Posts Tagged With: central washington

Day trip to Central Washington- This time with Jeff and Jamie!

Yesterday we officially kicked off the travel season! And by travel season I mean…OUR travel season. I think generally our travel season lasts longer than most.  We picked up two of our friends and headed to central Washington.  Jeff and Jamie had never seen the coulees in Washington so we were super excited to show them around!

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Roama was up bright and early with us!  Jeff and Jamie live in South Seattle.  I kind of like that part of town.  I think it has a small town feel with the perks of living in Seattle.  I can’t say the same about Everett.

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Everyone in the car seemed to think that these windmills are in one way or another scary. Or alien-like. I always like them though! I kind of think they look happy and not scary.

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The day was really cloudy and grey as you can see. We had been checking the weather all week and it was supposed to be sunny in the morning. Lies!

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The first stop of the day, aside from a pee break, was at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. We checked out some of the petrified wood strewn about and had another pee break. Pee breaks are essential!

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At the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park there are some petroglyphs on display. And I only say, on display, because there used to be hundreds of these along the Columbia River…until the dam was built. These are the only ones that were saved. The rest of swimming with the fishes.

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It’s really sad that most of these have essentially been destroyed.

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I like the two folks at the bottom right side of the photo.

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Crossing the Columbia.

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We kept on driving, crossing the Columbia, and headed to Frenchman Coulee which is less than 10 minutes away from the state park.

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Frenchman Coulee is littered with basalt columns. The basalt columns were formed from cooling lava.

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This is always my favorite shot in Frenchman Coulee! You’ve probably seen it many times if you’ve followed me for at least the past year.

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The waterfall was pushing out more water than usual! I assume it’s from snow melt. This land is a beautiful red color when the sun is out. It was still beautiful, but I do miss the red rocks.

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Fantastic rock formations!

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Most of the day was spent driving through various coulees, stopping to take in the view and take photos. Dry Falls was a major stop for the trip. Here we made some food and chatted with the park ranger.

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Rice and Indian food was on the menu today!

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And here is Dry Falls! The park ranger in the visitor center told us about a piece of wood that had recently been given to the visitor center. This piece of wood was found about 40 years ago when someone was digging, I assume with heavy machinery, into rock in the area. There was a pocket of water/mud that came out of the rock at one point. What happened was that many many years ago when lava flowed in the coulee, some lava covered an area of water creating this pocket. The piece of wood was found in the pocket of mud 40 years ago. The wood is estimated to be at least 100,000 years old. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND YEARS OLD! Holy moly! The park ranger had that piece of wood in a plastic bag. I felt weird asking him if I could photograph it because it wasn’t even in the official collection of Washington. It was kind of wonderful to see. I never thought we’d be so excited over old wood!

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This little walkway hangs over the side of the coulee. Eric hates heights, but for some reason he didn’t mind this.

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I love the different colors of lichen in this part of Washington.

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Even though it was cloudy all day it hadn’t rained. We drove to an old section of Route 2 to pay our respects to our favorite old car.

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The old section of Route 2 with Moses Coulee in the background.

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Jeff and Jamie explored. Jamie returned with some animal bones she found.

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Eric used the tripod to take some photos with his 1950 Kodak Duaflex II camera.

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There are many shells from people who like to shoot things on the ground. We did see many cans though. Including a sardine can!

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More great lichen!

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I wanted a group shot of us! I set the timer and hoofed it to the group. Most of the photos were incredibly washed out, which I didn’t notice until today. Boo! And hiss!  Also…the camera focused on the car and not us.  Sorry everyone!  We are a good looking group though. I warned everyone to watch out for tetanus.

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And now a fun photo!

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As we left Moses Coulee the sky started to clear and the sun came out. The beautiful Cascade Mountains are in the background.

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One of many beaten down homesteads we saw during the day.

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Route 2, the road you see there, would take us to Blewitt Pass, which would take us to I-90, which would take us home.

