PANORAMA 

In March, the house packed up and went to Panorama ski resort in BC for a couple of nights. Before I start, let me tell you about our travel buddies/flatmates.

  • Carris – English, beautiful girlfriend of Sean and travel guru.
  • Sean – English, boyfriend of Carris and a mean cook/baker.
  • Kurt – Australian, older brother of Zeke and the maker of the amazing video below.
  • Zeke – Australian, Kurt’s not so little brother and the loudest in the house.
  • Tate – Canadian, amazing at almost every Winter sport and longtime Banff resident.

Through being Banff locals we got lift tickets for $69 a day and accommodation on the mountain for $9 a room! Awesome!

Day 1
Fergus, Tate, Kurt, Zeke and I left early in the day on the Wednesday but found out early on our trip would be longer due to the  93 being closed for avalanche control. We stopped in Lake Louise for a sausage roll before continuing up the Trans Canada through Yoho National Park to Golden. 

 On the way we stopped at The Natural Bridge, a rock formation that spans the Kicking Horse river just past Field. The boys meandered down the path in deep snow and along the side of the icy river to go into the cave under the bridge, it looked wonderful in there but I didn’t want to fall into the feeezing river so Fergus and I stayed on the bridge above.We continued on, beers in hand, music blaring, through the gorge to Golden and on to the 95 to Invermere. Stopped for some Timbits before climbing up the hill to PanoramaAfter checking into the Pine Inn we unpacked and headed down to the store on the old town gondola to get supplies (beer and Yagermister). 

Suituated in BC’s Purcell mountains, Panorama has nearly 3000 acres of terrain, 6 chairlifts and Canada’s largest slopeside hot pools as well as shops, cafes and bars.After a few drinks in our rooms we headed for the T-bar, a bar within crawling distance to our lodge! Had a few beers and played some pool (I kicked everyone’s arse!) and chatted. After a while Carris and Sean turned up (Carris had to work in the morning) and we enjoyed a hilarious game of musical bingo which I was rubbish at and by the end I didn’t know if the game was still on every time a song came on! After that we hit up the dance floor and showed off our dance moves, it was so fun. 

Later on it turned a bit fuzzy, I know I had 3 shoeys (drinking beer out of someone’s shoe) and it was a pretty late and messy night…….

Day 2

After a lovely breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches cooked in our room on a camping stove by Carris and Sean we warily made our way up to the chairlift a mere 10 metres from the lodge.

Headed right up the very top via 2 chairlifts and started our day.  Started on a mogully black run where there was a lot of stopping, falling over, laughing and general hungover shenanegins. Lost Kurt and Zeke after the second run and found out later they had retired back to the room. It was very icy over the whole mountain which made it hard work but it was sunny so we were rewarded with amazing views of the valley and surrounding mountain ranges. 

Relaxed on the deck chairs up the top at the Summit hut and had coffee. It was a lazy day but most of us skied right up until near closing time. Later in the afternoon we hit the hot pools. The one large and two smaller pools ranging from 35-40 degrees were so relaxing after a day on the slopes despite loud children splashing about and the boys throwing balls and squirting water at each other, it was rather nice. Boys will be boys!There is a free shuttle bus that takes people to and from Invermere nearby so jumped on that and headed down the mountain to town to get dinner. It was a long journey on a windy road, we were tired and some were a bit green round the gills. The bus driver kindly recommended a place called The New Station Pub to us which ended up being very nice. It is right on Lake Invermere and we saw a lovely sunset over the lake and mountains.Had a big dinner as many of us hadn’t eaten lunch. I had the Chicken Souvlaki which was yum! Had a few drinks and walked up to town to look around while waiting for the bus. Not much to see in Invermere. We were even stopped by local security asking why we were loitering around at 10:30 pm in town! We all look like friendly folk, I think….

Day 3

Headed back up the mountain again in the morning, another lovely day but the mountain was still icy up the top. Did a few runs up the top before sticking lower down where the snow was slightly softer. Had lunch and beers (it was St Patrick’s day so Guinness all round) down at the main building and chilled out for a bit in the sun.Did a few more runs up the top and through the park before calling it a day. The terrain was great and the mountain has long, wide tree runs and wasn’t busy at all, it was just a pity the snow wasn’t great but for $69 who can complain really.

