Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Seattle in Colour

Blogger better not f'up these photos, or I swear... *shakes fist at computer*

Anyhoo, so yes, arg. I'm in a foul mood due to Halloween stress but I'll get to that later since I should really keep in coordination with the previous post.

So, Ross and I went to Seattle over the weekend. We had been talking about it for ages, and being spontaneous he booked a really nice hotel in the Capital Hill area.

Got to the border (after a half-hour detour through the streets of Surrey because I took the wrong bridge. Alex Fraser, Port Mann, Patullo...they all sound the same) only to find ourselves in an hour-long line up.

Normally, I take the truck crossing since there is less traffic, but since this was Ross's first trip to the States, I thought the Peace Arch crossing was more "official."

Anyway. Big mistake. Line-up took forever, plus I have a knack of choosing the WRONG line. Always, without fail.

Of course, we had to go into Immigration because Ross needed a visa. The immigration officer was friendly as heck but a bit of a nutter, since he alternated speaking French and German to Ross, knowing full well that Ross is Scottish. He also added that Ross had to turn in his visa at the end 0f 90 days, so that they know he's not in California picking fruit with the Mexicans (his words).

By the time we reached Seattle, we were so tired that we just retired to our room and had a nap. Spent the whole evening debating what to do and in the end just drank, ordered room service and watched Tallegeda Nights and Superman Returns. We then decided that we are the laziest couple on Earth. And we like it.

Next day though, we had Ihop (grain and nut pancakes are SO good) and made our to the Public Market. We didn't have all the time in the world, but figured the market was such a well known Seattle icon that maybe it was the most touristy thing we could do.

It was nice, lively and filled with nutters who sell crabs and yell at you as you walk past.

We also saw two pirates, one with a possum on his shoulder and another with a parrot. And then the biggest spider we have ever seen...

Fufilling our Seattle destiny, we then lazed around in Tully's coffee for about an hour, before passing by Ross's store:

We left for Alderwood mall which has my favourite store (Forever 21) which I love because we don't have it in Canada. Of course, as luck would have it, I forgot my credit card at home so I couldn't blow a huge wad of cash that I didn't have. Instead, I just had my bank card which is a no-touch situation since I had to pay my mortgage today and well...there's not much in there.

It was just as well.

We got to the border at 8 pm, only to be stuck AGAIN in the longest line ever. This time I was at the truck crossing, but due to my knack (or curse) of choosing the wrong line, it took a bloody hour as the other lane zipped by and we moved at a snail's pace. At this time I began to lose it.

Then we finally got to the border gaurd, only to get the third degree. Apparently, I was under the wrong impression...I knew that if you go for less than 24 hours, you can only bring $50 of stuff back duty free. So I assumed that OVER 24 hours, you could bring $100.

Nope. If you stay over 48 hours then you can bring $200. So, needless to say, it was a mistake to declare anything. We got the third degree from the border jerk who proceeded to question everything in the car: "What's in that box?" "What's in that bag at your feet?" "What's in the trunk?" And then he informed us that we had to go pull into customs because I lied about how much we spent and because I only showed him one receipt. What, did he think I was going to spend an hour scrounging around my bags looking for the receipts that I most likely threw out?

Oh and he found wine and beer. Which, also, you have to declare. And we didn't.

Thankfully, once inside a nicer border customs person dealt with us. He made us pay the duty on what we bought (although, I didn't declare my Sephora purchases...shhhh) and gave us a warning about next time. Plus he waved the duty on the wine and beer which was nice. I think he genuinly believed that I was misinformed about the whole thing. Or maybe it was because Ross is Scottish and I'm blonde so he let us off easy.

Funny thing is, I've been shopping to the States about 20x (or more) in my life and I NEVER declare anything, even though I only go for a few hours and bring back $500 worth of clothes. I just artfully conceal stuff in the glove compartment, wear 3 sets of bras, skirts over pants, plus a few layers of shirts, then I take what's left, rip off the tags, muss it up a bit and scatter it around my car to make it look like it's old stuff. Works like a charm.

The truth bites. Hi diddly dee, a smuggler's life for me.


Anonymous said...

I like this BW and color scheme you have going on here. I prefer the BW pics though, especially the one by the window. There is more mood to them.

I live in Vermont and I've had more than my fair share of border mishaps. Canadian customs are always so quick to let me in, but going back to the US, our customs officers always seem to think I'm smuggling a kilo of pot back in my car.

*I just smuggle cheap medication*

Anonymous said...

You drove to another country for one night n spent that night in the hotel watching superman?

Sorry to say but that's awesome.



jeff and ross said...

Don't be sorry. I can think of worse things than not leaving the hotel room the entire evening and night while off on a romantic getaway.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had the true Seattle adventure! But seriously, Alderwood Mall???