Hi guys & girls, It's time to plan our annual "summer" vacation again. This time my wife and I are going to Seattle & Canada in October, and we'd like some advice. I believe there are quite a few people here who are from or have been to Western Canada or the state of Washington and can give us tips on where to go and what to see. Obviously we'll be taking a lot of photos. First we are going to stay in Seattle for 8 or 9 days (I have a conference/training there) and then head off north. We're either going to take a bus/train from Seattle to Vancouver and rent a car there, or rent a car in Seattle and take it across the border, if that's possible. Our first destination in Canada will probably be Vancouver Island, where we are at least hoping to go on a whale-watching trip, but otherwise our plans are still pretty much open. Looking at Google Maps, there don't seem to be that many roads, at least not bigger ones, except in the direction of Calgary. Is it possible to follow the coastline, or would it be better to head inland towards Kamloops or Prince George? What are the roads like - is a 4WD necessary (or at least highly recommended)? Our flight back to Finland departs from Seattle so we'll have to return there eventually. If we have enough time, we'd also like to spend some time visiting the many national parks/forests around Seattle. After the conference, we will have two weeks to do whatever we like, in either country. Hopefully we'll manage to even go and see an NHL match (finally). So, we'd appreciate any suggestions/tips that help us in planning our trip. I assume it's better to book (at least some) hotels/motels beforehand since we'll prefer smaller places to huge cities, am I right? This in Canada, at least - what about Northern USA, are there as many roadside motels there as in the California/Nevada region?