Earlier this year, Ryan asked me if I would like to go on a vacation with him in May, right before Memorial Day. We normally go to Colorado to see my mom and run the Bolder Boulder 10k on Memorial Day. Ryan said that he wanted to plan a vacation and that we would still go to Colorado but the week beforehand, we would go on a vacation together. Of course I said yes :) But when I asked where we were going...he refused to tell me. It was a secret :) Everyone tried to get him to tell them where we were going but he didn't tell anyone - not his parents or my parents or his siblings or even any friends or coworkers (but they all tried really hard to get him to tell them). Finally we left for vacation on Thursday 5/17 and he still hadn't told me where we were going. All I knew was that the temperatures could range from 30 - 80 degrees, that I did not need a swimsuit, and that I should bring tennis shoes, clothes that can get dirty and possibly some rain gear. We flew out of Orlando and had a layover in Denver and then I finally got to know where we were flying to - Seattle! Neither of us has been to Seattle or really anywhere in the northwest so I was pretty excited.
But we weren't just going to Seattle...we are doing a road trip from Seattle to San Francisco to explore the pacific northwest coast and all the national parks along the way. We arrived very late Thursday night so Friday we spent the day in Seattle. We went to Boeing and took a tour - that was pretty cool :) Then we made our way back downtown and wandered around near the space needle, got some lunch by the port/pier and mosied around town. After people got out of work, we met my friend Austin (who used to work with me at Piper) at a bar downtown. We ended up staying out and drinking for four or five hours so Austin was nice enough to let us crash at his house. Yay for free lodging!
This morning, we actually woke up really early because the sun comes up so early here - we were wide awake by 5:45am! So we headed out to get breakfast and go to Mt. Rainier. It took us a couple hours to get there but the views were spectacular and we did a little hiking too. We got really lucky with the weather, it was a tiny bit chilly but it was sunny and the skies were clear and blue. There was a ton of snow on Mt. Rainier still which meant there were some areas that we weren't able to go to. We were a little disappointed that we hadn't seen much wildlife but then right before we left we saw a cool fox that just stopped and waited for us to take his picture.
After Mt. Rainier we were pretty exhausted so we went and got some burgers at a local cafe. Then we decided to try to go to Mount St Helen's before we left Washington. We were a little worried that the roads might be closed due to snow since some of Mt. Rainier was still closed but we decided to check it out anyways. After driving about an hour, we expected to either be able to go through or reach a wall of snow. Instead we got this:
We could have still possibly gone to Mount St. Helen's a different route but it would have added about 4-5 hours of driving time and we didn't want to go quite that far. So instead we decided to head towards Astoria, Oregon. We were about 2 hours from Astoria but we kept taking detours and stopping at little overviews so it took us more like 3 hours but we finally arrived and are ready to start part two of the trip: Oregon coastline.