Seattle/Olympic Peninsula

BeachHouse

My senior class trip was to Vancouver/Victoria, B.C. and Seattle in 1998… Thus began my desire to revisit this gorgeous land of trees, water, seafood, and lots and lots of GREEN! It was a quick trip and we really didn’t get to enjoy each stop in fullness like I would have wanted to so I always dreamed of going back… In the winter of 2010, I asked my Mom, “Mom, what do you think about going with me on a girls’ trip to Seattle and Victoria, B.C.? My Mother, being the wonderful friend that she is, gladly said, “Sure!” (We started watching a murder/mystery show based in Seattle after she gave me the go ahead to book a hotel and tickets — little did I know how concerned she was that Seattle would be cold, wet, and ugly like on the show! She was suprised to see on arrival that it wasn’t anything like the TV show!) Lots of research and trip planning began and by the first part July of 2011, we found ourselves landing in Sea-Tac International Airport…

Seattle is extremely easy to get around in — from the airport, we caught the 45 min train ($3 or so fair one way) to downtown Seattle and from there walked about 5 blocks to the Paramount Hotel (www.paramounthotelseattle.com), our lovely little home base for the week. From the hotel, we had full access to downtown Seattle… 7 blocks away was the Pike Street Market (www.pikeplacemarket.org) — I think we walked to the Maket several times each day… It’s full of shops, food, beautiful scenery, and has just a wonderful atmosphere to it as a whole… At one point, we sat outside on a side alley eating the best clam chowder soup while we listened to a gentlemen with a beret hat and a stripe shirt play a wonderful accordian — felt like how I could imagine Paris being… Quite romantic…

The Food… Is amazing… We ate so much! Ha!! Some of our favorite spots were the Russian bakery called “Piroshky Piroshky” (www.piroshkybakery.com), the French Bakery called “Le Panier” (www.lepanier.com), Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (beechershandmadecheese.com), Three Girls’ Bakery (sorry, they don’t have a website), and then of course, all the fruit/veggie/seafood stalls you could possibly ever want… Oh yeah, and there are a couple coffee shops there that you might have possibly heard of — “Starbucks” (the first Starbucks is there) and Seattle’s Best… But honestly, if you’re looking for a good coffee, we didn’t find any better then at the French bakery, “Le Panier.”

On a whim and desire to see more of Washington State, we talked to our lovely concierge in our hotel lobbey, who encouraged us to rent a car for the day and take it across on the ferry to the Olympic Peninsula… Neither of us had ever driven a car onto a ferry before so that was quite an exciting experience to say the least (we loved being on the ferry so much we took different rides on different days just for the fun of being on them and on the water!) — the ferries are very affordable and very easy to use… We made it across to the Peninsula and quickly came upon the tiny and beautiful little town of Port Gamble… We both decided we could easily live there! From Port Gamble we made the several hour trip through Port Angeles and Forks and came across a BEAUTIFUL little beach called “Ruby Beach” (the “sea stacks” are amazing here – and there’s a light house off in the distance). Talk about breathtaking… We got out of the car, walked down to the beach, and I nearly cried as the beauty just really got to me… This was the only day that we got rained on the entire week we were there but the beach, the drive, and the scenery were all only that much more enhanced by the rain…

My Mom loved the trip, loved Seattle, loved the Olympic Peninsula, and loved Washington as a whole… We had a lovely mother and daughter trip — nothing but good memories of our time in the “Evergreen State”…

-haven

We just happened to catch the fish tossers at the right time!! So fun! ((Taken with Iphone.))

Pike Market Fish Toss from Haven Shank on Vimeo.

Ruby Beach, so gorgeous… The clouds had just set in but this gives you a brief sample. ((Taken with Iphone.))

Ruby Beach, Olympic Peninsula from Haven Shank on Vimeo.

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