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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report 8wks Exploring Canada, Alaska & the Northwestern States

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A truly unforgettable adventure, full of wildlife and breathtaking scenery . If you get a chance to see this amazing part of the world you must do it. We are still pinching ourselves at some of the amazing things we did, saw and experienced.

The overview & initial thoughts

Brisbane to Seattle via LAX with our national carrier, Qantas, then drove to Vancouver.
- B/Class one-way Premium Economy return, nice surprise
3 nights Vancouver - loved this city, you must ride a bike around Stanley Park
4 nights Vancouver Island - Victoria a must, not so sure re Tofino
7 night Alaskan Cruise with Silverseas - for die hard non cruisers, one word, Wow
2 nights Anchorage - not what we expected
4 nights Denali - amazing, 3 nights would be enough
3 nights Mukilteo - perfect alternative to staying in Seattle
5 weeks in an RV exploring NP's in Canada and the US
- can't imagine a better way to explore this region
2 nights Vancouver - I did say we love this city
2 nights Tacoma what a wonderful surprise, fantastic place

I think I will just copy and paste this TR as is to the Canada Forum, as we zigzagged across the border a lot, its hard to break up into two reports.....unless anyone has a better idea?

Just a warning, this will be wordy ;-) I always say I'll try to be brief, it never happens. Hotel reviews I will do on Trip Advisor but will put links here, along with links to the gazillion photos we took.


Thanks to a generous daughter who let us use her points to upgrade from Premium Economy to B/class, we had a lovely start to our trip. Easy flight to LAX from Brisbane, about 13 hours, which equates to 3 movies, some nice food & wine and a decent nap. We did have to collect our luggage in LA to clear customs, but it was all very easy, we collected it and then literally dropped it on a conveyor belt just outside the exit from customs. Walked to the Alaska Airlines terminal for our short flight to Seattle and were more than happy to check our carry-on bags when it was offered, due to over crowded luggage bins on board.

The reason we flew to Seattle is because we'd booked the flights so early on in the planning we weren't set on our plans and the cost to change the flights just wasn't worth it, so we collected a hire car and drove to Vancouver. Worked out really well, as we needed a car there anyway and we really enjoyed the drive (although I had trouble keeping my eyes open) and the border crossing was no problem at all, about a 10minute wait. The crossing is certainly in a picturesque spot, beautiful parks.

We found our apartment with no problem, our travelling buddies from Melbourne, had arrived a few hours earlier, so it was lovely to catch up.

We headed out for a good walk hoping it would help with sleeping, it didn't. But the walk was wonderful, we headed to the waterfront then found our way to the Gas Clock. Found a great little eatery/bar just down from the clock and had a lovely bite to eat. Great spot for people watching and relaxing.

We were starting to fade, so headed back collecting breakfast supplies. And the first of a few unsettled nights sleep but its only a couple of nights and we come good.

The next day we headed towards Stanley Park, collecting bikes along the way. What a fantastic day we rode all over the park and beyond. Such beautiful weather, we just didn't want to stop. Rode back towards the Gas Clock and had lunch at the Water St Café, opp the clock. Really nice food, service and again another great people watching spot. Dh & I then rode off towards the main shopping st, we'd decided to purchase a small coffee machine. We were to be away a long time and we love our coffee. So for $100 we bought the smallest Nespresso Machine, and we all agree its the best $100 we spent ;-) I have a great photo of dh holding the box while riding back to the apartment.

After dropping it off we headed off again on our bikes, this time through the park and onto Granville Island via the ferry. We would've liked to have had a good look around but bit tricky with the bikes. But we enjoyed what we saw. We rode back via a bridge (can't remember which one) which was the hardest part of the whole ride, due to the not so gentle rise to the middle of the bridge.

So we ended up having the bikes for over 6 hours and it was terrific. As it was Friday night and we have a 'tradition' of Friday night, Cheese and wine, we headed to our 'local' supermarket and purchased our supplies and had a lovely relaxed night in.

What a wonderful start to our trip.

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