John A. Travels to California

Day 9, Sunday, September 16, 2007 – Vancouver & Seattle

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Day 01- Leave Ontario
Day 02 - Chicago
Day 03 - Mt. Rushmore
Day 04 - Yellowstone
Day 05 - Yellowstone
Day 06 - Up to Alberta
Day 07 - Banff & Lake Louise
Day 08 - Whistler, BC
Day 09 - Vancouver & Seattle
Day 10 - Mt. St. Helens
Day 11 - Coastal Hwy 1
Day 12 - San Fransico
Day 13 - Yosemite Park
Day 14 - Giant Redwoods
Day 15 - Hearst Castle
Day 16 - Los Angelos & COD
Day 17 - Hollywood
Day 18 - Thru the Bible & Vegas
Day 19 - Death Valley
Day 20 - Hoover Dam & Skywalk
Day 21 - Caverns & Grand Canyon
Day 22 - Grand Canyon - Hike
Day 23 - Grand C. - Hermit's Rest
Day 24 - Petrified Forest
Day 25 - Meteor Crater
Day 26 - Carlsbad Caverns
Day 27 - Dallas, Texas
Day 28 - Mississippi River
Day 29 - St. Loius
Day 30 - Detroit
Day 31 - Home to Woodstock

All images can be enlarged NOTE:
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Cityview Baptist Church in Vancouver, B.C.

We woke up as usual at 6:00.  After my shower, I started looking for a Baptist church to attend later in the morning in Vancouver.  We are about 1 ½ hours from downtown Vancouver, so for the first time in our holidays, we had a schedule! 
I ran a Google search on Baptist churches in Vancouver, and came up with a small little church in downtown Vancouver called Cityview Baptist church.  They had a wonderful web site, which included mp3 sermons.  I downloaded last week’s sermon, and Ronald and I listened to it.  The pastor seemed like a good Bible teacher, and so we marked it down as a potential.  I also ran a few other searches for Baptist churches, but didn’t come up with any better options.  I plugged the address into GPS, and we headed out the door.
After a quick breakfast at McDonald’s, which Ronald had never had before, it was off to Vancouver.  There was a

Pastor Craig O'Brien & his daughter

fair bit of construction on the way, and it started raining almost as soon as we hit the road.  It seems rather appropriate that almost all of the time that we were in the Vancouver and Seattle area, it rained.
The GPS ran flawlessly right until we got to our second-last turn in downtown Vancouver.  Then it told us to turn left when a road sign told said no left turns allowed.  As soon as I went off-route, the program crashed.  I guess Microsoft Streets and Trips runs flawlessly when you are doing as expected, but when you make a wrong turn, it becomes unstable.  Perhaps I have to look at upgrading to the 2008 model.  We managed to drive right past the church, but got turned around and arrived with five minutes to spare.
The church was indeed small, and was about the size of the church I was raised in in London. 

Memorial arch as you enter the US at Vancouver

There were only about 50 people in attendance, but the pastor gave us a very warm welcome.  The music team was not exactly to our taste, especially Ronald’s taste, but it was sincere.  The pastor’s nine-year old daughter ran the EasyWorship software, which is identical to the software I use at Forward Baptist Church.  While not perfect, she did a decent job.  The sermon the pastor gave was about the woman at the well, and was very good.  He spoke about not hiding from God, but being upfront with him.  The application was very good, and I was glad we came.  One of the other things I noticed was that partway through the song service, the pastor said that there would be those that would be available for prayer if they needed it.  Three people got up, and I noticed that one lady went to a couple of single ladies, and they sat down together and prayed about their needs.  I noticed one lady became rather emotional.  I’m not sure what that was all about, but it seemed to be a very loving act.

