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Our Journey In: (Mostly) Olympia, Washington

Oh, Washington.  You are beautiful.
With a new baby to keep us busy at home, we knew we wanted to go on a easy vacation at some point this year to step away from routine.  We considered going up to Washington again several times, but we were constantly on the fence.  It would be our first flight with our son, and who knows how that would turn out.  Well, roundtrip flights went down to $200, and without hesitation, we booked our trip!

My husband has family up in Washington, so we actually stayed with them for the first half of our little vacation.  It was so nice to catch up with them.  Two of his cousins recently had kids of their own, so seeing the little munchkins run around was priceless.  I love his family here.  They are so amazingly sweet, fun and hospitable.
They live down in the state capitol of Olympia, so once we landed, we got our rental and drove on down. Everyone was there, and they had a yummy feast hot and ready for us!  We ate, caught up with everyone, and got settled in.
The next day was Mother’s Day.  Spending my first Mother’s Day out of town wasn’t so bad.  It was actually nice to be around other moms!  First on the itinerary was a refreshing hike in the Olympic National Forest.  It took us forever to decide on a location, but we were hoping to go on a easy hike that lead to a great view.  This lead us to Lena Lake.  Well, the hike turned out to be not as easy as we thought it would be (almost 4 miles each way!), but the view was amazing.

Exhausted from the hike, we took the afternoon off just to hang out with family.  For dinner, we all headed out to Oyster House in Downtown Olympia to celebrate Mother’s Day.  I loooove oysters, and these – straight from Washington waters – were amazing.
The last time we were in Washington, we spent the majority of our trip in Seattle.  This time, we wanted to explore a little bit of Olympia.  That said, we had to visit the capitol building!
When I first brought up seeing the building, my husband wasn’t too interested.  I was a little surprised considering he loves historical stuff, but after we got there he told me something that made me understand why. Well, he’s never been to a capitol building before!  After 6 years, that was definitely news to me.  I guess that’s proof that there’s always the possibility to learn something new about your partner 🙂
He loved it.  He actually felt bad that we haven’t got to Sacramento together yet, but I’m okay with that for now.  I’d like our kids to see our state capitol too, so I’m in no rush.
Anyways, we did some sight-seeing outside (oh, the rhododendrons were beautiful!) with his cousin playing our tour guide, then we headed inside the building which was incredibly impressive.  Luckily, it was a slow day, and the people that worked there welcomed us into different rooms and told us the history of all of the details involved in the design of each room.
After touring the building, we took a little walk around the area then headed to downtown Olympia where we did some shopping and indulged with ice cream at Grandpa’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream Parlor.  Is this not the most adorable place for ice cream??
The next day was Seattle day!  We used this day mostly to revisit our favorite spots (Pike Place Chowder, anyone?) and fit in a few other things we didn’t get to see last time.  The big highlight for me was Chihuly Garden and Glass.  The artistry, the colors — it was just beautiful and mesmerizing.  I’ll give you a little sneak peek here, but I’ll definitely be writing more about this location.

 

Well, there’s one place we all have to go to in Seattle, (and the photo everyone has to take) and it’s the Pike Place Market.  We walked around, enjoyed lunch, and stopped to smell all of the fresh flowers.  I really love walking around this market.  If you have no intention of buying anything, that’s quite alright!  Walking through and just taking in the unique atmosphere is more than worth it.

I had my heart set on going on a ride on a ferry, but time just didn’t allow.  I noticed some ferries went to this spot called Alki Beach, but I guess these ferries don’t run during the spring season.  We found out later that we could just drive to Alki Beach, so no ferry ride, but at least we got to check out the location.

 

 

We really loved this area.  It was a cool mix of mom and pop shops alongside a few chain stores that lined the beach.  Definitely felt like a beach town.  It kind of reminded me of Balboa Island in California.  Anyway, Alki Beach wasn’t as lively as it typically is (according to our cousin), but considering the skies looked the way it did, I wasn’t too surprised.  It was a chilly day, but to take in that sea breeze, we took a nice long walk along the beach.  Our cousin pointed out all of the different islands that you can see in the distance, and we saw the ferry boats going by.  Oh, ferry boats.  I’ll conquer you next time.
Last, but definitely not least, we stopped by Kerry Park.  We went here on our first trip to Seattle too and fell in love.  The view of the city is awesome, and we had to take a family photo here.

 

We hung out with family the rest of the night, then the next day, we enjoyed some breakfast and headed down to Portland, Oregon!

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