When we woke up in Aberdeen, we took advantage of the complimentary continental breakfast that the hotel offered and then we hit the road and headed to the Olympic Peninsula.
While on the highway we saw a sign for “all you can eat crab” at a casino near the coast. We got really excited about lunch. However, we were really bummed when we arrived at the casino and find out that it was a weekend dinner special. We went to the casino bar and there were several brunch deals so we all carbo loaded for our costal adventures.
Somehow, we were able to put our unfulfilled seafood dreams aside and we visited the Quinalt Lake and did a portion of the hiking trail.
Just down the road from the lake stands the largest Sitka Spruce Tree and we paid the giant a visit.
We left the Quinalt Lake area and headed for our campsite at Pacific Beach. When we approached the area it became rather foggy and there was quite a bit of wind. If someone was taping us putting our tents up it would have looked like a 3 stooges movie! When we finally had everything set up, we set out for some of the scenic peninsula beaches: Kalaloch, Ruby and Third.
It would have been too dark and cold to make dinner by the time we could make it back to the campsite, so we opted for dinner at the Kalaloch Lodge. With seafood still on our minds, DB and Marlaina shared a bowl of the lobster mac and cheese and Kris got the fish and chips (which was huge!). With full tummies we ran to Becky because it was crazy cold and windy. When we got to the campsite the cold windiness was even worse since we were close to the beach. On top of that, our tents had collected condensation, so it was really difficult to enter them and try to avoid getting wet.
When we woke up the next morning, the sun was doing the best it could to cut through the haze. Thankfully, the wind had died down to a gentle breeze. However, our tents collected more condensation in the night and were in no condition to be packed. So, we un-steaked them and placed them in the sun to dry while we showered. Once we were dry and once our tents were as well, we packed up and headed to the Hoh Rainforest to get a no reservations campsite.
The drive to the forest was pretty long and boring. When Marlaina spotted the Hard Rain Café before the entrance it was a welcome sight. We had warm sandwiches and onion rings for lunch and it was exactly what we needed! We arrived at the Hoh Rainforest around 1pm. Thankfully, we had no problem finding a campsite to drive into. We set up our tents and then did the Hall of Mosses trail with was just a short walk from the campground.
With a place to sleep all set up, we decided to make the drive all the way up the peninsula to Cape Flattery. This drive, like the others we experienced on the peninsula was very long and had very few stops. When we got to the small city of Forks we were all more than happy to stretch our legs and get some snacks. The city of Forks might ring a bell for you, or in this case a Bella, as in the main character of the box-office hit Twilight. The books/movies are all set in the city of Forks and the entire place has totally embraced it. DB and Kris paid a visit to the Forks Chamber of Commerce and were amused with the amount of Twilight info and photo ops they had.
The rest of the drive to Cape flattery was dreary and once again long. We drove through sad little towns and saw several signs lining the streets that said things like: “Meth=Death” and “Don’t Meth Up Your Teeth.” Unfortunately, meth use is a serious problem in that area.
Finally, we made it to Cape Flattery, the northwestern tip of the mainland US. It was overcast, and slightly chilly. We were running out of daylight. The parking lot was not paved and hardly anyone was around – it felt kind of creepy to be there. When we entered the trailhead and entered the forest all of those things didn’t matter anymore! We all felt like we had entered an enchanted forest that felt magical.
When we got back to the car the sun was about to set and we had a lot of driving ahead of us. So, we decided to stop at the first restaurant we saw, which was Breakwater. Kris had a big bowl of clam chowder, and DB and Marlaina shared a fried shrimp dinner.
Getting into our tents that night was such a relief after such a long, but awesome day!
The next morning Marlaina made us breakfast at the campsite. Then we packed up and drove to Lake Crescent. We hit up the Marymere Falls trail to see a small waterfall.
Next we drove to Purple Haze Lavender Field. We frolicked amongst the rows of the fragrant lavender and we wandered around the grounds were they had sunflowers, and a pen with chickens and a peacock. We did what everyone recommends that we do… get the lavender ice cream. It is a must have! DB and Kris had the lavender with white chocolate chips and Marlaina had the lavender lemon custard.
Then we headed to Kirkland, a small city next to Seattle where we booked our motel. We were very happy to check in to the room with a private shower and real beds. While we were showering and getting ready to go out to dinner, Marlaina noticed that their friends Jenny and Shiree landed in Seattle a couple hours prior. As Marlaina scrolled down her social media feed she saw that their friends had checked in to a restaurant down the street from their hotel. DB texted our friend Shiree and we discovered that we were in fact staying at the same motel! When we were dressed, we left the room and started walking over to our friends’ room. As we were making our way to their room, we saw Jenny and Johnny leaving the ice machine. The three of them were in Seattle for a game at Safeco field and witness Ken Griffey Jr.’s jersey retired. What a nice coincidence that we stayed in the same hotel.
After catching up with them a little bit, the three of us went to downtown Seattle for dinner at Duke’s Chowder House and we finally got our seafood fix. Everything we ordered was delicious, plus we had view of the lit up Space Needle.
The next day, we tried to squeeze in as much as possible since it was Kris’s last day with us. We had Russian dumplings for lunch at Dumpling Tzar in the Fremont area. We walked a few blocks to find the Fremont Troll which hangs out under a bridge. We also stood by the Interurban Sculpture, a statue of a group of people and a dog waiting for the train. The statue is interactive in that the people of the neighborhood decorate and dress the people.
We headed across the short Aurora Bridge to check out the REI flagship store. It was an adventure just getting to the entrance (there was a hiking trail)! Marlaina found herself a new raincoat that hopefully will actually keep her dry.
We took Kris to see the Space Needle, we briefly roamed Pike Place Market, picked up some coffee at the original Starbucks, then had dinner at Japonessa Sushi in the same area. The happy hour sushi deals were awesome! We enjoyed our early dinner before dropping Kris off at Sea-Tac Airport. It was sad to see Kris go after a week, but we had to prepare for our next state. After saying our goodbyes, we headed to the Dollar Store to pick up eye masks and picked up a few other essentials at Target.
Next up… We head to the the first state of the trip that we have never been to before, Alaska!