Photo Friday Flashback – honeymoonin’.

My mind has been preoccupied.  I have been completely and utterly distracted by my own sighing and reminiscing about the honeymoon adventure that Kevin and I were on a year ago.  But I’m not alone in my preoccupation.  It’s safe to say we’ve both been distracted – comments such as, “Mmm, remember the food we ate at…” and “This time last year we were…” have followed us around like comic strip speech bubbles all week.

And just where were we?  We made a tour of the Pacific Northwest, where I ate my weight in chowder and fish and chips and Kevin lived in his perfect temperature bubble.  The cool, misty rains and the fresh, crisp air – that’s his happy place.

It is in memory and with shameless nostalgia that I now redirect attention to the recap posts from the honeymoon I want to relive.

{Click on the links  to travel back in time.}

We started off with a  day trip to Orcas Island. 

Day 4 - Orcas Pottery Amy & Kevin swings

Then we sailed to seaside Sidney. 

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 On the third day, we moseyed to Victoria.

Day 6 - Victoria arriving at The Empress

Still in Victoria, we had a probably perfectly British day.

Day 7 - Victoria Butchart Gardens pink flowers

 And we concluded honeymoon bliss in Seattle.

Day 8 - Seattle outside original Starbucks

 

Last and, quite frankly, least, in case you were wondering what kind of style I sported on this Pacific Northwest honeymoon….

 

Where do you wish you were right now?  What was your most favorite trip of all time? 

See Attle.

{As an aside, credit for the title of this post is due to the son of one of Kevin’s groomsmen.  When he and his wife would talk about preparations for the trip to Seattle for the wedding, their son – who is around 2 years old and understood that he would be home with the grandparents while they were on this trip – would insist to them that he wanted to go “See Attle,” thinking it was a person named Attle and wanting to be part of the adventure in seeing said person.}

We bid farewell to The Empress on the following morning.

Day 8 - Victoria view of The Empress edited

Our chosen mode of transportation this time was the Victoria Clipper bound for Seattle.  The Clipper is a catamaran ferry – so it zips right through the distance.

We wanted to document our time on the Clipper with a nice photograph of each of us.  Mr. Photogenic smiled and the photo angels smiled back. 

Day 8 - Victoria Kevin on Clipper

Me on the other hand….

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Top Left: crazy eyes.
Top Right: seductive eyes.
Bottom Left: there are no words.
Bottom Right: Oh, you liked the seductive eyes? Well, there’s more where that came from.

After finally getting a normal picture (not worth sharing), we napped and read and chatted our way into Seattle. 

We stayed at the Inn at the Market which is soooo perfectly located right on Pikes Place Market.  Gorgeous hotel. 

Day 8 - Seattle Inn at the Market courtyard sign

Day 8 - Seattle Inn at the Market sign

We dropped our bags in the room and sprinted right to the Market. 

Day 8 - Seattle Pike's Place Market street view

Day 8 - Seattle Pike's Place Market fish

Day 8 - Seattle Pike's Place Market flowers

Day 8 - Seattle Pike's Place Market flowers close up

The Market is such an experience – bustling with activity, loud and crowded with people, and full of interesting scents and sights.  The fish section is famous, but my favorite area is always the flowers.  Row after row of freshly picked, bright and colorful bouquets.  I do declare – if I lived in Seattle I would plump for a $5 bouquet each week. 

We made our way into the Rub With Love Shack for some tasty pulled pork and clam chowder.  Great food and people watching. 

Day 8 - Seattle Rub with Love Shack

Appetites sated, we next popped into the original Starbucks.   

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Day 8 - Seattle outside original Starbucks

With latte and Pike’s blend in hand, we wandered the wharf. 

Day 8 - Seattle view from wharf

As we were meandering, we spied Cutters Crabhouse, and after one glance at the menu, declared it the perfect spot for our final honeymoon dinner.  We made a reservation for later that evening, and then headed back to the hotel for a nap. 

Dinner was delicious.  I forgot to snap pictures of the food (I know – I’m sad about that too.).  Kevin had a king salmon, I had the lobster gnocchi, and we shared a crab and artichoke dip appetizer and a chocolate dessert. 

And there was wine.

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Bellies full, we took a few extra steps to check out the night view from the roof deck of our hotel. 

