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Olympic Peninsula Vacation

As some of you know, my family and I went on vacation last week to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed many beautiful sights.

Photobucket

Blog and pics behind the cut. :)

On our first day out we headed north and stopped at the Portland Rose Garden and Japanese Garden.
Portland Rose Garden 2

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden Falls

We headed across the bridge to Vancouver and spent the night. The next morning we left bright and early to continue north. We stopped for lunch at the Cedarbrook Lavender Farm in Sequim and after eating we hit the Olympic Game Park. The drive-through “safari” was a lot of fun and we saw plenty of llamas, yaks, bears, elk, buffalo, deer and other wild critters.

Lavender Farm

Bison

Llama

After our tour, we backtracked slightly to Port Townsend where we were spending the night at the Manresa Castle. The rooms were a little run down and the air at low-tide was not pleasant, but the view was gorgeous!

Manresa Castle

Port Townsend at Dawn

We were up at 5:00 the next morning to make sure we could fit as much into the day as we could. The first stop was the pier at Port Angeles.

Port Angeles

Ferry

We would have liked to look around the town a bit, but it was only 8:00 and nothing was open. We had to get going if we were going to fit in all our hikes. Our next stop was the Sol Duc Waterfall hike in the Olympic National Park. It was a bit dry, which is unusual for the area, but still gorgeous.

Sol Duc Falls with Rainbow

Sol Duc Stream

Sol Duc Falls

We made it to Forks by lunchtime. After a satisfying meal at a burger diner, we headed south to see the Hoh Rain Forest. Again, it was very hot and rather dry, which isn’t how I like to see my rain forests, but we didn’t have much choice. Got some great shots, nonetheless.

Hoh Rain Forest

Back to Forks for ice cream and a bit of sight-seeing. The place is Twilight Central, of course. lol

Forks

I guess I have never come out publicly regarding my opinion of the Twilight phenomenon, so here’s a good a place as any to share my thoughts. ^_~ Probably the best way to describe how I feel is to say I love to hate it and I hate to love it. On one hand, I think Bella is a ridiculous Mary Sue character and I am not a romantic, so I just see her single-minded focus on “true love” as rather eye-rolling. I also think Edward, while a gentleman, is a bit of an emo stalker. >_> Jacob was awesome for the first half of “New Moon”, but things went downhill from there. And the less said about imprinting, the better. As for sparkling, are you kidding me?? So LOL-worthy! Still, I love Alice, Jasper, Carlisle and Charlie and there are flashes of humor and excitement that draw me in. Am I a Twihard? Hell no. Can I go to Forks and have fun being a fan? Heck yeah! ^_^ Hence my fan pic with a replica of Bella's truck...

Bella's Truck

After taking in the sights, we checked into the Miller Tree Inn, which Forks has dubbed as “The Cullen House”.

The Miller Tree Inn

There’s a white board in front that always has a message from “Esme” about where the Cullens are and in your room, you can hang up a name plaque of your favorite Cullen on your door. Of course there’s all the Twilight books and movies in each room and they even have a white cat with butterscotch eyes but alas, her fur does not sparkle in the sun. lol There’s also a life-sized Edward in the front window so you can feel stalked, just like Bella! ;P

Edward

After dinner at the local pizza place (which has a Twilight-themed menu, I kid you not!) we headed to La Push. I kept my eye out for hot, shirtless guys, but didn’t find any. :( There is a hilarious sign that says “Treaty Line – No Vampires Beyond this Point”, though. And the beach was beautiful.

La Push

After a restful evening and a fantastic breakfast the next morning, we headed home with just one more stop at Ruby Beach. For the first time on the trip, we actually saw fog!

Ruby Beach Mist

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach Driftwood

After that it was a long haul home that took 13 hours (including stops), but we got home at 9:00pm. It felt so good to collapse in my own bed! As much as I love vacations and seeing new sights, I also love coming back to my wonderful house. :)

For more photos (I took over three hundred!)you can stop by my stock account at DeviantArt.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
ladyithildiel
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
Sounds-and looks, hehe-like you've had a fantastic time!!:D

Those photos are GORGEOUS!!!:DWill need to check stock account!;)
cynnalia
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you m'dear! *hugs* Yes, I have more pics in all their hi-res glory! ^_^
kigurumix
Jul. 13th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
Wow, you had a whirlwind vacation!
I live in Seattle and I can't imagine fitting that all into one vacation. Your pictures are gorgeous and make me want to go visit the area now. As for the weather, I you were here for the hottest week we have had this year, which isn't normal.
cynnalia
Jul. 13th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
I know! Just our luck we hit the Olympic Peninsula on the hottest week - and here we were hoping to get out of the stifling heat of Medford! lol Still enjoyed the trip, though - such an amazingly beautiful area! We'll be back, and hopefully during more typical weather. :)
jewelz_star
Jul. 13th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
Your photos are amazing Deb, I'll have to check out your others!
It's always been an area of the US that I have fancied seeing actually. I love the hugeness of the landscape...& the amazing views!
Similar to what we have, but just on a vast scale! lol
Of course...we don't have any rainforests mind you :)

The Twilght thing...I'm with you on that.
Never read the books & I won't out of principle now...haha
A bunch of whiney emo teens...but I do sometimes put the movies on to watch/listen while painting as they are kind of 'easy entertainment' ya know? lol

I guess Forks is probably making quite a bit of cash from tourists now, so I sort of understand them embracing the whole thing. But...ummm...turning your town into a Twilight theme park? That's kind of how it looks isn't it!
hehehe...

Anyway, I'd love to do a trip like that & I'm glad you had a great time! xx
cynnalia
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
The Olympic Peninsula is truly beautiful - I've wanted to see it for years, but despite being only 550 miles away, I never went. I'm so glad we finally got to go! ^_^

And you described Forks perfectly - they've turned their town into a Twilight theme park. Almost every single place you go to has some connection, whether they sell souvenirs, serve Twilight-themed meals, or reference the books in some way. It's a little overwhelming!
faebyl
Jul. 13th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
oh wow! the photos are gorgeous! so happy you had a great time! I can't beleive a town decked themselve out that much wow! would be very entertaining the first time around:)
favorite pics are the foggy rocks(SOOO pretty!) and the waterfall with the bridge:)I love seeing pics from people! thanks for sharing:)
hugs!
Mon:)
cynnalia
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome, Mon! *hugs* A truly beautiful part of the world! :D
pixiewildflower
Jul. 14th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Great pics hon! Thanks for sharing.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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