Washington is beautiful. We’ve been here on vacation for two weeks now, traveling from the west coast to the far eastern border and back, and it’s amazing to me that I never realized HOW flippin’ gorgeous it is here. Eastern WA, which I never really appreciated much, wears its beauty in rolling hills of grain that blanket the landscape like a patchwork quilt. Just seeing hills at all was quite a treat after 5 years straight in Illinois. The Cascades—lovely and majestic. And, of course, our dear Seattle, the Emerald City, a perfect blend of mountains and trees and ocean. Oh, and coffee. And art. And the ever-impressive Pike Place Market, where we nibbled fresh, organic raspberries while strolling along the fish, flower, and produce stands, all before taking in the awesome view along the waterfront. It was bliss, truly.
We thought we’d hit the aesthetic peak of our trip in Seattle, but then we took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island and drove up to Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about a perfect place. First we hit the organic food co-op (fabulous!) before driving through the picturesque, well-maintained, turn-of-the-century downtown area on our way to Ft. Worden, an old naval training facility which has now a state park. It was actually where “An Officer and a Gentlemen” was filmed. We stayed in the old officer’s quarters, along with Javad’s mother’s entire family, who were all there to celebrate Havarti’s grandmother’s 80th birthday. Port Townsend really sent Havarti and I into wanting-to-move-back-to-WA mode. We knew it was a potential hazard of this kind of vacation. It was just sooooo pretty, rather artsy, and not too far from Seattle (about an hour and a half including the ferry ride). And that cool, moist air and loads of trees is just sweet for my soul. Not that we’d actually move there. We just daydreamed about it a bit.
I could go on and on about how beautiful it is here. We ate at Ivar’s on the waterfront for lunch today, and as we were waiting for our table I perused a “Views of Washington” book of photos in the giftshop. Every single one was breathtaking. Just between Mt. Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park, I swear they’ve got the most picturesque landscapes in the country. It’s unbelievable. I almost bought the book, but I was feeling cheap. I sorta wish I had, though. People wouldn’t believe these photos could all be from one state.
We head home on Sunday. Usually by this time on a vacation I’m ready to go home. Not so much this time. Maybe it’s because we have to jump right back into life and work and such on Monday. Or maybe it’s because we feel really at home here. We’re excited to see our friends, but I can honestly say I don’t feel attached to Chicagoland itself. It’s a nice place, but it’s never felt like home. Javad has always said he wanted to come back to WA someday, but I was never sure. My wanderlust usually over-rode the idea of going back to someplace. But I can see us here someday. My love of the rain, trees, and ocean makes sense here. Find me a vintage home and a college town and I’d be in heaven.
Speaking of heaven, we are going on our tour of Theo chocolate factory tomorrow. It’s very cool. All organic, free-trade chocolate. The Muse was all excited because they have a picture of Jane Goodall, whom she’s been reading about, on some of their wrappers. We already went to their store and sampled some of their yumminess. More samples tomorrow. Yay.