|Bob donated this park bench to Ron, who passed away in 2010 after their 50 years together.|
It had been nagging that it was time to book a means of transportation for May 15th when our ship arrives in Seattle. After arriving in North America, the next cruise sails two days later to Alaska from Vancouver, British Columbia.
|MSW means Manly Scenic Walk to the Spit, a local bridge.|
Our choices were clear; either spend the two days in Seattle and figure out how to quickly make the 230 km, 143-mile drive to Vancouver to board the ship or figure a way to get to Vancouver as soon as the ship arrives in Seattle.
It made no sense to spend one night in each location, so we decided to head directly to Vancouver. This was our second sailing from this port when we sailed to Hawaii in September 2014. Last time we flew into Vancouver, and didn’t have these transportation concerns.
|While walking on the Manly Scenic Walk, we enjoyed an excellent view of North Harbour Reef Bay boats.|
We easily recall the long waiting period to board the ship in 2014 and hope we don’t encounter the same delays. We’re hoping this time, with the priority boarding we receive as Diamond Club members, the boarding process will be less time-consuming and cumbersome. We shall see.
|An exceptional home on North Harbour Reef Bay owned by a successful business owner.|
In searching online, we found many suggestions from travelers on how to make the four-hour drive. Firstly, rental cars aren’t allowed to enter Canada from the US to be dropped off at a facility. So, that idea was out.
Our only remaining options were as follows:
1. Fly – A flight from Seattle to Vancouver would have required the usual international flight commotion, getting to the airport two hours early, paying taxi fares on both ends, paying baggage fees, and considerable waiting time for the short flight. (Continued below).
|Many homes were originally one story but later renovated to include a second level.|
2. Bus – It seemed like an easy option, but it wasn’t for us when we’d read about having to get to the bus, which may or may not arrive at the port when the ship arrived, handling our luggage, and paying for taxi fares upon arriving in Vancouver. Plus, at the US and Canada border, we’d have had to remove all of our luggage from the bus’s luggage compartment and reload the luggage after inspected by customs, and unload the luggage on our own when we arrived in Vancouver. In addition, some buses charge check baggage fees—too much commotion.
3. Train – Taxi fares to and from the train station. Trains only traveled this route twice a day, with multiple stops, too early in the morning for disembarking the ship or too late in the evening. (Continued below).
|Interesting older home with character located on the bay. Lots are small in most city and suburban areas.|
4. Group shuttle – We didn’t like the idea of having to find other people with whom we could split the fare and wait for the shuttle to pick up and drop off others at various locations on either end.
5. Private shuttle – These options were few. A regular-sized taxi doesn’t work with our three checked bags and two carry-on bags. Instead, we could pay a little more, have a private luxury SUV pick us up at the port on May 15th to drive us the 230 km, 143-mile ride from Seattle to Vancouver, dropping us directly to our pre-booked hotel in Vancouver. It was a no-brainer.
|Can you determine what this is? If you carefully check the above photo, it will reveal a close-up of the tile roof.|
Surprisingly, we didn’t flinch over the AU $732.92, US $550 cost knowing how stress-reducing #5 above would be. After all, we strive always to maintain our goal as stated at the top of our webpage: “Wafting Through Our Worldwide Travels with Ease, Joy, and Simplicity.”
|More boats moored in the bay.|
It’s this philosophy we’ve diligently maintained that has kept us treasuring the quality of our lives, inspiring us to continue for years to come. However, if one only chose the least costly option every time, it could become easy to lose interest and find the moving about tiresome and monotonous.
|Buds growing on Moreton Fig Tree.|
As we’ve mentioned over these past several weeks in the Sydney area, we’ve happily used low-cost and at times “free” public transportation. However, we’ve enjoyed the process of finding it easy and convenient.
|Historical marker at the park.|
|Tom and Bob began the walkway to North Harbor Reserve park.|
Having paid the deposit for the cost of the trip (after reading many positive reviews), our minds are at ease. Today, we paid the balance of the special hotel rate we negotiated for our upcoming six-week stay in Minnesota.
For the moment, we have no large expenditures on the immediate horizon until mid-summer.
I hope you find your mind at ease today and always!
Photo from one year ago today, April 11, 2016:
|Most afternoons, many of the alpacas rested in the shade at the side of our house. So it was delightful when they’d watch me through the window while I prepared meals, pressing their noses on the glass. For more photos, please click here.|