Friday, September 23, 2016

Bainbridge Island and Olympic National Park

   After a great three days in Seattle, we caught a ferry to Bainbridge Island. Seattle is surrounded by all sorts of cute islands, and Bainbridge came highly recommended, so we went there. I suggest that if you go to Bainbridge Island, make your lodging plans earlier than a few days prior.  I'll go into why a bit later, but trust me.

Seattle via ferry.

   We spent the first few hours in Poulsbo. Technically, this isn't on the Island, but it's where the car rental place was, so we hung out there for a bit. This quaint little town was founded by a Norwegian named Jorgen Eliason, so there are references to Vikings everywhere. Is had definite Stars Hallow vibe, which I found very charming. I kept looking for Kirk. (Gilmore Girls for those who don't know. Watch it.)

Welcome to Poulsbo!

Main Street Poulsbo.

Killer seagull.  I'm not joking.  He's a legend in Poulsbo.

   After a tasty lunch in Poulsbo, we headed back to downtown Bainbridge. Like Poulsbo, they had a cute downtown area with lots of little shops and restaurants. I looked up at one of the directional signs and saw something for Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. As you might know, I've been obsessed with knitting recently and Churchmouse is famous in knitting circles. They have some great patterns, including a fabulous one for a poncho that I'm currently making. Surely, this wasn't THE Churchmouse, right? Turns out - it was! They're based on Bainbridge Island! Who knew? I was honestly more excited about seeing this store than any normal person should have been. I spend a LONG time in there looking around and talking to the clerks. I didn't buy anything, because heaven knows I have more yarn than I know what to do with, but I wanted to!  

   As I mentioned earlier, if you want to spend the night on Bainbridge Island, make your plans earlier than two days prior to going - especially in peak season. There is only one main hotel - the Best Western and, unfortunately, that one was booked, so we went the B&B route. After many phone calls, we finally found one that had a room for two nights (our length of stay on the island). It looked very promising! It had llamas! Who doesn't love llamas?! But once we got there, we found the place was really run down and not exactly clean. I don't want to bash the owner by naming the place, because she was very nice, but I think she was just overwhelmed and couldn't maintain the place properly. Steps were broken, grass was overgrown - we didn't even get keys to the room because she couldn't find them. Unfortunately, by this time, there wasn't anything we could really do about it as there weren't any rooms left on the island. We HAD to stay there at least one night. But on a whim,  we called the Best Western, hoping that maybe someone had cancelled for the next night. While no one had, they told us of another hotel that didn't come up on any previous searches. HAZZAH! We were able to secure a room for the following evening and got the heck out of the rundown B&B.

Hello, Llama!! 

   Our last day on the island, we got up crazy early and headed out to Olympic National Park. We easily could have spent our entire vacation at this park. It. Is. HUGE! They even have two sets of rainforests! But since we had to get down to Tacoma for the half marathon, we only had one day at the Park. We hiked two sets of trails, though we didn't go THAT for out on either one. We thought about it, but we really didn't have the right shoes or enough food and water to go out in the wilderness all day, so we stayed on the more popular, calmer trails. We didn't want to end up as a news story about stupid tourists who got lost with no food, so the state had to send the National Guard out on a search and rescue mission.

   If you haven't been to this part of the country, you need to put it on your list. I'm warning you though - there is so much to do! We never even made it to Victoria or to Mt. Rainier, which were two of the main things I thought we were going to do originally. Both Dudley and I had a great time and we're really looking forward to going back. Soon. 


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