I have been working and driving for 20 hours straight. As a reader, don’t expect this to be a focused post.
The essence of travel is the experience of little alterations to your normal existence.
Images and experiences of the past week are all rushing through my mind. The journey has truly been a trip.
Why do they park this way in Seattle?
Seattle drivers back in for diagonal parking
Last Saturday I was in a Seattle Fremont neighborhood pub talking with my sister. I told her this Northwest driving trip was a practice run to see if I can work effectively while traveling around. The waitress overheard me and said, “Oh, you’re multi-tasking.”
Lenin Statue in Fremont District, Seattle
Three days of driving in torrential rainstorms, two days visiting my sister in Seattle for the first time since she moved there in 2000, three days of hotel hopping around Vancouver with my wife who flew up to Canada from California for the long weekend, and three freelance assignments that came in my email box over the past week kept pushing the Loyalty Traveler blog to the back-burner.
It’s a grey day and the pine trees are dripping…
In a grey world my reality is slipping
‘Grey Day’, Jesse Colin Young
Portland, Oregon was déjà vu yesterday with the drive from Seattle to Portland as rainy as the drive last week across Oregon to Portland. The Pacific Northwest matched its average rainfall for the entire month of November in the past week and I drove through a good portion of the heaviest downpours. The weather report today says the next week will be dry and tomorrow it will be in the 80s here in the Big Valley of California. At least my luck was good for Vancouver with beautiful weather for the duration of my wife’s visit.
View from Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia
I arrived at the Holiday Inn Express in Yreka, California a couple of hours ago and wondered why I was searching for a parking spot at 5:00pm on a Thursday. In the lobby I discovered I arrived for the hotel’s Grand Opening Open House. The hotel opened about ten weeks ago and the public was invited to view several rooms on display.
What luck! I was able to tour the hotel and see a suite, a bedroom with a whirlpool bath, and take advantage of a reception with live music, complimentary Heineken and Sierra Nevada beers, wine, and appetizers in the lobby.
Yreka, California Holiday Inn Express
My second stay at a Holiday Inn Express and I am pleased with my two experiences. I have said this before and I really think 2009 is going to be the year when this Loyalty Traveler gets to know Priority Club and the InterContinental Ambassador programs on a more personal level.
I anticipated hotel prices to drop in November 2008 for San Francisco just as they do every year, but low San Francisco hotel rates are blowing my mind the past couple of days. Le Meridien San Francisco, a Category 5 SPG hotel is going for $119 per night – the lowest rate I’ve ever seen for this hotel. The Palace, a Category 5 Luxury Collection hotel is $136 – the best rate in about two years. Westin Market Street is $119 (and I actually see a $109 Best Rate Guarantee claim for tomorrow night, but Ms. Loyalty Traveler is going to change the locks if I don’t go home). Looks like double stays for SPG Platinum renewal is going to be completed with some good deals.
Le Meridien Hotel San Francisco at $119 is luxury at a bargain price
Vancouver on my mind
“Take my hand and come with me
Into this Crystal Village”
Vancouver’s crystal tower village view from Granville Island
Vancouver is a beautiful city of crystal towers on the waterfront. I have been to Vancouver a couple of times before, but I don’t remember the city being so compact. I think this was my first visit when the weather wasn’t freezing cold and walking around for hours each day was a delight. I’ll have hotel reports over the next week from the host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Inuksuk in Hyatt Hotel Vancouver – 2010 Winter Olympics Symbol