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We stopped by an old section of road to snap a few more photos. That wonderful red rock made an appearance when the sun finally decided to show up.

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I think we all had a great day! Eric and I rarely explore with others, but it was so much fun to have Jeff and Jamie along with us. The day was a success until we hit Snoqualmie Pass on I-90. I had checked the weather conditions in the pass before we got there since it’s still winter and all. The pass was dry and open. Eric was driving and it was already dark outside. And then it started to rain. Eric doesn’t like to drive in the dark or rain. I told him I would drive if he pulled over at the next rest stop. Before we pulled over it started to snow. Goodness! We found an exit and we switched spots. The snow had already covered the roads off the interstate. I pulled back onto the interstate and probably within a minute of me driving we had whiteout conditions. Seriously whiteout. I-90 is lacking in lane marking going through the pass. There are hardly lines painted and no reflectors. This is irritating and dangerous. I could not see where I was going. Eric noticed the concrete safety barrier coming close to us and told me to turn the wheel to the left. As it turns out we were going around a bend! Later Eric told me that the spot where I was driving towards the barrier was the spot on I-90 where there’s bridge hundreds of feet over water. More holy moly. For a long time I was only driving 40 mph with the hazard lights on. Cars were passing me, but I have no clue how they saw where they were going. I had such a tight grip on the steering wheel! When we made it back to Jeff and Jamie’s house I apologised for the scariest ride of their lives. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to drive in as well! Note to Washington Department of Transportation…GET BETTER LANE MARKINGS ON YER ROADS! Other than that little incident it was a great little day trip!

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Fun Film Friday- week 2

This Polaroid Land Camera shot was taken in central Washington this past fall during a huge wildfire.  That’s not a foggy sky…that’s a smoky sky!  This photo was fun because when I was looking at the landscape I could barely see the sun through the smoke.  But in the photo the sun in black.  Pretty fun, huh?

Polaroid Land Camera- FP-100C film

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Day Trip to Frenchman Coulee and Potholes Coulee.

Yesterday Eric and I ventured to central Washington for the day! The plan was to explore Frenchman Coulee and Potholes Coulee. If you’ve followed this blog for at least a few months, you know by now that we love to geology of Washington. We actually left for the trip later than we usually do. We were out the door a little after 6am. Eric took the first shift driving since he usually does the navigating once we arrive in central WA.

The ‘ol car 66,666 miles while on I-90!

There is an old train station in Cle Elum, WA that we somehow never visited before.  I noticed a deer standing between two cabooses.  We didn’t know if it was real or not because it wasn’t moving.  Of course I thought it was weird that it was just staring at us.  It finally moved and ran after a doe standing nearby.

Check out that rack!

It’s still apple season in the Northwest.  Cle Elum is in a mountain pass so it was a very foggy and misty morning.

I’m sure the local deer are snacking on these apples.

The old train station here is actually in really great condition.  Someone took quite a bit of time and care into maintaining the building.

Cle Elum.

This is the old substation from the railroad that used to run through the area.  There are miles of rails-to-trails paths in this area too.

There was a fence around the substation or else we would have gone closer for some more exploration.

We continued on towards Frenchman Coulee.  This shot is from a rest area near Vantage, WA.  That’s the Columbia River down there!

It was around 9am when we were here and it was still incredibly foggy.

This is also at the rest stop.  You can hike up the hill to see the metal sculptures of horses if you have time.  I did a little research and this piece is apparently called “Grandfather cuts loose the ponies!”  These sculptures have been here for quite some time, but it seems as they the piece was never finished due to the lack of funding.  The horses were supposed to be running out of a huge basket that was tipped over.  That’s fun!  I love this piece as it is, but a giant basket wouldn’t hurt either.  We’ve always seen the horses when it was sunny so it was a wonderful contrast to have the fog there in the morning.

And up we went.

Out of the mist!

Some of the horses are life size and some are larger than life!

I was a crazy horse girl when I was younger.  This still excited me of course.

Giddy up!

