After a month long break… I’m back! Hi friends!
Earlier in the year I knew the month of July was going to be fairly hectic for me. I thought long and hard about whether I should mention I needed a break from blogging or if I should just disappear for a few weeks and pop back into blogging at the right time. As a reader I always preferred knowing what was going on in the writer’s world rather than being in the “unknown” zone. And for me, I always like putting a deadline out there of when I want to get back into things. As you saw last month I decided on the first choice and mentioned to you in my last post that I would be taking a few weeks off. And those few weeks were great! However, I missed sharing stories and writing and putting everything together for what it takes to be a blogger. So with those thoughts in mind, I’m beyond excited to be back and sharing quite a few posts this week!
If you follow me on Instragram (@missashleylandry), you may have noticed during those weeks off I did a little traveling. I snapped quite a few photographs along the way of the new places I explored. Each day this week I will be sharing the stories of the recent trips to Seattle and Alaska that my mom and I ventured on this past month. I hope you enjoy!
Last Tuesday I sat at the kitchen table and pulled out my laptop. To my horror I had laptop issues (brand new laptop, two months old, and not working… I had a tiny panic moment and then I realized I purchased the warranty… All was good after that. Turns out it was a defective battery that should be taken care of this week – yay!). So I sat staring at my screen a little nervous about where to begin. I guess when you take a few weeks off you fall out of routine of what you normally do. I sat there just staring at the screen. I knew I needed to start typing. Just begin typing. And surely enough once I started typing that keyboard was put to use. By the time the first ten minutes had passed I was back. Back typing. Back thinking of all the descriptive words I knew needed to be thrown across this screen to do this story and these photographs justice. And that is where I begin.
It was just days after we came back from Napa Valley last November when my mom called to mention the idea of an Alaskan cruise. Something that would be a mother-daughter trip. I can remember sitting there thinking… I just took a week off of work and now you think I should ask for more time off. I don’t know… Yes, that is my normal reaction to ideas that catch me off guard… I always need a few minutes to process. After I realized the opportunity I was being given (to explore Alaska for a week), I knew I had to figure out a way to make it happen. And so I did.
We did some research and felt cruising out of Seattle around the week of July 4th was the way to go for us. Since we were leaving out of Seattle, we decided to fly into the city a few days early to spend some time there. Neither of us had ever visited Seattle and we figured since we had the opportunity we might as well use this travel time to our advantage. I have to say it was probably a good idea to fly to Seattle prior to us leaving on the cruise. The cruise season is very busy for that area, and it was nice to not have to rush from the airport to the dock.
We arrived in Seattle on a Wednesday afternoon with 2.5 days dedicated to the city. It was a quick drive from the airport as our hotel was located in downtown Seattle just a few blocks from the waterfront. We took that afternoon to mostly walk the streets, see what the city had to offer, and of course eat. Our first stop on the map was the Purple Cafe And Wine Bar. Delicious food, comfortable atmosphere. Great first choice.
After an early dinner, we headed out to walk the area. My first initial thoughts… every block has a Starbucks on it. I mean every block. My second thoughts… gorgeous weather (no rain, pure sunshine, and an abnormal heat wave for the area with temperatures in the 90s), slightly hilly blocks, and very easy access to great shopping. It was easy to see the 2.5 days we had planned here would be enjoyable.
We walked the waterfront for awhile as well as quite a few blocks around it. With all the traveling we did that day, we called for an early night to prep for what was to come next: Mount Rainier.
We booked a tour through our hotel for a day trip to Mount Rainier with Tours Northwest. We had a great tour guide with a funny personality that kept our all-day tour very entertaining. The drive to Mount Rainier was around three hours as we stopped at photography spots along the way to capture the scenic views we were seeing. At one of the stops, we decided to take a short hike (about a mile long) off the road to see some of the area.
After our hike, we headed back to the bus to continue on our way to the area of Paradise where we dined for lunch. We ate in the main dining room located there grabbing a quick soup and sandwich to fuel us for the hike we had planned for that afternoon. The area has quite a few hiking trails to choose from with each choice providing different lengths of trails. With the timing we had, we chose to hike towards the waterfall and capture of few pictures with it.
We ended with a short drive to one last location to do our final bit of hiking. As we pulled into the area, our tour guide mentioned ice cream. Hiking or ice cream. Those were our choices. Now, you would think hiking would be the easy answer. I mean your in a state that you have never explored. Weather is warm, but still a slight breeze. Gorgeous hiking trails everywhere. You would think we would choose hiking… Well, we opted for ice cream. It was easy. That is what you are supposed to do on vacation. And that is how we ended our first full day in Seattle.
On our second day in Seattle we chose to do a three hour driving tour of the city with the same tour company. We hit a few of the main tourist points of the area while making a few stops within the city. For me, the tour wasn’t long enough to capture all Seattle has to offer. However, with our time constraints of how long we were staying in the area it was a quick way to see everything. Lastly, we ended the tour with the guide dropping us off at Pike’s Place Market to grab lunch and hang around the area for the afternoon.
We grabbed lunch at Athenian Restaurant and Bar, which had gorgeous views of the water. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the market. We watched the fish being thrown. We drooled over all the fresh seafood and vegetables and fruits. And you can’t forget about the flowers. Those bouquets were beautiful. I wanted to take them all home!
Up Next on Tomorrow’s Agenda: Boarding the cruise ship, first day at sea & our first port. Stay tuned!