Packed up the cars and headed on our way home. Stopped at Radium Hot Springs for a dip before carrying on through the gorge on the 93 to Castle Junction. The road had been closed for avalanche control as I mentioned earlier and we could see why as we travelled through there. There were reminants of avalanches all along the road. Up on the mountains you could see where the snow had fallen and on the road where it had been cleared. It was an amazing piece of roadway and driving over the passes and through the valleys really makes you appreciate the scale and beauty of the Canadian Rockies. I really hope to do the drive again in the Summer as there were so many viewpoints and things to do along the way we didn’t stop at. A weekend I will always remember, thanks guys!

Here is a GoPro video Kurt made of our trip.Muppets go to Panorama

FAM days

As a person working in Banff in the tourist industry, we are really lucky to be treated to a lot of familiarisation tours.

Tour operators and the ski hills give us heavily discounted or free days out from time to time so we can experience their product and subsequently sell or refer tourists to it.

This month I went on 2 FAM tours to Mount Norquay and Lake Louise. 

Norquay

The closest skifield to Banff, Norquay is only a 10 minute drive and you can even see the runs from town. It’s the oldest resort in the Rockies and is really popular with the Banff locals. There is a 91 year old man who still regularly skis there.

The day started at the Mount Royal hotel car park. Only 4 of us jumped in a van and headed up the hill. Normally the tours have at least 20 people so it was nice to have a smaller group. The 3 Polish people that accompanied me all work as housekeepers and a resort in town.  They were all new to skiing so after our free coffee, muffin and chat about Norquay with the snow school director, they headed out for their lessons.

I headed out by myself to explore the mountain. It was a little eerie as it was so quiet (it was snowing heavily) so on most of my runs I didn’t see a single person. I did a few runs on Mystic, Cascade and Spirit chairs and the snow was great in the morning, about 10cm of fresh powder. The runs are a lot steeper than Sunshine but most are long and wide so they are enjoyable. I really wanted to do the North American chair, that one has the best view over Banff and has black and double blacks but it had only opened earlier that week so the snow coverage wasn’t great. I was advised to give it a miss. Next time…Skiing finished at 3:30 and I then had beer and nachos with the 3 Polish people, their ski instructor and the ski school director in the main lodge. It was a good day and for $37, you can’t loose. 

Lake Louise

At 40 minutes from Banff, Lake Louise is the furthest ski resort of the big 3. I was so excited about going to Lake Louise as I knew it rivalled Sunshine for area, terrain and lifts. Lake Louise has 10 lifts, 1700 skiable hectares, 3 lodges to eat in and incredible views. 

The bus from Banff was pretty much full and most people slept on the 40 minute drive up. Once at the resort we piled into Whickey Jack Lodge for coffee and muffins. Everyone was in groups and my friends (workmate Cian and flatmate Zeke) couldn’t make it so I went and sat with some girls at a table. Got chatting to Jana and Lena from Germany and Sophie from the Uk and ended up skiing with them all day. Very lovely girls and awesome skiers too! Lake Louise consists of 3 areas, Frontside, Back Bowls and Larch. We headed up the gondola on frontside first and explored the runs from there, mostly blue and green tree runs with a few blacks scattered around. Before lunch we headed over the the back bowls to Paradise chair and Larch which we really enjoyed as the snow was excellent and we found a couple of long wide blue runs we loved.

Lake Louise Trail Maps
After a quick burger and chips for lunch the girls and I headed up the top to the Top Of The World Express and Summit Platter, the first button lift I had ridden all season, hard on the legs I can tell you! Up the top visibility was poor, all day it had been cloudy and snowing, we couldn’t see anything except grey clouds over towards the lake, a pity because the views are usually fantastic. On the way down from the top I had the biggest wipe out so far this season. Too much powder and 0 visibility = faceplant! We did a few other runs on Larch and Glacier before heading back to the Lodge for a beer and some nachos. 

It was a great day despite the weather and  skiing a full day with people equally as good as I am was tiring! I’ll definitely be back to Lake Louise again, hopefully when the weather is clear and I can enjoy the stunning views.

I’m now a Banff Ambassador! 

The Banff Ambassador Program is such a fantastic idea, it gives new ‘locals’ a chance to do some of the amazing activities in the Rocky Mountains while teaching them about the history, natural resources, wildlife and people of this wonderful part of the world. I found about it from my flatmate, Carris who had recently completed it. 

The first part consists of a fun 1.5 hour informative talk by 2 local girls about Banff and the Bow Valley, it’s history, it’s  wildlife, it’s geology and it’s tourism. The group consisted of around 30 young people from all over the world and you didn’t even have to register, just show up to the library and take part!

