It has been said about different English speaking peoples that we are divided by a common language. We have managed to converse quite effectively while in the USA but are giving our Oregon friends, Larry and Gay, some lessons in Strine in preparation for their visit down under.
We only have time for five days visiting the American northwest; Oregon and Washington, before returning to Canada to cruise. We have managed to hit some of the hot spots in the area: Portland, Seattle and Neotsu. You haven’t heard of Neotsu???
Neotsu has a post office. That’s it! Situated at the north end of Devil’s Lake, directly west of Salem and 2 km from the North Pacific Ocean. A most peaceful spot where Larry and Gay, who are joining us for the rest of our travels, hosted us. Our travelling group is now six.
Larry and Gay’s were great hosts and their local pinot noir was fabulous. That is almost enough reason to consider living here. But there were other advantages (so some would say) to living in Oregon…
We didn’t get an opportunity to see much of Portland except for a delightful dinner at a favourite restaurant overlooking the city.
Flying into Seattle we found Scot and last of our travelling companions. Seattle is slightly bigger than Neotsu.
In Seattle we walked and walked then took the amphibious Duck tour. On our walking tour we had a beautiful sunny Fall day with 20C temperatures that only required shirt sleeves. We visited the markets and the space needle, and then took in the amazing Chihuly glass gallery and garden.
The Duck tour showed us the highlights of the Downtown area and then onto the Lake Union including motoring past Tom Hanks’ famous Sleepless “boat house”,
The Duck tour passed through the Freemont district but didn’t allow us to stop to join in the Oktoberfest celebrations. The American Northwest is well known to have many boutique breweries and brewery pubs. We did manage to sample some of the wares along the way. A common brew here is the Indian Pale Ale or IPA. This is a very full flavoured hoppy beer originally brewed to last the long early voyages to India without spoiling. This was necessary in past centuries, of course, when beer was often a substitute for water, the cleanliness of which could not be assured. The water is quite fine here and we shower every day, but we have a long voyage ahead of us so we had to try some IPA.
We were told that Seattle’s population is growing by about 2,000 people a month as the large multi-national companies that make this city their home, expand. Amazon seems to be the main culprit growing the quickest and creating a building boom Downtown (we love that term) for new high rise buildings to house their staff as it increases its reach internationally and into the food market.
As with short visits to any city we feel as though we have just scratched the surface of this interesting city. Seattle is certainly a place we could spend more time exploring.
With a few transfer hiccups we boarded the Victoria Clipper ferry and the two and a half hour trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island. We head back to Canada with some fond memories of our short visit to America.