Our Christmas vacation was a whirlwind! We first spent two days in the Boston area to visit Josh’s family for their Christmas Eve party. It was my second year attending and it was nice to see familiar faces and see the little cousins growing up! The next day, on Christmas, we took at 6:45am flight from Boston-Logan to Seattle arriving around 9:45am, 45 minutes ahead of schedule! Believe it or not, we planned to only bring a carry-on for this entire trip! It was a challenge, but it was planning for future trips!
Since this was Christmas day, we opened gifts and spent time with the family. My mom moved out there to be with her new husband back in April. For Christmas dinner we spent time with his family. It was great to feel warm and welcome in this area with these new people.
That day was a perfect family day.
December 26th was the day we needed to drop off my brother and his fiancé at the airport, but before we did, we were able to go to a couple of places. For breakfast we went to The Oak Table Cafe in Silverdale. This is a restaurant near my mom’s home that serves a lot of Scandinavian food. The breakfast menu was unbelievable. Literally my favorite restaurant of the whole trip. There were so many options. I ended up ordering blueberry Blintzes. We also ordered a giant apple pancake for the table, which was also delicious. I have a feeling I’ll try to visit this restaurant each time I visit my mom!
Our next stop of the day was the Fremont Troll. I read about this landmark in Atlas Obscura, a book about obscure landmarks and places to visit nearly every city or country on the planet. It’s an art installation of a “troll under the bridge,” it’s so strange and it was fun to seek this out. It’s north of Seattle city, but not far from all the action.
After dropping off my brother, and still struggling with jet lag, we headed home for an early night.
December 27th we planned for a road trip to FORKS, WASHINGTON, the home of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the Twilight Series. My 15 year old self was squealing with delight. Turns out, it takes 3.5 hours to get there! This was probably the clearest day on the trip, whereas every other day had some sort of precipitation. My step-sister drove me, Josh, my mom, and Andy on this beautiful route through small towns and areas surrounding Olympic National Park. We drove past some trees, more trees, and some lakes, and then trees! The world’s largest spruce tree is in Olympia National Park. We, of course, stopped there to take a picture.
It’s 58’11” around, 191′ tall, and about 1,000 years old! Wow!
We arrived at our destination around lunch time! Of course, I had to take a picture of the sign! We also went into the visitors center and they really hammed up all the Twilight fantasies of the town. They recommended places to eat, visit, and drive to, including the Quileute Reservation, not even 10 minutes away. I signed the guest book and we put a pin in an already over-filled map of where we were from. The sign on the outside of the door said the population of Forks was 2,000 people and 8.5 vampires.
We drove to La Push Beach in the reservation before getting lunch. It was a cold and overcast day. The winds were rough by the sea and the waves were fierce, yet people were still going out in the ocean to surf! It was a breathtaking place, so much harshness, but still beautiful.
Lunch was at a local diner recommended by the ladies at the Forks Visitors Center called “The In Place.” Nothing too fancy, but I’m always up for some good diner food! Instead of going back the way we came we drove North toward Canada and drove through Port Angeles, if you remember Bella and Edward visited here in the book, before driving south (basically our day was making a circle around the National Park), and back to my mom’s place. What a day!
On December 28th we took a day to visit the city of Seattle.
We spent the day near Pike Place Market for the most part. We passed by the gum wall and added gum of our own. Cool but if you think about it too much, it’s gross!
We decided to have a slow start to the day since we had just gone on this long trip the day before. We walked through Pike Place Market. I bought some spice tea, the scent is so strong! We went into a wine shop and did a tasting. The wine was from Blue Heron Cellars, a Washington vineyard. Next we walked past the first Starbucks, but as you can imagine, there was a looooong line. Turns out there is a Starbucks around the block that still has the old mermaid logo. We didn’t go there either, but at least there wasn’t a line! We also got drinks at Rachel’s Ginger Beer because there wasn’t enough to drink at the wine tasting! ha!
We decided to walk over to our prearrange dinner location, Long Provincial Vietnamese Restaurant, and we had a nice time there! Soon we had to rush back to the ferry to catch it, otherwise we would be waiting an hour! Here’s a pic I snapped from the ferry!
The final day of the trip, Saturday, December 29, we had some time to kill since our flight was a red eye, leaving Seattle at 10:30pm! My mom and Andy took us to a nearby touristy town called Poulsbo (pronounced Pauls-bo). It’s a Norwegian town that fully embraces the viking culture (hence the viking dressed as Santa, below). The main street has a ton of local shops including a bookstore, bakery, and chocolate shop, among the kitchy crafty stores and clothing shops. It was so cute! We had lunch at The Brass Kracken Pub, which has yummy pub food, but really we were just there for the name. I love how cute this town is!
Pretty soon we had to get ready to head back to the airport! We had a wonderful time for our first visit and I can’t wait to go back! ♥