The second part was a 3 hour tour of Banff and the surrounding area. This is an actual tour that costs around $60 for tourists but for Banff Ambassadors it’s only $10. The day I went there was no tourists on the tour which made it more fun. It was run by an Aussie guy from Cairns and was really informative.Two Jack LakeHeading down to the Beaver DamTour Bus

The tour included: 

  • Banff Springs hotel
  • Hoodoos lookout
  • Surprise corner
  • Bow falls
  • Elk spotting at the golf course
  • Two Jack Lake
  • Lake Minnewanka
  • Vermillion lakes Beaver Dam

Most of these sights I have already seen but it was great to get a bit of information about each of these places.

On completion of the tour we all recieved a voucher booklet with over $500 worth of vouchers! From snow tubing to museums, hot springs and glacier walking. Free stuff!

I would 100% recommend this programe for anyone who comes to live Banff. 

Settling in Canmore

Originally we had planned to settle in Banff but after hearing stories of how hard it is to get accomodation (most employers need to offer dorm-style accomodation for their workers) due to strict building regulations due to the town being in the National Park.

I had already set up 2 viewings for rooms in flats. The first one we went to was just beautiful but it was up off Benchlands trail and the walk to town was quite long. The second was at an old house in an area known as ‘teepee village’ an area the locals say isn’t the nicest part of town (compared to some parts of London it was paradise!). The lady who owned the very small flat was older and had 2 dogs, she knew almost immediately that we were not interested but offered to let us park on her driveway for a few nights and use her bathroom for a small fee. That evening we had a nice meal at a local English pub and continued to search.

Our first night in the car was quite comfortable, it was a little cold towards the morning and getting up for a wee at 4am wasn’t fun!

The next morning I recieved a call off the back of an advert I had put on Kijiji from a local guy looking for flatmates.We went to Banff in the morning for a look around and went to see the flat in the afternoon. 

It is in Kananaskis Way in a large apartment complex, with views of the surrounding mountains. We pretty much took the room on the spot. We paid $250 for the remainder of the month and $400 security deposit. We are living with Julienne and Sheryl, a couple, Nick, 2 Chihuahuas, some fish and a snake! The complex – 187 Kananaskis WayThe view from our bedroom window

Went and collected our stuff from Teepee village and moved into our new pad.

That first night we had a few drinks with Sheryl while Julien was at work. Sat beside the pool in the neighbouring complex and chatted. Settled in well.

A bit about Canmore

Vancouver – Back to the mainland

We took the bus back over to Nanaimo in the morning and jumped on the BC Ferry for the 90 minute trip to Horseshoe Bay which is North of the city. 

This ferry is much larger than any we had been on before and had 2 car decks and 2 passenger decks. There are also a few restaurants, shops, a children’s play area and a work area. 


The trip was pleasant, I spent most of it on the top deck in the wind and sun while Fergus sat with our gear downstairs. We went for a walk around the deck together to take some photos later on. 

Arriving into North Vancouver was quite spectacular. We went past islands with steep, forested sides and amazing houses along their shores as we entered Horseshoe Bay. 


Once there we got our bags onto the 257 bus and took the hour long journey to the city. Passed some beautiful bays and houses and had great views of the ocean and the islands en route. Towards the end of the journey we were rewarded with views of the city and Stanley Park as we drew closer to downtown. 


We got off the bus, crossed the road and got on the train at Vancouver city centre and took the 4 stops to Oakridge 41st. 

Walked the 2 minutes to Rosie’s house and greeted her and her flatmates and friends as they were enjoying a bank holiday BBQ and drinks in their backyard. 

Had a few drinks and a sausage, cheese and gerkin bap for dinner. 

Unfortunately poor Fergus was up all night being ill that night.  We still don’t know what caused it.

The next morning I popped down to the Safeway and picked up some medicine and energy drinks for Fergus who spent most of the day in bed.

Rosie and I headed downtown to the Vancouver Police Museum where we looked over the history of the Van police, learnt about gangs, dressed up in some police garb, learnt about detective work, read about some of the cities most famous murders and saw a morgue and autopsy table. 


After leaving the museam we explored the city a bit going through Chinatown and seeing the hoards of homeless people going about their daily business, visited the riverside briefly and had lunch at Tim Hortons. 

Returned to the house and by then Fergus was feeling a little better so we went to the Safeway for Apple baby food, rice and a banana. Made dinner and watched TV.