The speech bubble on this horse cracked me up.

“Neyyy.”

I needed to give this guy a hug.

We noticed after the fact that this horse had a penis spray painted on it. Too bad it was a mare!

I love the colors of the moss and lichen!

The rocks in central Washington are lovely like this.

This is looking into the valley behind the horses and away from the Columbia River.

I think we’re lucky to live in a state with thick forest and deserts like this.

In Frenchman Coulee we noticed that the small waterfall coming over the cliff was actually pumping out quite a bit of water!  This was our first trip to the desert in November.  It was much wetter than we’re used to seeing the desert.

I love the little pops of orange and green in the fall landscape.

The sage brush was mostly dead and brown, but you could still really really smell that wonderful sage smell.

Note the waterfall in the background.

Eric wanted to hoof it up the hill behind us to get a particular shot of the coulee.  I wasn’t in the mood for that so I wandered around for a bit taking photos with my Canon, Polaroid Land camera, Diana mini, Savoy  and traditional Polaroid cameras.  Eric and I went to the desert armed with a ridiculous 13 cameras.  Only one of which was digital.

It’s a long way down!

I do get really nervous standing near the edge.  I’m not scared of heights, but that is one big ‘ol drop!

I think this is one of our top 3 favorite places in Washington.

Eric made it to the top of hill!  Do you see him near the top center of the photo?

I’m not quite sure how he made it up there, but I was too nervous for him to watch him make his way down.

After fun and photos in Frenchman Coulee we continued on to a coulee we’ve never explored before!  Here is Potholes Coulee!

Potholes Coulee is bigger than Frenchman Coulee.

It was sadly cloudy most of the day.  It was kind of a bummer.

Lucky for use it didn’t rain when we were in the desert. It sure looked like it could though!

We decided to walk on the trail back into the coulee.  We usually have too many miles to cover in a day that we don’t give ourselves the chance to do stuff like this.

The sun started to poke through the clouds and hit the back of the coulee.

We zig zagged through the coulee and made it to Ancient Lake.  We were not expecting to see a lake like this at all!

I didn’t bring my tripod with me so I just propped my camera up on a rock to snap a photo of us.

Ancient Lake was gorgeous!  The sun came out and gave way to some blue sky!  We agree that we want to come back here in the summer!  There was a group of people camping across the lake from us.  It would be super fun to camp here in the warm weather!

A wide angle lens would be wonderful right now!

I tried to take another photo of us and mostly succeeded.  Eric and I were oddly red, white and blue yesterday.  That was NOT planned!

The rock formations in this area are fascinating.  I love how the rocks in the center of the photo look like they were jammed and squished together.

When the sun came out it was actually really warm!

We hiked about 5 miles total through the coulee.  The terrain is mostly flat so it was a super easy hike.

I love to see the layers of rocks on the tall wall to the right of the photo.

This was the biggest waterfall that we saw on our walk.  There are a few larger ones but we didn’t hike back to those.

Do you see the little rainbow at the bottom of the waterfall?

The landscape is much more stunning when the sun is out!  It looks larger and more impressive.

Potholes Coulee was surprisingly impressive! I can’t wait to come back here to explore again.

After Potholes Coulee we drove to George, Washington where we hopped back on the Interstate for the drive home.  Central Washington never disappoints us!

George, Washington is the only town/state with a Presidents full name in the states! Thanks for following! Did you go on any fabulous adventures this weekend?

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An autumn drive through central Washington!

Two tanks of gas, 17 hours of driving and 600 miles.

We left a little before 4am for our day trip to central Washington! Eric drove the first 2 hours of the trip…and I slept for most of that 2 hours!

We planned the trip so that we would begin exploring the areas we plotted out to explore when the sun came up! Here’s Dry Coulee!

The drive through Dry Coulee was on a mostly dirt road. Actually most of the roads we were on yesterday were dirt roads. We seriously put my Toyota Yaris to the test! I’ve taken that thing off roading through sage brush, on beaches and through sandy deserts in central WA!…and we’re not done yet!

