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Trip Report Northwest    August, 2011

We got on the Southwest Flight to Seattle at 6 AM.

Since we're flying free, options were limited - we had to fly to 122 degree Phoenix first.

Six and a half hours later, we landed in Seattle, which is a screwy town.

I may have an IQ of 64 but I can read a map as good as Rand f-ing McNally but Seattle is so screwy,
they either fail to name the streets or they name them stupidly, such as...

Just like LA, when you're about to get on an Interstate highway, they don't say "I-5 East, Next Right,"
the idiots put up a sign that says "Freeway Entrance."


How can a sophisticated town like Seattle be more stupid than Oklahoma?
In Okieville, the signs say, "I-44 West, Next Right" and then when you get there,
another sign reads, "I-44 West" with an arrow pointing to the damn ramp.

Worse, that stupid iPhone is often wrong, wrong, wrong.
On the iPhone, it CLEARLY says you can take the next right, but there's no street there.

Google "death by GPS" and read the horror stories.
One thing - it CAN find a liquor store when you're in a strange town :)

It took 90 minutes to find the home of Rey, our son.

Over twenty years ago, when we were 35 years old or so, Mrs Bart and I were watching Rey's band
perform in a heavy metal club in Lawton, OK.  The place was crowded with soldiers from nearby Fort Sill
where the Bush bastards stole Geronimo's skeleton for their little Skull & Bones ceremonies where these
right-wing perverts blow each other for a camera so they can be blackmailed into playing ball for life.

(John Kerry, call your office.)

So we're in this club and the waitress was serving us and she knew we were semi-with the band
so she put two-and-two together and asked, "Are you here to watch your son play in the band?"
When we told Rey, he thought that was so funny he started calling us "Mom and Dad."

Non Sequitor - Rey played drums - his guitar player was Rick Del Castillo.
so you can imagine how good they were.

We hadn't seen Rey in many years so we decided to take him to lunch - at Taco Time.
Hey, don't laugh - their Mexican food was pretty good. Mrs. Bart liked their chicken chili.

Rey showed us around Seattle and we had fun talking about the old days.

Then we took off to see how close we could get to Mount Ranier.

 BTW, remember the clues?

Where in the world was Bart?

On the first day, it was rainier than we expected.

We flew to Seattle and drove many hours to Mount Rainer.
It's so big, it looks close by.  
(It looks like a giant rock of cocaine floating in the sky)

On the second day, the artist's mother accepted my Southwest Airlines VISA card,
which was good because we were in another country.

We drove many hours north to Vancouver.
From there, we drove more hours north to Whistler, BC.

On the third day, The Fairy took us to see Fay.

Back in Seattle,  we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island
where we visited Fay Bainbridge State Park.

So, what airport did we fly out of to get home?


Mount Rainier was fun.
Back in Tulsa, it was, seriously, 110 degrees and now we were looking at snow.

This is what Mrs. Bart wants to see when she's on vacation.
You married men know how important it is to keep the wife happy.

We took tons of pictures, but you probably don't want to see every squirrel we talked to.


You can easily see Ranier from Seattle, but it's so goddamn big, it's farther away than it looks.

<>We spent more time going from Seattle to Rainier than going to Seattle from Tulsa,
<>especially when you'tre catching every damned red light in the poor part of Tacoma,
<>so we found a sleazy hotel and got some sleep because the next day we were heading North.

On a map, Vancouver and Seattle seem thisclose, but in real-life, it's like three hours away,

The border crossing was a snap.  They warned us about the long lines, but I was ready for them.
The Black (?!) Canadian cop asked where we were from and why we were here and how long we
\were staying and where we were staying, etc. 

I answered his questions quickly, clearly and confidently so he waved is thru in about 90 seconds.
I felt good about that because the two cars in front of us spent 5-10 minutes answering questions.

Must be my honest Okie face :)

Then they started with the weird highway signs.


From here, it's almost another hour to Vancouver, the most beautiful city in the world...?
(Whoever said that must've seen Vancouver only at night :)

The Canadian roads were cool - it's one damn plush country - tall pine trees were everywhere.
We know The X-Files was filmed in and around Vancouver, and we paid close attention to the roads
but we didn't see any giant orange X's spray painted on the road - but we did lose some time  :)

Eventually, we made it to Vancouver, the most beautiful city in the world.


Like San Francisco, they loooove their electric busses so every major street has 10,000 wires overhead.

Gosh, what a pretty city - if you can see thru the wires that were everywhere.

Finally we hit the major part of the city.

I didn't know Vancouver had 5,000 high-rise apartment buildings.

Those high-rise apartment buildings were everywhere - but where was the "most beautiful" city?
Maybe it only comes out at night?

As you might've guessed, I wanted to investigate Vancouver's "Little Amsterdam" area for some legal pot.
Before we left, I called the "New Amsterdam Cafe" and asked how things worked.  The guy said,
"You come in, you sit down, you buy a drink and you can smoke what you brought at the table."

Since we didn't want to cross the border with anything, I asked where we could get some locally
and the dude said, "I'm not allowed to say, but trust me, it's everywhere on the streets."

<>I'm going to commit a "crime" in broad daylight with a hundred witnesses?
<>We expected things not to work and still, it was one of the biggest disappointments ever.

It was in the slums of Vancouver.

We saw lots of homeless people, we saw questionable behavior by the locals who looked to be too stoned to move.
We saw signs that said "Needle Exchange" and every fourth business seemed to be a pharmacy of some kind.