Day 8 - Seattle view of Pike's Place Market dusk-like

Day 8 - Seattle roofdeck of Inn at the Market dynamic monochrome

The next morning we had the BEST breakfast at Bacco Cafe.  With coffee and freshly squeezed juice. 

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We had arranged for a town car to get us from our hotel to the airport. 

And the honeymoon was officially concluded. 

It was the best time imaginable.  Getting to explore a few pockets of the Pacific Northwest with that wonderful guy – my husband – was relaxing and entertaining and delicious and simply a dream come true.

We are already excited to go back.

What is your dream vacation? 

What was probably a perfectly British day.

In that I’m not British and actually have never even been to England or Great Britain to begin with, I could be mistaken and this day may not have been the least bit British.  But it did include gardens and tea, which are common with our friends across the pond, amIright? 

We caught a tour bus to the Butchart Gardens at around 9 AM. 

Day 7 - Victoria waiting for Butchart Garden bus

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The Butchart Gardens are amazing.  They are built in what was formerly a quarry – I think for limestone.  Mrs. Butchart began planting lovely flowers on the grounds and even into the walls of the quarry.  Now, over 100 years later, it’s still owned and operated by the Butchart family.  The flowers and plants are changed out seasonally and I’m certain that it must be a gardener’s dream-come-true kind of job. 

Day 7 - Victoria Butchart Gardens 1

Day 7 - Victoria Butchart Gardens 3

Day 7 - Victoria Butchart Gardens 5

Day 7 - Victoria Butchart Gardens 4

Day 7 - Victoria Butchart Gardens pink flowers

It’s a bit overwhelming to visit because there is so much to photograph.  You have this desire to document every step of the way, and then you are annoyed when the pictures don’t do it justice.  Or maybe that’s just me. 

After losing ourselves in the flora and fauna for a bit, we caught the bus back to The Empress.  Such a strenuous morning that we had a take a nap to muster up some energy for tea. 

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We took tea at three in the tea room of The Empress. 

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First there were strawberries with whipped cream.  Light and fresh and simply perfect.

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Then the three-tiered tray was brought to our table and we dug right in. 

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There were around five varieties of sandwiches:  a chicken curry, salmon pinwheels, egg salad on a croissant, cucumber, and a pork on rye.  Kevin’s favorite was the chicken curry – my favorite was the cucumber. 

Next were the decadent scones and cream.  Mmm.  My mouth waters just thinking about those. 

Finally – the dessert.  There were macaroons, lemon meringues, cherry frosted cakes, shortbread cookies, and the unanimous favorite – little chocolate espresso cups. 

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Tea time food is deceptive.  It’s so little and cute that you think there is no possible way it will fill you up.  Somehow it does though.  We left groaningly full.  Two pots of tea probably helped with that. 

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The Empress has old-fashioned mail chutes, so we stopped off to post some postcards to our parents. 

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Then it was about time to call it a day.  (Naturally we snuck up to the Gold Room Lounge for some appy’s later that evening.  I hadn’t had any cheese all day and was going through some withdrawals.)

An afternoon in Victoria, BC.

We arrived in Victoria early afternoon and checked into our hotel – the famous and elegant Empress.  Majestic and cloaked in ivy – she’s quite a gal. 

Day 6 - Victoria arriving at The Empress

Day 6 - Victoria The Empress ivy

The gentleman at the front desk who checked us in sold us on upgrading to the “Gold Room” club level.  Normally an extra $200 a night tacked on to the room rate, and we could get it for a bargain $50 extra a night.  It included access to the Gold Room Lounge, where there was breakfast each morning, snacks through the day, and appy’s in the evening.  We also had access to the Gold Level concierge for questions, reservations, check out, and other services. 

{Upgrading turned out to be a wise decision.  We would have spent a fair amount on breakfast each morning away from the hotel, and the concierge perk was nice for printing out tickets and itineraries for our various activities.  Not to mention that I ate $50 worth of cheese and shrimp during one of the appy hours alone.  I love cheese just as much as I love fish, chips, and chowder.  But I digress.  It was worth $50 a night.  It would not have been worth $200.} 

Our room was small (especially compared to the huge room we’d had in Sidney) but nicely appointed.  It boasted a garden view AND a harbor view. 

