Mark Boyd's Family Web Pages.

Mark & Connie Vacation 2015


The Great Northwest

August 21st through 30th, 2015

Travel Log Details

Note that this is just a short preview of each day.  The linked pages have more details in both photos and description of our activities. The photos posted here is nowhere near the total number of photos we took. It is challenging to pick out just a few to post.

We flew to Seattle on Friday, August 21.  We checked into the Hilton Garden Inn in Renton, Washington, and headed to dinner (we hadn't eaten since breakfast, more than 14 hours earlier... except for peanuts and pretzels).   We found the Red House Beer and Wine Shoppe & Tapas Bar.  The food was excellent, and the weather was perfect for eating outside.  And in Seattle, there aren't bugs flying around.  We didn't see any mosquitoes or flies.  None.

After dinner we walked around the corner and across the railroad tracks where the Chamber of Commerce was offering up a free bluegrass band concert. We stopped to listen to the band and after a couple of songs, a train came rumbling through.  My grandsons and I love to watch train videos so I videoed the train.

Hurricane Ridge Visitors CenterOn Saturday the 22nd, we were up bright and early and on our way to Olympic National Park.  We drove up to Hurricane Ridge and took a hike up a steep trail.  Then we drove to the Woh valley rain forest on the other side of Mt. Olympus.

We ate lunch at Jack-in-the-box in downtown Port Angeles.  It was slow and the place was kind of dirty.  We ate dinner at Olive Garden in Olympia.

Mt Rainier from ParadiseOn Sunday the 23rd, we drove up to Mt. Rainier National Park.  Mount Rainer is truly spectacular.  We were glad we went to Olympic National Park first, because it would have been a bit of a let down after seeing Mt. Rainier. 

We got to the Paradise Visitor's center about 10:30.  It was getting pretty busy.

On the way up to Mt. Rainier, we drove through Elbe and just then, the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railway had their steam engine fired up and ready to start boarding.  When it pulled forward to the station, I grabbed these two videos. Video1 & video2
We at lunch at McDonalds in Puyallup, on our drive back from Mt. Rainier.  We had stopped at a little burger shop in Elbe, but they wanted $8 for a hamburger.   That's OK for a nice sit down place, but not a roadside stand in Elbe, WA.

We went to dinner with David Bean and his wife Susan.  They took us to Anthony's at Shilshole Bay.  It was excellent food and excellent company.  We had seats overlooking the bay and the weather was perfect.  We really enjoyed it.

737 Landing at Boeing
              in Everret, WAMonday, 24th August  This was our airplane day.  We toured the Boeing plant in Everett, WA, and then the air Museum nearby where they have a bunch of WWII aircraft from Germany, Japan, Russia, and of course the US.  Then we went to the Boeing Museum in Seattle.  The original Boeing building (big red barn) is there and it contains the history of Boeing and the American aircraft industry.

We at lunch at Randy's..  a little diner just next to the Boeing plant.   It had hundreds of model planes of all sizes and types on display (hanging from the ceiling).  It was just the place to eat for our aeronautical day.
When we got back to the hotel, we thought about ordering pizza, but never got around to it.  We grabbed a free cookie from the lobby and that was it.

Tuesday, 25th August We drove down to Multnomah falls in Oregon, then went to Washington Park in Portland and walked around the Test Rose Garden.  Then we drove over to the cost of Oregon and saw the beach and ocean.  Then drove back up to the hotel. 

I grabbed some chicken fingers at the Loves truck stop (I don't remember the name of the food vendor) and we drove over to Dairy Queen for Connie to get a coney dog.  But they don't have coney dogs at Dairy Queen so she had to settle for a burger and chocolate shake.

We at dinner at Olive Garden in Olympia again.  We were going right by at dinner time and knew how to get there and what to expect.  Done!

Wednesday, 26th, August We drove up to Vancouver, took the 1 hour harbor tour, and then walked around Stanley park and then drove around it's perimeter.  Walked at total of 4.37 miles.
We at lunch at a little diner just a few blocks off the bay.  It was run by this old oriental woman and her maybe her granddaughter.  For dinner we just hit the Hilton honors reception and had cheese and crackers and veggies, etc. and chocolate cake and coffee. 

Deception Pass bridgeThursday, 27th  We toured VanDusen Botanical Garden on Vancouver, and then drove down to Deception Pass State Park near Anacortes, WA.  We hiked in the park then drove on down to Oak Harbor.  After a short visit to Oak Harbor, we checked into the Hampton Inn in Burlington, WA.

We ate lunch at Sonic burgers (Connie got the chili dog she had been wanting).  We ate dinner at the Japanese steakhouse across from the hotel.  The cook was the most entertaining we've seen.  The food was the typical blah Japanese steakhouse food. 

Orca swimming by Lime Kiln PointFriday, 28th  We boarded the ferry at Anacortes and rode over to San Juan island, landing in Friday Harbor.  We toured the Whale Museum and then rode the public transportation out to Lime Kiln State Park to watch for whales.  We were very fortunate to see a number of Orca whales swim by at about 3PM.
We were back in Friday Harbor about 4PM and had dinner at a restaurant there.  The food was good, and we could see the bay, but it wasn't cheap.

Saturday, 29th, We drove to Seattle and toured the Chihuly Glass Museum and Gardens, then walked over to the Pike Street Market and had lunch at the Athenian restaurant.  Then walked back to the Space Needle and went up to the observation deck.  Walked a total of 4.63 miles.  We were beat when we got to the hotel and didn't bother to go out for dinner.  Connie had two fresh peaches that she bought at the market and they were our dinner.

Saturday the 22nd
Sunday the 23rd
Monday, 24th
Tuesday, 25th
Wednesday, 26th
Thursday, 27th
Friday 28th
Saturday 29th

1) We saw much fewer Starbucks coffee shops than expected.  I think we've seen fewer than you would see in a large city in the east.
2) We were surprise at the number of coffee "shacks" in small towns.  Nearly every small town has one, and most small towns do not have an ice cream stand.  We definitely felt like foreigners.
3) The west in general has been experiencing a drought, and they have had forest fires going on the entire week we've been here.  The grass is brown everywhere you look. On Friday a period of rain started, so it seems the Great Northwest weather is back.  They really need the rain!
4) These people apparently do not eat doughnuts.  I have looked each day for a doughnut shop and have yet to find one.

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