o canada!

Our last stop on our northwest tour was Vancouver. My first time to Canada! We started out walking through town past the library to Gastown – a few quaint streets with shopping and pubs that look like London.

Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library

Gastown

Gastown

In Gastown there’s a steam clock. We were expecting some huge clock, but it’s just a small grandfather clock with steam rising out the top!

Steam Clock

Steam Clock

We walked out to Canada Place which is much like Navy Pier in Chicago.

Canada Place

Canada Place

Later that afternoon, we walked out to Lighthouse Park. It was a beautiful wooded area with large trees until you reach the water. We stood on a big rock and looked out at the lighthouse towards downtown Vancouver.

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park

The next day was spent in the outdoors. Stanley Park is the large park on the west end of Vancouver. We were going to walk, but decided to rent bikes instead. I’m so glad we did – we rode around the entire perimeter of the park and were able to see a lot.

Riding bikes in Stanley Park

Riding bikes in Stanley Park

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

We saw a bunch of totem poles.

Totem Poles in Stanley Park

Totem Poles in Stanley Park

Stanley Park

Riding bikes in Stanley Park

Stanley Park

There was a beach too. We even saw people swimming in a public pool even though the temperature was maybe 68 degrees.

Stanley Park

After lunch we drove out to Grouse Mountain and took a tram up the mountain.

Grouse Mountain

The ride was about 7 minutes and at the top it was rather cool and there was still snow on the ground. So we grabbed some hot chocolates and walked around.

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain

We caught the end of a bird demonstration where they were flying falcons and eagles back and forth.

Grouse Mountain

Granville Island

On our last evening of the trip, we walked around Granville Island which is known for it’s shopping and restaurants. We ate at a nice brewery and were able to sit outside.

Dinner on Granville Island

Alas, our northwest tour came to an end. Besides seeing the beautiful nature and eat delicious food, my favorite part was spending so much quality time with my sister!

a few days in seattle

We arrived in Seattle late afternoon with enough time to stroll through Olympic Sculpture Park before dinner. It had a great bike trail right on the water and a few interesting sculptures.

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park

Seattle

Space Needle

Olympic Sculpture Park

Seattle

Seattle

Seattle

The next morning we went up to the top of the Space Needle for an aerial view and then to Pike Place to see some fish thrown through the air.

View from Space Needle

View from Space Needle

Seattle Public Market

Pike's Place Fish Market

Seattle Public Market

The Seattle Public Library is modern and geometric – pretty neat building in the middle of Seattle.

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library

We found a park on a hill in the Queen Anne neighborhood that had a great view of downtown and Mt. Rainier. Finally – a glimpse of the peak!

View from Queen Anne Park

Queen Anne Park

On our last morning in Seattle, we took a ferry ride out into the Puget Sound.

Pier 55 Walk

Pier 55 Walk

Seattle Ferry Tour

The Space Needle was repainted the original colors to celebrate the World’s Fair anniversary.

Seattle Ferry Tour

Seattle Ferry Tour

Seattle Ferry Tour

Seattle Ferry Tour

Seattle Ferry Tour

Then it was off to Vancouver!

climb every mountain, search high and low

On our way between Portland and Seattle, we stopped through the Mt. Rainier National Park. We didn’t intend to hike – really we just wanted to get a close look and some pictures.

Mt. Rainier National Park

We pulled into the park and asked where a good lookout would be and drove for a while, up and up, until we got too high in the clouds to see it! But what we saw on the way was pretty enough.

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

After a few more hours in the car getting through the small towns, we pulled into Seattle for the 2nd leg of the trip.

the dream of the 90’s is alive in portland

Ever since our Boston trip in 2010 with my sister and her husband, we had planned to take another trip together to the northwest to see Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. We finally managed to make it happen a couple weeks ago after much planning. We spent the week of Memorial Day seeing the 3 cities and a little bit of the surrounding area. We were there for 10 days but there was still so much we didn’t get to see, particularly in the outskirts with all the national parks, ocean and wine country.

Drew and I arrived in town the night before Lisa and Branden, so we walked around the Portland Rose Gardens for a bit. We couldn’t get over how green and lush everything was, right within Portland’s city limits.

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

Portland Rose Gardens

When Lisa and Branden arrived, we headed to a Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game. The MLS fans in the northwest are crazy – so it was really exciting. A rainstorm came through during halftime but swept through quickly and that was the worst weather we experience the whole time!

The next morning, after waiting in a long line, we got a major sugar high from doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnut – they were delicious. Lisa tried one topped with Captain Crunch cereal and Drew tried one topped with Fruit Loops. I stuck to good ol’ glazed.

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut

They also tried a Bacon Maple doughnut with real bacon on top. Later, they bought the Bacon Maple Beer made by Rogue and it ended up tasting exactly like bacon.

Voodoo Doughnut

Then we walked around the Portland Saturday Market, visited Powell’s Books and then grabbed some beers at Deschutes Brewery.

Portland Saturday Market

Powell's Bookstore

Deschutes Brewery

Portland

We ended the evening with a delicious dinner at Little Bird.

Portland Rose Gardens

The next morning we drove out to Newburg and Dundee for a day at the wineries! Drew got to do all the tasting for us, so I relied on him to pick some good Pinot Noirs to bring home. Willamette Valley is such a beautiful setting for wine tasting – every winery had a view. We visited four that day, all known for their Pinot’s – Anderson Family, Lange Estate, Winderlea and Erath. Anderson Family was a small, family run vineyard that is all organic and sustainable. They need no air conditioning for their cellar since it stays perfectly cool all year round.

Willamette Valley

Anderson Family Vineyard

Anderson Family Vineyard

Anderson Family Vineyard

Anderson Family Vineyard

At Anderson Family Vineyard, the owner let us put our ear up to a barrell to hear the yeast bubbling.

Anderson Family Vineyard

Anderson Family Vineyard

Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley

Lange Estate

Lange Estate

The next day we made our way out of Portland and on to Seattle, but first with a stop at Mt. Rainier National Park!