In August my husband, Kevin, and I took a road trip up the California coast to Seattle for the first time and let me say, it was LOVE at first sight. I never really had a desire to visit the PNW until early this year because I have grown incredibly sick and tired of the California heat. I have lived in Southern California my whole life and the heat SUCKS. That being said, the idea of being in 70-degree rainy weather in the middle a summer was very appealing.
I am a planner so a month in advance I was planning out details to the minute and I have come to learn that plans generally don't work out so well. I thought we could drive up the entire PCH in two days...haha, yeah right! We left at noon on a Sunday and got to our hotel, Union Square Plaza Hotel, in San Francisco at midnight. It was my first time in San Fran and apparently if you go 1 block from the hotel we stayed at you run the risk of being mugged. Super fun.
We got up really early the next morning in hopes of getting to Seattle that night which as you can guess didn't happen. The drive way insanely gorgeous and we stopped at the Trees of Mystery in the Redwood Forest to explore. I am completely amazed at the enormity of the beautiful Redwoods and how infinitely small I felt standing next to them. If you ever drive up the coast make sure to stop there, I promise you wont regret it!
Since we obviously weren't going to make it to Seattle that evening we checked in to a hotel in Portland for the night. Actually more like morning because we got there at 2am :/
Finally two long days later we made it to the beautiful city of Seattle. I was awestruck by the beauty of the cityscape against the backdrop of the evergreen trees and the Puget Sound. So gorgeous!!!
We were typical tourists and visited the Space Needle (morning & night), Pacific Science Center, EMP Museum and the Argosy Harbor Cruise using the Seattle City Pass and checked out the Pikes Place Market. It was so much fun!
We also wanted to get a feel for being a legit Seattleite so we went to some local shops and hung out on the shores of Richmond Beach in the cute suburb of Shoreline. My husband had been looking at some potential jobs in the area so we wanted to see if we would fit in to the Seattle culture and we found out we don't. We are in no way city people, even though Seattle is nothing like LA or NY, we just like being out in the middle of no where or in a small town not too many people know exists.
By far the best part of our trip was going whale watching in the San Juan Islands with Island Mariner Cruises. We saw a pod of Orcas and it was breathtaking. I have always loved Orcas and being able to see them wild and free was one of those moments I will never forget. The San Juan Islands are site all to themselves though. While on our 8 hour long whale watching experience we saw seals sun-bathing on the island shores and bald eagles perched in the evergreen trees. It really was something else.
After 5 days exploring the northwest corner of our great nation we headed back home, taking HWY 5 this time, and made the drive in 17 hours. The PNW is a beautiful place and I look forward to going back someday. Hint, hint to any brides wanting a destination wedding in Seattle :D