Our second night in WA was spent in Ocean Shores, a touristy town on the Pacific Ocean. We were there during the off-season, which in my opinion, made it especially enjoyable. Our hotel room (another Guest House Inn and Suites) was the biggest one on our trip and definitely our favorite, with lots of room to move around and a beautiful view of the ocean right outside our window. We got there late and only stayed the one night, so we didn't get to enjoy it as much as we could have.
the view out our hotel room window
our room (plenty of beds and room to move)
When planning this trip, we made the decision to move every night. Because we wanted to see so much of the state, this was the only way to make it happen. We woke Monday morning, got ready, ate breakfast, and got down to the beach as soon as we could. We had to walk about 1/2 mile on trails through a brushy area to get down to the ocean. The weather was WONDERFUL - of course, I'm the type that loves when it's cool enough to wear layers, but not necessarily need a jacket - and the sun was shining.
Our cute toddler at breakfast (love that off center toothy grin!)
Walking about 1/2 mile down to the beach through this brushy area
Yes, I did go on the trip too as evidenced by a rare self photo
Seeing the Pacific Ocean (or any ocean for that matter for Elijah and Caleb) for the first time
Always remembering our sweet girl
We hung out at the beach for awhile, taking lots of pictures and video, writing Felicity's name in the sand, getting a little wet, finding the exoskeletons of many crabs and a few shells. Then we walked back towards the hotel, made a quick stop at Sharky's (tourist trap!), and then back to the hotel to pack up. We left Oceans Shores around 10:30 or so. We had about 170 miles to travel - all the way to Port Angeles, with plans to stop a few times. Caleb fell asleep right away, so we decided to put on as many miles as week could while he was sleeping. The boys were entertained by listening to Jonathan Park on cd while Caleb slept. The scenery was beautiful as we were alternately in woods then right along the Pacific coast. As lunchtime neared, it was beginning to be apparent that we wouldn't be finding any place to eat anytime soon. It was really remote where we were which even required ALL of us not wearing diapers to relieve ourselves in the beauty of God's creation.
Finally we got to a gas station and Paul purchased an emergency loaf of bread and some 'meat' masquerading as salami. The cashier had told him that there was a lodge a few miles ahead with a restaurant, but it wasn't until we got there, that we knew we had hit the jackpot for food. Kalaloch Lodge (and cabins) were beautifully situated in a small cove opening right up to the ocean. Not only was the food yummy, but the view was spectacular. After lunch and a major diaper blowout, we headed down to the beach. It was so much prettier than Ocean Shores, with trees all along the beach rather than hotels.
The view from our table inside the restaurant
Down at the beach, looking towards shore (the water was really moving in and out)
An even prettier place for photos of Felicity's name in the sand The view looking south
There was lots of dead fall along the beach and the boys even found a shelter that had been made out of the trees. We could've stayed there all day, playing and exploring. Paul wandered way out into the water as it was receding and climbed on the rocks out there.
Finally we decided to leave because not far up the coast was our next stop: the HOH National Rainforest, where we planned on doing some hiking before the final leg of the car trip to Port Angeles.
Unfortunately, we didn't arrive in the rainforest until almost 4pm, not anticipating the long drive from the main road into the forest itself. It was worth it though, even though we only stayed an hour and a half. Being that it was the end of the day and we were in a rainforest, it was quite dark (thankful for a flash on my camera or my pictures wouldn't have turned out)
Towards the edge of part of the rainforest, we found a river bed that we weren't able to cross, but explored nonetheless. We were hoping to see some elk, but didn't. A couple that we cross paths with while walking, saw a herd of about 10. I was slightly glad we didn't see any as there were signs about not getting too close as the bull elks could charge.
We were back in the car about 5:15 and trying to get to our hotel before it got too late. This involved fast food for supper and still we arrived past 8:30. We stayed at the Olympic Lodge, which was by far the ritziest of the hotels we stayed at. I forgot to get a picture of the room, but the lobby photo shows that it was no Super 8 Motel.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Olympic Lodge didn't have continental breakfast, it was that nice (ha!) and we opted not to pay $8.95 for 2 organic eggs at the lodge restaurant, so we ate yogurt and applesauce for breakfast in the room, while we hurriedly got ready. We wanted to catch an early-ish ferry across Puget Sound from Port Townsend, rather than driving back through Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle. Taking the ferry would save us about 4 hours of extra driving. Our next leg of our trip was going to take us back east.
Arriving at the ferry dock
2nd to last car on - whew!
Goodbye, Port Townsend (what little we saw of you was nice!) Inside the ferry
The ferry ride was pretty cool. The ferry itself was HUGE and immaculate. The ride took about 30 minutes and we docked on Whidbey Island. From there, we could drive the rest of the way across Puget Sound as there we bridges over the water. We had plans the following day to meet a realtor in Omak (north central WA) and look at some property he had for sale.
Once back to the mainland, we would be driving through the Northern Cascade Mountain range. It was beautiful, but the drive was dampened by my car sickness. I didn't actually get sick, just felt icky the whole drive. We made stops again for bathroom breaks a la nature, but little else. Again the drive took longer than we anticipated.
A beautiful snow-capped peak in the distance
We ended up spending the night in Winthrop, a small western-themed town. It kind of felt like a different world after being near the ocean and the rainforest the day before. Washington is unique in that is has 4 very different ecosystems: ocean, rainforest, mountain, and desert. We stayed at a tiny motel in a tiny room, but it was warm and w/o bedbugs, plus we ate a unique little restaurant with delicious food, so it worked out.
I'm wife to Paul and homeschool mama to our three boys. We also have a beautiful girl and two boys waiting for us in Heaven. I never thought my life experiences would include a divorce, stillbirth, and miscarriage. God's using these experiences to grow me if I let Him. I love my life, but I'm also anxious for Heaven and having my family all together there.