Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Road trips (like this one) rock!

I haven't written in almost a week because we are on a road trip, it is fabulous, and I've had no time. Road trips are not something I do often, as I'm not a huge fan of driving. But there are times when nothing is better. If you have time, don't feel rushed, and the whole point of driving is to stop along the way, then this is a Big Huge MUST. The last time I did a road trip was two years ago when I took the girls and we drove to Denver. We stopped in Moab and it was spectacular and unexpected and if we had simply hopped on a plane, we would have missed it.

So flash forward to planning out this summer. William and I decided to take two trips, one via plane and another in a car. Since I planned out the whole South America trip, plus last summer's trip to Italy, it was his turn. This is what we've done so far...

Day 1 - Pendleton, Oregon

We left Salt Lake City and made it to Pendleton where we stayed the night. We walked the small, picturesque, cute town. We also saw some pretty cool wildlife off the side of the road.

Day 2 - Snoqualmie Falls, Washington and Seattle

We drove through Richland, Washington, home of my dad! I have visited Richland more times than I can count but the last time I was there was in high school. Oh the memories! But we didn't even stop. We got to Snoqualmie Falls, Washington and hiked down to the falls. It was very hot but breathtakingly beautiful. We stopped at a raspberry farm and picked our own. I ate more raspberries straight off the bushes than made it into our basket. We also stopped at a farmer's market and purchased Rainier cherries and all the spices and sauces that I could fit in my basket. We survived crazy traffic into Seattle and drove by William's former homes, then met up with his daughter and son-in-law at Benihana's for dinner. Believe it or not, I've never eaten at the chain. I collapsed in bed that evening. I was so tired!

Day 3 & 4 - Victoria, Canada

We took the ferry to Victoria and checked into our hotel. We didn't realize what a spectacular location we chose-- literally a stone's throw from the famous Empress hotel. I was here, too, but the last time was in 1986. I hardly remember this phenomenally adorable city. We visited Butchart Gardens, walked the town, took a nap and went swimming, and spent two nights sitting on the waterfront watching street acts, sipping fresh lemonade, and eating grilled corn on the cob. (By the second night in Victoria, I was thinking that I could really get into this whole Canadian thing.)

Day 5 - Vancouver, Canada

We went to Granville Island public market, got lunch, ate more fresh fruit, and purchased cheese and chocolates. We checked into our amazing hotel downtown and paid $40 for parking. That's Chicago prices! After soaking in the pool, sauna and hot tubs, Morgan watched Siena while William and I had a date. We walked up and down festive main streets, and got sashimi and sushi. Yum! Fantastic restaurants, fresh produce, and organic everything. Right up my alley.

Day 6 - Harrison Hot Springs, Canada

We drove to home of the Sasquatch! We stayed at the historic Harrison Hot Springs hotel, spent hours soaking in the hot springs, checked in the girls for a two hour romp on outdoor slides in the lake, then had another Liz-William date. I picked up a pizza and salad for the girls. They were exhausted and more than happy to watch TV and relax. We went to dinner in the main restaurant. So fun-- very vintage vibe, 1950's style. We ate fillet while watching the older people dance the fox trot to the live band.

Day 7 - LaConner & Seattle

We stopped in the beautiful town of LaConner for lunch and then I hit up a lavender shop where I went a little crazy buying soaps, lavender dark chocolate, lavender lemonade, and lotions. And here we are back in Seattle, tired, with a Big Fat Headache and, oh, so very happy.

So far, this has been a perfect trip and I wouldn't change a thing. We have five more days before we head back and we'll explore Seattle the rest of the time-- Pike's Place, the underground original city, the big huge Ferris Wheel and who knows what else?

I love exploring everywhere. It expands my horizons and my perspective. And, for my daughters, it helps them realize that the world is one big, amazing place.