Welcome to my Kill to Get Crimson 2008 tour blog!

My name is Isaac, 30 years old from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I have set this blog up for the purpose of documenting the journey I am taking following Mark Knopfler’s Kill to Get Crimson tour in North America, in the summer of 2008.

The North American leg of the tour, as well as my journey, begins June 24th in Morrison, Colorado and ends on July 31st in Miami Beach, Florida.

Even though I intend to write on a daily basis, publishing the stories onto the server would be tricky. After all, we’re talking about vast distances which will be primarily crossed by driving, and there is no way for me to predict the availability of Internet connection throughout the way.

So… make yourself at home and feel free to drop a comment.



Thursday, July 03, 2008

Seattle to Vancouver by Train

I am writing these lines as we’re approaching the Vancouver train station. About 20 minutes left for this ride.

So. I ended up not sleeping at all (or maybe an hour) last night. I had to reorganize my backpacks and have everything ready for the morning so I’m not caught chasing time on 5:00am. I ended up hitting bed at about 3:00am but I really couldn’t sleep.

Woke up at 5:00am, to the disgusting alarm clock sound of my phone. As a backup, I asked the motel to schedule a wake‐up call for me, which was 10 minutes late (yeah, it’s really cool that wake‐up calls, which are electronic by the way, are late). Within minutes I was already on my way to the car.

The GPS led me to Fox’s location which ended up being one minute drive from where I was staying. There I encountered people who didn’t do much to hide the fact that they are not morning people. Paperwork ran quickly, although they had me wait there for about 30 minutes until the next shuttle (which was supposed to leave every 10 minutes) left towards the station. Timing was, however, perfect; exactly two minutes after being dropped off at the public transport location in Seattle’s airport, bus #194 arrived. Obviously I didn’t have exact change for the bus. The driver asked me to ask other passengers for change. I felt very sophisticated. I asked the other passengers if they have change from $5. All of them made their absolute best efforts to completely avoid my cry for help. As I was ready to sacrifice a $5 bill for a ride that costs $2.25, but the lovely driver understood that I’m going through some rough morning and allowed me a free ride.

Arrived at downtown Seattle. Now THAT’S a city center. A fair share of their public transport in downtown is underground. A few steps up in the tunnel and I’m right next to the train station. Coffee shops in every corner; those Seattle people must like espresso! I really want to be their friend. Seattle looks like a great city to visit. I will certainly pop for a visit soon.

Went into the station. Thank God for the Internet as I was able to print my ticket without waiting in that gigantic line that was formed there, herds of people facing the ticket counter which was manned by the amazing unstoppable power of one poor lady.

Checked my large backpack in, and was instructed to wait in line for seat assignment. That made me feel quite bad, not because of the wait but because I’m a software architect / designer / developer myself and it simply blew my mind how come this process is not automated yet. I was assigned a seat and had 10 minutes to rush to one of the few hundred millions of coffee shops right next to the train station to grab a bagel and what turned out to be one of the best Cafe Latte’s I had in a while.

Boarding the train, which has two cars, the usher told me: “Left—car 2, right—car 1”. I went to my seat—the row was empty. I was so happy, only to discover a few minutes later that I was on the wrong car and that the usher, by saying “left”, probably meant some other type of “left” that I wasn’t aware of. The “other” left, as I call it. So I had to cross the train in search of my seat.

The ride from Seattle to Vancouver, on the train called “Cascades”, is known to be scenic. I was seated by the window. Through the window, I could see the ocean along the way. The only problem with that was that the window through which the ocean was visible wasn’t entirely the same window that I was seated against. What I saw most of the way is green, green and more green, in what seemed to be one long‐lasting piece of bush. Well, the sky was gray anyway, and looking at the ocean from time to time, I wasn’t that sad to be on the wrong side of the train.

A few minutes ago we arrived in Vancouver. Ahhhhhhh, Vancouver. My mother of cities. Truly, out of all the big cities I’ve been through in North America, my absolute favourite. I came here the first time 6 years ago, on a trip, and fell in love with the city. It is so green, so beautiful… I absolutely love it.

I’m only going to spend one day here, leaving for Kelowna tomorrow, in a road that I’ve driven so many times before (I visit Western Canada at least twice a year). I can’t wait to meet my good friend, Joyti, who’s picking me up from the train station. I haven’t seen her in a while. Should be fun.

I lived in Vancouver for 4 months during the spring‐summer of 2005. If it wasn’t for the forbiddingly high real estate prices, I would have probably buy a house here.

Can’t wait to devour that Triple‐O burger. Mr. Richard Bennett, if you are reading this, take my word—White Spot’s Triple‐O burger is much better than Harvey’s burger. Try it out. White Spot is a chain that only exists in BC (and I think in a couple of places in Alberta as well). It’s funny when people claim that Swiss Chalet is the east coast equivalent of White Spot. Not even close.

We’re approaching the station now. Tucking the laptop in…

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