I told Mrs Bart, "I'm not getting involved with any of these people."
It was about as unfriendly to tourists as any place I've ever seen.

 To give you an idea of the sleaze factor, this place made Johnny Depp's Viper Room
 look like tea at high noon at one of Martha Stewart's mansions.

<> So we blew off the conspiracy-to-commit-a-crime plan with the Canadian junkies and drove north.
<> The scenery was starting to get spectacular...


This was taken with Mrs Bart's iPhone 1.
 Shame on Apple for selling such a bad camera in their first iPhone.

When it's 110 degrees back in K-Drag, it's a lot of fun looking at miles and miles of snow.

From there, we drove more hours north to Whistler, BC.
That's where Lindsey Vonn flew down the mountain at 100 MPH to win the Gold in the 2010 Olympics.

It was kinda late and rainy, so we got us a no-tell motel with a view - of the skies.

The next day we drove back towards Seattle - and the scenery was extra nice.

BTW, driving is weird in Canada.

First, there's that weird language they use.

How do you pronounce a word with a 7 in it?

Then, the less-than Impala we rented only had MPH on the speedometer - none of that gay metric crap,
so we had to guess what the speed limit was.  I figured I'd multiply the posted speed limit by .6 so if
the sign said Speed 100 KPH, I figured that was 60.  If it said 80 KPH, I figured that was 48 MPH.

Seems like the speed limit was changing every two miles so I had to fo a lot of math.

On the way back, we stopped at Shannon Falls Provincial Park.
(Canada has Provincial Parks instead of State Parks.)

Shannon Falls was nice.

This is the picture in Wikipedia:


Besides Yellowstone and Yosemite, it might've been the tallest waterfall we've seen.


Had we been back in the states, we would've sat down on these rocks and "prayed" for 10-15 minutes.

Then more driving and more scenery.

<>As we approached the border crossing into Washington State, we saw a sign that said, "One Hour Wait at Blaine," (where we came in)
<>"40 minute wait" at the next crossing then "20 minute wait" at third crossing which, on the iPhone GPS, seemed very close.

Long story short-er, we drove about two hours East trying to avoid that extra 40 minutes.
We heard the border waits could be longer than expected so we gassed up and had a bathroom break. 

Good thing, because this was our view for about 90 minutes.

<>Seriously, we only moved about twenty feet in the first 90 minutes.
I thought, "They must have only one gate open and they're body-cavity-searching everyone!"

After another hour, we got close to the gate.
FOUR gates were open - and another one for trucks and RVs.

We sailed right thru, once again due to my snappy answers to their questions.
The American border official (and his German Shepherd) saw nothing suspicious,
which is kinda easy if you're not trying to smuggle anything into the states.

Finally, we're back on US soil, headed for our last evening out West.

We drove to downtown Seattle and we saw the Edgewater Hotel...

...home of the famous Shark Incident atributed-to/denied-by Led Zeppelin, Vanilla Fudge and Frank Zappa.

Then we prepared to board an auto ferry, is that what they're called?

We saw a Navy ship backing into the docks with help of some tuggers.

The ferry took us to Bainbridge Island where we drove around for a while,
but time was running out and we had two more people to meet.

On the way back to Seattle, I saw a woman eating small bowl of chili.
It looked good and iut smelled even better so I got me a bowl.

MMMmmmmm, what's better than ferry chili?


<>So we took the ferry back to Seattle and I called my good friend Blue.
He's done a lot for me and, being this close, we just had to get together.

We talked politcs and computers - Blue has a whole room full of computers.
He has so many computers, he sent me a Mac about 6-7 years ago.

By now it was after 8 PM and we had an early plane to catch so we rambled.

Back at the SeaTac Motel 6, I called my son Rey and asked him
to come over so we could meet his lovely wife Mary Jo.

She was very nice - not like those hussies Rey used to date  :)

BTW, if you ever get a chance to stay at the Sea-Tac Motel 6, don't do it.
We didn't know until after we checked in, but they had armed guards strolling the walkways.

Mrs. Bart lit a candle to try to hide its malodorousness...

Grinding our way out to Sea-Tac (why does Tacoma gets half the title?) I saw this and it
reminded me of the readers who complain if they see a picture of a pretty girl on the page.

The Womens magazines all had pretty women on the cover and
the Mens magazines all had pretty women on the cover.

It's almost as if people enjoyed looking at pretty women.

Last thing, I was hoping to see BIG ships in Seattle, never did.
I heard some Navy dude tell some kids that an aircraft carrier was docked at Pier 25,
but there's never enough time when you're out of town on a schedule so we missed that.

I thought maybe at Sea-Tac, I'll see some really BIG planes.

The closest we got was this,


That Continental jet didn't really look that big, but it had maybe 16 tires on the rear of the plane,
which appeared to resemble boxcar wheels more than airplane wheels.

So there you have it - the Northwest Trip Report from 2011.

Oh sure, it would've been a more exciting trip report if we'd caugfht the rental car on fire or gotten
arrested in Vancouver or fallen off the damn Seattle ferry, but we had a great time for those three days.

The cool air was a great relief and since we were flying for free, it worked out great.

I wonder why everyone doesn't fly free on the dime of Chase Manhattan Bank?

They try to lure people into debt so they can squeeze them f-ing dry but believe it or not,
they're no match for the big brain of Ol' Bart, who ran a credit company for 25 years.

I've made Chase Manhattan my bitch and we fly on their dime.

We still have 3 trips left in 2011.
It's fun to have a major bank as your bitch.  


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