The next morning Fergus and I headed out into town and basically did the same route Rosie and I did the previous day. Went through Gastown and looked at the Gastown clock. Had lunch at the food court in Canada Place and then looked at two cruise liners docked there. I took a photo of the old hotel my Great Uncle Ken died in. (He died in a fire). We headed home to chill out for a bit.


Later that night we went out to a pasta restaurant in town called Basil Pasta Bar. It was a quirky, small place where you chose your own pasta, sauce, meat, veggies, cheese and herbs and order at the bar. You can also order from the menu but I chose my own. The portions were huge as usual so we both had to ask for doggie bags! The pasta was so good though. 


Went for a nighttime walk around Canada Place before getting the train home.

The next day Fergus, Rosie and I caught the sea bus over to West Van to visit Lynne Canyon Park. Once off the bus we walked about a kilometre to the park entrance. A minute into the park is the suspension bridge. The 50 meter high bridge stretches across a beautiful canyon boasting raging waters, waterfalls and deep pools below. It was a tad scary and there didn’t seem to be any rules about the number of people allowed on the bridge so I gather it’s pretty sturdy!


We headed along the path of tall trees over boardwalks and up and down stairs and soon found ourselves at 30 foot pool. There were tonnes of people here swimming and cliff jumping and hanging out on the rocks. Too busy for us so we carried on up to the lake.


After a big stair climb we walked along to another smaller bridge for a look and then hiked to Rice Lake. Once there we discovered it was not a swimming lake unfortunately so just hung out a while, spoke to a British ex pat fishing, fed some cheese to some ducks and chatted. Oh and had the shit scared out of us by Rosie pretending to see a bear! 

It was a hot day so we decided to join the masses for a dip at 30 foot pool. Rosie and I went in for a dip that lasted all of 5 seconds….it was mountain water so it was FREEZING!! Glad I went in though. Watched all the crazy people jumping, diving and backflipping into the deep pools below. I assumed most were locals and they were advising the tourists on the safe places to go off.


Returned to the bus stop and waited for ages then jumped on a very busy bus just in time to get the sea bus back to the city.

On the Friday Rosie had to work so Fergus and I went off to explore the city more. We rode the bus downtown and hired some bikes to go cycling in Stanley Park.

The park is a 400 hectare forested park filled with trails, places to eat, wildlife, lakes, beaches and historic monuments. It’s surrounded by a cycle friendly seawall which we chose to ride around.


During our ride we saw a lighthouse, the famous Girl in a Wetsuit sculpture, Lion’s Gate bridge, loads of cargo ships in the bay, sandy beaches, rocky shores, a marina, a swimming pool (where we stopped for an ice cream and a swing) and tonnes and tonnes of Asian tourists!


It was a really lovely ride and it was great to get back on a bike again.

Dropped the bikes off and walked over to Sunset Beach park to get the small ferry to Granville Island. The island has a big market on it that is mainly food but has other shops and restaurants around it to wander around. 


That night we cooked for the house. A total of 7 people and 1 vegetarian! We decided on Chicken, leek, mushroom and onion pie with green beans, carrots and mash. Good old English food! It took a while to prepare and had it quite late as everyone was working. I think it went down rather well! It was pretty much all polished off, even the burnt, gluten free pastry tops! Had a few drinks afterwards.

 
*Please see seperate post for Whistler*
Our last day was filled with booking accomodation, booking a bus to Calgary and getting food for the following day’s 12 hour bus ride. 

That evening Rosie suggested we go to a board game bar as it was our last night so Fergus and I and Rosie and her flatmate Emiel caught a cab down to The Storm Crow Tavern. We tried the Logo game at first but due to none of us being Canadian or American we were crap so moved onto the classic Game Of Life. Some of the parts were missing including the instructions (we got them off google) and the little people (made do with rolled up paper) had quite a few wines and a lot of laughs. It was a really fun evening.

It’s amazing the people you meet on your travels. I still remember first seeing the girl with the blue hair and the panther tattoo getting on the bus in Niagara Falls and now we have just had the most fantastic week in Vancouver as her guest. So, a huge shout out to the fabulous Rosie for having us. You are welcome to stay with us anytime, wherever that may be. X

Thanks also to Yvonne, Jamie, Emiel and Jo!

Victoria – starting our journey on the island

After packing our gear yet again we walked down to Port Angeles ferry terminal to get the Coho ferry over to Vancouver Island, back to Canada, yay!

