This weekend, Mr. DBM and I loaded our bikes into our car and headed south. We love our little excursions down to Seattle and surrounding areas, but there are a few things that tend to limit such forays. In order of bugging-me-ness:
1). The dreaded border
2). The cost of petrol
3). Seattle traffic and the length of the drive
Every time we go down, we swear we are not going again, but, overtime, the frustration wanes, the memories dim and the numb butt recovers feeling. So, the time had come to brave another trip across the border, into the land of the free.
On this trip, we decided on a new border crossing strategy - instead of getting up at "oh my God, its early" time to beat the border rush, we decided to take the laid back approach and wait for the initial early morning rush to run its course. We're in no rush, oh no, we have all the time in the world. By the time we managed to get our laid back bums in gear, it was 2pm as we approached the 49th parallel. All was going well until we made that fatal mistake, the one that seems to happen to everyone in every queue around the world - we picked the wrong one! Now, obviously, not everyone can end up in the slowest queue - someone has to be in the one next to me that is moving twice as fast as ours, but we always err on the slow side. When we finally get to the front of the queue we find out just what is holding up the line - a devious, sly, sneaky border guard who was asking really tough and tricky questions in the hope that he might uncover the next mastermind suicide bomber. And how does he do this? Well, the sly guy asks the same question, separated by two others, twice. I guess he must think that the mastermind terrorist can't keep track of their answers. "So, ma'am, what is your job?" "I am a lecturer." A couple of questions later........"What did you say you do for a living?" "I make bombs.........ooops, I mean that I am a lecturer in bomb mak.....I mean biology." I have to wonder if that strategy ever works for him?
Anyhoo, our answers seemed to satisfy and once we got across the border, it was all plain sailing, for all of about half an hour. Then it was an hour in a traffic jam through Bellingham. Our ETA for Seattle was pushed back by one hour. Not a problem, we weren't in a hurry. Of course, we hadn't factored in the fact that we were now late enough into the afternoon to hit the Saturday early evening rush into Seattle. Another hour in traffic, amidst all the fumes outside the car and the fuming inside the car. Just as we were about to despair of ever reaching our exit, or of ever escaping the god-forsaken stretch of road that is the I-5 just north of Seattle, I remembered the Green and Blacks that I had slipped into my bag earlier that day. Disaster was averted by two squares of chocolatey bliss and we finally arrived at our friend Js. Mr. DBM downed a beer, I downed a cider and all was well with the world again.
So, was the above worth it? Well, look at the photos and you tell me......
I have seen the tulip fields before, but the sight still amazes me. The colours are so vibrant and so intense. Blocks of colour that are so unexpected - reds, pinks, and purples, yellows and oranges all so bright that you think someone must have adjusted the colour saturation settings on the whole view. Where you expect to see green, you see magenta, where you expect to see cows or perhaps a couple of sheep, you see rows upon rows of regimented colour marching out into the near distance.
Of course, there were a lot of other people around, all out to bug me. I have posted before about how rude, inconsiderate and selfish people can be (see "OK, so I didn't have to call him a moron....... February 17, 2008) and how some people seem to think that rules are meant for other people but not them. That was all very evident here. There was the woman moving a bright orange cone that was there to keep the road clear - well, it was getting in the way of her husband trying to park his car so obviously it needed moving. Then there were all the people wandering down the rows of tulips, even though there were signs everywhere asking people to stay out of the tulips - well, how else can they get photos of their nearests and dearests surrounded by the tulips if they didn't venture in - the signs really didn't mean that you couldn't do that, did they? Oooh, and one of my all time favourites.....just as you have got your perfect shot lined up, some ignoramus walks in front of you. You very politely point out that you were in the middle of taking a photo and that his giant, oafish frame is now blocking your shot. Does he apologise and quickly vacate your photo? Oh no, the oaf just looks at you and then calls all of his family in to surround him to make sure that there is absolutely no way you can take the photo! Bloody hell! People really are very inconsiderate. That, or incredibly stupid - I am never quite sure which!?!