Trip Review: North by Northwest (Seattle, Parks and Islands)
We got back last week from our great Northwest/Washington trip. I had actually never made it over to Seattle, so it was a lot of fun to visit an area that I have heard so much about. Let me just say, my lovely wife did a much better job talking about our trip here and here so if you want a laugh and see more pics visit her site.
Let me start by saying--it was a lot of driving. We decided to drive. And we drove and we drove and we drove. We went with Brodi's parents and her sister and their family. Let me just say that 6 total kids under the age of 11, there will be a lot of bathroom breaks, snack breaks, lunch breaks, etc. Carter and Becks both decided that they didn't care much for the seatbelts either after about 3 miles...so most of the driving was with me saying/yelling 'get back into your car seats and put on your seat belts!!' There were two main components of our trip--visiting theOlympic National Parkand theSan Juan Islands. Both places are absolutely beautiful. It always took some long driving, but it was well worth it to see countless waterfalls, ride many ferries, many hikes, and do lots of exploring.
We also drove through Forks (Twilight reference for all of us that were not quite sure the importance of really small little town) on our way to the national park. Let me just say, Forks is much prettier on the big screen than it is in real life, though the trees and everything is very pretty that surrounds the town. I will say though, just outside of Forks is 2nd Beach which was pretty terrific with a nice beach, cool rocks sticking out of the ocean. We spent several hours just exploring that beach. Seattle was very cool. We only spent a day there, but we were able to visit the Aquarium, the famous Pike Market as well as the Space Needle. At the Space Needle, they also had a little crummy looking amusement park-we skipped that.At Pike Market, Carter found fresh shrimp and that boy loves few things more than big fresh shrimp, so we got him a couple and he ate as we walked.
The San Juan Islands were awesome. Even with the bumpy ferry rides, I somehow managed. I get car sick pretty easily. So imagine the joy knowing that we were driving our car onto a boat and taking a boat ride. A car + A boat = not awesomeness. But with the views and everything, it was very cool. The kids kept themselves entertained by running around to see everything and when they got bored with that, they huddled around a DS.
Olympia National Park is very cool. One of the most impressive things was seeing Thunder Ridge. You go from sea level and then drive up long winding roads to get some spectacular views of the mountain range. The kids quickly headed for the snow for some bum sliding.
We spent a lot of time in this park exploring. Whether it was the mountain range or the Rain Forest, there was always a lot to see and do. I believe that it is the only rain forest in the United States.
Every hike had a water fall, or so it seemed. Our oldest nephew, nephew A would say 'Are we going on another hike to see another waterfall.' Why yes, we are. Another one. We have only seen 37 of them. 2 of our nephews also lost a battle with stinging nettle. I have bumped into poison ivy and that was bad...but these boys just had welts and bumps all over their legs. Pretty brutal.
Overall though, a great trip. If we weren't hiking and exploring, the kids were using their scooters, playing tennis and swimming. 8 days. 2705 miles. Thumbs up to the Great Northwest.