How We Roll

We heard that there are several wineries in the Vancouver area, but we didn’t visit any of them. We’ll put that on our to-do list for another trip. We are also putting a visit to historic Fort Vancouver on that list.
When we left, it was the smoothest departure in our short history on the road. Seemed too good to be true. And it was. Just south of Portland, we got caught in a traffic jam that lasted a couple of hours. The good news is, we weren’t in a particular hurry. 
When we left, it was the smoothest departure in our short history on the road. Seemed too good to be true. And it was. Just south of Portland, we got caught in a traffic jam that lasted a couple of hours. The good news is, we weren’t in a particular hurry.  It would have been a good opportunity to work on my freelance projects, but there was no internet reception where we were stopped. Oh, well. There’s a reason the phrase “too good to be true” exists. (I think it’s somehow related to Murphy’s Law.)
Next time we visit Vancouver, Washington, we plan to dig out more of its hidden gems. Later, Vancouver.
Downtown Vancouver has a really cool library. It’s a large concrete and glass structure that looks very modernistic. There is a coffee shop on the main floor of the building (it is the Northwest, after all) and you can take your coffee with you into the library. The kids’ area has interesting fiberglass structures for kids to explore, a musical instrument that involves dropping balls into slots to make notes, a kitchen play area, and a floor that makes noise when you walk on it. So much for having to be quiet in the library! 
There is a lot to do outside in Vancouver when it’s not raining. We actually had very nice weather for most of the time we spent there; it only really started raining nonstop the week we left. There are dozens of parks, hiking and biking trails (and bike lanes on the roads), and half-a-dozen state and national parks in the vicinity.
We rode on a biking trail at Salmon Creek Park. There is a small lake (or large pond) there, a picnic area, and baseball fields. Baseball for kids is big in Vancouver. One city park we walked to boasts that it is the home of a team that were national Little League finalists.
There are some interesting restaurants in Vancouver. Since Heather is a vegetarian (and Dalton too, for now anyway) and I’ve curiously developed an allergy to dairy products, we needed to find places that could accommodate a variety of diets. 
When it rained, we stayed inside and played board games. Parker is the reigning Sorry champion. Dalton has the dexterity to beat everyone at Jenga. They also take Karate, which is a great indoor sport. During baseball season, they play outside rain or shine.
One place Heather and Brian like is called Sweet Tomatoes; it’s a big salad bar with soups, breads, and desserts as well. You pay one price and eat as much as you want. Interesting concept. Something for everyone, and cheap, too. We also found a burger joint called Killer Burger that boasts bacon and fries with every burger, a special peanut butter and pickle burger, and a bunch of micro-brews on tap. Also, you can swap out a veggie pattie for a burger on any order and still keep all the interesting stuff (except maybe the bacon). 
Whenever I say we are in Vancouver, I immediately have to qualify 
that statement by saying Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver, BC is
​way more famous and most people we talk to have either been there or have heard wonderful things about it. We just spent a month in the other Vancouver.

The Other Vancouver

Vancouver, Washington, is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains on the north bank of the Columbia River, a short distance from Portland, Oregon. It is the fourth largest city in Washington after Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma. Meriwether Lewis claimed that the Vancouver area was “the only desired situation for settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.” (Tell that to Seattle. And Tacoma. And Portland.)
Some people think Vancouver should be named Fort Vancouver because it was originally a fur trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company, and that was its name. That would certainly make it easier for us when we try to explain where we stayed. Be that as it may, it is still called Vancouver.