After two weeks in lovely autumnal New England, it was time to say goodbye to my family and head west. We had a very early morning flight out of Hartford, headed for Seattle via Chicago. Due to some issues with one of the plane’s engines (yeah, that made me feel great), we were delayed quite a bit and had to run like mad to make our connecting flight. Luckily, we got to the gate just in time and eventually arrived in Seattle, tired but ready to explore.
As the first stop on our week-long Pacific Northwest honeymoon, Seattle was home for just one night before we’d pick up our rental car and head into Olympic National Park. I didn’t bring my DSLR around for our city adventures, but my phone did the job. We hit Pike’s Place Market, of course, and my lunch consisting of a Dungeness crab grilled cheese was out of this world. Then, we enjoyed some beers at Pine Box, a mortuary turned craft beer bar. Yup, sounds like the Pacific Northwest to me!
After getting up so early, and planning to be up early again the next day to grab the ferry to our rental car, we didn’t make it a late night. We walked the darkening streets back to our hotel, admiring the beauty of Seattle after a rain shower.
Back at the Marqueen Hotel, we tucked into some cheese and crackers while waiting for our bags to arrive. Though we made the connection earlier in the day, there was no chance our luggage would! Luckily, it arrived in one piece and we were ready for the rest of the trip and a good night’s rest.
The next morning, we got an Uber to the ferry port, bound for Bremerton across Puget Sound.
There were great moody views of downtown Seattle as we headed out into the sound. We’d love to go back and see more of this cool city next time!
On the ferry, it was time for some hot drinks while gazing out the window, hoping to see the critters of Puget Sound – maybe seals, sea lions or even some otters or orcas.
Ok, we’ll settle for some cormorants.
Eventually we did see some sea lions diving and playing in the waters offshore, but they were too tricky to capture on camera.
As we journeyed further along, we passed beautiful homes nestled in the trees on Bainbridge Island, which I’m positive is not a cheap place to live!
The mist and light rain added to the atmosphere of the place, making Puget Sound seem otherworldly, like a grey-washed dreamscape.
We didn’t expect so much foliage in this corner of the US, but there were splashes of orange everywhere.
After about an hour, we disembarked in Bremerton, then grabbed another Uber (where the driver eagerly told us how happily divorced he was after finding out we were here on our honeymoon – hmmm, thanks!). We got to the rental car place and sorted out the paperwork while we had more lovely input such as, “You should always get a prenup. Trust me, I know!” from one of the ladies there. Why did I ever mention we were on our honeymoon again?
Undeterred, we hopped in the car and headed north. Driving on the right side of the road again felt weird! We were headed to our Airbnb in Olympic National Park for three nights, and planned to stop off in Port Townsend for lunch. Here’s an idea of the route, which is about three hours of driving without stops.
Before long, the multi-lane highway became just one lane in each direction, and it felt like we were getting somewhere. We took the turn toward Port Townsend and the rain stopped as we set out to explore the charming old seaside town. After eating way too much lunch in a diner, as is the American way, we set off on foot to see some of the historic sights.
There were deer everywhere wandering the streets, and we meandered through a farmers market. Yup, definitely the Pacific Northwest. With all the foliage and a picturesque church, it felt like we’d taken some of New England with us too.
After stopping in at a local brewery to try some of their amazing sour beers, and of course grabbing a few for our Airbnb, we headed to Fort Worden Historical Park just outside of town.
The rain picked up and there was an entry fee to the main part of the park, so we took a short walk and turned back to the shelter of our car.
Continuing on along the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula, the sun finally made an appearance.
Just outside of Port Angeles, the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula, we pulled off in search of more stunning views. Let’s just say we weren’t disappointed!
Looking toward the high peaks of the national park, heavy clouds rolled in, churning over the ocean.
In Port Angeles, we stopped for groceries before heading into the heart of Olympic National Park. Before long, the road was hugging the picturesque Lake Crescent.
Soon, signs pointed us toward the historic Lake Crescent Lodge, built in 1915. We’d considered staying there, but ultimately decided on somewhere more central (and affordable). It truly is a special place, though, and was a great place to stretch our legs on the way through.
We stopped inside briefly to check out the massive lounge, complete with bar and roaring fire. It was certainly tempting, but we had a drive ahead of us!
It’s easy to imagine the lodge as it was 100 years ago, in an area that seems suspended in time. The landscape remains as it has for centuries, with ancient forests as far as the eye can see, thankfully protected in the national park.
Back on the road to Forks, we headed deep into the dark rainforest. This is exactly what I pictured in my mind when we planned our honeymoon.
It all felt like a fairytale, but maybe one where I wouldn’t want to be alone in its depths!
Before too long, we made it to our cosy cottage (“Bogie Bungalow”) by the Bogachiel River, and settled in for the night. Stay tuned as we visit the incredible Hoh Rainforest, encounter elk and get happily soaked by the Pacific Northwest weather. 🙂