Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Barfy Boat to the Barren Bakery

We spent the weekend of April 22-24 in Victoria, BC visiting friends of ours: Michelle, Gaston, and their daughter Maia. We took the Victoria Clipper ferry from Seattle at 8:00 AM. It was a very nice ride and coffee was a mere $1 with unlimited refills. We met Michelle at the harbor and headed back to their place. Victoria is a very nice city and easily walkable. Its location on Vancouver Island makes it almost entirely surrounded by water. Which brings me to the title of the post.

Our first venture out in to Victoria was to go to an organic bakery to try their pain au chocolate. We neglected to realize this was the day before Easter, so the bakery was sold out of everything but a few cookies. Coupled with a somewhat bumpy harbor ferry ride, it made a number of us a bit sick. We decided to walk back rather than take the ferry, which was nice because we got to see more of that side of the harbor as well as walk across the drawbridge.

The weather was really nice during our entire visit. I was finally able to try poutine. I like it. I've posted pictures from our trip here. Wish we could have spent more time there, but it was still a nice long relaxing weekend. Definitely have to plan a return trip in the future.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Working From Seattle

Karen and I are a little closer to Boston. While we wait for ground transportation from these guys, we are staying with friends in Seattle. They took us around and showed us a few places that would be most useful to us while here: pubs, grocery store, and the bus system. It's a nice area and the weather cooperated for us yesterday. We walked around for a while, got lunch, and Karen and I tried to remain oriented.

To make matters more interesting, my phone decided it didn't want to work anymore. It had been turning off and just freezing quite frequently and yesterday it was particularly unusable. So we went to a Verizon Store where I asked what my options were and then left with a new HTC Thunderbolt 4G phone (and minus several hundred dollars). I really didn't want to deal with buying a new phone, but I need it for work right now, so I really had no option. Did I buy too much phone? Probably. Do I care? Nope, and it does a lot of things my old phone didn't.

After the Verizon store, we noticed we were a block away from the Seattle Center Monorail. The monorail isn't very useful considering it has only two stops, but I had to ride it. We paid our $4 per passenger for a round trip and rode the red train from Westlake Center to Seattle Center. We wandered around there for a while, then boarded the monorail for our exciting return trip. At just under 1 mile of track, the ride is over quickly. I advise paying attention to what you can see from the monorail because it's over so fast. The signs claim it travels at 45 mph while the Internet claims 50 mph.

We took the bus back to our friends' house. We learned that there is a free travel zone for the bus, so it's possible to ride the bus without ever having to pay. You pay when you exit if you happen to exit outside of the free zone (we did). It's a very strange protocol for public transit.

Tonight we are going to see the Seattle Mariners play the Detroit Tigers. I enjoy baseball games.

One thing I am still struggling with is Seattle's system for disposing of things. Recycling is complicated here. I have been giving Karen my trash so she can dispose of it in the proper container amongst the sorting bins.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Last Day In Hawaii

We made it through our final week. Cleaning the condo, getting the carpet shampooed (required by our lease), shipping the car, making final trips to donate household goods and clothes we don't want to ship, selling off all remaining furniture, and turning in the keys. There was a lot of stuff to do even on the final week.

I am happy to report that after 195 scheduled 3 AM work days across 67 consecutive weeks, I am done. Starting on Monday, I will be working in the much more desirable Pacific time zone. I can tolerate 6 AM for a week and a half before we get on the road to Boston. Protip: If you are ever offered a job that stipulates working on a time zone you are not currently living in, don't take it. It's a trap.

I've got to pack up my suitcase today and make sure gadgets are charged for our flight. On the other hand, I might just skip all that and just read and sleep.

Next post is from Seattle.

Monday, April 11, 2011

We're In The Final Week

Everything has been shipped, donated, or thrown out at this point. We are down to cleaning our condo before we turn in the keys. We are now in the guest bedroom at Karen's mom's place until we move on Saturday.

I have verified with Matson when I can drop off the car and what documents I need to show them. I need to make some photocopies of things and fax something (fax?), but other than that, everything seems in order.

First stop is Seattle, where we will be for about 2 weeks. Hope it's not too rainy. While in Seattle, I'd like to get some coffee, see the Museum of Flight (or at least just the Concorde and Air Force One), and ride the freaking monorail because monorails are awesome. The odds of being able to do any of these things are slim since I'm working the entire time there.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Last Week Approaches

Karen and I are about to enter our last week of living in Hawaii. We've been meeting up with as many people as possible to make sure we say goodbye to everyone. It's amazing how many people you meet in about 3.5 years.

Karen's last day at work was today. They held a very nice going away lunch party for her at a Japanese tea house. There were numerous skits, some hula, and two people playing Wanted Dead or Alive with altered lyrics about Karen leaving work. It was a lot of fun.

Karen does not have to work during our last week here, but I do. We have this weekend to take care of the majority of the final move out of our place and then cleaning it next week. The car begins its journey on Wednesday and then we are off on Saturday.

I'm not sure what our box counts are for the postal service and FedEx, but I can say that they now know me by name at the local FedEx Office. That's probably a sign that we're sending entirely too much stuff home.