Summer Falls State Park. We were the only people there which was rather peaceful! This was actually one of my favorite spots of the day! This was our first time here and I’d love to come back for a picnic in the summer!

Fall is here! In the Seattle area you’re mostly surrounded by pine trees so you don’t really have the fun leaf colors of fall! It was nice to see some yellow and red trees.

Old homestead.

Leaning barn. My camera was pulling out some wonderful blues in the sky!

Just a small broken down town.

Honk!

We were driving on this old road when a truck came up behind me rather quickly. I’ll pulled over to let him go through. The kind men in the truck stopped…”Are you trackin’, or broken down, or lost?” “Nope…just driving around!”

An old schoolhouse. There are actually quite a few old homesteads, barns and schools in this part of the state. If you’re lucky enough to not be on the interstate you’re bound to see some!

The last golden field of summer.

Down there is the Columbia River.

After driving down that fun road to the Columbia River you had to take a small ferry to get to the other side! The ferry was free and could only haul about 6 cars at a time! How fun is that?!

There were 5 cars on the ferry when we took it. They go back and forth all day transporting cars. It was actually kind of fun to be on such a small ferry.

The water was calm and the sun was shining! We were lucky and had a sunny 70 degree day.

Bo’sn stown.

Columbia River.

There were only two cars waiting to take the ferry to the other side!

We had lunch at a nearby State Park. It was a great idea for us to buy a small camp stove for our travels. It’s nice to actually eat a meal (of Indian food!!) rather than just snack on food throughout the day.

One other couple was at the park with us, but again it was a quiet place to be.

There’s an overlook at the Coulee City Dam. There’s this weird structure there too.

Damn dam.

We drove through Barker Canyon to get to Banks Lake. Banks Lake exists because of the dam.

More fall leaves!

Eric with one of his many film cameras. Note Steamboat rock in the background.

Fun Barker Canyon sign!

And this is Barker Canyon!

We made a friend on the way out of the canyon.

Just munching on some prickly weeds!

That cow was mud bogging!

The desert is quite lovely this time of year! The dry grass is such a great color.

Most of the farm animals  we encounter on these backroads are on open ranges so we get very close to them because they are usually literally right on the road. They always seem to be curious of us and I’m always almost ready to dig some apples out of the snack bag for them.

If you look very closely you can see Eric standing in front of that huge rock!

Yeager rock!

Eric picked a flower for me!

We both take photos with vintage Polaroid Land cameras. Fuji makes film that works in them which is great!…but when you peal the exposed photo away from the negative you have two wet pieces of film that have to dry. This has been a problem until we figured out a solution for ourselves! We huge a line with some paper clips on it over the back seat of the car! This was out first time testing it out and it was a success!

This was probably the worst road we’ve every driven on. We were way far out in the desert when the road suddenly turned to sand. Yaris= ATV.

At the end of the road we were greeted by a better road and Moses Coulee!

You would expect this scenery in Arizona or Utah, but no, we’re in Washington!

Somewhere out there is the ghost town of Spencer. A few years ago Eric, our friend Calder, and an older gentleman that Eric is friends with, and myself hiked out there to find Spencer! We found it along with broken bottles, plates and pieces of an old stove!

And don’t think I’d forget to have at least one photo of our travel mascot!

A lovely old ad on an old barn!

We get dirty and we have a great time doing it! Happy and safe travels!

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The trip that wasn’t.

Yesterday after work Eric and I planned on going camping for the night in central WA. We waved bye to Juniper in the window of the door and hit the road!

The sky around Everett seemed cloudy the past few days, but it wasn’t cloudy. And it wasn’t foggy. It was smoke that was rolling through from some wildfires.

We thought it would be ok to camp where we were going so we just kept on truckin’.

The smoke was noticeably thicker as we neared the Cascade mountains.

Smoke!

This was around 3pm. It was rather freaky to think that it was smoke and not fog as one may assume.

