Pacific Northwest Personal Work

A vacation was exactly what we needed. A chance to unplug from our day to day activities, work and the chilly Minnesota winter that seems to persist for too long in the spring. Tom and I went on a three leg vacation in March, first to the Pacific Northwest and finishing in San Francisco for our friend's wedding. I'll share more from California in a following post, but today I wanted to share photos from our time on Orcas Island in Washington state. We also visited Seattle, but our favorite part of the trip was the time we spent exploring the Island, which is where most of these photos were taken. We arrived in Seattle and immediately set out for Orcas Island. It's part of the San Juan Islands which are famous for whale watching. Getting to the Island includes a ferry ride from the Anacortes port. It's a really pretty ferry ride and especially for first-timers like us!

Since we were visiting in the off-season for whales, we didn't have any actual Orca sightings, but there was plenty of other things to check out during our stay. We spent two nights at the cutest home, called Winterpond, which I found on Airbnb, which basically felt like we lived on the set of a Nora Ephron movie for a few days. We cooked giant breakfasts and drank lots of strong, French press coffee before setting out to hike for most of the day. The house was super close to Moran State Park, which had plenty of sweeping views of the island, waterfalls and hiking trails to keep us busy for a few days.

If you're going, here are a few recommendations to check out:

Orcas Island

- get there via the Washington State Ferry System

- stay at Winterpond

- get your sweet tooth fix at Brown Bear Bakery

- grab Pad Thai for lunch at The Kitchen

- drive to the top of Mount Constitution in Moran State Park and check out the many hiking trails

Seattle

- get breakfast at Biscuit Bitch. The name is edgy, but the food is aaaaaaaaamazing. Coffee here is also tasty - just because you're in Seattle doesn't mean you have to drink Starbucks!

- drive south-east of the city and hike 2 miles to the top of Rattlesnake Ledge

- after hiking Rattlesnake Ledge, you'll deserve a hearty meal. I usually crave a burger and fries after that kind of adventure. If you're in the same boat, satisfy your craving at Giddyup Burgers & Greens. Not only do they have delicious burgers and sweet potato fries, they have a great selection of local craft beer, which is always fun to sample.

We absolutely loved our time in the PNW. Since we were there in early spring, most of Mount Rainier was still closed for winter, so we didn't get a chance to visit on this trip. Next time we go, we will definitely be spending some time there. Orcas Island was a relaxing haven and exactly what we were looking for. Go visit, you will love it!

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