Liz and Aaron came out to visit us for a week. It went way too fast. They flew into SeaTac on March 11, then did some sight-seeing in Tacoma and the surrounding areas. They drove down to Longview on the 12th, arriving around 8pm. After they found our apartment, we headed into town and got dinner at JT’s Steakhouse, which is one of our favorite restaurants in town. Following supper, we met up with a bunch of Dan’s coworkers who were out at the bar which is part of the Chinese buffet. They got a little crazy, but overall everyone had a good time.
Sunday we got up a bit late, grabbed coffee and went to see Dan’s jobsite. There was a ton more done than the last time I’ve been by. I think Liz and Aaron found it interesting, and I know Aaron liked the big log piles at the log export place next door. After that we headed down to Portland to check out the Sunday Market. Both Liz and I ended up buying a hanging decoration for outdoors, made of a spiral of metal with a glass orb inside. After wandering Portland for a little while, we got in the car and drove to Cannon Beach. It was super windy there, and there were lots of breakers. The wind was so strong it was a bit hard to walk. It was a pretty cool experience though.
We went to Astoria next, where we went to the Goonie’s House for Aaron and then to see the Astoria Column. Unfortunately the door was locked, so we couldn’t climb to the top. After that we found a hotel and dropped off our stuff. Then we went to the Rogue Public house for beer and supper. It was pretty dead there, so we decided to check out Fort George Brewery as well, since that’s where a lot of the locals go. There was a band playing, and a lot of people there, but we were able to get a table and hung out for a while. Then we went back to the hotel and crashed.
Monday morning we had breakfast at the hotel, then loaded the car up again and drove back to Longview. We stopped in at Kathy’s Flowers so I could show off my work, though most of my coworkers were at lunch at the time. We then went back to our apartment to leave a few things, and move the luggage to our car from the rental. Then we went to get lunch at a local burger place called Nips. After some yummy food, we got back in the cars and drove to SeaTac area to drop off Liz and Aaron’s rental car. Once that was taken care of we all piled into the civic and headed to Seattle to find the Sheraton hotel, which we booked with Priceline (love that site!). After dropping off our stuff we decided to wander the city a bit, then went to check out a place called Pnk, which I guess is an “ultra lounge”. We had a couple drinks then headed toward the water so we could get supper at the Crab Pot, which is pretty touristy, but had really good food. Liz and Aaron shared one pot, and Dan and I shared our own, but when they came the dumped everything in the middle of the table. It was pretty messy, but fun to eat all the crab, clams, mussels, and fish. After that we walked back toward Pike’s Market and stopped in at the Pike Brewery.
Tuesday we got coffee on the way to Pike’s Market from Seattle’s Best, which Aaron wanted to try, then we found breakfast at one of the little shops outside the Market. We walked through Pike’s, and had fun watching the workers throw fish around. Then we walked back uphill to the monorail so we could make it to the Space Needle in time for our lunch reservation. It wasn’t sunny, but thankfully it was clear enough to see most of the city and surrounding from up in the observation area. Lunch was very good…gotta love the more gourmet places. 🙂 After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to get the car and arranged all our stuff and headed north to Birch Bay.
We settled into our condo on Birch Bay, which was nice and clean, but very dated. There was only one actual bed and two different pull out couches. Thankfully, Dan and I got the real bed. 🙂 We drove back south a bit to the next town for dinner, since there wasn’t much around Birch Bay, then came back and just relaxed at the condo for the night.
Wednesday we decided to go wine tasting. However, there was only one tasting room open during the week that we could find (too bad it’s off season), so we made do with that. We picked up Dan’s aunt Lora on the way there and she invited us to come over for dinner that night. So we picked up some food, including live crabs and she took them home while we went into Bellingham to explore. Dinner was fun getting to spend time with his aunt and uncle. Then we headed back to the condo again.
Thursday we decided to explore the beach on the bay. We didn’t time it quite right to see any tide pools, but the weather was pretty nice. You could actually see the mountains in the distance, including Mt. Baker. I found quite a few pieces of beach glass, and Liz found some crab claws, tho we didn’t actually get to see any live crabs or other critters. After getting enough of the beach, we piled back in the car and headed toward Mt. Baker in an attempt to go see a waterfall. There were a lot of curvy roads, and eventually we found the turnoff for the waterfall, though it at first seemed to be partially blocked off. Also, the road was covered in several inches of snow. We decided to risk it, and it was definitely worth it. Liz got her shoes wet because of the snow, but she probably shouldn’t have worn canvas wedges.
That night we went out for St. Patrick’s Day. I stayed away from the green beer, but had a couple of pints of Guinness. Everyone else had the green stuff. We ended the night pretty late, but we all made it up early enough the next morning. We got everything packed, got a quick breakfast at a cafe in town, the got back on the road to drive Liz and Aaron back to SeaTac so they could catch their plane home. The week sure flew by!
After dropping them off, Dan and I decided to wander the mall that was nearby. We eventually got hungry, so we had a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Then we checked the traffic for I-5 on our phones and decided that it was bad enough we should find a hotel for the night. So we used priceline again and got the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. It was awesome. Very modern and full of art. Every floor was devoted to the work of one glass artist.
On Saturday we went over to check out the Tacoma Museum of Glass. There weren’t a ton of exhibits, but the cool thing about that museum was that they have a “Hot Shot” team of glass artists that are creating things in a workshop all day long. There’s a bunch of seating and you can just sit and watch as long as you like. It was really cool. I definitely recommend!