tldr; live, laugh, love.
After a relaxing week with Mo and his baby, we waved goodbye to Portland and headed north to Mount Rainier, where we met even more friends – Brooke, Paulo, and Andrea!
Our three friends flew in from Austin to visit us and explore the Pacific Northwest together. Andrea could only stay for the weekend so we packed in as many fun activities as we could during her visit. They arrived to our Airbnb in the tiny town of Orting on the edge of Mount Rainier late on Friday night. We all stayed up late laughing and catching up.
The next morning, we took our time waking up and having breakfast. Then we were off to Mount Rainier. The drive into the National Park was beautiful and winding, with glimpses of snowy Mount Rainier popping out between the trees.
Right after we set off on our hike, a light drizzly rain started to fall, a poignant welcome to the PNW. Despite the light rain, the temperature was perfect for our 7.5 mile hike around the base of Mount Rainier.
We absolutely loved this hike. We took our time, admiring the tons of purple, yellow, white, pink, and blue wildflowers blooming all over the hills.
After a slow climb, we made it to an amazing viewpoint of Mount Rainier. We paused for some snacks and soaked in the view of the snowy mountain and waterfalls cascading down the sides before continuing onwards.
On the second part of our hike we saw lots of fun local wildlife, marmots! The Mount Rainier marmots were fluffy, with white fur around their heads and necks. Most of them didn’t seem too concerned about us walking on the trail right next to them and just kept an eye on us as we made our way past. A couple of them, however, let out an incredibly shrill alarm call just as we were passing by. Their alarm call was something like a mix between a whistle and a scream and was shockingly loud coming from such a small creature.
We got to see more waterfalls and creeks on our hike back down to our car and did our best not to slip and side down the muddy paths. Mount Rainier was one of the greenest places we’ve seen on our whole trip and it was one of our favorites hikes!
After our hike, we headed back to our Airbnb for fish tacos for dinner and lots of games. We played Spot It, one of our new favorite games, and laughed and chatted until late at night.
The next morning, we all drove back to Seattle. On our way, we stopped off at one became one of our favorite parts of the weekend, a u-pick farm! We’d seen lots of these u-pick farms on our trip but hadn’t visited any yet. We were there for raspberry season (lucky us!) so in addition to buying a couple baskets of fresh nectarines and tomatoes, we got to pick our own raspberries. One of the farmers took us out to the rows of raspberries and showed us which ones were ripe. We picked our way down the rows filling our baskets and snacking on a few as we went. After a while, we kept saying, “just one more, just one more”, until we finally dragged ourselves away with four baskets overflowing with raspberries.
With lots of fruit to snack on along our drive, we continued to Seattle. We met up at Pike Place Market, Seattle’s amazing downtown market with everything ranging from stalls and stalls of flower bouquets, to fresh caught fish, to CBD oil, to Italian subs (which we greatly enjoyed for lunch!). We also got to hear an amazing busker singing in the market, her voice echoing through the stalls.
After Pike Place, we walked over to the public library. It was closed but Andrea (an architect) was excited to just get to peer through the windows and admire the unique design.
After the library we walked back to our cars and headed to Washington Park Arboretum (where Choi and I would end up spending the whole next week working). We walked through the park, working up an appetite for dinner, which we got at a great little Korean place that Choi and Paulo found.
After dinner, we topped off our long but amazing day with ice cream at a park overlooking the city. A couple of musicians were playing in the park and they managed to rope in Andrea and Paulo to learn a dance that they had made up. The rest of us just laughed and video’d while they danced in front of a full park of people.
Mount Rainier and Seattle, we love your incredible wildflowers and mountains, picking your fresh raspberries, and your lively city. Along We Go!