Saturday, July 05, 2008

The View from Dunsmuir Lodge

A change of scenery can do me a world of good. Today we got on the ferry from Anacortes to Sidney on Vancouver Island. I swear, I was positively giddy. We got the new rental car with no problem, headed out hours early -- I was even doing donuts with the wheelchair in the motel parking lot. I looked up to see a trucker type guy grinning at me. I told him, "It must be the pain medication, huh."

The ocean was awesomely calm for the ferry ride. I'm not sure what the real highlight was, the silliness of turning back because a couple cars didn't make it to the right ferry line, or seeing some porpoise (or were they dolphins? who knows??) fins. They didn't quite make it all the way out of the water.

Ah, the real highlight was the scenery. We're on the hotel wifi (the Roketman doesn't want to connect the Broadband cellular wireless from Canada, go figure) and it's a slightly wonky connection. I'll upload pictures later.

The View from Dunsmuir Lodge
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
This is only part of the spectacular view from our restaurant and hotel, the Dunsmuir Lodge on the campus of the University of Victoria.

I chatted up a man at dinner who recognized my cotton spindle. He said his parents worked at a cotton mill in mid-nineteenth century England. I gave him my card and asked if I could do an oral history for the blog. Keep your fingers crossed! (and Jack, if you read this, I am serious!)

I'll end tonight's blather by calling on all Canadians to rise up and demand your own version of the Americans with Disabilities Act!! Our room is terrific, except for one important detail. The bathroom door is too narrow for the wheelchair. Fortunately, they gave us a loaner, but it's no match for the Transformer-Mobile.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Can I just say?

Can I just say that Seattle has AWESOME fireworks? It's a bit too cold for me to be wandering out, and it doesn't get dark enough for fireworks until 10pm up here. So we're in the hotel room watching on TV. The Macy's fireworks in New York had better music, but the Seattle KONG fireworks even had choreographed cinematography.

I'm starting to think this trip journey needs an exorcist...

This trip journey seems to be as downhill as it is up.

Latest downers: Mike dinged the boat doing the final refueling and pumpout. (I have visions of yappity Chihuahua-type teenybopper summer-hires giving 89sets of conflicting directions like "Over here! No, over here! Wait! No, hurry!" but then, I'm on pretty impressive painkillers right now. My imagination runs rampant.)

We had a pretty good room at the Fidalgo Inn, but somebody else reserved it for tonight. They didn't quite kick us out... well, yeah, they did.

But we found an even better room at the Holiday Inn Express in Burlington. I'm going to go out of my way to give it a good review on whatever Google Maps links to. The only thing Fidalgo has that this doesn't is a view of the ocean.

I did have a bit of emotion over having to move, but the Roketman pulled me through. God, I love that man.

When it became obvious that we needed a rental car, Mike got us the last one in town. It's a red Ford Escort with 130K miles... and you don't want to run the radio with the motor off. (you don't want to run the engine while you're sitting in the car for very long either... phoooey! lots of exhaust)

Tomorrow, we're picking up a better car, then taking the ferry to Vancouver Island. I still want to have cucumber sandwiches at the Queen Victoria Hotel. Please, God, if it isn't too much to ask? No more challenges on this trip?

One last story-- we had lunch at the Cascade Brewery in Burlington. It's right off the I-5. I'd seen the sign earlier-- NOW SERVING BREAKFAST!!

OK, are you thinking what I was thinking? What kind of breakfast do they serve at a brewery? Beer-batter pancakes? Beerios? We wanted to ask.

It's a very upscale restaurant, very nice. I had clam chowder, made from scratch, with a wonderful splash of seasoned olive oil and garlic croutons. Mike had the grilled salmon sandwich. The sourdough was awesome, made locally.

I think we'll go back for dinner. Unfortunately, I won't be able to sample the beer...

And the thing with breakfast? Not what I imagined at all. (snickering at myself here) It's more of a lumberjack-type breakfast menu.

Deception Pass Bridge

Deception Pass Bridge
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster

Thursday, July 03, 2008

oh, pooh.

Well, I was over-ruled on the Queen of the Boat thing. I may still get the tiara, but the boat trip's over. If I could put any weight on the leg I had surgery on, it'd be a different story. But of course, I hurt the *good* leg, and now I don't have a leg to stand on. (groan...)

