We woke up at 4:30 to catch a 6:00 train. Why, You ask? Because Vancouver is in Canada, which is a different country, and it takes a long time to make sure a whole trainful of people fill out the right forms and have their passports.
I realized that as early as 4:30 was to me, it was nothing compared to the mother of two young boys, one of whom had misplaced his stuffed toy. Mummy did a fine job calming him down, letting him know that the stufftie was indeed in the pocket of his raincoat, and was safely in the duffle, though he couldn’t get it just now.
We got to know other children on the train. There was a toddler whose first language was Spanish who enjoyed talking to the cows in the fields along the way. Long after the cows had been left behind, she kept saying “Yeeeeee Ha!” in an amazing variety of voices. Auntie Bridgett and Grandpa Nelson put in their earphones.
There were a group of Chinese ladies across from us, enjoying the views and taking lots of pictures. They spoke only Chinese to each other, but could read English from signs and booklets. It was fun watching them react with such surprise to things that are common sights to us, like lumber mills and mud flats.
And finally we pulled into Seattle!
We walked up hill after hill from the King Street Train Depot to the Arctic Club. This wonderful building was built in 1917 by a group of men who had made their money in the Alaskan gold rush. They actually tried to join another popular men’s club in town, but were turned down because they were “new money”.
The building has walruses as decorations along the outside of the building and next to each hotel room door inside. They are on rugs, napkins , and coffee mugs.
For a bit of variety, the lounge is decorated with a giant glass polar bear.
This looks like the sort of place Phileas Fogg, the hero of Jules Verne’s story ”Around the World in Eighty Days” would have stayed.
More on our adventure in Seattle tomorrow!