In the town on Wenatchee we did spot this fun restaurant.

I rolled down the windows a few times and it smelled like one giant campfire. I guess that’s what wildfires are really?

We decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to camp in the smoke, so we would drive a little closer to where we planned on camping. If the smoke was still really thick we would turn around and go camping next weekend.

The smoke did make for some interesting shot with the Polaroid Land camera, which I will share with you in a future post!

The smoke DID clear a little bit, but you still couldn’t see long distances like you usually can in this area of Washington.

Someone has a teepee!

This is a fun old road Eric and I drive on when we’re in this part of WA. We never see other cars on it…which is a good thing because I don’t know if two cars would fit on it at this point!

Long and twisty road.

There’s an old car wreck on this road too. It’s interesting that the car has stayed there all this time!

We made the decision to turn around and head for home. The smoke would still be there the next day and it just wouldn’t be as enjoyable as camping on a day without smoke.

200 miles there…

and 200 miles back! What a day! We worked for 8 hours and then drove for 8 hours! I guess that’s how we like to travel though.

After the defeat of yesterday, we thought we should go to Seattle for some sun and vegan Thai food at Araya’s!

We also bought some goods from Wild Prairie Bakery in Ballard! Chocolate cupcake with coconut frosting!

And since my ass isn’t big enough I came home with this!  Happy Saturday indeed!

Categories: Restaurants, Seattle, Travel, Vegan Food, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

16 hours on the road.

I am exhausted!  Eric and I traveled to central Washington again today.  I have tons of photos to share with you.  We even saw a quirky parade in an old west town!  Expect fun things tomorrow!

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Day trip to Frenchman Coulee and Taunton- part 1

Yesterday Eric and I went on our first day trip to central Washington this year! I love the Washington desert! I took about 230 photos and I’ve whittled it down to 125 or so to share with you. I’m going to split our day into two separate blog entries so you’re not overwhelmed with photos! Also, Eric and I have a travel blog called Hey I’m Over Here. Click the link to visit our travel blog for even more fun and photos from our trip. We have a Facebook page for our travel blog too! Feel free to like us to stay up to date on our adventures!

We headed east on I-90 through Snoqualmie Pass. As you can see they still have a ton of snow in the pass. And that snow isn't piled up snow from plowing...that's just normal snow fall that hasn't melted!

These are ski cabins for rich people. I bet they don't dig themselves out.

In Easton, Washington we spotted this guy. Eric's a train guy so we stopped for some photos.

We were even able to walk inside of the train car!

This was also in Easton.

Roslyn, Washington. This is where Northern Exposure was filmed!

Roslyn had some fun murals. I think this one looks like Ron Swanson from the show Parks and Rec!

Marlon Brando.

Back on the road we spotted some windmills. Over the past few years Washington has been installing more and more of these in the central part of the state.

We were chasing down this train to snap a shot of it with Eric's Holga camera. A stop sign in the middle of nowhere made us abort the operation.

More windmills. There was a visitors center for the Wild Horse Wind Farm. Apparently that's what they're calling the windmills. We stopped by to check it out though.

These things are huge!

The drive to the visitors center was three miles out of the way, but we've driven longer distances to see less exciting things!

Windmills!

In the distance to the right you can see Mt. Rainier. And in the distance to the left you can see a tiny bit of Mt. St. Helens!

Mt. Rainier.

Mt. St. Helens!

It was warm and sunny and windy on the top of the hill.

Hedgehog cactus! See them there in the middle of those rocks?

Look how big the propellers are! Scary big I might say!

We brought Mighty O donuts along with us on the trip! It was donut time after we got back to the car from the visitors center.

Here's the Columbia River! There used to be a ferry here so you could cross the river. That was many many moons ago and now there's a big fancy bridge to take you to the other side.

This is looking down the Columbia. The fancy bridge is way off in the distance.

Old ferry waiting lines.

