Pacific Northwest – Installment 15

After a very long, fabulous vacation, our final day together was upon us. We all had mixed feelings, of course. By that time, we were all ready to get back to our homes and pets. We were also excited about seeing our family at the end of the day. But we were sad that we’d be parting ways. It’s hard having such good friends on a different continent.

It was essentially a relaxed travel day. We’d planned things so that our last night was relatively close to our final destination, Amy’s house in the Seattle suburbs, but also near some sights. Annelies had identified Coupeville as a place to visit and I’d zeroed-in on at Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve (ELNHR). Have I told you that she and I make a great planning team?

We started out with breakfast at McDonald’s, a first for Annelies and Yves, which made for some giggles.

1a_IMG_7697Americans know hot cakes = pancakes, but that confused our friends. Also confusing was the speed at which orders are taken, the staffs’ assumption that you have eaten at McDonald’s previously and understand their menu, know how to tell them how many cream and/or sugars you want in your coffee, etc. Compounding the problem, Annelies and Yves, who both understand and speak English very well, had a hard time understanding the African-American lady from Georgia that took our order.

It was truly an entertaining way to start the day.

Knowing we wanted to lunch in Coupeville, we headed for ELNHR, a rural historic district established to preserves and protect a historical record of Puget Sound exploration and settlement from the 19th century to the present. ELNHR uniquely encompasses a mix of federal, state, county, and private property. There are historic farms still under cultivation, the Victorian seaport community of Coupeville (where Seattle’s Best Coffee was started!), Fort Casey and Fort Ebey State Parks, and even a section of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.

Old Barn at Ebey’s Landing


ELNHR is actually pretty big. We drove around a bit, surprised no note that the landscape looked a lot like the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania, if you could ignore the snow-capped mountains in the background. Our first stop was Fort Casey State Park, which features an old gun battery, lighthouse, and lots of beach.

Fort Casey Gun Battery


Admirality Head Lighthouse


The fog was starting to roll in.

The next two shots are kind of funny. To me, anyway. They’re both examples of how the camera can skew perspective a bit. Look at the size of the lighthouse in relation to the people.

Big Mike


Slightly over-sized men.


Hubby, living on the edge.


Hubby decided to wait in the car while Annelies, Yves, and I explored a bit of beach. I HAD to see the water up close one last time.

Annelies was not pleased that we had to descend this semi-treacherous cliff to reach the water’s edge.

Annelies was not digging the sandy, unstable cliff.


Love those beach rocks! (Yes, a select few jumped into my pocket.)


Small Dungeness Crab Shell


Yves found a dead fish.


Building our last rock cairns.




Notice mine is the biggest.




Artsy flora capture.


The fog was rolling in.


We could barely see the lighthouse.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the island in Coupeville…

Blue sky over the Coupeville harbor.


Coupeville pier (you can see the fog encroaching in the background).


Sadly, we had no time to shop (or luggage space for purchases).


Knead & Feed Bakery and Restaurant (great lunch spot!)


Hubby, waiting again.


Intrepid Traveler


The clock was ticking, and we had places to be, so we hit the road, driving south to catch the Clinton-Mukilteo ferry to the mainland, and then back to civilization, skirting Seattle to get to Amy’s house in the suburbs.

For some reason, I didn’t take pics of Annelies and Yves greeting Shannon again and, finally, meeting Amy, TJ, and the grand kids. AND, worse, I seem to have misplaced the pics of Annelies and Yves driving off. Which, really, is okay because it would be yet another picture of me crying at our vacation’s end.

My next and final post will touch on family time!



TRIP Re-cap


Installment 1: In the Beginning (Friday, August 30 – Monday, Sept 2)

Installment 2: Portland Morning (Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 3: Exploring the City of Portland (morning of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 4: Beyond Portland (afternoon of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 5: Olympic Peninsula, Here We Come!

Installment 6: First Rain Forest Hike & Another Gorgeous Beach

Installment 7: Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park

Installment 8: Madison Creek Falls & Lake Crescent

Installment 9: Hoh Rain Forest

Installment 10: Rialto Beach

Installment 11: Getting to San Juan Island

Installment 12: Enjoying San Juan Island

Installment 13: Whales!

Installment 14: Deception Pass

5 Replies to “Pacific Northwest – Installment 15”

  1. Always so much to see and do at the coast. I enjoyed the skewed perspective of the guys and lighthouse pics.

    I shivered a bit at the fog rolling it. It gets so cold when it does that.

    1. Brandy, It was a bit chilly, but just a bit. It couldn’t keep me off the beach, though. Whidbey Island would be a great destination for you and Brad. I’d recommend going up the Olympic Peninsula and taking the ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island. Coupeville is small, but very cute. And you could ride up onto Fidalgo Island through Deception Pass, if you haven’t seen that already.

  2. Kathy:

    You find the neatest things, like the smallish lighthouse. I like Coupeville but not much there. Did you stop in Langley ? it was on the way to the ferry. It has been many years since we went to Mulkiteo

    I can’t remember if you went to Port Townsend ? Believe me when I say that “it’s your kind of place”. Lots of Arsty shops there. Actually the whole town is Artsy. There is lots to explore on the North Coast all the way to Neah Bay, which is the northernmost point of the contiguous USA (Cape Flattery).

    so glad you had an enjoyable time in our part of the country

    A weekend photographer
    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Bob,

      We didn’t get to Langley or Port Townsend. I definitely want to re-visit Whidbey Island, and Port Townsend might be a good spot to take the grand kids, who still have not been on a ferry.

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