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  • Writer's picturethetravelingartemis

Pacific Northwest

Trip Occurred: August 2009 Blog Written: August 2020

Hello! Let's start by saying that this a post on an older trip so it will be short. I love the PNW and couldn't help but sharing some of my time there. On this trip I spent a week touring Vancouver and Washington state with my parents. I love how green everything is in this part of the world.

The first stop on our trip was Vancouver, a beautiful and amazing city. We were only there for a couple of days but I was very impressed by what I saw. I would love to return one day and explore it fully. I will say it may be the cleanest city I have ever visited with some of the best food I've ever eaten. It was the weirdest thing, it didn't seem to matter where we went or what type of food we ate, it was all amazing.

A unique aspect of this trip was Vancouver was getting ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Kind of cool to see a city get ready for such a big event. I was in London before the 2012 Summer Olympics and that was also a treat. Cities just seem a little more done up when they're prepping for the Olympics.

One of the reasons to visit Vancouver (or Victoria, or Seattle, or this area in general) is to see the beautiful residential Orcas in the wild. I've been fortunate enough to visit them twice and this is among my favorite whale watching excursions. I highly recommend going as soon as you can.

While this whole trip was fantastic, we did make one mistake and that was visiting the Vancouver Aquarium right after we went whale watching. The Vancouver Aquarium is fantastic and I highly recommend it but after seeing these beautiful animals in the wild it was a little depressing seeing dolphins and belugas in captivity. I recommend if you plan on doing both, just reverse the order.

Before we get to Stanley Park, I must take a moment to acknowledge another animal you can see in the PNW, the Bald Eagle. I know that these can be seen throughout a lot of the USA but I've never seen as many as I saw in this area of the continent.

Another interesting place to visit in Vancouver is Stanley Park. It's a huge park near downtown Vancouver that includes the Vancouver Aquarium, horse-drawn carriage tours, a rose garden and more.

After Vancouver it was time to visit the great state of Washington. We took two days going around the Olympic Peninsula. This is the only time I've been to this part of the state but I loved it. I would definitely like to visit again the future. The picture above was taken in Neah Bay.

Our next stop around the peninsula was a stop at La Push, which should sound familiar for any Twilight fans out there. This was during peak Twilight fanfare, which made it kind of fascinating to go around the town. We stayed at a B&B in Forks (the main town featured in Twilight) as it's a great location to stay if you plan on visiting the Hoh Rain Forest, which is what we did. The town of Forks is very small but there were people lined up to take pictures in front of the Forks sign and Twilight touring vans everywhere. There were posters from the movie plastered to shop windows (shops that had no relationship to the book or film). Anyway, as you can see from the picture above, La Push is a beautiful beach. If you have the time to visit, I highly recommend the stop. In fact, the entire Olympic Peninsula is great drive. Just beautiful green trees everywhere.

Speaking of green...The Hoh Rain Forest! It's one of the largest temperate rain forests in the USA.


Anyone else expecting a raptor or some other type of dinosaur to emerge from the ferns? No? Just me? Moving on...

To Seattle! Not much to say on Seattle other than it's a great city. It reminds me a lot of San Francisco. As someone who loves rain and cloudy weather, it's my type of town. I really should visit more.

The Ballard Locks is a great place to visit in Seattle that's not always at the top of everyone's list. There's a salmon ladder here so check out their website to determine the best time to visit.

And I leave you with a picture of the Pike Place Market.

Oh! One last thought! While I didn't take any pictures, we ended this trip at the Fairmont Olympic in Seattle. We had a corner room and the turn down service was fantastic. I'm not a big turn down person (as I've probably already turned down the bed myself) but there was something about this one. They put on classical music, dimmed the lights, turned down the was perfect! Can't wait to go back and experience it again! I'd go back to Seattle just to stay at the Fairmont again!

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