Tuesday, June 28, 2016

25th Anniversary Trip to WA State: Leg 2

We got up and got moving pretty quickly on the first morning of our Adventure. We knew there were a few places we wanted to see on Bainbridge Island, plus we had a 3 hour drive to Olympia and it was a scenic drive so we didn’t want to be in a rush.
We got up and headed to the nearest coffee place. (Priorities, ya know.) Once we were fueled up we headed up to the Bloedel Reserve. This is a place everyone told us we could not miss. We got there about an hour before it opened so we drove around a bit while we were waiting. During that drive we happened upon this cute little park called Fay Bainbridge Park. It was amazing! What a find. We wandered out to the water and I stuck my feet in the Pacific Ocean for the first time ever…well the Puget Sound part anyway. Have Mercy that was COLD water!

This was the sweetest little beach area. There were lots of giant tree trunk drift wood logs you could climb on and lots of shells and really cool rocks to collect. By the way, real love is having a husband who is willing to put rocks in his suitcase because his wife thinks they’re pretty.

 We found this cool fort someone had made out of the driftwood and I so wished our kids were there. Okay, maybe our kids of about 10 years ago. Those kids and their cousins would have thought they’d died and gone to heaven if they could have camped at this park and played on that beach and in that little fort!

Once we’d collect all the rocks and seashells we wanted, or rather all that someone was willing to carry in their luggage, we went back to the Bloedel Reserve.

This place was incredible. Absolutely amazing. It’s a botanical garden on steroids. This is how I imagine the Garden of Eden. Instead of trying to describe it I’m just going to show you the pictures. They really don’t do the place justice.

(These leaves were about 20" in diameter. Larger than dinner plates!)

(Can't you just imagine Adam and Eve strolling down this path?)

While we were on the path we suddenly heard all the squirrels and birds screeching and tweeting loudly. We stopped and listened because Dave said, “Something nearby is bothering them.” Sure enough, we spotted a Barred Owl! It was just sitting there pretty as you please looking right at us. Before I could get a good photo he flew over to another tree that was back-lit by the sun.

Here is a photo of him. He’s right in the center. You can kinda see his tail off to the left of the trunk of the tree.

In this video you can see him fly off.

It was really cool!! I LOVE owls. We have a pair of Great Horned Owls that occasionally land on our tree in front of our house. I love hearing them, and they way they fly is so majestic!

Once we were done we went back through the main house and I mentioned to the curator that I had seen an owl. She said I was probably mistaken. “You never see the owls here.”  She said.  I showed her that video and she was amazed. She said she’d worked there for 10 years, even gone on some owl walks they put on, and she’d never seen one. They know they are there, but no one ever sees them. Apparently I’m the owl whisperer!

Once we were done there we grabbed some food and headed down the 101 to Olympia. The drive, with the top down and the sun shining and the temps hovering in the 70’s, was the absolute perfect way to spend an afternoon!

We got to Olympia in the early evening, checked into our hotel, and went looking for a place to eat. We found a cute little restaurant with an outdoor patio that served some amazing fish and chips. We sat out there for a while, leisurely enjoying both our food, the weather, and people watching.

At one point Dave said that he was looking at the quintessential Pacific Northwest male getting out of his car. I could not see him, but I described him to a T! Mid-length hair, beanie, dark-rimmed glasses, flannel over a T-Shirt, skinny pants, not denim but some other material like khaki or corduroy (they were corduroy) a messenger or cross-body bag of some sort, and sandals. The shoes were the only thing I got wrong. He was wearing sneakers.  We had a good laugh at this. Every area has a type. We all know what the typical Texan looks like!

We ended the day sitting out on the patio of our hotel watching the sun set reflect off of Mt. Rainier.

When we checked out the next day I asked the lady behind the counter what Mountain I had seen the night before and she told me it was Mt. Rainier and that I was very lucky to have seen it. It’s pretty rare to be able to see it from the hotel. Usually it’s socked in behind clouds and fog.

It was a red letter day for me! An owl AND a mountain! 

Snaps Day 2

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