A Day Downtown

This past Tuesday, the powers that be decided it was going to be my day.

I had been planning since February of this year to go to Disney World in mid-October with two of my best friends (who are sisters). Unfortunately, for financial reasons I was unable to go, and it was quite disappointing.

 

However, on this fateful Tuesday, I saw on Facebook that their mother was actually in my neck of the woods (they all live in South Carolina now, so this was quite unexpected). I commented as much and a few hours later, I was driving into Seattle to meet up with her and one of her friends that I had never met before.

While it was a little odd to spend time with my friends’ mother without them there, I have gone on family vacations with them before and she’s known me since I was 5 years old, so it really wasn’t awkward. It was just unprecedented.

As I was making plans with them, I found out that my friends’ mother had flown to Washington to help take care of her friend. I didn’t think much of this because she’s a nurse. I figured it was a former patient and probably an older person that she had connected with since she was referring to her friend as an invalid. We were originally planning to go to the aquarium, so I figured we would be pushing the friend around in a wheelchair.

This, however, was not at all an accurate assessment of the situation. When I arrived at the friend’s house, I found out that the “invalid” actually just had a broken ankle and was getting around on a knee scooter. She was not an old person or a former patient, but had actually known my friends’ mom since they were teenagers. They met in “The Way” and neither one of them realized when they joined that it was a cult. I really can’t imagine a more cult-y name than “The Way,” but it matters not.

We ended up going to Pike’s Market rather than the aquarium, and the knee scooter did not at all impede our progress. In fact, she zipped around on that thing with ease and left us in the dust.

Here are a few pictures from our adventure.

Seattle Seattle

Seattle Seattle

Seattle

Seattle

Pike Place Fish Co.

Our first stop was actually the original Starbucks, but it was a bit of a letdown. I’ve been to Starbucks three times now and really just don’t like their coffee. Plus, the place was, of course, a madhouse. It was tiny but there were at least 30 people packed in there with very little sense of order. There are no tables or anywhere to sit (which makes sense since it is right by the outdoor market so most people are on the go), but it makes for an unpleasant atmosphere. Everyone is cramped and impatient (and staring at their phones).

We got king crab from the place in the last picture. They normally throw the things customers purchase, so the fish “fly.” I don’t think it’s normal for them to throw crab, but they threw it for us upon request. It’s fun to watch.

I had never had king crab before but was told I looked like a pirate while eating it.

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Port Angeles

This week, hubby and I took an impromptu 3-day mini vacation in Port Angeles.


DAY #1

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From the beginning of our journey, taking the ferry.DSCN9192The first place we went after checking into our hotel was Crescent Bay. I had been debating between Crescent Bay and Hollywood Beach, but according to the visit Port Angeles website, you can see “orcas, humpback, gray, and minke whales” from shore at Crescent Bay, so that’s where we went. DSCN9198Spoiler alert: we didn’t see a single whale. But it was still gorgeous. The water was super clear and there really wasn’t a lot of people around.DSCN9212

DSCN9207 DSCN9211We weren’t up for hiking or swimming yet, so after walking the length of the beach, we ended up heading back to Hollywood Beach anyway.DSCN9219As you can see, Hollywood Beach is right on the city pier. We got there just as the Feiro Marine Life Center was closing, and the girl at the counter let us in for free (but strongly recommended we make a donation, which we did). I wish we had had more time there because there were so many beautiful starfish. DSCN9222We went out on the pier before settling down by the sand. It was incredibly windy, and I imagine it is there all the time. We saw a few seagulls get blown off course.


DAY #2

20170830_122444Our next day was completely devoted to seeing what we could see in the Olympic National Park. You would need at least a week to adequately explore the park, so our plan was just to get to the hot springs and see what we would along the way. 20170830_12394720170830_123545Madison Falls – you don’t need to pay to see this part of the park.

DSCN9263  20170830_133007_HDRGlines Canyon Spillway Overlook DSCN9276

DSCN9292The drive to the end of the road was more exciting than I anticipated. My anxiety was going a little crazy thinking the car was going to go crashing down the hillside.

We didn’t make it to the hot springs. I was banking on the springs being a little over 2 miles away from the parking lot, since that was what was listed on the sign, but after over an hour of walking, we ran into some people and they said we were barely even halfway there. They also said that it was rather disappointing. Jason had fallen and hurt his ankle, I was chafing and hungry, and I was ready for a cold swimming pool rather than hot springs. We ended up going out for Chinese then spending the rest of the night alternating between the hot tub and the pool at the hotel. It wasn’t what I originally had in mind, but still a very relaxing evening with the hubby.


DAY #320170831_122408

Our last day was the most laid back as we started the drive home. I also didn’t want to push hubby to do anything too intense since his ankle was in bad shape. We stopped by a lavender farm, B&B Family Farm, and it was so relaxing. It smelled heavenly and Bruce was very kind. He didn’t mind at all taking 20 minutes out of his workday to explain the different types of lavender and how they process them. We learned that French lavender is mostly used for fragrance while English lavender is used in cooking, that lavender buds will stay on the stem for years if undisturbed, and saw how the oil is extracted from the buds. We also found out that lavender can be used as an insect repellent. Lavender FarmUnfortunately for us, we arrived just after they finished their harvest, so there wasn’t a whole lot of purple for us to see. Even so, it was beautiful. DSCN9295

DSCN9296They also have a shop where they sell all kinds of lavender stuff. Lip balm, insect repellent, candles, hand cream, air freshener, lavender oil, cleaning products, soap – you name it, it was there. DSCN9300Our last stop was a bit crazy. We ate at a diner for breakfast and our server highly recommended it. She said it was a place where show animals were taken when they weren’t being used in movies. I was expecting a walking tour, but that was not the case.

DSCN9312Olympic Game Farm was a bit more intense and exciting than I had anticipated. Most of the animals actively came to the car and put their heads inside the vehicle to be fed. I was a bit worried about the safety of my car, especially when going through the high risk area.DSCN9319

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Smiling BearI don’t know how Jason managed to do it, but he got all three kodiak bears to smile for the camera.Smiling Bear #2

Smiling Bear #3 DSCN9356This was the high risk area. The pamphlet specifically said not to stop your vehicle because the animals will swarm your vehicle. To that I say easier said than done. The car in front of us was going too slow and we did end up getting trapped with animals blocking our way. However, we managed to get through without damaging the car or losing any fingers. It was definitely a once in a lifetime event.  I would highly recommend it if you have an older vehicle you’re not worried about getting scratched up.

This was the first real vacation hubby and I have gone on together. It was really nice to have a few days out of the apartment to do fun things and enjoy each other’s company. I just wish he would stop hurting his ankle every time we go somewhere.