A weekend in the PNW

Riley and I spent Memorial weekend up in Seattle and Mount Rainier National park. He had found a good deal on tickets a few weeks ago and booked them for us right away. We are really living out here to see and experience as much as possible, and up in Washington, there is even more to see than I could possibly hope for. I have driven through WA but never stayed, so I was really excited! 

We are embracing a "no excuses" guide to life. Want to go on an adventure? Then go. Want to move somewhere new? Make it happen. Want a different life and future then you are on track for? Time to get to work. It is empowering to take a "my life is in my hands" approach and to see your life actually change. We are so happy and excited about everything that life has to offer, because we know that we are our own keys to happiness and success. This was just a small weekend trip, but it symbolizes everything that we live by. Don't pass up any opportunities for something as silly as doubt or the comfort of staying home. Just go. 

I love traveling with my husband because we are almost always on the same page for things that we want to see and do, we make a really good team. We decided to stay closer to Mount Rainier National Park the first night so that we could wake up and get an early start. We found a B&B about 40 minutes from the entrance to the park, which was good enough. This place was so unique! It was a straw bail construction with exposed beams, concrete walls, and beautiful gardens surrounding the home. I feel it is fair to call the owners "quirky" because they were a self proclaimed "weird and unique" couple. They were so kind and cooked us an organic breakfast with coffee, toast, eggs, and grapefruit before we started our day. We walked through the gardens listening to the birds chirp, watching the bees and hummingbirds, and the cat hunting some unknown prey. What I noticed the most was the smell. That fresh air, cool morning, woodsy scent. But this time, it was different. The area and climate breed a different type of forest than I am used to; I had never smelled this before. It was so rich, so awakening, and absolutely amazing. The owner showed us a few of the rocks he had collected and gave us one that had little crystal formations inside of it. With that, he sent us on our way.

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We drove to Mount Rainier and entered the park pretty early in the morning. No line to get in, no traffic, it was really enjoyable. We pulled over everywhere that we could to see the forest, waterfalls, go on hikes, and take in all of the sights and sounds of this park. The weather changed fast, with some light rain in the morning and fog that got pretty heavy throughout the afternoon. We actually didn't get views of the mountain but really appreciated our time hiking and exploring. We also love a good excuse to have to come back! 

My favorite part of the day was one short walk through the woods. There was no one around and we silently searched for our favorite elements. Riley loves the grandeur of nature. Mountains, tall trees, large open spaces. I tend to get lost in the little things. Leaves, ferns, tiny details, and dewdrops on plants. I call them "natures jewelry" and think it is the most gorgeous thing to witness after rainfall. 

We drove as far as we could on the roads that were opened (some are seasonal). We saw a lot of snow at the end of the drive but the fog was so thick I just stopped taking pictures. It is always a comfort to see snow! It reminds us of home. 

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After exiting the park we drove by a huge line, at least five miles long of cars trying to get into Mount Rainier! We couldn't believe how backed up it was and we were so grateful that we were able to come earlier in the day. 

The drive into Seattle was really easy! We checked into our air B&B which was a studio apartment in Capital Hill. It had a lot of charm, old creaking wood floors, views of the city including the iconic space needle, and everything that we needed to stay and explore. After checking in we walked around, grabbed dinner, made sure to get a water view while the sun was setting, and went out for a glass of wine. We found one really cozy bar with friendly staff and stayed there for a while talking about what we liked so far, and what we wanted to do the next day. 

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The next day we woke up with a few things on our wish list: coffee and experiencing classic Seattle. We are pretty easy to please. We chose to walk to see everything and had an entire day full of good eats, awesome coffee, amazing views, and a pretty good taste of what the city has to offer. 

We started at Pike place market, a colorful, loud, and exciting marketplace with everything you could possibly need! The flowers there blew me away, so many different colors of the most perfect roses and peonies. There was everything from fresh seafood, to local honey, hand made knifes, organic soaps,  and a stand selling cbd oil.. I mean everything. It was locally sourced art. SO many merchants coming together to share their goods with customers. The different trades blended together into one big, amazing, must see market. 

We walked across the street where there was plenty of food, saw the first starbucks, and a french restaurant that we wandered into for brunch. The food was delicious, and the European portion sizes were so much more appropriate than ours, ha! 

We walked everywhere, to the pier, the business district, the Columbia center for views of the entire city, a lunch spot for oysters and seafood soup, then back to the waterfront to get on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. We found a cool winery there where we split a tasting, and then found a brick oven pizza place that was just like pizza in Italy. That thin crust, margarita pizza with giant pieces of basil and a few slices of mozzarella. I don't normally eat gluten or dairy, but with those real ingredients, it did not upset my stomach at all! Small victories! 

When we arrived back in downtown Seattle, we looked up a speakeasy called "needle and thread" that sounded really fun. We found the bar that it was inside of after a long but amazing walk through the city. There is a phone on the back wall that you pick up and it automatically calls up to the speakeasy. The girl on the other end said they didn't have room for us but to call back later. We enjoyed a snack at the bar until I decided to call again, this time they had room. The vault door next to the phone clicked, and it was unlocked, we walked up a dark passageway to a small attic space bar. The lighting was dim, and the energy was so calm and relaxed. People were paired off, sitting in cozy vintage chairs around small worn pieces of furniture. We were placed in a communal area just a step down from the main bar area. There was a large ottoman, some really unique pieces of art on the walls, and an overall feeling of stepping back in time. The waitress came around and told us that there were no menus. You only need to say what characteristics you liked in a beverage and the bartender would make you your own drink. How cool! My descriptive words were "citrus" and "floral." A small, classic champagne glass showed up with the most delicious raspberry & lemon flavored cocktail. I don't drink often, but when I do it's usually a ridiculously expensive cocktail for the experience of it all. This was just that. We had so much fun sipping our drinks, looking around, and talking about how we came to be so far from home in this trendy little drinking attic from the prohibition days. Life seems so random sometimes, and is so amazing. 

After the speakeasy, we walked home, which was another glorious stroll through the city.  So much going on, so many people out having a drink or a late night bite to eat. Social hour for some, but definitely bedtime for me. We arrived back, crashed into bed after an awesome day and what seemed like ten or more miles walked. Seattle, you were definitely a charmer.

We really enjoyed our time there and already want to go back! 

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