Posts Tagged With: port angeles

Two Amazing Days in Victoria Canada

When we were parked in Port Angeles, WA we were right near the Black Ball Ferry Line that goes to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It’s much cheaper to walk on the ferry than drive on, so that’s what we did. We headed out bright and early, packed with a couple of overnight bags and walked on the ferry to sail across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and enjoy a super fun couple of days in Victoria.

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Grampa and his boys waiting to set sail.

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We’re on our way!

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Arriving into the port at Victoria

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Watching sea planes take off.

Victoria is a very pedestrian-friendly town where it was easy for us to get around without having a vehicle. And Chris sure was glad he didn’t have to drive the big truck for a couple of days! Our first order of business was to walk a couple of blocks to our hotel to drop off our luggage. Then we headed out to catch a bus to our first destination, the Butchart Gardens. On the way to the bus I just couldn’t get over the lovely architecture of this beautiful city!

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Parliament Building

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The Empress Hotel

Our bus driver informed us that we could enjoy afternoon tea at The Empress for a mere $75/person. Oh my, I think we’ll pass. Besides I don’t even like tea.

So it was on to the lovely Butchart Gardens.

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I hope I didn’t bore you with too many flower pictures. They were all just so pretty it was hard to decide which pictures to use!

Later that evening we walked down to the Fisherman’s Wharf to eat dinner. All of the shops and restaurants in this area were literally floating!

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Fisherman’s Wharf

Even the homes float! It was really fun to walk around and check out the charming little floating homes.

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Chris may or may not have wanted to get this for the grands. 😉 Just kidding, Mom and Dad!

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We spent the night at the Royal Scot Hotel which had very nice large suites and an indoor pool and hot tub. That hot tub was wonderful after all the walking we did that day!

The next day we rode the hop-on-hop-off Big Bus Victoria all over the city, getting off the bus at times to explore.

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One of the stops was in Chinatown.

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Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown is the narrowest street in Canada.

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Another quick stop to see this view of the bay.

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We even stopped to see a castle!

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Craigdarroch Castle

After our bus tour we shopped for t-shirts and souvenirs, had dinner and then it was time to go catch the ferry back to Port Angeles.

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View from the ferry dock.

Then we sailed off into the sunset, literally. We enjoyed a spectacular sunset on our way back across to Washington, and then later a full moon!

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Oh my goodness, we had such an amazing time in Victoria! And I just have to thank my Dad for doing the trip planning for this part of their trip to see us. He arranged the ferry tickets, hotel rooms, and trip to Butchart Gardens. It was so nice for someone else to take care of the plans for a change since I spend so much time all year long trip-planning. I don’t mind really, but it is a lot of work! So, thank you Dad! I love you!

Categories: Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Olympic National Park

After 10 wonderful weeks in Oregon we moved on to Washington where my parents would be joining us for a couple of weeks. Our first stop in WA was Port Angeles in the Olympic Peninsula. My parents flew into Seattle which was about 3 hours away but the closest airport for them to fly into. We had a fun day of planes, trains & automobiles (and ferries too!) when we went to pick them up. I will write a separate post about Seattle later.

While we were in Port Angeles we visited Olympic National Park. This park is huge and takes up most of the northwestern part of the state. It includes mountains, lakes, the ocean and even a rain forest!

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Port Angeles is near the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center so our first adventure at Olympic was hiking up to Hurricane Ridge. The views were spectacular! We were blessed with a beautiful, clear day and could see Victoria, British Columbia across the water where we went the next day. Stay tuned for a post about that amazing city.

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After the strenuous climb it was time for a snack break!

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Later that week we went to visit some other areas of Olympic that were close to Port Angeles including Marymere Falls and Lake Crescent.

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Marymere Falls

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Lake Crescent

It was quite smoky in the area that day due to wildfires in the northwest so it’s hard to get a good idea of just how clear this lake is. Standing over the edge of the dock the water was so clear you could see straight down to the bottom which was probably over 8 feet deep at that point, but it was really hard to tell.

We took an overnight trip over to the town of Forks, WA where the Twilight novels were based. This is the western side of Olympic but quite a drive from Port Angeles which is why we decided to spend the night instead of driving back and forth 2 days in a row.

Our first stop on this side of the park was the amazing Hoh Rain Forest. Near constant fog and mist in addition to 12 to 14 feet of rain each year result in this lush rain forest which has been designated one of the 7 wonders of Washington state.

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Hall of Mosses

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The boys earned their Junior Ranger badges at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.

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Next we headed over to Ruby Beach which was beautiful and so much fun!

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I love looking for colorful sea creatures in the tide pools, but I didn’t find any here, probably because the tide was coming back in.

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Jake decided to build a raft out of driftwood and float down the waterways. Jesse decided to join him. I nicknamed them Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. 🙂

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Grampa liked skipping rocks.

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The next morning we woke up to a rainy day. I know that is not uncommon for the Pacific Northwest, but we had been very blessed with mostly beautiful days for the entire summer. Anyway, we weren’t going to let a little rain keep us from searching the early morning low tide pools at Rialto Beach.

At first it was just a little drizzle and fog, not too bad as we hiked to Hole-in-the-Wall and Split Rock.

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Split Rock

The rain picked up and we all got soaked, not to mention we were freezing! I don’t know about the rest of my people, but for me it was worth it. I saw the most beautiful and colorful starfish there. These were the best tide pools I saw in all of our time in the PNW!

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I had been searching for a purple sea urchin for weeks and never did find one, but I did see this beautiful purple starfish which was good enough for me.

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We saw lots of these green sea anemones everywhere!

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Chris and Jesse hung in there with me for a while longer after Gramma, Grampa and Jake decided they had enough of the cold and rain and headed back to the truck.

Jesse collected lots of rocks.

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We made it to Hole-in-the-Wall, looking just a little bit like drowned rats and feeling just a little bit cold!

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Hole-in-the-Wall

It was worth it to me at least. Look at this wonderland of tide pools just waiting to be explored! I could have stayed here all day if we weren’t wet and freezing.

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After this we walked/ran as quickly as we could back to some dry clothes and a warm truck. We had planned to go up to Cape Flattery next, the northwestern most point in the lower 48 states, but since the weather wasn’t cooperating we headed back to our cozy little home back in Port Angeles.

Up next… 2 beautiful days in Victoria, Canada.

Categories: National Parks, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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