When I woke up July 11th 2017 I had my bag packed and flight outfit set aside for a 4:30 flight to Chicago Illinois. I was going to be flying standby to visit my friend for about a week in the Windy City. Where we planned to eat some Chicago-Style hot dogs, walk Navy Pier, and take selfies out in Millennium Park.
Now how did I go from heading to Chicago to ending up in Spanaway Washington? 4 failed standby flights later I was met with the task of buying at least a one way ticket to the US mainland and try to get to Chicago from there. I had been at the airport for 9 hours, (that is two large coffees, a sandwich, and a phone battery length of time). Searching for the cheapest flights I found a flight to Seattle Washington for $456. I had a friend there that I was sure I might be able to meet for coffee during whatever duration layover I may be there. So a few phone calls and card transactions later I was officially headed to Seattle for at least a day. ….. Which turned into a week!
I was greeted by my friend at the SEATAC airport around 8 in the morning & we found ourselves on our way up to Mt.Rainier by 11. Although I was there unexpectedly I was definitely digging this so far. In the first three hours that I was there!
There were lush Evergreens every where you turned (no wonder it is called the Evergreen State), and wildflowers lined the roads the entire way up the mountain. I can only imagine how scenic some of the camping spots must be in the area.
Our first stop was Alder Lake. I hadn’t seen a lake with so many beautiful blue hues since I had been up in the Sierra Nevadas. I could of easily spent an entire day just exploring the area.
Our second stop was Narada Falls. It was nice to hike a path that was framed with a forest instead of a jungle. A tad cold compared to Hawai’i, but it was a favorable change. We came at a perfect time to capture a few pictures of Narada Falls. The way the water was cascading down the cliffs, and the angle of sun, gave us a beautiful rainbow in the mist at the base. It gave off a very mystical feeling.
After a few homemade musubi’s and a little bit more driving we finally had made it to Mt.Rainier. It was incredibly picturesque. The landscape was a mixture of The Materhorn and The Sound Of Music. As soon as we had parked we made our way directly to some of the walking trails. There was deer on the side of the hills, and snowy patches with more wildflowers blooming alongside them. Had I really been in flip flops walking around Waikiki just 24 hours prior? Sometimes traveling feels so surreal to me.
After getting a hold of my friend who was in Chicago, and having one amazing day exploring the Mt.Rainier area, I made the decision to stay in Washington. Although still ill packed, *my 50 cent vintage suitcase held only skirts, shorts, and cutesy tops- not pants and sweatshirts, I wanted to experience more of what this state had to offer.
The following day I joined my friend and her family on a trip up to Seattle. They had decided to stay around the the Pike’s Place Market for a few hours, and immediatly noted all of the little coffee shops in the area. I may have to make a bucketlist just to knock off all of them one day. We walked around while men tossed fish across store fronts, people took selfies on a golden pig (I am one-guilty), and stuck gum on walls.
I think by far one of my favorite parts of this was just walking around and seeing all the different people that were there, and the old buildings. I’m a sucker for culture.
The following days were relaxed and started off with a cup of coffee every morning on her back porch. There was hiking, eating hot dogs while watching baseball, and some nature walks around a local park/ lake. I brought three cameras with me on this trip. My regular Digital Canon, a Canon AE-l (film camera), and my brand new InstaxMini 8. I actually took more photos on the two film cameras than my digital, so they will be uploaded…eventually.
In the end I had a great trip, even if it was extremely last minute and all around spontaneous. But in honesty those kind of trips are my favorite! I can’t wait to explore the area a little more in depth next time and see what else this beautiful state has to offer.
Until next time Washignton….