I just got back from a short getaway to Washington, and I already miss the beautiful forests and sparkling ocean! I went with my mom and brother, and we stayed for three days, trying to pack in as much as we could.
The trip started with a 4:15 am wake-up time. We got to the airport and I took some Dramamine before the flight, hoping it would help me sleep a bit. I always have trouble sleeping on planes because of the stiff seating position, so I always pack 4-5 books for entertainment during the flight. This one was about 4 hours, so I got a lot of reading done! Although we took off early, it is two hours earlier in Washington than it is in Chicago, so we arrived at 9 am. The hotel would not let us check in until later, so we stopped to grab a quick breakfast. I had a crepe filled with eggs, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and asparagus. It came with fresh cantaloupe, grapes, and oranges. After, we walked through the downtown Tacoma area. The first stop we made was to the Glass Bridge. It was very pretty!
There are also glass sculptures located along the bridge, which is adjacent to the Museum of Glass. Right outside the museum is a harbor dock filled with boats. I couldn’t believe how clear and blue the sky was!
After exploring for a bit, we were able to check into our hotel. We stopped at the 7 Seas Brewery next store to pick up some drinks for the weekend. I always like to visit local restaurants and breweries to get a feel for the town. Some IPAs are a bit too heavy for me, but I like ones that are sour or have notes of citrus.
The weather in Washington was kind of strange to me, and that’s saying a lot for someone who is from Chicago! It was totally freezing upon our arrival, but the locals told us that once the “clouds burned off,” the sun would come through and it would get warmer. Around 4 pm, the sun was shining and it was much more comfortable. I wore the new tee and jean shorts I got from Target last week. They were inexpensive and are super-cute!
We made our way over to Ruston Way Waterfront to have dinner on the water. There are tons of stores and restaurants, and the view along the waterfront of Commencement Bay is beautiful! I had a salmon and avocado salad from Wild Fin for dinner.
We also stopped at Ice Cream Social for dessert, and I had roasted banana ice cream. We ended up calling it an early night since we’d been going since 4 am and walking for miles. I don’t think I’d ever fallen asleep so fast!
The next day started bright and early with the free hotel breakfast. It wasn’t much, but it saved money. I had the egg white veggie omelette and wheat toast with honey and peanut butter.
While my mom and brother were getting ready, I did a quick 15-minute yoga flow in the hotel room. I wanted to wake up my body and loosen my muscles because I knew it was going to be another long and busy day!
We picked up our rental car and then drove 45 minutes to Eatonville to visit Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. The park consists of 723 acres of land and nature trails. I thought the land was just beautiful and it was really fascinating to see wild animals in a more natural habitat (as opposed to an enclosed zoo) roaming free on the land.
When we entered the park, we first walked along some of the exhibits, which housed lynx, foxes, bears, bobcats, wolves, raccoons, and more! Some of the animals were hiding, but a few made appearances.
These guys would not stop wrestling each other!
I think wolves are some of the most beautiful, majestic creatures to exist. While most of them were hanging out on the sandy beach area, this guy was more interested in taking a nap.
I also saw a brown bear and a black bear, but they were a little far away. This bear kept jumping up onto the tree to try and shake the feeder to release food and eventually gave up and curled into a little ball to rest!
After walking some of the beautiful nature trail, we headed over to the tram loading area. At this point, I tried not to take so many pictures and just live in the moment. It was a really cool experience, and I’ve never been so close to such beautiful animals. The journey was peaceful and tranquil, and it was so nice to breathe in the Washington forest air alongside these creatures.
We saw buffalo, bison, deer, moose, mountain goats, turkey vultures, caribou, elk, eagles, and more, all roaming free!
After getting off the tram, we walked the paths for a bit longer. We saw giant slugs all over the place. They were actually very cool and quite slimy. On the drive back to the hotel, we saw Mount Rainier! It was breathtaking.
When we got back, my brother and I went to the hotel gym before dinner. I did a short full-body workout and walked the treadmill at an incline for a bit. We got ready and then drove to Owen Beach.
We got to drive through a forest preserve to get there, and it was amazing how many raccoons and deer we saw on the trails.
The ocean was beautiful and very therapeutic,and so was the accompanying forest!
After walking along the beach and into some of the forest, we went back to the waterfront to stop for a drink.
We went to Duke’s Chowder House for dinner and split the halibut quesadilla and fish tacos. They were very flavorful and came with a wasabi dipping sauce. There was a beautiful sunset which faded into a very pretty view of the city lights.
It was pretty late after dinner, so we went back to the hotel to get some rest. The next morning, we woke up and went down for the hotel breakfast again. This time, I had scrambled eggs, a strawberry Chobani yogurt, an apple, and a gluten-free muffin.
After breakfast, my mom and I went swimming in the hotel pool. I swam quite a few laps and did some silly water aerobics for a little workout. Swimming is one of my favorite things to do, and I don’t get to do it enough!
In the afternoon, we went to Gig Harbor, the bay on Puget Sound. It’s another very beautiful waterfront area, filled with tons of quaint shops, restaurants, bars, and even a general store.
We stopped at Gig Harbor Brewing Co. and I shared a flight with my brother. I tried a sour cherry beer and a cider. I caught this interesting-looking tree from across the deck.
We ate dinner at Anthony’s, another seafood-based restaurant. I had salmon tacos (that’s pretty much all I ate this trip!) and started chugging water early on because we had to leave the hotel at 4 am to catch our flight back to Chicago.
I was so sad to go (and especially sad to be on another insanely early 4-hour flight) but I missed my husband and my dog and I was so happy I got to experience such a beautiful state. The forests, mountains, and creatures were magical, and I can’t wait to visit again!