Thursday, June 28, 2018

Long Weekend in Washington - Day 1

When the kiddos are going to be visiting family for a couple weeks and Frontier has $20 flights to Washington, what do you do? You book a flight! Well, we don't usually, but that's exactly what happened this summer.

While we were gearing up for The Boy's graduation, an email from Frontier Airlines announced $20 flights. Usually the super-cheap flights aren't going anywhere we want to go, but this time we noticed flights to Spokane, Washington. We had been talking about visiting the Puget Sound area for awhile so we made reservations to fly in to Spokane (because flying in to Seattle costs too much $$$) and then made arrangements to travel west across the entire state toward the coast (only a few hours drive time).

We were worried about spending money on the mini vacation because we are still working on the last of our debt snowball. But as it turns out, the trip was just what we needed to mentally unwind! The weather was fantastic (apparently we were lucky since June weather in Washington can be iffy), we kept costs to a minimum, and except for a couple hiccups, things went surprisingly according to plan!

2 round trip tickets with one checked bag (each way), 1 (free) personal bag for each of us, and choosing seats wound up being $150.

We flew out of Denver on a Wednesday and arrived in Spokane at about 6:30pm. We immediately got our rental car and started west. We had reservations in a little town called Wilbur at a cute motel called Willows Motel.

Its age definitely showed but it was clean, quiet, and the price was right. The owner was also super friendly!

Washington, Day 1:

Thursday, we planned to make it across the state and out to the Olympic Peninsula by dinnertime. That would be easy to do if we didn't spend so much time sight-seeing along the way. It was interesting to see that a lot of the scenery in western Washington looked very much like parts of Colorado.

We stopped for lunch in the Bavarian town of Leavenworth. We were able to browse the shops and enjoy a brat (sampling several mustards, too) before getting back on the road.

The only unplanned stop we made was at a place called "Deception Falls". Mr. LH saw a little sign on the side of the road and decided to pull over to investigate. I'm so glad he did!

Coming from arid Colorado, I had expected everything in Washington to be greener, but this was beyond anything I had imagined! Everything was SO green! From deep forest green to bright neon green! And moss was everywhere! I don't think I've seen moss since we left North Carolina!

And Deception Falls was no wimpy waterfall, but a raging torrent of water!

We could have spent the whole afternoon there but we reluctantly kept it to about an hour.

Knowing the stop at Deception Falls put us behind a bit, we limited the remaining stops to gas and bathroom breaks. Otherwise, I would have insisted we stop to buy fresh picked cherries at one of the many, many, MANY cherry groves we passed on the way.

As luck would have it, we wound up in metro Seattle just in time to experience rush hour. Our plan was to catch the ferry in Edmonds. We didn't think there would be such a long line of commuters waiting for the ferry along with us. But then, we hadn't planned on arriving right at rush hour, either.

We sat in line for a good 45 minutes before we even paid to get on the ferry. Then we waited another 20 minutes to board the ferry. Considering the time of day, I don't think that was too bad. But I wouldn't want to do that every day. Both ways. Ugh.

Perhaps if you were a pedestrian, the wait for the ferry would be much shorter (there was PLENTY of room on our ferry for more people, just no more room for cars).

Once we departed the ferry, we were still about an hour away from the motel and the sun was sinking fast. We were headed toward Sequim (pronounced Squim).

The motel where we would spend the next 2 nights is called Great House Motel and it was perfect! The room was a single and it was pretty small, but it was nicely decorated, very clean and very comfortable! And again, the price was right. The wifi signal was strong (we had a router in the room with us), it had a microwave and refrigerator and the owners left us bottled water, bananas and trail mix both days we stayed there (which was nice to have with us on our outings). The next time we visit the area (and we will) we will definitely plan to stay here again!

If you ever plan to visit Sequim for dinner, plan to visit early. Everything closed by 9pm (except Taco Bell and the restaurant at the local casino). Even the Japanese restaurant right next to our hotel closed at 9...just as we were checking in. It IS a small town so I should have expected it, but we rarely go out to eat anymore so I just didn't even think of it. We opted to stop by the grocery store to find something that could be eaten cold or heated in the microwave in our motel room.

To Be Continued...

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