On arrival we met a fellow Toadlily house occupant, a young German guy, I cannot for the life of me remember his name though and in the line to get our passports stamped we found Ian from Australia! 

Once on the ferry we settled inside, close to the front and got a bite to eat and chatted about the next leg of our journeys. We were couchsurfing in Victotia and the boys were going to hitch to Vancouver. 


On hearing that whales had been spotted outside we all rushed out to have a look. It as really windy but we did see some spray from their blowholes. It was a beautiful day but cold out on the water.


On arrival in Victoria, which I must say is a beautiful town we were surprised at its size. It’s very English, green, colourful and inviting and has a stunning harbour.


We passed through immigration easily (although Ian got a bit of a grilling about not working while staying with his mate in Whistler which I found amusing) we walked over to a park and had a lie down. Fergus and I had to wait around for an hour or so before getting the bus to our host’s house as she was at work until 5. The boys changed some money and then headed off to the main road to put their thumbs out.


We caught the local bus 45 minutes up to the North Eastern part of town near the University of Victoria. A very lovely part of town with lots of new builds, wide roads, parks and big houses. Our host, Kiyomi was there to meet us and showed us around her flat. She is from a small town near the boarder with Alaska and shares the flat with her boyfriend who was away working for 2 months in a remote fishing resort. So she hosts surfers for company. We had a bed in the big lounge room which was really comfy. 


On our first night we went to the Smugglers Cone pub at Cadboro bay for dinner. It was a place Kiyomi recommended a 20 minute walk from her flat, she kindly gave us a lift down there on her way to a friends birthday. I ordered the Poutine which was yummy but so big and Fergus had fish and chips.


After dinner we went for a stroll along the busy little beach. There were families playing in the playground, people enjoying the last of the sun on deck chairs, a couple paddle boarding, dog walkers and of course, people playing Pokemon Go. After relaxing a bit we walked home and had an early night. Watched half of Wedding Crashers.


The next morning Kiyomi very kindly made us an omelette each before we headed into town. Tried to get the bus from near her flat and after standing at the stop for at least 30 minutes someone pulled over and said the bus we were waiting for doesn’t run in the mornings. Bah! Went back to the flat to use the wifi to figure out another route but Kiyomi gave us a lift to a stop closer to town on her way to the gym. She is so nice! 

Town was heaving! There was their annual Northwest Deuce Days car show on as well as a street artist festival and market! There were people everywhere.


Fergus and I looked around at some of the amazingly beautiful cars and headed towards the harbour where we had a Greek wrap from a food van for lunch. Watched a street performer for a bit and then wandered around the markets near the waterfront. All really nice stuff but I can’t buy anything as I’d have to carry it around so we just looked. Got an ice cream from a place that had 74 different flavours. Wow! 

After looking around more vintage cars, streets and streets of them (there were over 1100 there) we decided to have a rest in the park next to the British Columbia Legislate building where there were speakers blasting out rock and roll. The sun was hot, but not as hot as it has been on the East coast so we happily sat there for nearly an hour and watched some of the prize giving for the best cars.

After resting we headed up the hill to Beacon Hill Park. This is a huge park near town that is really varied with its scenic areas. There are rocky mounds, pristine, green lawns surrounded by flower beds, lakes with Terrapins and ducks in them, huge trees, areas of long, dry as a bone grass, and even the worlds tallest Totem pole. It was a lovely place to wander around. One of the best parks we have visited so far on our travels. 


We headed right down to the end of the park and down onto the pebbled beach. We could see over to Port Angeles which was draped with a thin layer of mist,  the Olympic mountains above the town and over to mainland Canada to the West.


We climbed over the rocks and large driftwood trees on the beach around the point and then up some steps back onto the road. From there we headed back into town and went to a supermarket for some supplies for dinner that evening. Took the bus home and cooked noodles again. Kiyomi was working a late shift but was home by 9. An Australian guy named Sam was also staying that night. We was here to start a tour company and had a tour leaving Victoria the following day. Chatted about that for a while then went to bed pretty exhausted and very sunburnt. 

Bremerton/Seattle – A big surprise!

We discovered we were staying an hour outside Seattle during our plane ride ( very bumpy plane ride) to Seattle from Cleveland. We were a little worried because of the time it would take to get to Bremerton but we managed to pay $3 each to get the train from the airport to the city and then $8 to get to Bremerton from Seattle. It was a lovely ferry ride over the harbour and though the islands as the sun was setting. 


