My parents went on an LDS mission to the Olympic Peninsula, and while they were there, each of their kids’ families visited them at some point during that year. We all loved the area! So with a daughter living in Bothell, Washington, she and her husband planned a family reunion to their home for a few days, and then we went to the Peninsula and visited the two areas where my parents/their grandparents lived as they served their mission–now some 20 years later..
We stayed in Bothell at my daughter’s house. We had beds all over the floors upstairs and down, but our family is accustomed to chaos, and we deal well with it. She had scheduled so many great activities, that we had fun every second of the trip. Many of the family had never been to Seattle, so we visited Pike Place Market and watched the fish-throwers, ate food from other countries, bought souvenirs and enjoyed the street musicians. We made a stop at the Troll who lives under a bridge. He has a Volkswagon bug in his hand, which is a real car. We visited the Locks in Ballard and watched the boats come into the locks, be raised up to a higher level and sail out on new waters. It always fascinates me, and they have a Salmon Fish Ladder there as well, where you can watch the fish. We rode up to the top of the Space Needle and had our picture taken. We have had dinner at the Space Needle and it is wonderful. You a very slow 360 degree turn as you eat dinner and see every part of the city and Sound. But its too price to take all of us there, so we settled for an elevator ride to the observation deck.
The highlight of Seattle was probably the bike ride!
We rented bikes for everyone with trailers for babies, and seats for little kids, so everyone in our group went on this bike ride, even though I had not ridden for years. Our daughter had reserved all of the bikes, helmets, trailers, etc. ahead of time, and it all went very smoothly! We biked along the Iron Horse Trail which is an old railroad grade. There is a tw0-mile long tunnel that you ride through which adds excitement to the event. It is a long, long trail, but we just went the 17 miles. We stopped along the way at a picnic grounds to eat our lunch that we had taken in back packs. Every bit of it was delightful!
The next five days were spent on the Olympic Peninsula. Our first destination was the old Victorian town of Port Townsend, where my mom and dad first lived as they served their mission. There is an old army base there that is now Fort Worden State Park. We rented two of the Officer’s Homes. The homes are duplexes, so we rented one full house/two units. (In 2013, we went again. There were fewer of us, so we rented just one duplex. One four bedroom duplex/house for two nights was $715.00.) While there we explored that lovely town, went kayaking, explored the old bunkers that date back to 1800s. The parade green in front of the Officers’ Row is perfect for ball games, Frisbee, or Kubb (Viking Bowling).
After two nights in Port Townsend, we moved to the next place my mom and dad had lived–Forks, Washington. We rented four two bedroom apartments for our group in Forks for two nights, and spent the next day at 3rd Beach. The Quiliute Tribe owns the property where three fabulous beaches are located. First Beach is right at their town of La Push. Second Beach and Third Beach are also considered LaPush, but you have to hike through the gorgeous rain forest to get to the beachs, about a half mile. The beaches are fabulous. Everyone wanted to revisit this vacation in the future, and so we have.
The next day we split up because we couldn’t do everything we wanted to, so we had to make a choice. Some hiked up to Sol Duc Falls, and others drove to Hurricane Ridge for the spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains. We always stop at the gorgeous Lake Crescent when we go to the peninsula. The sights to see and places to play are endless in this area. Best of all reunions EVER!