S: Seattle and the Pacific Northwest 2011
1: Visiting Seattle and the Pacific Northwest July 19-August 1, 2011
2: Our View from Capitol Hill | Seattle Underground Tour | Seattle Underground Tour
3: Occidental Park at Pioneer Square | Waterfall Garden Park | Salumi's
6: Olympic Sculpture Park - Seattle | The Seattle Icon!
7: WOODINVILLE | We visited the estate wineries which were beautiful but had the most fun at the winery walk at the warehouse wineries. Our favorite wine - this trip.... Lady in Red by Kestrel. | Note the rain in the picture above. Our only rain the whole trip!
8: MOUNT SHUSKAN at PICTURE LAKE This was the beginning of some of the most amazing scenery we have ever experienced!
9: MOUNT BAKER
10: MARY MUREAU'S CABIN IN THE WOODS Nearby was a beautiful old growth forest with some pretty impressive trees. We even got a glimpse of Mount Baker from our campfire at night! | GLACIER
11: NOOKSAK FALLS | HANNIGAN PASS
12: Waiting for the ferry to Victoria made easier with a glass of wine - and the beautiful scenery!
14: BUTCHART GARDENS
15: Port Angeles Eden by the Sea This was by far my favorite place. The views were incredible as were the accommodations and gourmet breakfasts provided by Dave and Evelyn. The scenery pictures were all taken from the grounds. Here I am toasting my class reunion back in Akron.
16: The water was so clear in the stream that the liken look like they are above the water (far left). Rialto beach - amazing! I was determined to get a good picture like the one on the web of the keyhole rock. Mine was even better - it came with a good looking guy!
17: RIALTO BEACH
18: This was Hurricane Hill Trail - a small prelude to Hurricane Ridge Trail on the next page! We made it and worth every step!
20: BELL'S BEACH COTTAGE What a great little retreat on Whidbey Island!
21: These were views from our deck at Bell's Beach Cottage. Imagine if it were a truly clear day! The tram down to the beach was a bit scary though but very handy!
22: Deception Pass Bridge and State Park Last stop before heading to the airport!
23: Tuesday -July 19: We made are way to the city via the Light Rail and then checked into the Gaslight Inn on Capitol Hill. Feeling quite confident of our skills with the public transportation system - we became frequent riders of bus #10 and headed to Pioneer Square. This was the original downtown of Seattle and has been restored to a fun area. We had a sandwich at Salumi's noted for their smoked meats and cheeses and then checked out the area. Occidental Park was quite colorful with the knitted tree and lamp-post socks as well as many wonderful flowers. This area is the original home of the Salvation Army and Waterfall Park the home of the original UPS. We toured the Underground which is where the city originally began and then headed back to the Inn. Wednesday - July 20: The Savour Seattle Tour was on our agenda for our first morning in Seattle. We toured the market and sampled the wonderful food. There were flowers everywhere and they were amazing! Our guide carried a pink umbrella (their trademark) so that we would not lose him in the crowd. Following our tour of the Market and a quick brew at the Pike Brewing Company we walked down by the water and headed to the Olympic Sculpture Park. This was a great place to relax and had great views of the city and the Space Needle - although the sculptures were just a bit strange! Thursday -July 21: Time to leave the city and head to Woodinville. After picking up a car downtown, we began our wine touring at Chateau Ste Michelle. This was a beautiful estate winery and the tour ended with a free tasting - our favorite part! Then across the road we went to the Columbia Winery. These were both lovely but we were not impressed with Woodinville itself as most of the tasting rooms were pricey and mainly in non-descript storefronts. We ended the day at the Thursday Wine Walk at the warehouse wineries which was an interesting twist - going from warehouse to warehouse sampling wines and liquors. Then back to the room at the Spring Hill Suites after a great dinner at Russel's in Bothell. Friday - July 22: Our first stop in the morning was at the Country Village Shops in Bothell. It was a beautiful morning to walk around but not much exciting to buy. We did meet a rooster along the way! We headed up to Glacier stopping along the way for some groceries. As soon as we settled in - we took a walk around the neighborhood and then our first trip up the mountain. Along the way we kept seeing peeks thinking we were looking at Mt Baker when what we were seeing was Mt. Shushkan. The ranger near the house cleared this up for us. None-the less, the view at Picture Lake was amazing as were many on the way up. We couldn't go any further as the road was closed due to a record winter snowfall and a remaining 50ft when we were there in July! Tonight we had a campfire and made some delicious steaks on the grill....yum! We could see just the tip of the mountain from the back yard. Saturday - July 23: Today we went back up to Picture Lake to see if we could get pictures without clouds. Although the sky was perfectly blue - there were ripples in the water. No matter - it was still gorgeous. We then drove up to see Mount Baker which was also amazing. There was still snow on the trails at the end of the road. We also hiked on Hannigan Pass for some other equally beautiful vistas. It was here that we found a bear cub just looking up the hill at us. I panicked and therefore missed the Kodak moment as he quickly ambled away. We also made a quick stop at Nooksak Falls on the way home as well as walking in to see the Old Growth Forest. So much to see here and just not enough time!
