We go on a family vacation every year…sometimes more than one  We had traveled sooo much in 2013, and 2014 had dawned difficult, so somehow I found summer 2014 fast approaching and nothing was planned. Well I couldn’t have that. I think the plan pretty much came about because I had never been to Oregon, and the kids lacked Washington and California as well, so boom.  A Pacific Coast trip was birthed.

It doesn’t take much inspiration to get me on the road…

We had friends in Seattle, so it was a good place to start.  We would fly there, visit Seattle, and drive down the coast to San Francisco. My oldest, now out of high school, stayed home to work. Hubbie stayed home with her. So the wanderlust trio was off. It would be great if the whole family could do all trips together, but that isn’t always doable.

If you wait around for perfect conditions, you won’t see anything. Just get out there. 

Our goals were to see Seattle and San Francisco, hit a few National Parks in between, and check out the coast. Nathan was 14 and Hailey 11 as we headed west. The only only downside? I would have to do all the driving.

A shout out to our friends the Shaws who were incredible hosts. It was nice to have good company and good food in addition to a free tour guide and lodging. We really enjoyed Seattle. It’s a city with a lot to offer that I could actually see living in. There is so much natural beauty in the northwest. We only spent two nights there, so on our one full day we hit Pike Place Market where we loaded up on smoked salmon, fresh peaches and cherries, cheese and jam.  Mmmmm. There were a couple street musicians playing in the market that we enjoyed. We saw the gum wall (why???), Gasworks Park, a giant troll, and the H. M. Chittenden Locks. All things the kids enjoyed. A wonderful day finished off with our market feast and good friends.

The next morning we were up early to get to the car rental place. We needed to catch an early ferry across the Puget Sound before the morning traffic trapped us in Seattle. There were problems at the rental place and we had to wait an hour for a car.  But somehow we got to the ferry and instead of waiting were waved right through and were the last car onto a ferry ready to head out.  Great luck. The kids had never been on a ferry before, so we walked around every level, caught the wind in the front and watched the churning water in back.

A few miles after we crossed the Puget Sound, we hopped on Hwy 101 and continued our adventure toward San Francisco. Next stop…Olympic National Park.

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