Friday, October 7, 2011

Girls Trip

I spent the last weekend in September touring around the Northwest with some of my favorite friends.  We were long overdue for a girls trip and an email notification about low airfare rates was enough push to make the trip finally a reality.  I sent out an email in June asking friends and sisters who would have interest in a girls trip.  I loved opening the return emails and being surprised and excited by the words, “I’m in!”.  We ended up with 7 of us on the trip -- my sister,  sis-in-law, freshman roommate, best friend, her sister and childhood friend.   I was nervous how it would work with such a wide variety of friends and not everyone knowing each other, but it was perfect!  

We had 3 full days and wanted to make every day count.  We started the planning and had so much we wanted to do.  Much more than Seattle.  We wanted to go into Canada and visit the San Juan Islands, too.  I asked for suggestions on Trip Advisor and was quickly shut down.  Told we were trying to fit in too much and couldn’t possibly do the 3 locations in only 3 days.  We were up for the challenge!

Day 1:  Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands
We drove 90 minutes from Seattle to catch the ferry over to Friday Harbor.  We lucked out with planning this day first.  It was the warmest day of the week.  Beautiful and sunny.  We relaxed on the ferry for an hour and enjoyed the amazing scenery around us.  It almost felt like I was in Alaska again.

We had about 5 hours on the island and spent the afternoon walking around the harbor, eating lunch and shopping in the cute boutique stores.  Daisie and Sylvia headed out on a whale watching tour and saw lots of beautiful sea life but not a lot of whales. 

The ‘Seal’ sisters!

All of us with the sailboats in the background.  At least that’s what I asked for when I handed the guy my camera.   Just know that there were lots of beautiful sailboats directly behind us.  We took the ferry back and drove 2 hours to Vancouver, BC.

Day 2:  Vancouver, BC
This was my favorite day.  I love everything about Vancouver!  It’s a big city but has a completely different feel than other big cities.  It has a little bit of everything.  Great food and shopping.  Harbor and bridges.  Mountains, rain forest, and parks.  And we always felt safe, even walking around after midnight.  We spent the day biking all around Vancouver.  The bike ride was definitely the highlight of the weekend (and the jumping pictures on the beach)!  I highly recommend the bike tour!

My sister, Heidi, was our designated driver.  She drove us all over Washington and across the border without a complaint.  We spent about 6 hours in the car but it flew by with all of our endless talks.  We figured out that between the 7 girls, we have 31 children which meant we all appreciated being able to have uninterrupted, adult conversation (i.e. plastic surgery horror stories, healthy eating ideas, confessing that we were armed with cabbage while crossing the border).  We did have one small collision with a light pole in a parking lot.  Sorry Cassidy, my niece who gets to drive the damaged car to school now.

We started the  bike tour riding on the path along the seawall and rode into Stanley Park and saw all of the totem poles.

Brockton Point Lighthouse and the beautiful architecture of Vancouver.

We spent a few hours riding around through the rain forest in Stanley Park.  This was my favorite part of the ride.  It was incredible to be inside the rain forest.  The scenery and scent of pine while trying to ride my bike to the top of the hills (unsuccessfully). It was absolutely beautiful!

Beaver Lake

Lions Gate Bridge at Prospect Point in Stanley Park

Our poor tour guide, Dan.  We kept asking him to stop every few minutes so we could take a few pictures.  He had no idea what was in store when he took us to see Third Beach.  We asked him if he would take a few pictures of us jumping together on the beach.  30 minutes later . . . uncontrolled laughter and no picture of the seven of us in the air at the same time.  We tried 5 different times and just couldn’t get the timing right.  Synchronized jumping may not be our strong point but the pictures are my favorite from the trip.  I can’t look at them without laughing.

Jump #1
I love this one!  Rae (far left) is the best one in this jumping picture.  She managed to get her right leg off of the ground!  

Jump #2

Jump #3
Rae proves she can get some air

Jump #4
I love my hyper extended arms in every. single. picture.  From start to finish!  Obviously I was never a cheerleader!

We took the aquabus and bikes over to Granville Island.  We didn’t have a lot of time to shop or look around after all of the jumping and picture taking.  Just enough time to walk through the market and get some lunch.

We rode through ChinaTown and walked through Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese garden.

Rode on the brick and asphalt streets in Gastown and checked out the last functioning steam clock.

And finished the tour with just enough time to walk to Robson Street and shop for souvenirs and yummy Canadian candy bars.

Day 3:  Seattle
We spent our last day back in Seattle.  We started off the morning with a small rear ending accident into a light pole on our way to church.  Church is always so much better out of town.  Not sure if it’s the no kids to worry about or if it’s because we just aren’t as diverse of a group in Utah.  We met a sweet lady at church who let us know over and over that God loves us.  A nice way to start out our day.  We spent the rest of the day at the obvious tourist stop . . . Pike’s Market.

The market is full of beautiful flowers, flying fish, yummy chowder, local talent, unique boutiques, great people watching and . . . the GUM WALL!

Vennesa also got to try out her first vanilla steamer at the original Starbucks location at Pike’s.  

We ended the day with the Underground Tour.  It was cool to see how they built Seattle right on top of the old city after it burned in the early 1900’s.  You can walk around under the sidewalks and streets and see where the old city used to be.

Pioneer Square

We were able to fit in one more thing on our way to the airport.  The Fremont Troll.

Thank you girls for all of the fun memories!  Now it’s time to start planning our next getaway!


Vennesa said...

Great post Heather! Maybe I'll just link to your post on my blog. I don't know when I'll get around to posting. You have an amazing memory Heather. All the days are just a blur to me. Lots of fun and not so much sleep! I love the 2nd pic you posted with the sailboats at San Juan Islands.
Where are we going next? Miss you girls!

Life with Kaishon said...

Holy cow! What a fun trip! You sure packed a lot into four days. I LOVE that! Glad you had fun. Adventures like that are the very best : )

Summer said...

Looks like a fun trip. It makes me want to visit Seattle. I'm glad you had a great time!