By way of explanation, I had a back operation back in 1981, and still have neuropathy in the left leg. The nerves just aren't there, neither is the balance.

So, we found a wheelchair in a local pharmacy, and they're renting it to us for $25 for the duration of the trip. Mike loves it because it's like a Transformer, you flip a few switches and the leg supports come all the way off.

The wheelchair won't fit in the boat, so no boat trip.

We're in a hotel room, the one reserved for the handicapped. It's a good idea, actually. The toilet is accessible, the bed's just a hop and a skip away (but I still have to use the wheelchair). A tv, the remote, my knitting, the spindle, I've got it made.

Yeah, right.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy times...

Is this woman happy or what?
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Mike took this shot coming out of Anacortes, just before entering Swinomish Channel. Don't I look proud of myself? Note all the electronic gizmos on the dash.

I can't believe how great the trip journey to Friday Harbor was. We hit Deception Pass right at the end of slack tide, and I was on the bow taking video, waving to all the people on the bridge and hiking trails. (remind me to have the Roketman give me a freezeframe to blog!) We went the southern route below Lopez Island, and the water was uncommonly calm because we were leeward of the winds (the island was shielding that stretch of water).

Once we got to Friday Harbor, it was HOT - about 85F but it felt like 105F in the sun. I hit the bead store (don't remember the name but I'll look it up) and the yarn store - Island Wools. The poor woman inside was just plain wistful, because everyone was looking in the window and saying "It's too hot to knit!" (the clerk did giggle and perk up when I started answering them with "NO IT'S NOT!!")

Anyhoo, when we got back to the boat and were trying to open more windows, that's when I went out the door with a spectacular pratfall, landing on my upper lip and nose. sigh...

And I will need to have surgery. I had the appointment with the surgeon this morning, and after much dithering, we decided to have the surgery up here. We'll stay in a hotel tonight, have the surgery early tomorrow, be back in the hotel tomorrow night and we'll be back on the boat in time to see the fireworks on Thursday.

I've already put in my order for a tiara. I intend to be Queen of the Boat. The Roketman? Queen's Consort and Chief Cabana Boy.

Monday, June 30, 2008

There may be a gravity fluctuation to blame

Reports are popping up all over, of strange falls with resulting physical injury... with speculation that gravity shifts are to blame. I don't know about that, but it's an interesting line of thought.

There isn't anything new to say, except that our doctor's appointment is tomorrow morning. Another day in the boat, at least, but we're back at the dock in Anacortes. (I fell while we were in Friday Harbor. At least it was a scenic fall, right?)

I have to brag about my Roketman. Saturday, we went through Deception Pass. Remember the chart I posted about our route? Turned out the trip was a piece of cake!

The weather was great, and the water flat. Not quite as smooth as glass, but the only waves were from the go-fast boats fueled by diesel and testosterone.

Follow the leader
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
I'm showing the stream of boats coming out of Anacortes Marina on Saturday morning. There's a channel about 100 feet wide that's been dredged, and it makes a few turns in order to get past Cap Sante. See that boat in the middle? He's about to turn to starboard past that buoy and follow the boat to the extreme right.

I'll post more pictures from Saturday... especially the ones from Deception Pass. I figured I'd be white-knuckled, but it was a blast!

in the mean time, this is the wheelchair the Roketman wants to get for me - the iBot. It goes up stairs. Love it!! I'm surprised he hasn't found one with jets yet.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A real trip.

I'm feeling better this morning, the sense of humor is returning. Trouble is, the top lip is too swollen to smile the way I want to! oww. Maybe I can cultivate that Hollywood botox smile where the starlets smile with their eyes and upper cheeks.

The ankle doesn't hurt, because I have one of those immobilizing boots. Well, it does hurt when I put too much weight on it. It's a good thing the boat is small, there's always something to brace myself within arm's reach.

Today we're going back to Anacortes, where I'll have an appointment with the orthopedist tomorrow. It's going to be an adventure... the ramps down to the pier are quite steep, even at high tide. I'm thinking Mike could taxi me in the boat to another marina, get me up to the parking lot, I'll get the courtesy van to take me to the right marina... Everything is logistics.

And the right wrist is hurting, but I can still type and knit. I haven't done any knitting yet, but that's next. The tahkli spindle is not going to happen, don't know about the SpinTech.

Am I bad to think about all that fiber stuff I'll get accomplished if I have to have surgery and stay home for 6 weeks?