2016 BAC Seattle to Vancouver

June 27 - Aldergrove to Vancouver

I had my standard breakfast of cereal and muffin at the Best Western Plus Country Meadows Inn. Even though it is a "Plus" hotel, I didn't feel like eating an omelet or any greasy meats. I left the hotel a little past 8:30 with my group of Roy, Helga, Rose and Pam Kelly. Although it was early, we were obligated to make our first stop at the Blacksmith Bakery in Fort Langley. This is a picturesque village with a short main street whose bakery serves outstanding capucino and woderful pastries. I had both while sitting outside at a small table on the sidewalk. We were joined by a woman and young daughter who were out for a morning spin on their bicycles. Fort Langley is where Roy and Helga lived for awhile.

Our ride continued on mostly bicycle lanes and trails all of the way to the King George SkyTrain Station. One of the trails had a couple of very steep bumps which were probably the steepest of our tour. The bicycle routes are well-marked and take you safely through industrial and urban areas.

We purchased our tickets (no senior rates) and settled back for the long ride to the Main Street-Science World Station.

SkyTrain was created in 1985 in anticipation for Expo 86. It is a fully automated driverless system. The cars are narrower than the ones I am used to in our BART system making it awkward to keep bicycles from rubbing against other passengers.

When we arrived at our station, we took a elevator to street level and easily found our way to the Seaside Bicycle Route formally known as the Seaside Greenway. This is a wonderful route following the waterfront past marinas, tall apartment buildings, sports palaces, restaurants and hotels. We arrived at The Sylvia Hotel rested and happy.

My room at the hotel was very nice. It had no view, but I wasn't going to spend much time in it so it didn't matter. Bicycles were not allowed in the rooms. There was a special storeroom for them that was strictly controlled by the staff.

After cleaning up, some of us went to a nearby bicycle shop for repairs on Pam Kelly's bike. Then we walked to Milestones for lunch. I ate a large roasted beet and goat cheese salad along with a local IPA. I idled away the rest of the afternoon doing very little. Happy Hour was in the suite occupied by Loretta and Yvonne. Afterwards I went to dinner with the ride leaders at Amici Mei, cucina tipica Italiana. I had a really good Spaghetti Chitarra Carbonara which was made with Italian pancetta, eggs, pecorino romano and no cream. My chianti was not up to the pasta's standard. This is a little storefront restaurant that is rated highly. I tried to speak some Italian with our waiter, but he was from Brazil and only spoke Portuguese and English. So I tried the two words that I know in Portuguese and he understood them.

A short walk along the waterfront followed dinner. We stumbled onto the policemen's bagpipe and drums corp where we listened to some of their tunes and watched some Scottish dancers accompanying them. It was very warm and I was fading, so I said good-bye and went back to my room.

© 2016 Robert N Lynn

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