So I left Canada on the bus heading to Seattle for the Festival with Angie and her friend Emma, both Aussies so I was lovingly referred to as 'English' for most of the journey. Emma turned out to be a good laugh and she liked tea almost as much as me. It was a 4hr bus ride with a 1 hr stop at the border so that the US Border guards could flex their egos and tell us all how scanning everyones fingerprints stops global terrorism. Next it'll be retinal scanners and DNA profiling!
Once we arrived at the Hostel tired and hungry we were delighted to hear that there we free leftovers available from dinner. After consuming a large bowl of pasta we went out for a few drinks and then hit the hay ready for the festival the next day.
I didn't have a ticket for the festival so I had to queue up whilst the girls got in via the press entrance (Emma is a Journalist) I was only in the very long queue for a few minutes when I was offered a 3 day ticket by a girl with a spare for sale, I offered her $80 (normal price $90) and she took it, winner so I joined the other queue to get in. The festival was really good, a lot more chilled out than your usual festival.
One of the Artists at Bumbershoot, ever so talented!
One the Tuesday after the festival I spent the morning checking out the famous market and I went the the first ever Starbucks in Pike Place where I tried the Pike Place blend of coffee only available at this Starbucks. The afternoon was spent chilling out in the Hostel where I met Francesca (Frankie) and over our free hostel dinner we planned a visit to the Experience Music Project and driving to San Francisco. The visit to EMP was awesome and well worth it, we spent almost the entire day there. I learnt how to play a rift on the guitar and found out how uncoordinated I am on the drums. It's very inspiring to visit the place and really made me went to learn an instrument. Frankie plays the violin (she's posh) and she could also play piano and a little guitar which totally put me to shame! The rest of the day was spent sorting out our little road trip.
So thursday morning we collected our rather nice hire car which we weren't expecting, it was fully loaded and had leather seats! Frankie bought an iTrip so we could connect our iPods to the stereo which is cool because American radio is crap! As we were short on time we hit the Interstate and headed south covering about 500 miles to a place called Klamath just South of Cresent City in California. We got to the HI Redwood Hostel at 9:52pm, last checkin was 10pm, to find they had 2 beds left, our luck was in. Both starving hungry we raided the free food shelf and whipped up some omelets and reheated leftover couscous, lovely, always tastes better when it's free!
The next day we awoke to find an amazing view of the coast from the hostel, it was pitch black when we arrived so it was a pleasant surprise. It was a great little Hostel and only costs $20 a night. After gathering info on good routes to see Redwoods we set off in search of some breakfast. We took the 101 highway which has scenic routes off of it to see the magnificent redwood trees. We stopped several times to stand in awe of these giants, some of them had trunks so thick that they were bigger than the car!
After a long day driving we hit Santa Rosa which is about an hr outside San Fran and since we had no accommodation booked for San Fran we thought it best to find something here, we came across a delightfully tacky motel called the Pink Flamingo and promptly booked ourselves in. In need of something more substantial than crisps we headed to the bar for food and people watching. In all the time I spent in the wilderness of Canada I never ever saw as much wildlife in one place as this bar, there were cougars everywhere! I spent the evening glued to Frankie's side worried I would be attacked at any moment which was funny because the one time I left to go to the bar I came back to find her being chatted up. I sat down and she immediately turned to me and said he's a bloody wierdo! I gave him the Mancunian stare and he left :-)
So the last leg of the journey was a short jaunt to San Fran back on the 101 hwy taking us over the Golden Gate bridge. Dropped the car off and said our goodbyes, she had girly shopping to do and I had to sort out my flight to Mexico!