Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Pacific Northwest - Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula

We began the morning Saturday with bagels from Safeway and a much needed haircut for me before making our first stop at the Seattle, Washington Temple.
The temple was very crowded so we took our first picture from the rear of the temple near where we parked.
Ada and Kate were happy to see a bride and her groom out taking pictures in front of the temple.
This was our attempt at re-enacting this sculpture. Of course Ada had to be the baby.

Our next stop was to another included attraction in the Seattle citypass, the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo. The zoo is smack dab in a residential area of the city, with very limited parking. Once we found a spot on a narrow street a few blocks from the zoo we were on our way.

The zoo reminded me quite a bit of the San Diego Zoo, with large animal exhibits and beautiful, dense forests, although the zoo itself is not nearly as large. We only wanted to spend a couple of hours at the zoo, so we picked and chose the animals that we (and the girls) wanted to see the most.
The girls' first choice was the flamingos.
They each took turns sitting on the flamingo nests (they are keeping the eggs warm under their bums).
It was good practice milking the cows.
Going for a hippo ride.
Kate's favorite animal is the elephant.

After another lunch of chips and snacks it was time to hit the road to drive to Port Angeles on the south edge of the Juan De Fuca Strait (or the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula). We opted to take the driving route through Tacoma and Bremerton rather than one of many ferry shortcuts across Puget Sound. The drive was fairly uneventful aside from a 45 minute delay for a drawbridge that slowed us down.

Once we got to Port Angeles, we ate at a pizza joint before heading down to the waterfront to walk along the bike/walk/running path.

It was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed the chance to admire some sand sculptures from the previous week. These were quite impressive and the sculptors were from all over the world.

Kate climbing the stairs to an observation tower on the pier. She plans on being a plumber when she grows up.
The south view towards the beautiful Olympic Mountains.
As I mentioned earlier, we were traveling in this part of the country in the very height of tourist season. When we checked into our hotel, I overheard the attendant saying that our Days Inn only had 3 rooms left. We had to book our room in this 2-star hotel for over $150, as many of the other hotels were selling out and I didn't want to be stuck sleeping on the beach.

1 comment:

Steve said...

The Olympic Range and peninsula are amazing! Port Angeles is only a 90 minute ferry ride from my house so that is the route we usually take when driving to Utah.

I hope to take a ferry from Victoria and start running at sea level to the high point of Hurricane Ridge called Mount Angeles at 6,454'. So it will be more than a mile of vertical climbing and 26 miles overall. I just need to convince my wife it is a good idea to do alone.

I am stoked to see you were able to see so much of the Pacific Northwest. It is truly a well-guarded secret vacation spot.

Clearing the border at peace arch can be a real hassle but on a big holiday like BC day I am sure it was terrible.