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Our Time in the Pacific Northwest

Seattle, Washington

Our time concludes in the Pacific Northwest and what a journey this has been! We can’t believe that we are done here in Seattle and ready to make our way back home to Denver for a couple of weeks. With months of traveling, adventures, and experiences we thought long and hard about how to share these special moments. We decided to put together a list of some of our favorite things we’ve done while in the Pacific Northwest (and of course some of our favorite pictures)!

We spent a lot of time in the city of Seattle and found many great places that we enjoyed. We ate so much good food, especially seafood we can’t even begin to tell you! One thing we loved about Seattle is that their downtown and capitol hill scenes are very fun and lively, but just around the corner were beautiful parks that made you forget you were in the midst of such chaos. Discovery Park was one of our favorites and we did a couple of sessions here because we loved it so much. This park is stunning at sunset and you can’t go wrong anywhere you go here. We also enjoyed Gas Works Park, which had a beautiful view across the water of the skyline and a fun steampunk feel to it. This is a great place to sit on the hill and enjoy a picnic with some beverages! James and I stumbled upon Pioneer Square the last week or so of our time here and really wish we had been there sooner. Pioneer Square is a gorgeous area in the city with a lot of great shops and restaurants and the park here is absolutely gorgeous. Of course, we walked around Pike Place Market, watched fish throwing (super iconic) and were in awe of all the beautiful fresh flowers and seafood they have to offer. We felt so lucky that we were able to spend so much time in this area because even one week here is not enough to take it all in.

One of our most memorable adventures was our time spent in Canada! We were lucky enough to both have a five day stretch without work and decided that since we were so close to British Columbia, we had to make the trip up north. Our first stop was Vancouver, which was only suppose to be a three-hour drive, but given Seattle traffic, it turned into almost a five-hour drive. Let’s just say that the traffic in Seattle is our least favorite thing about this beautiful city. Once we got to Vancouver, we checked into our Airbnb and took the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, British Columbia had been dealing with a large number of wildfires and the air was full of smoke and haze. Despite James’ allergies going crazy, we walked around and took in the beauty of the city and our first foreign country together!

The next day we took a water taxi over to Granville Island to walk around the public market. This quickly became a stressful event and the dogs were unfortunately not allowed inside the market. After taking a moment to make a plan, James and I made the best of the situation and decided to play a game. One person went into the market and chose a new food to try of their choice while the other waited with the dogs outside. This quickly turned into a great time where we got to try new foods, surprise each other and not miss out on the experience of a Canadian market. We find that traveling tends to often require some improvisation and teamwork. After the market, we walked around Stanley Park and watched the sunset on the beach. We made Boozer pose in the sand as the sun was kissing the ocean and quickly realized we had a crowd of tourists photographing our boy! Stanley Park is a gorgeous place to walk around that makes you forget you’re even in the city. While we truly are city people, we are continually drawn to the outdoors!

The following day we hopped on a ferry and made our way to our second destination of the trip, Victoria! Yet again, this ferry situation was very new to us and we did not plan accordingly and improvisation (again) came in handy. With limited reception on the ferry, we ended up playing the whisper game and laughing until we cried trying to guess what the other was saying. We find that playing games together truly helps us bond and enjoy each others company. Once we arrived in Victoria, we were overwhelmed with the beauty of this place! We officially felt like we were in Canada and we did not want to leave.

The next day we had plans to do the butterfly garden and Butchart gardens as we had heard phenomenal reviews of both. The butterfly garden was very cool and we definitely spent quite a bit of time nerding out on butterfly species that we’ve seen in a game we play together called Flutter. After here we headed down the road to the next stop on our list, Butchart Gardens. James did a very quick “hey look” and after a sharp turn we ended up at a winery with a vineyard. James did a good job spotting this place because it was absolutely perfect and probably my personal favorite part of this trip. The winery was called Church and State Wines and was a beautiful venue that sat behind a vineyard. We enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine on the patio overlooking the grape vines before we got to explore the vineyard and take some awesome photos! The staff there and the environment were great and I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Victoria. We finished our day at Butchart Gardens, which was very touristy and busy but very spectacular.

The last day of our Canadian vacation was spent in downtown Victoria enjoying the Symphony Splash festival, listening to music and walking through the unique local business stands. Overall, this was an amazing and beautiful experience and we really enjoyed our time spent in British Columbia!

Another awesome adventure for us was our time spent in Oregon, mostly the coastline. On our way to this assignment, we knew we needed some Oregon coast in our life and made our drive a little longer in order to make this happen. Throughout our time here, we were able to make a couple of trips down to Oregon for both work and play.

If you’ve never experienced Oregon or its coast, it is a must for anyone’s list. There’s truly nothing else to compare it to, its just so stunning and beautiful. We personally think that the best way to enjoy the Oregon coast is to sit on the beach and soak in the beauty of the sun setting into the ocean. James was able to do an engagement shoot for a very sweet couple in Cannon Beach during the sunset and it was absolutely stunning. We drove down for this shoot and ended up staying two nights because we couldn’t get enough of the sites. There’s something so special about sitting on the beach, sharing a bottle of wine and watching the sun fade away together. We are suckers for romantic moments!

A fun trip we were able to do in Oregon was a drive down to the southern part of the state to see James’ dad. We love that we get to utilize our travels to visit family and friends! This was my first time meeting David and it had been some time since James was able to see him, so this was truly a treat for us both. We got to spend some quality family time together and were able to make a trip to see Crater Lake. It’s one of those things you see and become instantly speechless! It is the deepest lake in the USA and it is so unforgettable. What better way to experience something so naturally beautiful than with family!

