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23 November 2002 @ 11:16 pm
Trip to Canuck-land  
At lithera's prompting, I went along with her and sharkcowsheep to the Red Wings game in Vancouver.

Kat had mentioned that it would be interesting to travel with two Discordians. Since our original plan to take the train up to Canada was torpedoes by Amtrak's one-train-a-day-from-Seattle-to-B.C.-schedule, we ended up taking an Amtrak "train" that was actually a bus run by some company I'd never heard of "the paperwork said Thruways, but the busses said Trailways). A decent bus, better than your average Greyhound. Kat showed up with a bag full of comics, and we sacked out in the back of the bus (since that was the only row with three seats. The tickets were $23 a person, a delightful omen.

About the time we passed Lynnwood, I realized that it was a little uncomfortable to be crammed between my friends and the on-bus kybo, so I moved forward a row to stretch out. We still chatted and visited, reading comics and books. A good ride up through Bellingham. Then there was some sort of an announcement about computer problems, and the bus pulled over to the side of the highway, and came to a stop.

Apparently, the computer in question controlled the transmission. The driver was able to get the bus to limp in toward Ferndale, where we could wait for the replacement bus. We made it to the top of the ramp, in the left turn lane, before the bus died completely, unable to move. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Kat told me that Ferndale is creepy-strange-bad, and seemed Not Happy. Some twit from Boston started complaining about how she was never going to be a customer of "this company" again; apparently she didn't realize until she got to the station that she was going to be riding a bus instead of a train, and this was just getting her MORE pissed off.

An SUV broke down in the same intersection as us, blocking the right turn lane. Idiots kept pulling up behind it and honking, even though the hazard lights were flashing. A couple times our driver got out to explain the situation to idiots. Eventually, the SUV got over onto the curb, but idiots would still pull OFF OF THE ROAD behind it, and honk for it to move.

Stupid people.

Eventually, the bus was able to lurch into the parking lot of the local Food Mart, where we got food (of a sort), and the Whiny 30-something biyatches proceeded to complain and start drinking cheap mini-mart wine. Eventually, a replacement bus showed up, but we got to keep our driver because He Is Kewl Like That.

At the border crossing, I couldn't find my driver's license. It was not in my wallet. I handed my wallet and other handful of stuff to Kat, as I frantically searched all pockets. Eventually, she pointed out that thile my driver's license wasn't IN my wallet, it was NEXT TO my wallet, between the wallet and the cash. Crisis averted.

We arrived in Vancouver late, but Kat displayed a subtle mastery of the taxi system, getting us to the Holiday Inn she had preselected. At this point, I realized that I was covering the room on my card, so I checked us in after a moment of confusion. We dropped off our bags and grabbed another taxi to the game. We got in the stadium before they dropped the puck, bought some beer and Sacramental Friday Hot Dogs, and found our seats.

We had a great view of the Red Wings sucking. The passes were wild and sloppy, the goalie deserved to be clobbered, and the Wings just weren't maintaining CONTROL of the puck for any length of time. With staggering speed, the Red Wings were down 4-0, and they deserved it. They pulled their game together a lot in the second half of the third quarter, and managed to score once. It was a fun game to watch, and Kat was really a good sport afterward.

We wandered around East Broadway looking for dinner, and eventually (after the ATM booth where you have to slide your card in a reader just to get in the booth) ended up grubbing at Earls (the Red Robin of Canada, only better). It was Martini Night, and my chicken vindaloo was kick-in-the-head good. More good friend time, which was fun. We stopped in a drug store on the way back, but didn't find anything worth smuggling.

Back to the Hotel. The casino-in-the-basement was too crowded, so we ended up just going back up to our room and watching a movie, before falling asleep. Holly set the alarm clock for friggen early, so we could catch the bus back.

Did not sleep well. I usually don't sleep well alone in a bed, especially an unfamiliar hotel-bed with city-noises on one side and people-sleeping-noises on the other. At one point I did dream that Kat was laying on the floor in the dark, telling me to stop trying to fall asleep in positions like a silly monkey. I then asked her which positions where sufficiently not monkeylike, at which point she rolled over and ignored me.

Woke up minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off. Saw it click over, and heard a tiny audible click. That was it. I got up and dressed anyway, and we were to the Amtrak station for our unbus with plenty of time. The Amtrak ticketing booth was closed; a minor problem since I was still supposed to pick up my pre-ordered ticket, and Holly needed to buy a ticket. And we couldn't find the bus. Eventually, we found the sign for our bus, and it pulled up. The driver explained that Holly could buy a ticket from him (cash), and I would have to buy a SECOND ticket from him, pick up my REAL ticket in Seattle, then get a refund from him. Thinking this was wonky enough to be plausible in this world, I went along. The trip back was depressingly uneventful, and I was eventually able to get my refund back in Seattle. I even made it to my parent's place in time for Thanksgiving dinner!