Used: 2010

To mix up my traveling a little bit, I decided to make a giant loop and go over to the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island before returning to Washington State directly from the island and fly home instead of backtracking through Vancouver via Peace Arch. Going on harbo(u)r cruises are a huge touristy thing to do in both Seattle and Vancouver and while I love a good boat ride, I decided to combine it with actually going somewhere instead of just the cruise and back. After 2 days in Vancouver, I’m up super early to get to the ferry on time. I have made a reservation because I wanted to get on a certain boat to maximize my time in Victoria and everything was wickedly easy. I actually got lost on the way to the terminal but like a girl, I stopped at a gas station and asked for directions. The attendant couldn’t have been more helpful and it was a good thing I asked because even though I was going in the correct direction, there were no signs to the highway. Something I wouldn’t have experienced if I had any gadgets with me!

I took BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and the ride was great! So beautiful, especially nice because it was so early in the morning.

City to Island

Early Morning

Summer Mountains

The following day, the ferry left a little later but I still got up early for fear of traffic and after a quick breakfast at my favorurite Canadian coffee chain, Blenz I drove up to Sidney to get the ferry back to the US. Another reason I wanted to go this way, besides mixing it up is because my flight was leaving that day and after my experience at the border all those years ago, I didn’t want to worry about anything and my reasoning is that they only have to process so many people on a boat, they’ll be prepared for this. Leaving the country was a little interesting. I got questioned a lot, a lot more then the BC plated cars in front of me. They asked me the same questions over and over again and since I had nothing to hide it was fine, but I hate being made to feel like a criminal. I think it was because I was a single girl traveling alone, knowing no one in Canada, reentering the country via Vancouver Island after only being there a day and driving the Titanic. I don’t know. They even checked my bag and trunk briefly. Since the Sidney to Anacortes in Washington is owned by the Washington State DOT they only accepted USD’s on the boat, which I thought was kind of funny. I mean, it’s a valid question because the boat is going between two countries, but there were huge signs EVERYWHERE telling us all that USD’s only! I was the first in my lane in the car, which was awesome. The ferry ride was again great. We saw dolphins and the ferry was so empty! A great way and excuse to get on the water without paying tourist prices.

Islands

Warm ferry ride

US Volcanos

Once back in the US, they process you again and they put me in a short line and I got through quickly. The agent this time was very nice and said Los Angeles the “real” way, which is a nice treat in Wash State. I was waved through quickly. And then dropping the car off and back to the airport where check-in was a breeze. Since I flew Southwest I checked in everything and just got on the plane with my purse, my favorite way to travel!! It felt a little weird and naked, but I quickly got over it and didn’t miss a thing. Middle seat between two good people from SEA to SAC and then window from SAC to LAX. I don’t mind Southwest. My opinion is Southwest is like riding the bus and Virgin is like taking the train. They’ll both get you there, just in different degrees of comfort.

Moral: To me, transportation when I travel is very important. I will spend a little more on something if it’s different or mixes up the trip a little bit to make it a little more exciting then normal. I hate backtracking on the same road twice if I can help it.

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