Ok, now that I've gotten that out of the way, this last weekend I was able to take part in a great adventure, one that even allowed me to check another item off of my 20+10 in 2010 list.
On Friday night Jennifer, Suzie and I all piled into our friend Johnny's Ford Explorer, along with a trunk full of camping supplies, and we made our way down to the Edmonds ferry. After a 40 min. wait and the 30 min. crossing we finally made it to the Olympic Peninsula and were well on our way to Port Angelos. Save for a little road construction we made good time, yet we still reached Jen and Suzies co-workers property well after sunset. We set up our tents in their apple orchard by lantern light and then, even though we were exhausted, we managed to play a couple rounds of Nerts before collapsing into our sleeping bags where I'm fairly sure we all had a chilly and restless sleep.
Saturday was a full day. We woke up at the crack of dawn to catch the ferry from Port Angelus over to Victoria B.C. The sun was out and the day was beautiful. We all kept our fingers crossed that we would see some whales in the Straight of Juan deFuca. In the end we only got to see tricky porpoise's who disguise themselves as whales. Nuts.
Our day in Victoria could be summed up in one word, WALKING, and my feet turned a nice shade of black in my flip flops to proove it. No we didn't go to the Buchart Gardens (with a $28 entry fee that will have to wait for a later time), but we sure did walk a lot. Here's some of what we did.
- Had a photo shoot in front of the Parliament building
- Went into the famous Empress Hotel and inquired about afternoon tea ($55, yikes!)
- Walked around Victoria's small Chinatown. I particularly liked the narrow alleyways.
- got free ice cream from a street fair
- Watched part of a dreadfully boring game of Cricket at Beacon Hill Park. Where we also played Pooh Sticks in a pond, fed the ducks, listened to some musicians practice, looked at flowers and walked on the beach where we could stare across the straight back at our homeland.
- Had afternoon tea at a small tea house (or at least Jen and Suzie did, I had Chicken Pot Pie and Johnny had Quiche). Nearly every inch of the walls in the tea house were covered with pictures of the British Royal Family. It was amazing. AND on a side note, right after we were done paying Johnny looked out the window and saw a man whose wheel chair had fallen over and he was laying in a parking lot across the street. So we all ran out to help. As soon as we got there he started swearing at us and then when I asked if we could help he told me I couldn't but a strong man could. Enter Johnny and two other guys who had come over as well. Then they guy had a change of heart and thanked us profusely.
- We walked along Fishermans wharf and the inner harbor
Beacon Hill Park
It's amazing how quickly time can pass by during the day. There was so much more to see while we were in Victoria but we had to be back at the dock to catch our ferry by 6 so I guess the rest will have to wait for another time.
That night, after walking around Victoria all day we went back to her co-workers property (where there was also a house) for a party. Thankfully it wasn't a wild party, more like a chill backyard BBQ around a giant campfire with loud pumping music (the co-workers husband is a sound/light guy for Benaroya Hall so he has some awesome equipment).
Unkowingly that night allowed me to cross another item off of my 20+10 in 2010 list, "Do something I fear." See, they had a zipline going from their house to a small island in the middle of the pond in their backyard. I saw it and instantly knew I had to try it. Now, to get to said zipline you had to climb 20 feet into the air on a very wobbly ladder. Enter my shaky legs and sweaty palms and it made me even more nervous. Now, I must interject here, I am NOT afraid of heights, but I AM afraid of falling. Interpret that as you may. Once you reach the top of the ladder you then have to turn around and grab a strap which you then have to put around your body and then sit in. It sounds easier than it is. Add in the pitch blackness of the night and it made for a pretty nerve wracking event. But that was all the hard part. Once I let go and went soaring on the zipline it was amazing.
Sunday our plan had been to see Lake Crescent and then to go into the Rainforest because Jen had never been there. When the family heard we were going to Lake Crescent they knew exactly what spot we should go to and even decided to go with us.
A one mile hike along the lakeshore brought us to the Punch Bowl. A place where a lagoon had been carved out from the rock wall and a bridge went across it. The water of Lake Crescent is a crystal blue and almost tropical, deceptivaly so because when you actually touch the water it's FREEZING. I decided to get in by jumping off a twelve foot rock. That's the only way to do it if you ask me. Afterwards we swam over to the punch bowl and took turns jumping in off the bridge. It was so much fun and is definitely a place I'll be getting back to.
Our original plan had been to make the 4:40 ferry. When that didn't work out our goal was the 5:45 and then the 6:10. In the end we weren't able to get a ticket for anything sooner than the 7:45 crossing. Bad luck with having to wait as they opened and closed the Hood Canal bridge contributed to this and then, literally as we pulled up to the ticket kiosk they changed the selling time from 7:00 to 7:45, our luck. At least that meant that we could park our car and go off to have a nice dinner as we waited.
Overall I had an amazing time this weekend. I can only hope that I have more weekends like that in my future. Thanks friends for being such awesome travel buddies!