After our stay with David, we had two options: take the same road back to Seattle through the middle of the state or take the long drive along the coast. This was an easy decision and we drove the coastline and took in every inch of beauty we possibly could! We stopped for some donuts at a sweet little bakery and searched for every spot to stop and take some pictures. We love any moment to photograph and we utilized many little beaches along the drive to snap some memories. We made a quick stop at the sand dunes, which was neat to see as they sit right next to the coast. Then we made our way to Tillamook, where (of course) we ate some ice cream and some cheese. I enjoyed some delicious marionberry ice cream, it’s a flavor that is so popular in this area and is something I’m going to miss. We then stopped at a winery, which is abundant in this area, drank some wine and played Bop-It. What better way to share a bottle of wine than with the loudest most repetitive game, oops!

Of our many trips to Oregon, this state keeps showing us its beauty and we love enjoying it together. We still have so much to see in Oregon and hope that one day we can get an assignment here and explore more.

During our time in the Pacific Northwest, I turned 26! James and I had a discussion about how we wanted to celebrate birthdays since they would most likely be while we are traveling. We thought that it would be fun to do something unique a to each area and new to us to celebrate another year of life. James found a great deal and surprised me with a sunset sailboat trip around the San Juan Islands. This sounds like an expensive trip, but we refuse to pay full price for anything and are always searching for great deals. For this, we found a great Groupon deal and saved a ton of money!

If you ever visit the Seattle area and have a day to spend, we highly recommend taking the ferry to the San Juan Islands and doing a sailboat trip. Sailing at sunset was gorgeous and the crew was nothing short of amazing. On the sail we did, they served champagne and chocolate and it was very romantic! Being from Colorado and being landlocked, this is something I would have never done for my birthday and I felt very lucky to be able to make 26 very memorable.

Being on the sailboat and watching how they open the sails, tie everything down, and work together was so neat to see. I kept thinking to myself that there were so many different ropes, its impressive that they keep them all neat and untangled! There were two other very nice couples that we got to meet and chat with, it was interesting how we all had a little something in common. We sipped champagne while making friends and took some breathtaking photos of the trip. The sail went by so fast, unfortunately, and one woman noticed the time and that we were cutting it close to missing the last ferry out of Friday Harbor. This lead to a lot of hustling from the sailing crew, jumping off the sailboat, running down the dock and barely making the last ferry to Anacortes, Washington. We wish we could have spent more time thanking the crew for the memorable trip. We sat with the couple from the sailboat who were on their honeymoon and quickly made great friends, James even learned how to play a new board game. We truly cherish the moments when we meet new people and learn about others!

Sailing the San Juan Islands was one unforgettable birthday adventure in the Pacific Northwest. We enjoy new experiences, meeting new people and making memories together!

When my girlfriend Kelly (from Colorado) contacted me and said she was going to be in Seattle for her 30th birthday, we were so excited to spend time with her! Then she informed me that we were going to celebrate her dirty thirty by skydiving…woohoo!! I was so stoked and booked it right away before telling James, as I had been twice before. I told James about the plan and he was so taken back by it, but he was all in for a new adventure. It’s so great that we are able to push each other out of our comfort zones and grow so much together. The days leading up to skydiving were full of emotions and curiosity [mostly for James ;)].

We met everyone on a Thursday afternoon for some drinks and food before the jump. It was so great for us to spend time with friends and catch up. Kelly’s girlfriends are so wonderful and planned a Top Gun theme with attire and even props! After a drink and chatting, we headed off to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. The experience was unforgettable and such a rush of adrenaline. Nothing describes the feeling of free falling but it’s so worth every single second of fear!

After the adrenaline rush had worn off, we headed to downtown Seattle for some drinks and games. We had such a good time making new memories with friends. We were so thrilled that Kelly was in the area for her birthday and that she is just as adventurous as we are! We recommend Snohomish Skydiving if you’re in the Seattle area, they were great and the experience was AMAZING!

My sister, Valerie, was able to come to visit us during our time in Seattle. When planning her stay with us, she said she wanted to go whale watching. This was something on our to-do list and so we were all in for this new adventure! We searched around and found a great deal (Groupon!) and booked it. Initially, when we had planned to do whale watching I had set my expectations fairly low, as in seeing only one whale in the whole three hours. This low expectation was blown out of the water very quickly.

After a long boat ride, we arrived in Canada outside of the San Juan islands and there they were! Orca whales, swimming in a group through the water, in their natural habitat. What a stunning experience to see such a gracious creature in the wild. I was so thankful that my sister suggested such an amazing trip, even though the drive through the city was horrible (again Seattle traffic)! The staff was amazing with information and facts about the whales and it was so neat to experience such beauty in person. We watched these whales for a short period of time but it felt like much longer because we were in such awe.

We then headed on our journey back to the port. Luckily, we opted for the sunset sail and were able to watch the sun fade into the water along the San Juan Islands as we ventured back to Anacortes, Washington. James and I are such sunset lovers and we will opt for anything that involves a sunset! We have found that this time in the evening gives the absolute best lighting and colors for pictures.

All three of us raved about the trip on the drive back to Seattle, we were still in such shock that we saw such big beautiful creatures! We headed to Lola (delicious Mediterranean food) for a late night snack and to plan the rest of my sisters trip with us. It was so lovely that my sister was able to fly out to enjoy Seattle with us.

Overall, our first assignment in Seattle, Washington was a total success!

We had so many adventures here we can’t even begin to put into words the memories that will always be in our hearts from the Pacific Northwest. The summertime here was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed every minute we got! As we close up on this chapter of our lives, we are ready for the next adventure. We are headed home to Denver for a couple of weeks to recoup, repack and rest!

Stay tuned for the next chapter of our journey together…

Boston, Massachusetts here we come!

Cheers!

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