Wednesday, April 06, 2011
After we left Portland and our awesome hotel room pretty early the other morning...we started to head to Seattle for lunch. We got into downtown Seattle through tons of traffic and parked near Pike Market. We walked around the market...and I was showing places that I used to hang out in and visit since I was a kid. It was always a big deal to get to Seattle when I was a teen to look for jeans and jewelry and check out the Pike Market. The place really hasn't changed since the 70s and thats kind of wonderful. We walked through downtwon and past the art gallery (where Nick Cave has an art show of all things!) and to the older side of the city. We had a great lunch ina pub and as it started to get cold and rain made our way back to the car to head north.
Traffic was totally nuts and got even worse the closer to the border that we approached. Finally we are the next car to go through customs to Canada and as I slowly drove over the nasty speed bump (I am absolutely violently diametrically opposed to speed bumps and one way streets btw) the muffler and exhaust pipe was ripped off the bottom of the car. We drove up to the customs booth sounding like a dragster. I'm not kidding. Stagg insisted I take a picture of the broken muffler for the blog. There it is resting on the pavement. We got through customs and I drove to the nearest service station...which was in an area of White rock, B.C. The service station had a tiny corner store and gas pumps. Uh oh. I phoned my brother-in-law in Vancouver (about 40 minutes away) who was waiting for us to let him know we had arrived and to meet the family when we crossed the border. Instead I described what happened. He said, get some wire and tie the exhaust pipe back to the chassis and then get car fixed downtown Vancouver. Made sense. The store didn't sell wire, but another customer was listening to my questions about hardware stores and she started telling me how to get to Home Depot. All right! As I tell the very worried Stagg what our plan of attack was, the same woman yells over that we can follow her to her garage and she has wire...and she will help us. Only in Canada!
We pull up in her alley and I drive the car unto a wee hill and climb under the car and start wiring the muffler up. Unfortunately...I didn't do it tight enough and as we said goodbye to our kind helpers I could hear it still dragging. Ugh. We pull out of the alley and away with the bloody muffler still dragging. I park on a side street of this quiet gated community neighbourhood...and another neighbour sees us comes over and I tell him what happened and how I failed to tie the pipes up sufficiently and he says hes got a special hydrolic jack he's never used and he will help us. Only in Canada!
Problem is...its just so rusty under my car we can't have faith the jack will hold...but at least he got to use it and check it out. My sister now calls to see whats going on with our car and arriving in Vancouver. I fill her in and my brother-in-law heads out to save us. He gets to us in about half an hour, lays down bricks and planks drives the car up the "hill" of wood and bricks, we stick big stones behind the back tires and he he ties rope around the pipe...and I follow him back to Vancouver...our oldest nephew has also come to help and Stagg drives downtown with them...whicle I drive the crazy loud hot rod and park it in the back alley.
We are lucky this stupid contraption fell off just where it did and my brother-in-law is so handy. We were so happy to be in Vancouver and my sister made us lots of hot food and we have been here for two days and I get to show Stagg my "hood". We are going busking today...as its rained the last couple of days but today is sunny.
Its so wonderful to see my funny sweet cute best nephews in the whole world and they adore Stagg and we've been just having a great time. Even as we approached Portland and up through Seattle I could feel myself relaxing and enjoying being home...the Pacific Northwest is my stomping grounds and my haunts and home and it feels so good to see the ocean and tress and even the endless rain! And I'm excited to show Stagg the whole area...and catch up with friends and family out here...more later...