Best Friend visits Washington

One of the best things about my best friend is how random she can be when trying to do other things like packing. This was one of those moment. She randomly decided it was a good idea to book a ticket to visit me in Washington. No complaints here. She was my first visitor outside of my family and I absolutely loved having her here for a whole weekend.

Our weekend started out very simple and wonderful- dinner for two and hard apple cider. We spent the whole evening talking and laughing just like old times. We took the night pretty easy because I had a wine-filled adventure the next day. Yup, I decided the most perfect way to spend our Saturday was in Woodinville, visiting as many wineries as possible. There are more than 90 tasting rooms in this one small town just north of Seattle and I wanted to treat her to something unique to this region. I mean not even California has that many wineries within 10 miles from one another.

We started our day out at Chateau St. Michelle and enjoyed a combination of Rieslings and red wines (and the sun, which decided to join us). Chateau is known for their late harvest riesling (which is delicious) and I know my bestie Kristin isn’t a huge red wine fan. What better way then to start off at a sweet wine winery. From Chateau, we headed across the street to Columbia Winery then to Long Shadow Vineyard and Winery. After these three wineries we ventured off to a local pizzeria for lunch/pit stop before finishing our adventure at Otis Keynon Winery and Zebra Cellars. Luckily, our day didn’t stop here. We continued our adventure in Seattle where we ended out day dancing away in Capitol Hill.

By Sunday, my bestie was starting to feel the ‘pain’ of our wine-dancing adventure but this friend wasn’t going to let her waste her last day in bed. I practically forced her out of bed and into my car to be tourist in Seattle. Places we visited: Pike Place Market, Gum Wall, Space Needle, and ending at Alki Beach with the Seattle Skyline. Kristin was well aware when she booked the ticket that I love being tour-guide and I love planning adventures and everything we did was perfect, mostly because we were together again! It was a weekend to remember and I hope I didn’t wear her down too much to never want to return. Anyone else want to come and visit me in this amazing city of SEATTLE?!?!?!

A Hiking Adventure: Wallace Falls

It’s quite amazing how one day on a mountain can turn into amazing friendships and more adventures. The following weekend after Bandera, included just that. Myself, along with four other girls (one who I met on Bandera) adventured out into the Central Region of the Cascades to a hike called Wallace Falls. Wallace Falls is a 5.5 mile, 1,200 ft elevation gain trail that consists of a unique series of approximately 9 waterfalls, with one as tall as 265 feet.  While on this trial, the girls and I decided we would where we explored both on and off the path. Yes, Krista, Isabella and I enjoyed the “other side of the fence”. Let me try to explain this “other side of the fence” statement.

When we would come to a lookout point along the trial, there are usually fences blocking off the rugged back country areas. Instead of just standing outside them overlooking the waterfalls, we would find our own way to get as close as we can to the waterfalls. We managed to get quite close and at one point I was leaning over the edge of a cliff all to capture a picture (surprise surprise right?!?!). You could say we had way too much fun on this trial, and well you’d be right.

Another amazing part to this day was that it wasn’t over just because the hike ended. We actually planned earlier that we would head to the beautiful, bavarian town of Leavenworth for the remainder of the day. You might remember my first trip to Leavenworth for Oktoberfest where I talked about the unique atmosphere of the mountain town. This time was a bit different. We decided to do the wine tasting side to the town vs. beer and boy, was it amazing. Many of you know that WA is the second largest wine production region in America and Leavenworth is home to approximately 9 tasting rooms. We visited 3 that day and 1 included my friend Krista and I ‘sneaking away’ from the other girls to taste some delicious Red varietals.

Like all days, this one came to an end with a sunset but was just the beginning of wonderful friendships. I can’t wait to experience more of Washington with my new friends here in the city. Check out the photos here 

A Day with the Eagles in Skagit Valley, Washington

It’s quite entertaining when I think about how my friend, Sydney, and I make our decision on where we should go for our weekend adventures. This past week was no different; we were watching the Lord of the Rings and reading a book about the 1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You DieQuite the combination if I do say so myself. While  reading, we came across “Upper Skagit River, Washington, USA” and bald eagles; we were intrigued.  I knew it was somewhere I JUST HAD to go see. So we made the decision that for our first adventure of the New Year, we would drive 3.5 hours and visit the Nation’s bird in it’s natural habitat.

Waking up on a non-work day at 6AM, isn’t something I do weekly, but I knew it’d be worth it. The book told us that prime time for the eagles runs from December to Mid January and cloudy days are usually the best days. Lucky for us, the forecast was just that: cold, cloudy and chances of rain (okay, it was raining). We didn’t really know what to expect so first thing we did was head to the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center to find some more information. They told us the eagles are best seen in four different locations located along highway 20: the center, mile marker 100, a county park, and a fish hatchery. Since this was an adventure, we decided it was our best bet to visit each site to try our luck (we did 3 of 4).

Each location was a bit different and the eagles we did see at each site, were so high up in the trees, it was hard to tell a mature bird (the ones with a white head and gold beak) from a juvenile bird (brown). At a few points on the way up the river, we managed to capture a few great views of bald eagles on the opposite bank of the river and we learned it was just have fun seeing them as it was searching for them. Sydney had the eye to spot them and luckily for her, I managed to snatch a few photographs.

Nothing could have prepare us for our way back down the river. A bald eagle sitting no more than 150 feet away from the river bank we were standing. Perching on a log pile, almost as if he knew people had come to capture such an image. I was blown away we the majestic composure this bird was giving us, almost as if he was saying, “this is me, your nation’s bird”. It was breath-taking and well worth the 3.5 hour commute. We saw a few more birds perched in the trees above the highway before heading out of river valley.

We knew our day was not up when we drove past an apple orchard/winery and knew we had to make a pit stop. I don’t think in my time here I’ve seen an apple orchard/winery combo, so I was hoping for something delicious. I wasn’t wrong, they had APPLE WINE and boy oh boy, was I in heaven. It was so sweet and tasty and overall a perfect way to end our journey to the Skagit River Valley. Eagles and wine tasting, who could go wrong with that duo!

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