29 May 2014

Closer

Closer to Friday June 6th. All being well, that's when Shirley and I will be jetting to North America for a fortnight's holiday. I have planned it all and fingers-crossed everything will go swimmingly - but of course, you never know. I have carefully tailored several successful holidays in the past twenty years. We don't need travel agents any more - not with the internet grinding away in our study. In the past everything has always gone like clockwork.

We will fly from an obscure Lancashire village called Manchester all the way to Vancouver in Canada. Three nights there in a downtown  apartment. On one of the days there, we will drive up to Whistler for some whistling before moving on to Victoria on Vancouver Island.

Next we will take the ferry over to Washington State where I have booked a week's car hire. Working out insurance for this has been nightmarish because quoted car hire fees in the USA no longer appear to include basic Collision Damage Waiver insurance. In the end, I decided to get insured over here in England and shall fend off the aggressive salesmanship I expect to encounter at the Budget desk in Port Angeles.

From Port Angeles to Ocean Shores - then to Olympia - then to Portland, Oregon - then to Goldendale - then to Ellensburg before three nights in a studio apartment in a private house in Seattle. Then across Puget Sound and back to Port Angeles. Leave the car - ferry back to Victoria and the next morning bus and ferry combo back to Vancouver Airport for the long flight back to Ringway - now known as Manchester International.

It will be an adventure - especially if we are chased by bears, caught up in one of those shopping mall shootings they have in America or get to witness Mount St Helens exploding once more. Shirley and I are both unashamed Americophiles and it is a good while since we were there. Was it really the spring of 2005... California, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, The Sequoia National Forest? Nine years ago. How time flies. Unfortunately, we won't be calling in on Mr and Mrs R. Brague in salubrious Canton or checking out Ms Blawat's infamous Sloughhouse hippy commune. They're both too far away. 

O beautiful for spacious skies, 
For amber waves of grain, 
For purple mountain majesties 
Above the fruited plain! 
America! America! 
God shed his grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea! 

Addendum: To any blogging burglars out there - if you imagine that our designer mansion is going to be left empty for two weeks you are utterly wrong. I have hired two security guards from my favourite "Lidl" supermarket and they are going to take it in turns to patrol the hallowed corridors of Pudding Towers. They have my full permission to utilise any of the various weapons we display on our walls - including my Great Uncle Walter's blunderbuss. So you enter at your peril! Be warned!

28 comments:

  1. Have a great time.
    Will the Lidl men feed your sheep?

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    1. Adrian - I hope that that is all they do to our sheep!

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  2. Have a safe journey and a great holiday across the Big Pond, YP! You know, we could have arranged my sister and I to join the Lidl men in guarding Pudding Towers while you're away, as we'll be arriving in Sheffield on the 6th.
    We'll be flying to the "obscure village" mentioned in your post tomorrow, and spend a week in Ripon.

    (And before anyone starts to think about intruding the Librarian's Library - or, even worse, the wardrobe - they won't stand a chance. I have friends in high places, such as the floor above mine, and am not ashamed to admit to fraternizing with the underworld, i.e. the tenants in the flat below mine, to make sure my worldly goods are protected.)

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    1. There's no way any German burglars would risk the wrath of Miss Arian! Keep out you cross-dressing schweinhunds!

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  3. Do enjoy the trip. I have camped throughout BC, enjoyed the Gardens of Victoria and the splendors of Washington and Oregon state ( when it isn't raining).
    You will love it all.

    Reamus

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    1. Rain? Whaddya mean? It's always sunny in America. I have seen it on TV,

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  4. There is actually a poultry show in Washington I could have attended this weekend, if I'd known a couple of weeks ago you'd be there. Oh well.

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    1. We'll be in Washington State from June 11th so I guess the poultry show will have been and gone?

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    2. Yep. Another near miss. Not as close as Frances in Arches Park, though.

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    3. No you are right there Jan. That was very close.

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  5. Oh, have a wonderful holiday. We loved Vamcouver and Victoria Island and Canadian people are the nicest we have ever encountered anywhere. Look forward to hearing about your trip.

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    1. Surely Canadian people are not nicer than Yorkshire people! What are you saying Helen!!!!

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  6. I liked Seattle
    It rained a lot
    But e sour dough chowder was to die for

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    1. Sour dough chowder - right Earl - we will look out for that.

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  7. Great destinations all of them - Vancouver is right up there on my list of top 5 Canadian cities along with Victoria BC.
    Why not leave those sheep in the house, they could bleat the burglars to death.
    Ms Soup

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    1. They are also disgustingly flatulent.Enclosed, that odour would repel any burglar.

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  8. If you get a chance to visit the Buchart Gardens while in Victoria, by all means take it. Fantastic place if you like gardens.

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    1. Thank you KCD. We will try to fit the gardens in during our circular drive from Victoria. And I love gardens.

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  9. Have a great time YP. I will miss your witty banter. Do you really have heavies on the door at your local Lidl?

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    1. Yes we do Molly - they are usually bodybuilders of Afro-Caribbean origin and built like certain brick outbuildings. So don't even think about it!

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  10. Enjoy your holiday. I suppose that knowing your published views I'm a bit surprised you are an Americophile. Even their left wing politics would seem to be to the right of your views.

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    1. When I meet people, politics is usually the furthest thing from my thoughts GB. In every person there is a story. Besides, the essence of socialism is that everybody is worthy of respect and I think this even chimes with the everyday views of those with the reddest of necks. Also - it is helpful that they have never heard of my hero and role model - Baron Arthur Scargill of Worsborough Dale!

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    2. We Americans welcome you and Mrs. Pudding with open arms. My little daughter learned to walk at the Buchart Gardens. That was during a HUGE road trip. We left Houma, Louisiana (the armpit of the world), travelled through Colorado and Idaho to Vancouver and Victoria Island. Then down the west coast through Washington and Oregon and California, then across the southern states and back to Louisiana. In three weeks. With two kiddies. And I survived!

      As perceptive and observant as you are, Mr. Pudding, I know that you will see and hear about many changes that have come to our country in the last nine years. In my opinion, most of them not very good. But, "we, the people" are still as generous and loving and interesting as we ever were. So, you and Mrs. Pudding have a wonderful, safe and eventful trip!

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    3. Houma? I must make a point of going there one day. Sounds like the kind of non-touristy place I prefer. Do they have that boast on the town welcome signs? Houma - Armpit of the World? See - I've got a healthy sense of houma Mama Thyme!

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  11. I second the others regarding Butchart (correct spelling) Gardens, a Canadian National Historic Site. Well worth the visit.

    While in Seattle you might want to skip the Space Needle altogether, but a meal at Ivar's Salmon House could be memorable.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about Ivar's Salmon House Mr Brague and indeed Butchart Gardens. By the way if Houma, Louisiana is the Armpit of the World, what is Canton, Georgia? I'm thinking the...(oh, I'd better not say that!)..the Silver Tongue of the World.

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  12. Have a great holiday, YP. Do you think you might come back with an American accent? Or maybe just a 10 gallon hat and spurs... :)

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    1. I think I'd look cool in a ten gallon hat - even though my brain capacity was once measured at fourteen gallons so I am not sure it would fit. As I am a Hull City supporter there is no way I would wear Spurs!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.