24: Sunday - July 24th: Time to pack up and move on. We headed to Anacortes to catch the ferry to Sidney and then on to Victoria. We decided that the ferry riding really wasted a good deal of time so to make the most of it we had a picnic and bottle of wine in the car as we enjoyed the scenery while waiting to board the ferry. The ride to BC was beautiful and once again the mountains graced our presence. Our drive to Victoria was uneventful and we checked into the Rosewood Inn. This was a very cute Victorian house - a bit worn but clean and nice just the same and in a good location to walk into the hub of things. We had dinner on the water at the Flying Otter Grille. We could watch the sea-planes come in and take off from our table. Great food! Monday - July 25th: We tried for a walking tour this morning but no one showed up so we ended up taking the trolley tour. It gave us a good overview of the city and then we were able to go back to a few places that looked interesting. We had lunch at at the Irish Times Pub which was good. In the evening we headed to Butchart Gardens. Once there we found out there was a concert on the lawn. A blue grass trio played. We listened for awhile but it was so cold we had to head back. The gardens were beautiful and most definitely worth the trip. Tuesday- July 26th: Today we left early to go on a whale watch trip. There must be something about us and boats. We made it out OK but on the way back - an engine died and so we had to putt-putt back to the harbor. We did see some whales - but only at a distance so it was pretty disappointing. We got in line for Red Fish Blue Fish and it looked as though we would not make it to the front of the line in time so I headed for the car and the ferry while Curt got our lunch. It was a close call but he made it! And the fish was very good! Now to Port Angeles. We arrived at Eden by the Sea and were welcomed by Dave and Evelyn. The views from the Inn were amazing as was the Inn itself. After settling in we headed to dinner at LD's Woodfire Grill at the recommendation of Dave and Evelyn. Very good food! Wednesday - July 27th: This morning we were treated to our first delicious breakfast by Evelyn. We stopped for some Subway and then headed to the Hoh Rainforest. We were not overly impressed as we were in a temperate rain forest in Alaska but the drive was pretty and it was a good little hike. Our next stop was Rialto Beach which I found to be beautiful. The driftwood and rocks with the smashing waves are beautiful. We had to hurry to get the picture of the split rock though as the tide was coming in! The advice from the Trip Advisor about the tides was perfect. Back to the Inn. Thursday - July 28th: This was a perfect day to hike up Hurricane Ridge! As we drove up - we stopped several times for Kodak moments only to find out that none compare to the ridge itself. We started with a hike on Hurricane Hill Trail. This was covered with snow at the lower part but dry path the rest of the way. Wildflowers were everywhere - purples and yellows primarily but also red and various other colors. When we got to the top of this hill - I felt like we had made a huge accomplishment. The Hurricane Ridge Trail made this first hike seem like kids stuff! At the top of Hurricane Ridge I felt like we were in the Sound of Music! Hills and peaks all around! Well worth the effort to go to the top for sure! We stopped for wine at Olympic Cellars Winery and then to Sequim for dinner at the Alderwood Bistro in the evening. A good recommendation from the Trip Advisor forum. Friday - July 29th: Today we headed out after another delicious breakfast and made a few stops on the way to Port Townsend. We stopped in Sequim to see the lavender fields and gift shop. Although it was very pretty - I don't think anything will compare to the lavender fields in England! We also hit a couple of wineries along the way - and then a quick lunch in Port Townshend before our last ferry ride - this time to Whidbey Island.
25: Friday (cont.): We made our way to Bells Beach Cottage and found it to be as cute as the pictures. Although it was very small and compact, the view off the deck was great and everything we needed was there. We drove into Langley where there was a farmer's market going on. After walking around we decided to eat at Primo Bistro. This was not our best choice - rather pricey and not the greatest. When we got home we took the tram down to the beach with our wine. Saturday - July 30th: Today was spent visiting all of the wineries on Whidbey. In hindsight it would have been better to see more of the sights instead but we had a good time. We got to see a variety of little towns and pretty much saw the majority of the island near our end anyway. Sunday - July 31st: After packing up we headed to Deception Pass for our boat tour. On the way we stopped in Oak Harbor for some lunch at Seabolts. Excellent chowder! The boat ride was OK - but following the ride we went to Deception Pass Park for a small hike and found some more great Kodak spots. Time to head toward the airport where we stayed the night before our early morning flight. Outstanding Trip!