We drove a short distance to a higher elevation, but in the same area, to go to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. Those chunks on the ground are actually petrified wood!

Petrified wood and desert flowers.

Looking up the Columbia again. Those trees at the bottom left is where the ferry used to pick up the cars.

We had petrified wood here AND petroglyphs!

These are not their original location though.

These were originally a few miles north of here.

Someone decided to build a dam and if these were still in their original location they would currently be under water. Dams are destructive.

These are just awesome!

More chunks of petrified wood.

The Ginkgo Gem Shop is right beside the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. They have a store, but behind the store they have a bunch of rocks and petrified wood that you can sort through and buy!

Petrified wood! We have a piece of petrified birch wood we bought a few years ago.

And of course the gem shop has some dinosaurs in front of their building!

Dinosaur friends!

A lovely day, no?

Come back for part 2 tomorrow!

Categories: Travel, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

16.5 hours of travel today!

I’m just checking in to say hi today, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a fantastic post for you! Eric and I traveled through central Washington today. We saw desert flowers, coulees, some nice cows and I even have a little sunburn! See you tomorrow!

Sun and fun!

Categories: Travel, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

welcome to seattle! what a busy week!

p10507541my parents made the long haul to seattle this past week! their plane arrived in seattle on the 13th and they left on the 19th. i wasn’t sure how this trip was going to go. they’ve never really explored a big city like we were going to do, and they never flew. it was a lot of firsts for them. all in all they had a great vacation.

when they arrived on saturday, we went back to the apartment and had some pasta. we then went to carkeek park to watch the sunset. sunday we went to mighty o’s, archie mcphee’s, fremont’s farmer’s market, and yen wor chinese in greenwood which surprisingly had really really good tofu! that evening we went to gas works park to watch some kite flying and to see the skyline of seattle. monday we headed downtown on the bus. we went to pioneer square and to the seattle underground tour. we then walked to the piers and checked out the ye olde curiosity shop. my parents weren’t a fan of riding the bus. but we did see a man in a cape with many layers who rode our bus in the morning and the afternoon. eric promptly dubbed him “mangoat.” tuesday we went downtown again. this time we went to the market and had some vegan cinnamon buns and other fun things. i bought a cute print of a cat and the space needle…i’ll post a picture of that later. we then walked to the monorail station and took the monorail to the space needle. after a short walk to bamboo garden and some great vegan food we headed back to the space needle and went to the observation deck.
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eric was kind enough to post photos from the beginning of the week. here they are!

wednesday was a long day. a long long day! a 15 hour day to be exact. the plan was to go to snoqualmie falls and then to the coulees and surrounding area in central washington. we saw some amazing stuff that day. my parents were thrilled to see the different landscapes. i think that was their favorite day of their trip, which surprised me since i wasn’t expecting them to be happy sitting in a car all day!

eric posted photos from the wednesday trip too! click here to see them!

thursday i took my parents to kuan yin teahouse in wallingford. i love that place! we walked around wallingford a bit and then i showed them around ballard. eric rested at home before his doctors appointment in the afternoon…more on that later. we ended the day with a quick trip to carkeek. my parents had to catch a late morning flight back to PA on friday, so we met up with ryan, jaime, the kids, and jaime’s moms at might o’s for some donuts. busy busy!!!

i’m pretty beat from all of the touristy things we did the week and the long day on wednesday. naps were in order yesterday and today! the past few days haven’t been so fun for eric. he had to have hand surgery on thursday to fix a broken pinky finger. it seems like it would be kind of minor, but the bone was broken in four places and he now has four pins sticking out of his finger. poor little guy!

i feel really bad about eric’s hand. especially since i leave on wednesday to go back to PA for two months. i’m not extremely happy about this. i’m going back to work. it’s just for the summer and i’m coming back to seattle as soon as possible. i feel bad leaving right after he had this surgery. ryan is more than willing to help eric while i’m gone, but i wish i could be here to help. i want to take him with me!!

Categories: Seattle, Travel, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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