Seattle to Kelowna

Federal Way is south of Seattle, so our clever plan was to wait until the morning rush-hour was dying down, and then get going in time for a late lunch in Merritt, BC, where Caroline has family.

It worked, mostly. With two of us in the car, we could use the HOV lane, which had lighter traffic and sometimes higher speed limits, and we got past the city in an hour or so.

Border crossing was okay. Advance signs said five minutes for customs, which was like the trip south: no line at all. Well, no. It was twenty-five minutes, but aside from the line, no hassle. Apart from three bottles of wine, which are duty-free, we spent just five dollars in the US on things that we brought home. To wit, some stainless steel coffee filters for my Keurig. I have one, and it lets me to use my own coffee beans, but it allows grounds into the mug. My exciting new five dollar filters have lids. We’ll see.

Side note. Drive-through espresso shacks have the best names/worst puns in America. Case in point: Brewed Awakenings. My favourite from this trip.

Nice lunch in Merritt, at Lynda’s Cafe. Full disclosure: I am related by marriage to owners. Still, good burgers, soup and fries.

Pulled in at hotel just before 17:00, so the drive was a full day’s work. Now laundry, then late supper.

Seattle: Museum of Flight

We had a day in Seattle today. We thought of checking out some of the obvious downtown sites such as Pike’s Market and the Space Needle, but when our desk clerk told us about it, it sounded, well, touristy.

So we went to the Museum of Flight instead.


There’s lots to see and do there. This picture just shows the Great Gallery, and not all of it. There’s a whole ‘nother wing for warbirds, half a dozen aircraft are outside including the first Air Force One, and across the road is a sort of giant carport with more large planes like the Concorde. Plus optional movies and special tours, kids activities and simulators.


A couple of hours was enough for a cursory look around the main gallery and a quick peek at two of the outside planes. If you wanted to do stuff, or actually read all the placards, you’d be there a lot longer. My main interest is in oddball aircraft, and they didn’t have a lot of that; they’re more interested in mainstream progress than aviation’s evolutionary orphans.

We decided to take a break from the city and go visit a winery. It took nearly half an hour to slog over to Cougar Crest, and by the time we got there, we weren’t in the mood for tasting. We told Dingbat to take us home without using the Interstate. He said 60 minutes instead of 40, and I figured it was worth it. The first part of the drive was scenic. But we hit the construction delays and then rush-hour caught up to us. The trip to the hotel took two hours.

That meant no shopping or pool time, just a short rest before dinner.

Kelowna to Seattle

You can get a t-shirt that says you drove the Coquihalla. I have no idea why. Caroline has made me drive over every mountain she can find, and the Coquihalla is a piece of cake.

Lunch in Hope, at 293 Wallace. Fabulous burger, delicious salad. Full marks.

Road coffee from Jungle Juice down the block. New-wavy atmosphere offset by AC/DC on stereo at till. Manager formerly from Winnipeg. French Press dark roast with Almond milk. Best coffee this year. Yes, seriously. Wish I knew what it was, I’d buy every bean.

Border crossing very quick: Pleasure, Portland, one week. No fruit, one bottle of wine. Thank you, you too.

Seattle, at the start of rush hour? That, I want a t-shirt for. Dingbat kept us in the right lane as the I-5 tried to fake him out by designating random lanes as mandatory exits, with emergency vehicles as wild cards to keep you from sitting in the middle.