Thursday, April 16, 2009

Graduation Celebration Trip: Day 4

How wonderful to wake up and be able to put on clean clothes!

We check out and take the shuttle to the Hertz counter at SeaTac. The agent pulls up our reservation and then walks us over to the Self-Check In Terminal and uses it to process our reservation... weird. And then at the end it says that there are no cars available to assign to us. So he starts the process over and upgrades us (for same price) to a Ford Escape, which is the same model as the Mercury Mariner that we rented at SLC. This one has power seats, but it still feels narrow to us.

Since the clouds were thick with sporadic heavy rain, our GPS took a while to find the satelites. But finally we make our way to Walmart to buy soda and a kleenex box. We grab lunch at Arby's and head for Vancouver.

Pretty drive! Hills, trees, valleys, lakes.

As we approach the border, the electronic signs say there is a 5 minute wait for the border crossing. Great!

But when we get there, we actually wait in line about 25 minutes. Never trust electronic road signs..they're always wrong.

Despite not having any firearms or excessive cash with us and whatnot, "Mike's Travel Curse" is in effect and we are selected for further scrutiny. Some evil Mike must live out there, because our luggage is always screened extra by TSA, and now the border patrol sends us to park and go inside the building for an interview and background check! Reason for scrutiny is the infamous "07" and we are to wait for an agent in line A. He asks us where we're going; what hotel we're staying at; do we know anyone in Canada; describe the convention we're going to; have we ever been arrested; list every state we've lived in. Go sit and wait. The background check takes about 20 minutes. When we are cleared, the agent almost sounds disappointed. We drive off and comment that that felt icky.

Here's the bridge into Vancouver/Burnaby just before the GPS misled us a bit.

But we finally arrived at the Hilton Metrotown. Here's the view from our room.

We settled in, ate dinner at Thai House across the street, bought a bit of breakfast food at a grocery store behind that, and prepared for the start of the convention.

Stay Tuned for more adventure!

1 comment:

Gwynne said...

Oh, my! I've just tuned it and am feeling your pain...lost luggage, delayed flights and all!! Ugh! It makes me appreciate all the more when things do go right. And we've been detained at that same border crossing before...I was driving and told my husband (who has a thick Eastern European accent) to keep quiet to avoid any problems. But when they asked if we had any fruit, I admitted to having limes in the trunk and off we went to the interrogation room (or so it felt). My husband laughed hard...for once, it wasn't his fault. ;-) Hope the rest of your trip goes well. Be prepared for a hefty (almost 30%) tax on the rental car at Sea-"Tax" (that will negate any savings you may have realize on the two-way rental). 8-}