You may have noticed I've been MIA for a bit. That's because I skipped town and went west. Before the crack of dawn Friday I got up and flew to Seattle to see one lovely Val. The weather was perfect. None off that rainy Seattle you hear about. That said, here are all the fantastic things we did during our beautiful crystal-clear sky weekend.
Friday: First, an early morning flight but with views like I've never seen. I actually took pictures through the airplane window they were so amazing! Once I got to Seattle and we adequately greeted each other with squealing and hugging, we explored some wonderful neighborhoods in town. Each so unique! So artsy, so fun. Actually, kind of like South Congress here in Austin. Well, one thing SoCo doesn't have, a troll under a bridge holding a VW bug. Seriously. We also ate delicious chocolate on our meandering adventure (come to think of it, I might have a piece of that tonight after dinner). Then off to the Space Needle for lunch. Dungeness crab melt and flat bread pizza with cocktails of course. Then more exploring of Seattle including Pike's Place Market and the original Starbucks. Happy hour on Puget Sound with a mountainous view and more exploring. We ended up in a quaint neighborhood that kind of reminded me of Back Bay in Boston. Finally we crashed at Val's very kind aunt and uncle's place, but not before some late night girl talk with a bottle of chardonnay.
Saturday: Up early and off to see the UW campus where Val is a law student. Gorgeous! Almost a gothic type architecture and some of the largest evergreen trees I've ever seen. Also a lovely fountain surrounded by rose gardens. Splendid. Then up the road to a local beach. But not any beach, a beach with a mountain view. Does it really get better than that? Then we spent a relaxing afternoon a little outside of Seattle doing wine tastings. Among the deliciousness was a red with a hint of chocolate. I may not be able to identify oak flavors or citrusy things but chocolate I have down. Then out to Anacortes to grab the ferry over to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands where we greeted Justin as he wrapped up his bartending shift.
Sunday: On the island we went into "town" to grab coffee for breakfast. I can best describe the town by saying it is like Nantucket but on the West Coast. Adorable shops, cafes and restaurants with a small local island community and lots of affluent snowbirds and vacationers in the summer. Then we drove up to the north part of the island with our fingers crossed for some whale watching. The whales did not cooperate but the views were breathtaking. Just up the road a bit to the "English camp" as in the English army which had once been stationed here and almost went into battle with the Americans over a shot pig. It ended peacefully with England receiving Victoria (now part of Canada) and the US getting the San Juan Islands. Despite reading the historical marker, I can't tell you any more than that. Next we did a hike up a hill for more outstanding views of the islands and mountains. Then a quick change out of sweaty clothes back at the cottage and out to South Beach with its black sand and rocky shoreline. Finally, an early dinner back at Justin's restaurant complete with mussels and risotto before heading back to the cottage to make s'mores around the campfire.
Monday: Val woke up super early to get the car in line for the 8a ferry and eventually we meandered our persons down there as well. Ferry back to the mainland, a quick outlet mall trip and to the airport for my flight back to home sweet Texas.
It was a very lovely trip. Not only did I get to see Val, Justin and Penny but Seattle and the San Juan Islands are so pretty (and not 105 degrees, thank goodness). It was great to see one of my favorite Deltas and explore a new part of the world. Enjoy the pictures!
Verdict: The 2011 Cheryl-only trip was a success.