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We ate lunch at the Bengal Lounge, located within The Empress.  It had a really nice Indian buffet (per Kevin as I tend to not prefer Indian food), and a good menu for someone not interested in Indian cuisuine.  I had chowder (surprise, surprise).  The restaurant was decorated well and it was a cozy place to be while the rain pitter-patted the windows around us.

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The rainy day was the perfect excuse to head straight to the Royal British Columbia Museum, conveniently located just across the street from our hotel. 

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The main exhibit was the story of the British and Norwegian race to the South Pole.  It was very well done and engaging.  We wandered through the majority of the other exhibits in the museum and snapped a few pictures of the view (below is the Government building which I think is very pretty) before we had to dash back to the hotel for our couples massage. 

Day 6 - Victoria government building view from museum

Another item from our honeymoon gift registry, the massage was something we had scheduled at the spa in The Empress in advance and were quite excited about.  First we took a dip in the mineral pool.  I had not brought a swimsuit on the trip and therefore had to purchase a “disposable suit” from the spa – a highly flattering blueish-purple one-piece that was made from shower-cap type material.  Fortunately, my husband was the only other person in the mineral pool when I was sporting that beauty, and he may not have claimed me in it, but he was legally bound to me nonetheless. 

The massages were very relaxing and enjoyable.  And had caused us to really work up an appetite.  Therefore they simply had to be followed up by a trip to The Veranda cafe on the first level of The Empress.  We dined al fresco with an overhead heater taming the chill of the evening air.  We shared a generous helping of mussels and gazed out at the harbor. 

Day 6 - Victoria Kevin at The Veranda

Day 6 - Victoria mussels at The Veranda 

A perfectly delicious conclusion to our first day in Victoria.

Seaside Sidney.

Our second stop on our honeymoon tour of the Pacific Northwest was Sidney, British Columbia.  The Washington ferry has a direct route from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to Sidney, so a night in Sidney seemed like a must before we headed on to Victoria, BC.  Especially when we found out that Sidney is considered the bookstore capital of the Northwest and boasts around twelve bookshops within a four block radius.  Sold – to the bookworms on their honeymoon.

We left our home sweet island home mid-morning.  The ferry ride was a couple of hours so we entertained ourselves by admiring the gorgeous scenery and eating leftover cupcakes from our dessert buffet. 

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We arrived in Sidney and were able to walk to our hotel from the ferry docking point. It was an easy walk – even in the misty rain that was falling as we pulled suitcases behind us like small children who had run away from home. 

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The Sidney Pier Hotel was impressive – a large glass structure, nestled right by the water.  This was the view from our room:

Day 5 - Sidney view from Sidney Pier Hotel

We immediately set out to explore.  First order of business – find food.  There was this cute place just to the side of our hotel named “The Rum Runner,” and I regaled Kevin with movie quotes from Pirates of the Caribbean in my best Johnny Depp voice.  (“But why is the rum gone?”)

We started the meal with an Arnold Palmer and some locally brewed root beer.

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…before moving on to the main event:  a massive fish taco for him and fish and chips for me [you’ll notice that fish and chips and chowder are a recurring theme for me during my time in the PNW]. 

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We chuckled and eyed each other knowingly while inadvertently eavesdropping on the older couple at the table next to ours.  They were in their late seventies or early eighties and totally reminded us of ourselves.  “Yep – that’s us in fifty years,” we were both thinking. 

After lunch we spied an open house sign, and decided we simply had to see what a Sidney townhouse was all about.  We LOVE open houses, so it was simply so “us” to spend a few minutes wandering through a place on our honeymoon.  There was also an open house on the residence side of the hotel building, so we looked at that place too.  Maybe someday we’ll make our way back to Sidney to live. 

We then explored the grassy park behind our hotel, admiring the view and the artwork. 

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We decided to explore the main street in town – Beacon Street – and hit up a few of those bookstores.  There certainly were plenty to choose from.  We didn’t buy any books, but we had a great time perusing the options. 

Sidney was such a cute little city.  The people were so friendly, it was very clean and well-kept, and overall, we agreed that we could see ourselves living there someday.  There are places you like to visit but would never live – Sidney wasn’t one of those places.  It seemed very livable. 

Lots of statues.  And we do love imitating art…

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Dinner was low-key.  We picked up a couple of pizzas from a local place and carried them back to our hotel.  Looking back, we agree that it was one of our favorite dinners of the trip.  Just some pizza, a lovely hotel room with a view, and excellent company (if we do say so ourselves). 