We got an uber to the house and were greeted Leah and Ryan who showed us around and introduced to us to their flat mate Alan and other AirB&B guest Jen. Ryan made me a whisky and Coke and we all sat around the bonfire chatting. 

On our first day Ryan very kindly offerd to take us out for the whole day to explore the area. We were so up for that as there is so much you miss out on travelling by bus and he is a local so has an abundance of knowledge of the area. 

We set off around 9 and stopped for McDonalds breakfast and then had a quick stop at a Marijuana shop for a look as it it legal in Washington. We carried on South on highway 106 to Skokomish where we visited Hunter farms which sold animals (Leah and Ryan’s rabbits were bought here), veggies, flowers, crafts and condiments. We tasted some amazing locally made ice cream and bought some drinks.


From Skokomish we headed North on highway 101 and then off road to the West through the forest to High Steel Bridge, a 685 foot long and 420 foot high steel bridge crossing the South Fork Skokomish River. It was a bit hairy to be so high up and the barriers were not exactly high either. A perfect Bungy spot! 


From the bridge we headed back out towards the water to Hoodsport. We stopped at Hoodsport Winery where we paid $5 to taste the amazing Blackberry, Blackcurrent and Apple fruit wines. Most of them I really enjoyed and the hostess was really friendly and knew a lot about the local area. 


After a few glasses of wine we needed something to soak up the alcohol so we stopped along the road a bit at Hamma Hamma Oyster company for some Oysters (and more wine). We sat by the outdoor prep area and chatted to the guy opening fresh oysters to serve people, he gave Fergus and I an oyster each as well.  We bought the Steamed garlic oysters and I had a glass of NZ Oyster Bay Sav Blanc and Fergus had a beer. What a great place. Right beside the water one side and forest the other. 


We got back on the road again a tad behind schedule so unfortunately missed a few things Ryan had suggested we do. Headed up to Finn River Cidery which was a lot bigger thank he winery and had a huge outdoor seating area and even a lady playing songs and singing. We did a cider tasting there and tried about 8 different ciders from apples grown right there on the orchard, most of them I really liked and the hostess was really knowledgeable and sweet. 


Headed further up and crossed the Hood Canal Bridge over to Port Gamble then headed back down South to Silverdale where we popped into Leah’s work.

Leah took Fergus and I to the Safeway to get some snacks and drinks and we returned to the house and had some drinks in the sun. Later that evening another AirB&B guest arrived to sleep on the futon. Ian, a 22 year old student from Melbourne. It really was a fantastic day out. Thanks Ryan!

 The following day was a lazy (hangover day). We went to a local cafe, Hi Lo Cafe where we had a brilliant breakfast served by really happy and friendly staff. It was a kooky place with a hippy vibe and you could even sit in a VW van and have your meal! Later on we just went to the shops and made soup for dinner and chilled.


On the Tuesday we set off for Seattle early in the morning. Got the bus down to the terminal and jumped on a ferry. It took an hour to get to the city and the ride was beautiful. All the stunning houses lining the shoreline, little islands and ships dotted around the place really reminded of home and the Otago Peninsula. 


Arriving in Seattle you could really smell the city and notice the crowds, this made me certain I had made a good choice in choosing to stay in Bremerton. We had seen enough cities and wanted to see more of the outdoors. We wandered around the Piers and then up to Pike Place Market Which was heaving with fresh produce, nik nak shops and people. Wanted to get some food in there but it was so busy we opted for a cheaper option further into the city.


After a lunch of Burrito Bowl which was yummy we got the Monorail over to the Space Needle. We didn’t go up as we had already been up a number of tall structures on this trip so missed this one. The surrounding gardens, building and sculptures kept us entertained for a while before we moved on to the Olympic Sculpture Garden and then to a Pierside Irish bar. After 3 drinks there we ran to get the 5:30 ferry back to Bremerton.


That last evening we went to the Safeway and got a bunch of meat and some drinks and Ryan cooked a BBQ. We sat around chatting and watching Ryan expertly help Ian how to put up his new hammock.


I had a lovely barbequed Ham Steak and salad roll and Fergus had sausages. Jen had returned and another one of Ryan’s mates also joined us. It was great for Fergus staying here as both Ryan and their flatmate Alan were gardeners so the boys were able to talk shop a lot. A really great night with new friends and similar to what we used to do back home during one of Fergus’s BBQs.

I throughly enjoyed staying with Leah and Ryan and really hope we see them again soon.