In October Chris and I took our first trip without the boys since Cedric was born. We chose the Pacific Northwest because it's so completely different from where we live in Arizona. Although we're learning to love the desert we still crave trees that are tall and abundant, green, rain, cold and water. We knew we'd find it all in the Pacific Northwest. And we did.
Visiting our country's national parks is something I want to spend the rest of my life doing so we set our sights on Olympic National Park with our last night in Seattle to visit Chris's brother and to eat at Delancey.
Chris's sister so generously offered to keep the boys during our four-night trip and Chris's mom helped out a lot as well. We were a bit anxious to leave them, just the general parent worry, but knew they would be in the best hands and have a great time. Once we got on our way and heard they were doing doing I was able to put my worry aside and fully relax.
From start to finish our trip was everything I had hoped it would be - perhaps even more. Our Airbnb cabin overlooked a rushing river and had a cozy gas stove. We basked in incredible scenery, hiked in ancient forests, took in the view from a windy, cold mountain top and combed the seashore. We ate well at every single meal, didn't feel rushed or overwhelmed with multi-tasking, and had long and uninterrupted conversations. I read an entire book start to finish and the latest issue of The New Yorker. I didn't check social media or email once (the best).
It's hard to pick favorites but two days in particular stand out. On our first day we did several short hikes in Olympic National Park, lunched at Lake Crescent Lodge (roaring fire, moose on the wall, dining room overlooking the clear lake and grey day), soaked in slippery sulphur hot springs for three hours surrounded by evergreen trees with occasional chilly rain and felt rejuvenated physically, mentally and emotionally. We ended the day watching the third presidential debate (the first we'd be able to watch) next to the gas stove with wine, cheese, crackers and ice cream. A perfect, perfect day.
The other stand out day was the second to last. As we drove up to Hurricane Ridge the temperature dropped 30 degrees and the fall color was nearly unbelievable. We listened to political podcasts covering the election the entire way. Then we headed toward Seattle via ferry (Chris says the ferry ride is one of his favorite parts of the trip!) and checked into our posh Ballard hotel. We played dice at Essex, I discovered the Americano cocktail and then had a long conversation with Chris's brother. Followed by the best meal and deep conversation at Delancey including cookies and ice cream. I asked for a signed menu and was so generously given one.
I'd love to share our favorite recommendations from the trip (after a few more pictures....)!
Sol Duc Hot Springs - highly recommend!
(We were bummed to discover that the roads to Rialto Beach and the Hoh Rainforest were not open due to storms the previous spring.)
Barhop (recommended by a Matrimoney listener, thank you Jill!) - great pizza and the Ediz Hook IPA was delicious.
Country Aire Natural Market (another great recommendation from Jill)
Portage Bay Cafe for breakfast
Hotel Ballard (Chris had a hard time sleeping through noise from the bar across the street, I didn't notice it but I'm a deep sleeper)
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Which is the sound of me remembering how lovely and relaxing our trip was. If I missed some of your favorites please share, we'd love to go back hopefully before too long.