Thursday, October 31, 2013

road trip recap: port townsend, sequim, mount rainier

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This region of Washington was kind of a fail.  I'd mainly wanted to visit some lavender farms and camp in/explore Olympic National Park.  Unfortunately, it was Lavender Fest.  You'd think this would be great for someone who came to the area hoping to visit lavender farms, but it actually ruined the experience.  First of all, the farms were way too overrun with cars and people to be enjoyed, but then, when we finally found a farm that was to our liking, we discovered that we had to pay $12 EACH to go beyond the parking lot.  At that point we were so annoyed with the whole thing that we said forget about it.  I was mostly irritated because a) it would have been free if we hadn't happened upon this dumb "fest" and b) we didn't want to participate because of the fest crowds, anyway, so there was no way we were going to pay for it!  We ended up eating Mexican food instead.  And we weren't able to camp in ANY of the places that I had planned on.  Because of the fest, everything was completely booked when we arrived, including the campgrounds in Olympic.  After arriving to a "campground full" sign in Dungeness, where I had originally wanted to camp because it was right on the beach, we tried to find a hotel in Port Townsend, but the entire city was booked up as well, even if we were willing to drop a lot of money we didn't have (which at that point, we were).

Finally we just started driving south, deciding that we would hope to find something close to Port Townsend (because we really wanted to explore there!) and if we didn't we would just keep driving through the night to K's parents' house.  In the end, about an hour south of Port Townsend, we found a cute little inn that was perfect and reasonably priced (and had vacancy, miraculously!) and wound up spending two nights there and driving through Mt. Rainier on our way across the state to visit K's family.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

road trip recap: washington west coast

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When we left Portland we started driving up the coast of Washington, stopping in Astoria (the oldest U.S. town west of the Rockies) for lunch and wandering.  We ended up spending the night in Ocean Shores, which was a weird little town that somehow manages to attract tourists (not sure how).  The next day we basically circled the entirety of the Olympic Peninsula, driving up 101 and stopping at Ruby Beach to admire the driftwood and dramatic rock formations (it was SO COLD, though).  We had originally planned to camp at Lake Ozette and drive up to Cape Flattery (the northwesternmost point) the next day, but we were exhausted and wanted to make a little more progress (we'd decided to show up at K's parents' house a bit earlier than planned), so we drove to Dungeness, where I had planned for us to camp the next night... (to be continued.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

road trip recap: portland, or

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I was really excited about our visit to Portland, not only because it is where K and I met but because one of my very best friends still lives there (she was my spontaneous cross-country moving companion all those years ago).  We were only staying overnight, but she planned quite a few adventures for us and it was so much fun!  We met up with her at her friend Bryan's house, which was this incredibly awesome little multi-level apartment built into the side of a hill surrounded by vegetation (like a jungle!), and then all of us drove downtown for a "surprise."  We rented a double surrey and pedaled it all around the waterfront, ringing the bell and yukking it up.  We ended up also riding a little bit downtown and were going to stop at Voodoo Donuts (I never ate a donut there when I lived in the city because I was always on a diet in those days) but the line was wayyyyyy too long so we just skipped it.

After we'd returned our surrey we drove out to Sauvie Island to do some berry picking and hear some music.  This is my kind of festival atmosphere.  It was relaxed, not overcrowded, and we were able to take our time strolling through the berry patches with drinks in hand, picking (and eating, lets be honest) at our own pace.  When we had enough berries we headed back to  hear music, which was just getting started.  It was actually really good music, too!  AND there was a Voodoo Donut truck there, so we were able to get a couple of donuts without the insane line (double-plus).  So delicious.

We picked up some produce at the farm store there and then stopped at the actual grocery store for some wine and other necessities, and then headed back to Bryan's to make dinner.  Sarah makes this really amazing Thai curry that I always want to eat whenever I see her, so that's what we had!  We ate outside by a little fire and then retired inside to play "Cards Against Humanity" late into the night (

The next morning it was time to hit the road, and K and I swung by our old apartment complex on Barbur Boulevard to reminisce. His apartment apparently had just become available to rent again, and a handyman was there painting and getting it ready, so we were able to peek inside and snap a picture sitting on the stoop where we spent many an evening way back when.  It was a really great day with some awesome people.  :)