We find “Ray’s Boathouse,” a restaurant overlooking a bay in Seattle. Here we meet Mare’s friend Jill, whom she has not seen since high school. Actually, they did not hang out much in high school, but we have a great visit and view. After dinner, Jill brings us to “Zen Dog Tea House,” where tea-master Larry pours warm, exotic blends of tea that leave us with good dreams.

We have a tough time finding a room that is pet friendly. Up and down Aurora Street, we compete with crack heads and street prostitutes for a $100 room that smells like moth balls. Eventually, Mare finds us a room near the University.

“Don’t let the blonde woman that comes on the night shift know that you have a dog,” the young clerk says. He lets us sneak Jack into the room. A clean room. For $100.

On our way to the border the next morning, we get to visit with my cousin Laura and her well-mannered children, in the cool town of Bellingham. Her husband, Allen, has to work today. We forget about that working stuff sometimes! After a walk in the woods, we head out to Vancouver BC.

This time, we get through the border with ease, and they didn’t even want to see Jack’s papers. (Mare didn’t mention guns or drugs this year)

Another room w/a view

Jack enjoys the view of Vancouver from our friend, Sumner’s, hotel suite during happy hour. Many folks in this city have dogs, and everyone smiles at and tries to pet Jack during our numerous walks along the waterfront or in the parks. Funny, they don’t smile at me unless Jack is around. People walk their dogs and if they do not pick-up after them, a $2,000 fine awaits.

Let’s walk among the treetops…up to 250 feet high cedars. Okay, so we’ll use the suspension bridges, which make it much easier to touch a treetop. The bridge was originally designed with hemp rope, but is now replaced with steel.

Ron and Sumner on the Capilano Suspension Bridge

The “Capilano Suspension Bridge” thrills visitors for over one-hundred years. A walk through the coastal rainforest, at heights of up to ten-stories, thrills even those who are skeptical of tourist attractions. The smells, sounds and views simulate the experience of high flying birds. Speaking of flying high…

Canada Day is similar to the 4th of July in the United States, unless you stroll down to the Art Museum, where the celebration transforms into Cannabis Day. A significant number of youngsters set up booths and peddle the stinkweed without hassle, on this holiday of independence. Hey, who doesn’t appreciate killer art? No hard drugs allowed. The displays like the one in this photo fill the grounds.


The stoners here do not represent the pot smokers of the world, though. A young crowd dominates for the most part, thinking of course that they invented this stuff. Geez…I sound like an old retired guy…who really loves the “retired” part.

Canabis Day

We buy some fresh halibut at the market. Too bad we have already had our fill of oysters, fish and chips. The fish will have to wait for breakfast. (Please, let me have these types of problems forever!)

The bars in Vancouver rock every night, with no cover charge for the most part. We hit the Yale Blues Club where Mare dances with a guy she identifies as a serial killer. Somebody once said that she draws strange people to her. I wouldn’t know.

We spend four lovely evenings with our friend Sumner. Mainly, we walk the clean city streets, dance in Blues Bars, and enjoy each other’s company over delicious meals. And yes, the weather is a cool 60 degrees F. Our Phoenix friends swelter in the heat from now, until mid October. Oh retirement!

Jack enjoys the city, but he is ready for another leash-less beach!

I tell the wife and dog that this “living-large” is coming to an end. Time to buck up! Tomorrow our adventure will take us to the rough road of camping, in our truck, the apartment on wheels.

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