We left for Vancouver on June 7 and began the trip very luxuriously with an upgrade (using points) on our Qantas flight to Los Angeles. It was very pleasant being able to relax in style and sit opposite each other as we enjoyed meals together. The time went very quickly, even though I didn’t sleep much on the flight. For once, we left and arrived on time.
Last time we arrived in LA, The arrivals hall was crowded and it took so long to get through US immigration that we were concerned that we would miss our onward connection. This time, it was a breeze. We sailed through the formalities very quickly and meandered around to Terminal 6 to catch our Alaskan Airways flight to Vancouver. I think that about a third of the people on this flight were Australians. Obviously a lot of people fly to Vancouver this way.
As we flew north, we crossed over Northern California, Oregon and Washington. This is very much a volcanic area as there is a distinct line of volcanic mountains running north – south. We tried to identify them, but it was difficult as we didn’t quite know just how far north we had travelled. At one stage, we thought that we could see Mt St Helen which erupted in 1980. As it turned out, we were still too far to the south. As we travelled further north the weather had clouded in and Mt St Helen’s would not have it been visible. We did take photos of some mountains. We are not sure of the names of the first two, but we are reasonably sure that the third photo is of Mt Hood in Oregon.
After arriving in Vancouver, we quickly cleared customs and immigration and headed for the Budget Rental office to pick up our car. We had booked one through the Qantas web site for $31 per day. We thought that this was too good to be true and the real cost turned out to be over $110 per day. The advertised cost did not include extra insurance of $38 per day, taxes, second driver charge, or an ‘out of area charge’ of $15 per day since we were driving into the next province of Alberta. However, we ended up with a nice brand new 4WD that we will enjoy for a few weeks.
It took us some time to find our hotel (Hyatt), as on the first pass, we missed the front entrance which was concealed down a lane way that formed the in the entrance to a commercial car park. It took us a lot of manoeuvring around many blocks of one way streets and limited ability to make left hand turns before we were able to reach the entrance again and check in. We have a nice room on the 26th floor overlooking them city.
It had been a long day with 20 hours of travel, three breakfasts and one dinner. The local time was still only a few hours after we had left home. By 8:00 pm local time, our jet lag had caught up with us and we were nodding off to sleep. It was time to call it a day and go to bed.