Every year we try to go on vacation. Sometimes we venture into unknown territory to explore and have new adventures. Sometimes we go back to places we’ve loved visiting in the past. Sometimes it’s a combination of the two. That was our vacation this year. My first visit to the Pacific Northwest was when I was 15. It was the summer between sophomore and junior year of high school. We went to San Francisco, Ashland, Seattle, and Vancouver and Victoria. We saw the city, saw our first Shakespeare Play (“Merchant of Venice”), visited friends on an island and family North of Seattle, took ferries, and saw some of Canada. (What I remember about Canada was it’s hanging flowerpots and good prices for shopping. I was 15, and I desperately wanted some Guess jeans. lol)
Since that summer, we’ve been back several times. I think I counted that I’ve been to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival no less than 10 times. (The problem is- a lot of years bleed into each other in my memory, so I’m not 100% sure which years I’ve been.) My husband and I have gone 7 times. The kids have seen plays 3 of those visits. This year we bought our tickets and made plans to go all the way up to Seattle to see my brothers and sister-in-law. The last time we were up there, I was doing some research for my first book.
Our first stop on the trip was Klamath Falls. Truthfully, this was just a waypoint to get to Crater Lake. It was about 12 hours in the car for the kids, which is long. They’re troopers (especially with something to watch, thanks to my husband rigging an ipad to an adjustable arm behind the passenger seat). We ate at a quaint local bar/pub and basically slept and left. We stayed in a Microtel, which was fine, but the walls were paperthin and our neighbors were noisy. Crater Lake was our next stop. We had stopped there once on our way home from Ashland (or was it Portland?), but there was a forest fire in the area and the lake was filled with smoke. Apparently I was so disappointed (and probably had a hard time breathing so), I didn’t even bother to snap a photo. This time, however, it was beautiful. The only thing we weren’t quite prepared for was the weather. 😛
We played in the snow, took a walk, and had a few nice meals. The view from our window was great. Sadly, I had some insomnia and woke at sunrise. The good news? I got this photo, using my phone, from the window.
Our next stop was Seattle. It was about 7-8 hours in the car, which is better than 12, but still a long day. We hit the rush hour traffic, too, so that was a little rough. We checked into our hotel and headed to my brother & sister-in-law’s house.
We crammed a LOT into our visit to Seattle!
We started our first full day there visiting Uncle Matt at his work. We weren’t really supposed to take photos, but here’s one outside his work.
After that, we went to the local chocolate factory. MMmmm…
We went swimming in the hotel pool. Then we hung out at the house that night and played “The Simpsons” Scene It game. My brother Terry played solo against the rest of us as a team. He beat us. Bad. The next day…
It was amazing, but they don’t allow photos in the actual hangers where they’re building planes.
The next day we went to the Seattle Aquarium with Matt.
I won’t bore you with all the fish pics – maybe another time. 🙂
We then headed to the Museum of Flight, where we saw the Concord
and one of the Air Force One planes. We’d seen Reagan’s before, at the Reagan library. This one was used for Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
Again, there are SO many photos, I might do a post just about the planes we saw. We did get to see a WW2 plane close up. This is us looking at the ball turret.
The next day we went sailing on Puget Sound. Matt and Tere are certified sailors and showed us the ropes. It was so relaxing and fun! Wayne wasn’t as enamored with it as the girls and I were, as he gets a bit seasick, but he did excellently and even helped out with the sails.
There wasn’t much wind. We used the motor to get out to more open water, and then Matt and Terry worked to open the sails. Apparently it takes some strength.
We went all the way across the sound to a point on the peninsula to have lunch, and then headed back. On our ride back, the other kids got to drive, and Wayne helped out some more.
That night was our last night in Seattle and we went to dinner at a great Tapas restaurant. It was sad to leave, but we were headed to Ashland to see some theater!
Sadly I didn’t take many photos here, but the first night was just chilling out. (Theater was dark and we were in the car all day.)
The next day we did a lot.
We went shopping. We ate lunch, we picked up our tickets from the box office, and when we did we took the opportunity to visit the Elizabethan theater we’d be at that night.
It was a great show, though we all enjoyed the light-hearted, fun first half MUCH more than the depressing, somewhat more violent, second half.
Funny story: We weren’t going to see a show that night originally. My parents got to Ashland that day and offered to take the kids so we could have a date. We went to dinner and decided to see if we could get last minute tickets to “The Tempest” – a longshot. I was parking the car and let Wayne out so he could go to the ATM and get cash. He was going to buy from one person selling, but after the trip to the ATM, he was gone. There was another man selling, but it was still pretty pricey. A man came up to Wayne and asked the guy selling the tickets if he needed some. Wayne spoke up and said, “No, but I’m looking for two!” The guy said, “Where’s the second person?” Wayne said, “My wife is parking the car.” The guy gave him two tickets. FREE OF CHARGE. THIRD ROW! (Bonus – I found the PERFECT parking spot and we made it with 5 minutes to spare!
Thanks anonymous patron!!
The next day we had a picnic in Lithia Park, and took a walk.
That night we went to “The Cocoanuts” and my parents went to “Richard III” and we hugged good-bye, as we left the next morning for home.
Not terrible seats. 🙂
It was a great trip. We’re all glad to be home, and we have some fantastic memories. Now to figure out where we’re going next year…
Have you been to the Pacific Northwest? I know we left a lot out. What’s your favorite thing to do there?