouver, BC

June had barely arrived but temperatures in Georgia were already nudging us to find a cooler spot. So we booked a trip to Vancouver with plans to visit some areas of northern Washington we haven't seen before.  Most importantly, we were looking for a place to chill.

Our departure from Atlanta wasn't until 5 p.m., so we had all the morning to pack before being picked up by our favorite airport transfer service just before 2:00.  The domestic TSA-precheck security line was considerably longer than we've encountered before, but it still took only about 20 minutes.
Arriving plenty early, we had a nice wait at gate A31 before our flight boarded for Minneapolis.  Delta, our preferred airline, has no direct flights from Atlanta to Vancouver (nor does any other airline).  We struggled to figure out why the gate agent took some bags and preloaded them in the overhead compartment above each passenger's seat—an offer we didn't receive.  When we inquired, we were told that it was a "special summer program," whatever that means.

We were grateful to find an average size seat mate in our row of three.  After an uneventful flight, we arrived at Minneapolis a few minutes early, giving us a tiny bit of extra time to transfer from Concourse F to Concourse C.  But was it enough?  As we walked briskly toward our departure gate, we received a notice on the Delta app that our flight to Vancouver was boarding.  Yikes!  Not even enough time to buy a Diet Coke.  Just pee and walk onto the plane.

Again on a three-seat row, we met our seat mate Mitch, who lives outside Vancouver.  A personable 40-something, Mitch is a father of four, former army officer, now a mining consultant.  His job has taken him and his wife to many places, and their four children were born in Australia, Africa, Japan, and (finally at home in) Canada.  We enjoyed chatting with him and appreciated his suggestions for places to visit in the Vancouver area.
Nuu-chah-nulth Welcome Figures
After wearing Mitch out, we finally both slept a bit as it was late for our Atlanta-bound bodies.  We arrived in Vancouver just at 9 p.m. (midnight Atlanta time).  In Vancouver, it was still dusk.  The Vancouver airport has a nice collection of First Nations art.  In the arrivals hall are two imposing wooden figures welcoming travelers through the entrances of the international terminal. The traditional carvings model those which would be placed on the beach in front of an indigenous village to welcome invited guests to a special event.

We found the Hertz desk, picked up a new Jeep Cherokee, and drove to the downtown Hampton Inn, where we were upgraded to a spacious one-bedroom suite.  Bed was calling and we were quick to answer.  space