After the service, I wanted to thank the webmaster for creating such an effective web site that it led to us attending their service.  However, the webmaster was not in attendance that day, so I left my card with the pastor. 
We were on the road again by 11:30.
Since this was my mother’s birthday, I called her on my cell phone, and sang happy birthday to her as soon as she

Welcome to the USA sign at the Vancouver border

answered the phone.  We seem to have done alright celebrating both birthdays, even though we are on the opposite sides of the continent.  My present should arrive on Tuesday for mom.
My impression of Vancouver was that it is a beautiful city.  The initial ride across the bridges into Vancouver offered us many good views.  While the houses were very small, they were very well cared for, with immaculate gardens.  On the way to the church, we went through a residential area, and they have very small little traffic circles at many of the intersections, only about 15 feet across.
We left Vancouver, and were at the U.S. border in about 20 minutes.  We crossed at the Peace Arch crossing, and had about a 40-minute wait in line.  Just before the inspection station, there was a large cement arch with a quote which said “Brethren dwelling together in unity.” Another quote at the bottom said, “May these gates never be closed.“  The Americans can be inspiring at times.
It took us almost two hours to get right into Seattle.  I found it amazing how built-up the Seattle area is.  It seems to

The Seattle Space Needle

be about the size of Toronto.  As we entered Seattle, we crossed several very large bridges, and we could see many larger freighters anchored out to sea.
The GPS led us right to the base of the Space Needle.  As soon as you get to the base, you notice a huge science-fiction looking structure that looks something like a crashed spaceship located right next to the Space Needle.  There’s no way to describe the shape of this structure other than that it is highly coloured, without a straight angle on the building.  The monorail goes right through this building with its terminus just on the other side.  After we had parked near the base, we passed a tour business which gives rides around in a land-and-water vehicle.  It was the most oddly shaped vehicle, and can travel on both land and water.  It had a propeller and a rudder in the back, but had six wheels sticking out the bottom like a bus.  I think it was called the dock mobile.  The tour guide seemed to be keeping the people in high spirits, and they handed out duck whistles.
We paid about $16 to ride the elevator to the 500-foot level of the Space Needle.  As advertised, the view was spectacular.  We’ve been very fortunate with weather during this trip, and this was no exception.  While it had rained most of the day up until this point, it let up as soon as we reached downtown Seattle.
From the top, we could see both sides of the harbour and the high-rise section of the downtown.  There were three cruise ships in port, as well as ferries, seaplanes, and there was also a huge yacht harbour.  As well, we could see two large stadiums in the

Sci-Fi museum at base of Space Needle

distance, and a football stadium immediately below us.  We went around the outside a few times, taking dozens of pictures.  We also had a couple of ladies ask us what the sports stadiums were called, and we told them they had asked the wrong people, as neither Ronald nor I have any interest in sports.  But we did take their picture as they stood side by side, and they returned the favour.
I never tire of panoramic views of cities.  I can stand there for hours watching the tiny cars go by, and trying to take in all the detail of the city below.
My impression of Seattle is that it is a very well-to-do city, although I understand certain sections have a rather high crime rate.  We had stopped to gas up about 50 minutes before we got to the downtown area, and the fellow wouldn’t let us pump our gas until we had paid him with a credit card.  I asked how we could possibly pay with a credit card, when

Entrance to Sci-fi museum

we had no idea how much fuel we needed.  When we had tried to use the card initially, it asked us for a zip code, which of course we didn’t have.  It turns out they have had a lot of drive-offs, and had to put a rather restrictive system in place.  I did find it rather annoying at the time.
We inquired as to how much it would cost to have a meal in the restaurant at the top of the space needle.  They said there was a $35 minimum, and so we decided to go elsewhere.  They gave us a lovely map, which was the type that has the various highlights of the city graphically illustrated.  We ended up going to a very fine restaurant called the Bone Fish, which was right beside the harbour.
I must say we had one of the best meals of our trip so far at this restaurant.  Ronald selected the rainbow trout, and the helpings were very ample.  While it was about $17 a plate, it was well worth it.  It is certainly

Land & water tour aboard the Duck Mobile

an enjoyable experience to dine in a classy restaurant once in a while.

We left Seattle around 6:30, and drove and drove through a continuously built-up area.  We wanted to get outside of Seattle so that the morning traffic would not affect us.  Finally, around 7:45, Ronald said, “Let’s grab the first hotel we see.”  The cut-off said Lodging

Ahead, but after we got off, we couldn’t find any.  We drove along parallel to the highway until we came to the next interchange where we did find a very nice motel.  It only cost us about $65, which included breakfast.
I sat down to my computer and went over our photos.  I also managed to get Day Three of our journal published, along with its photos.  I’m finding that I’m falling behind in getting things published, and so will have

to figure out a better way of doing this.  Ronald was ready for bed around nine, and dosed a bit, while I worked.  I turned in myself around ten.
Tomorrow we’re off to see Mount St. Helens. We traveled 613 km today.




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