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Vacationing in the Pacific Northwest

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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)

With our Washington cousins. L-R: My brothers- Jeff (the little one, hiding), Terry, my mom, Matt, and me, my cousins- Maria, Summer, Tim, and their mom Maureen.

With our Washington cousins. L-R: My brothers- Jeff (the little one, hiding), Terry, my mom, Matt, and me, my cousins- Maria, Summer, Tim, and their mom Maureen.

One of our trips to Ashland with the Halligans - Left side - my dad, Jeff, Terry, me, Pat. Right side Mom, Matt, Chris, Tori, Marcia.

One of our trips to Ashland with the Halligans – Left side – my dad, Jeff, Terry, me, Pat. Right side Mom, Matt, Chris, Tori, Marcia.

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.

Me, in 2009, knitting in the Hoh Rainforest.

Me, in 2009, knitting in the Hoh Rainforest.

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. 😛

The tip off should have been the copious amounts of snow on the ground.

The tip off should have been the copious amounts of snow on the ground.

The lodge right on the lake.

The lodge right on the lake.

 

My attempt at using the Panoramic function on my iphone.

My attempt at using the Panoramic function on my iphone.

 

The best part? It actually snowed on us. The kids have never seen snow falling before.

The best part? It actually snowed on us. The kids have never seen snow falling before.

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.

Not a bad thing to wake up to...

Not a bad thing to wake up to…

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.

Our hosts.

Our hosts.

The girls bonded with their dog, Marlowe. IMG_4842

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.

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After that, we went to the local chocolate factory. MMmmm…

We got to try lots of samples.

We got to try lots of samples.

We saw the workings of the machinery that makes the magic happen.

We saw the workings of the machinery that makes the magic happen.

and more samples

and more samples

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…

We went to the Boeing factory to see airplanes being put together.

We went to the Boeing factory to see airplanes being put together.

It was amazing, but they don’t allow photos in the actual hangers where they’re building planes.

Aaaah! Turbulence!!

Aaaah! Turbulence!!

Maddie and I being "pilots".

Maddie and I being “pilots”.

Lots of fun photo ops. Wish there were something else in the background...

Lots of fun photo ops. Wish there were something else in the background…

The next day we went to the Seattle Aquarium with Matt.

 

The aquarium is right on the ocean.

The aquarium is right on the ocean.

Brother, husband, and son at the touch tank.

Brother, husband, and son at the touch tank.

Daughters touching anemones.

Daughters touching anemones.

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

Kids & Concord

Kids & 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.

It's hard to get it all in one photo.

It’s hard to get it all in one photo.

Inside Air Force One, the meeting room.

Inside Air Force One, the meeting room.

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.

This particular plane was used in "Memphis Belle" as well.

This particular plane was used in “Memphis Belle” as well.

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.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

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.

Matt out with the sail, Terry cranking it (don't ask me the technical terms).

Matt out with the sail, Terry cranking it (don’t ask me the technical terms).

Gracie took a turn at the wheel.

Gracie took a turn at the wheel.

Matt said she was a natural.

Matt said she was a natural.

Sean and I headed out to the front of the boat.

Sean and I headed out to the front of the boat.

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.

Sean getting navigational tips.

Sean getting navigational tips.

Maddie's turn.

Maddie’s turn.

Wayne at work.

Wayne at work.

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 explored the town.

We explored the town.

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.

We've seen so many great things here.

We’ve seen so many great things here.

Going to Zoey's ice cream is a MUST.

Going to Zoey’s ice cream is a MUST.

That night, after dinner al fresco, we were ready for "Into the Woods."

That night, after dinner al fresco, we were ready for “Into the Woods.”

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.

The next day it rained. Not just a little. Luckily we didn't have outdoor tickets.

The next day it rained. Not just a little. Luckily we didn’t have outdoor tickets.

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!!

IMG_5265

Funny story – one of the characters (the drunk, of course) was loosely based on one of my ancestors. How about that?!

The next day we had a picnic in Lithia Park, and took a walk.

It's so pretty there!

It’s so pretty there!

Grammy and Grampy

Grammy and Grampy

It's getting harder and harder to get the 3 to pose together.

It’s getting harder and harder to get the 3 to pose together.

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.

Big hugs for Grammy.

Big hugs for Grammy.

Not terrible seats. 🙂

This was hilarious. The actors who played the Marx brothers really did a great job!

This was hilarious. The actors who played the Marx brothers really did a great job!

Bye-bye Ashland! See you in a few years, I'm sure!

Bye-bye Ashland! See you in a few years, I’m sure!

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?

 

 

 

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  1. Pingback: Oops! | Genevieve Knits

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