Driving out of Vancouver was probably the hardest thing I had to do in 2012. Especially after a fantastic last week with our friends at our fave restaurants, going to Grouse, and having a Christmas party at Ali’s parents house. Making our way across Lionsgate Bridge and looking over at Ambleside beach and Park Royal mall. Across downtown, even seeing the very street corner that Ali picked me up for my first visit to the city. Driving out of the city and towards the border.. away from our home and into a new life.
It’s no wonder it took us all of 8 hours to get from Vancouver to Portland. We were dragging out our time in our favorite little corner of the world and stopping everywhere! The first stop we had was the border, of course. Something we’ve both done several times, but this was the first time we’d driven past the Peace Arch since the shooting occurred there in late summer. The only difference was that at every terminal, there was someone in the booth and then an armed guard about 50 feet in front of the terminal looking at the cars and passengers. It was actually pretty sad to see the changes at a relatively peaceful and calm border stop, although obviously necessary.
From there, it took us about 4 hours to get to Seattle. We stopped at the outlet malls that I’d always wanted to visit and ended up getting some awesome day after Christmas sales. I got my first Coach bag.. and I know, I know. I’m not becoming that girl. But I’ve been borrowing Ali’s mom’s clutch for every special event the past 6 months and I’ve become addicted. And she swears by Coach, so I thought I’d get one there, too. I’ve got to give props to the boyfriend because not only was he treating me to yet another Christmas present, but he waited in line for thirty minutes to get into the store with me and then immediately got in line while I shopped around and chose what I wanted. I’d say on a daily basis I’m thankful for his patience! :)
After an hour or so more on the road, we stopped at a ridiculous restaurant that is kind of a tradition for us. It’s called Bob’s Burgers and Brews and it seems like they popped up out of nowhere. But anytime we come across the border we stop there. This time, Ali was pretty excited because he thinks he spotted “Bob”. The Bob. He did look a lot like the picture on the menu.. Anyways, we ate way too much and slowly got back on the road. We spent the next two hours on I-5. You’d think the traffic would have been annoying, but I was just happy to be driving through my city. We drove past the exit I used to live on (Exit 143) and Ali told me about the first time he was driving to see me and how it felt getting there.
We stopped for dinner just past Tacoma at Hooters. I’d never been there before and decided I was in a chicken wings kind of mood. I was so shocked when I walked in! It was like walking into the 80s with the decorations and the cheesy looking booths. But the wings were decent and our waitress was hilarious given that it was her first day and she was super nervous. Overall it was a pretty good first experience there, but I don’t think the wings will be bringing me back anytime soon. At least I can say I’ve finally been!
Finally, we made it to Portland later that night. I was able to find the hotel that I stayed at back in July and we got a room. Ali was pretty excited because it was a really nice place and had secured parking, which was great because we had everything we owned in the back of our car. :) We were exhausted, so we just checked in and hung out in the room for a bit watching Alaska State Troopers and Border Wars. And now we are as addicted to Nat Geo as my parents. Later we went down to the hotel bar where we had dinner and met a hilarious, drunk couple. “You guys are going to deeeennnnvvvverrr? Oh man! I looooove Denver!! You guys will juuuuust looooove it!” Okay, sir, thank you. Now, sip some of your water. They were hilarious. Anyways, we had a great night there and really enjoyed just being on our own for the first night in a long time. Even though we were in the basement suite at his parents and we loved being around them, it was fun to just be in a nice hotel and relax. We had to leave early the next morning, but I wish we would have saved some more time to see Portland. Especially since I’ve gotten Ali into watching Portlandia. But that just means there’s another reason to go back and visit!
**Next post will be Portland to Boise, and then Boise to D Town, our final destination! Be sure to check back this weekend for the rest. Since I know most of you have probably never driven through the Northwest in the winter, I’ll let you vicariously live through me! Haha :)