Day 5 - Sidney pizza

The following day, we wandered back down Beacon Street, stopping in at a few of the bookstores which had been closed the day before.  Our favorite included the friendly Rosabelle, guard cat who also served as the head of customer service.  Not a bad life for a cat….

Day 6 - Sidney Beacon Books Rosabelle 2

We then bid farewell to Sidney and hopped a bus bound for Victoria….

What types of shops do you explore when you visit new towns?  Bookstores like us, or are you more drawn to clothes, souvenirs, or some other good?

Day trip to Orcas Island.

For the first day of our honeymoon, we decided to make a day trip from San Juan Island to Orcas Island.  So we hopped a ferry.

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Day 4 - Orcas Ferry Terminal

Once on Orcas, we ate lunch at a small place just up the road from the ferry.  Fish and chips and chowder?  Yes, please.  Don’t mind if I do. Especially with the view – inside and out.

Day 4 - Orcas lunch

Day 4 - Orcas boat

We investigated our options for being transported around the island.  Rental options were limited, and while the mini-van was tempting, we opted for a taxi service instead.  There were two taxi companies on the island.  Our first phone call found Karen on the other end of the phone – she said she’d send a driver to the ferry terminal to pick us up.  So we waited.  For about 25 minutes.  And then we called to check on the status said driver.  Per Karen, he’d be there in a few minutes.  Sure enough – Eric came skidding to a stop in front of us, explaining that Karen (who we learned was his wife) had let him go fishing that morning and he had to shower before coming to pick us up.  I’m sure it was worth the wait. 

Eric was quite helpful and chatty [and clean], giving us info about the island and his various entrepreneurial pursuits, as he drove us to Orcas Island Pottery.  Together, we set a time for him to come back to pick us up, and then we started exploring. 

If you are ever on Orcas Island, or even in the general vicinity, take the time to check out Orcas Island Pottery.  The setting is absolutely breathtaking.  Piece after piece of pottery stretches out on the lot, hidden in little wood barns, decorating the tops of rustic picnic tables, filling shelves, and hanging on nearly every inch of wall space.  The options span the entire range of shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and prices.  Climb up into the treehouse.  Admire the view on the backside of the property.  And be sure to seek out Max, the owner/mascot/head-of-security. 

Day 4 - Orcas Pottery Max

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Day 4 - Orcas Pottery 3 Treehouse

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Day 4 - Orcas Pottery Amy & Kevin 3

We had registered for pottery from Orcas Island Pottery on our honeymoon registry (Traveler’s Joy is the site we used).  It was daunting as we wandered amongst the pottery, pointing out pieces that caught our eye.  Ultimately, these were our choices:

Day 4 - Orcas Pottery purchases

The brown and green vase now sits on a shelf in our living room, Kevin drank coffee out of that mug this very morning, and the red, gold, and blue vase was a gift for Kevin’s parents. 

We met our buddy Eric after making our purchases.   He drove us into Eastsound, where we spent a few hours perusing shops, admiring the views, and drinking the best vanilla latte I’ve ever consumed. 

Day 4 - Orcas labyrinth

Day 4 - Orcas Eastsound sailboat

Day 4 - Orcas signs

Day 4 - Orcas looking out

After a delicious dinner, we met up again with Eric and he sets out to drive us to the ferry terminal.  Along the way, he says, “I have to drop off some stuff at a friend’s house.  Do you mind?”  We say no.  He then veers off the paved road and drives through a deserted stretch of forest to a small house, surrounded by an assortment of debris and cars that appear to have seen better days.  I’m thinking, “This seems like the beginning of a horror movie,” as Eric runs a bag of lottery scratchers and Mountain Dew into the house.  I’m mentally formulating an escape plan for Kevin and me as Eric comes back to the taxi and drives back onto paved road.  Whew.  Real-life horror avoided. 

We’re early, and pass the time by taking pictures of bunnies and eating a pint of ice cream with two plastic spoons. 

Day 4 - Orcas bunny 2

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The sunset followed the ferry back to San Juan Island, creating a perfect backdrop to close out the day.

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How do you pass the time when traveling (especially if there are no bunnies)?  Did you spot a favorite piece of pottery in the pictures above?