One of my biggest pet peeves about traveling throughout the U.S. (and i'm sure others share this one with me) is how expensive flights are! I can travel between two different countries in Europe for the price of an extra checked bag in America! With that being said, when I do get the chance to travel somewhere awesome, for a reasonable price, I will definitely take it!
This past weekend we travelled to Washington for the first time (bringing my count to 43/50 states!) to visit a friend in Seattle. This was also my first time going on a quick getaway since working full-time, and my first time flying since Europe!
We were extremely excited to go, so it was easy to make up a list of the things we knew we wanted to do ahead of time. This made it easier to fit in as much as we did, because all we had to do was adjust when we did activities, according to the weather.
First stop: Pike's Place Market. The flowers were beautiful and the fruit was amazing. I had hands down the best mango i've ever tasted (which i'm SURE was locally sourced), apples, and even tried a bourbon infused caramel.
We then had a fun brunch, as you do on a girl's weekend, and made a quick stop at the original Starbucks. The afternoon was spent getting our "Fall Fix" in by going to the pumpkin patch, having donuts and hot apple- cider, and soaking in all the beautiful fall foliage. As Mid-Westerners this is something that is an IMPORTANT part of Fall. After checking out Freemont Brewing, we turned in [relatively] early, to be ready first thing for our beautiful Sunday hike at Bandera Mountain!
Hiking Time! We started the 8-mile round trip hike by 10 AM, with plenty of time to beat the potential afternoon rain. The hike was described as "easy-moderate" online, and this was true until the last mile where my trekking poles sitting at home in California were definitely missed (as they aren't allowed in a carry-on!)
Gear-wise I wore many layers: athletic shirt, fleece quarter zip, rain coat, and Eddie Bauer "on-the-go" pants. I would also recommend a hat and gloves.
We hiked up to just around the first summit (or roughly that area), where we had an amazing view of Mt. Rainier and Mason Lake. The second summit was little further, and not as highly recommended.
Nonetheless, the hike was BEAUTIFUL, and I truly can't wait to go back! As a kid I spent a large amount of time exploring outside, both in and out of the Mid-West. I recently realized how great of an impact this time spent outdoors has had on me. Connecting with nature, and disconnecting with the rest of the world for a few hours, is the best way to re-gain perspective.
This trip gave me a SMALL taste of what I know the Pacific Northwest has to offer, and i'm already day-dreaming about my next adventure.
Comment below where you think I should go next on a weekend getaway!