I had a great time visiting the Pacific Northwest this past weekend with some great friends. Along with Virginia (the person, not the state), I visited Christie, David, Steven, and Ariel in Seattle, and then we traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Here are some trip highlights.
1. The ferry.
We traveled from Seattle to nearby Bainbridge Island, a very small neighborhood with some shops and restaurants. The shops and restaurants were cute (and Virginia and I liked our pesto penne at the Streamliner restaurant), but the best part was the ferry itself. The ferry was the largest boat I’ve ever seen (but then again, I don’t often travel by boat), and it looked like an airport terminal on the inside. We rode the $7.50 ferry (much cheaper than a boat tour!) at dusk and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Seattle skyline under the setting sun.
2. The bridge troll.
There’s a troll underneath the Fremont bridge. It’s hilarious, and it seems to be a great way to represent the quirky Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. In addition to the Fremont Troll, we also explored Fremont’s yummy Theo Chocolate Factory. We also traveled to the cute and full-of-character Ballard neighborhood, downtown Seattle (where we toured Seattle’s old underground), the Queen Anne neighborhood (home of the Experience Music Project Museum, where we got to learn about Nirvana and Avatar), and the West Seattle neighborhood (where we had a yummy croissiant).
3. Hiking up a mountain.
Believe it or not, I went hiking. We hiked a trail called Twin Falls, where we got to see a rushing river and a beautiful water fall. And as if that’s not enough water for you, it rained the whole time. Good thing I had my bright blue rain jacket, fresh out of the Target teen department (really, Target, you don’t sell rain jackets in the ladies department? Good thing I’m shaped like a teenager.). It was wet, exhausting, and muddy, but a lot of fun.
4. O Canada!
Probably my favorite part of the trip was crossing the border into the place they call “our home and native land.” Vancouver looks just like the rest of America, with some minor funny differences. The mailboxes look different, people talk funny, and people make fun of you when you don’t know what to do with your loonies and toonies. We walked around the trendy Gastown neighborhood, ate at Tim Horton’s (the Canadian Starbucks), hiked through Stanley Park (the Central Park of Canada), and enjoyed Granville Island (a market the size of an island). We loved all the souvenir stores selling maple treats and moose keychains — and any country known for maple and moose is a great country in my book.
5. Nature and wildlife
Walking through Twin Falls and Stanley Park really made us stop and inspect nature. We loved seeing the swan and other ducklings at Stanley Park, and we were disappointed that we didn’t get to see any real beavers in Stanley Park’s Beaver Lake. As a city girl at heart (okay, let’s not kid anyone, I’m really a suburban girl posing as a city girl), it’s not often that I get to be close to geese (Virginia: “Watch out, Lia, those things bite!”), so it was definitely an experience.
The Pacific Northwest region really knows how to sell food. We loved going to the Granville Island market in Vancouver and the Pike Place market in Seattle. It’s fun to see live vendors selling everything from fresh fish to chocolate pasta to warm cinnamon donuts. You could smell each food as you passed its kiosk, making you hungry for something you didn’t even know you wanted (I could really go for one of those spinach-filled bagels right about now).
It was a great trip, and we all had a really nice time. Check out my Facebook photo album, in case you didn’t believe me that we got to tour a chocolate factory, or that I met a stuffed moose taller than me, or that we saw a steamed clock, or that we got to become a character in the movie Avatar.
Okay, time to start planning my next trip. Where are we going, friends?