Go west. (because it seems to be a trend)

by tatjannam

I love the Pacific Northwest, I always have and always will. Call me crazy, but there is something about the rain that just makes me giggle inside, and something about the endless green forests that stirs my heart to no end. So when we decide as a family to take a mini-vacation the choice (though repetitive ), was obvious.

We left early on a very cold crisp February morning and loaded up into our not trip tested , new to us Jeep. Our three boys in the backseat and my best friend (my husband) and myself in the front. Freedom of the open road.
The best thing about my kids is that they only said “are we there yet?” in jest and other then the occasional tear over not being allowed to watch the laptop during the scenic parts of the drive, they behaved pretty well! AND, They did not continually ask to pee every ten minutes! That being said Seattle came fast. But first Snoqualmie and Road sickness.

Once on the road it didn’t take long to realize the weather was sharply turning, The sprinkle turned to a torrent and a torrent turned into near white out. 4 wheel drive and a careful speed, we are all right…Then someone turned off the sun, it was instant, like the tree’s and the clouds had absolutely no need for any kind of light. I soon realized that we were were looking over a cliff onto a lake to my left, and since we could barely see ahead of us, our family was hushed into an awkward worried silence. We made the pass without too much trouble and came down to near the Issaquah exit, when the eldest yells, pull over I have to puke! It’s here that I should inform you, Vomit scares the crap out of me, put me on a plane 35000 feet up I worry a bit (now) but Im alright, horror movies, nope nothing, but vomit…OH , MY, GOD! I’m a baby! I fearfully speed up as if being chased by some madman that I can’t shake cut across 3 lanes of traffic and shoot off onto an exit that clearly marked……GAS <———…Obvious conclusion, follow the arrows, right? I am forced onto a 2 lane road where, now that the snow has turned to a downpour, the road is a high gloss black shining mirror, packed with high speed traffic going uphill, no, not uphill, up mountain…no emergency lanes nothing I am forced to keep driving. Meanwhile the backseat is filled with OOOOOOH and AHHHHH and oh please Jon don’t puke commentary from the two smaller kids. I feel like I have driven for miles when all of a sudden there is absolutely no traffic, no signs and a fork in the road.

Someone, once told me if your lost in a maze only make right turns..I’m not sure if that works in mazes, but it did get me to the town of Issaquah and a gas station! After several minutes of air we all felt better and my son thankfully did not vomit.  We found our way back to the freeway and made the remainder of the trip to Tacoma, just fine…….Until we pull off the freeway and I’m two lanes away from the side of the road when my son screams, mooooooom! I tell him to use the bag that the snacks we bought came in, he instead uses our luggage meant for electronics…at least he dumped it out first!

Tacoma was great, First I was able to see my family and that is a real big deal to me. Also, I’ve never had a bit of time to check the place out. We headed to the port area with the kids and as always, my favorite way to see a place is to get lost in it. We meandered around some bends and found ourselves at a small park on the water..It was a nice time and the kids skipped rocks.

That evening , I had the chance to have a chat with a friend from Seattle, at Katy Downs in Tacoma, It overlooks the water and I bet had it not been dark out the view would be amazing. Danielle, is someone who will always be on my list of people to see while in Washington, she’s funny, witty and instantly comfortable to talk to, The other is Rob, a college buddy of my husbands who, I will never miss an opportunity to hang out with, and thus the next day we did!


You absolutely cannot head to Seattle without taking in at least one of their museums or venues, from morning coffee to night life (no matter what your tastes) there is always somewhere to immerse yourself. Well, this is a family friendly adventure so we decided on the Pacific Science center, and Asked Rob to join us..I only hope my kids learned as much as I did!

After the PSC we headed to the “old spaghetti factory” for lunch and then back to west Seattle to meet Robs new family members (a pair of comical and adorable cats) and then to my favorite spot (thank you Rob) in W.Seattle, Lincoln park, we walked the shoreline while Rob informed us of the names of each island that could be viewed, then we headed up to the park proper for a little zip line action on the parks mini zip line! A perfect end to the day!

I cannot move on with this blog, until I mention more about my cousin Jennifer.
The girl can cook! And not only that she is a wonderful hostess as well. She made us feel so welcome and her Husband Jeff is off the wall funny. It was great to see everyone while I was there, My aunt Sheila, cousin Tim and all the kids! And before I move on to Portland..I just have to say you will never taste the worlds best quiche, because it’s made in the Kitchen of my cousin Jennifers home!

We had initially planned on staying in Washington for our whole mini vacation, but Snoqualmie was experiencing Avalanche warnings and bad weather warnings so we decided to meander south for awhile and see my hearts home. Oregon. I will always, choke on my emotions as I cross the border into Oregon. It always seems to flood my mind with childhood memories and they come back complete with the smells and sounds of those moments. This was no exception, but this time a new memory was created, with my own children. We headed down 5 and decided to cross over into Oregon via highway 30 and over to Astoria. My youngest son, Jeron, is an old soul, he may only be 9 but his wisdom seems lifetimes old, as does his taste in music. He’s an enormous “Journey” fan. On the trip we had made a game of counting down to state lines. We saw the sign, my heart began to fill with those same familiar emotions and joy, when we reached 2 (in the countdown) Jeron, yells, MOM!! My favorite song turn it up, my husband jacks up the radio and “Don’t stop believin’ is playing and then my whole family is singing along, word for word, and I am crying… This was the start to what could be one of the most perfect days my family has ever had together.

We pulled into Seaside, excited to see Trenton, another of Rods college buddies, and pick up Ice cream for all the kids (Trenton has two very well mannered, beautiful little ones) and Trenton suggests Gearhart Beach. We are totally great with that. We drove the Jeep a couple miles on and down the beach, the temperatures had warmed and my kids for the first time in their lives viewed the majestic beauty of the Pacific coast.  I could roll on and on about our time there, but it can be summed up in one word. Perfect.

We spent only a short time on the beach, Rod caught up with Trenton and then we needed to start the trek home…The rest of the journey uneventful except for leaving my phone in a hotel in Hood River. But man, it was good to be in my own bed again!