A Travellerspoint blog

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Back to Seattle

Trip # 7 for me

View Seattle-Victoria-Vancouver Island on TadHerman's travel map.

I came to Seattle in 1991 for a bike ride. Loved it all. Mountains, Water, beautiful weather. Seattle summers are a big secret. I have now spent close to 3 months of life in Seattle/Northwest in July. There may have been 2 of those days that were really rainy. Seattle weather Check out the link. Avg-5 days with rain in July (less than an inch) avg high temp.--75F... Poughkeepsie, avg 4.65" and 85F. I have needed a light jacket more than AC.

Since 2006, this is my 6th time (being paid!) to come out here to train teachers...thank you PLTW and Seattle University. I have not missed the opportunity to spend a little extra time to explore to area. Sue joined me again for a nice tour of the area.

Our Itinerary:

2am EDT- Wake up
3am - Leave for Newark
7am - Flight off ground
10am PDT - arrive at Seattle
11am - Get car from downtown Seattle. Visit REI home store.
3:00 pm - Arrive at Anacortes.
3:30 pm - Go for 5 hour Whale watching trip into San Juan Islands and Strait of Juan de Fuca
9:00 pm check into hotel and sleep in Anacortes

7:30 am - At Ferry Terminal
8:30 am - Ferry off to Sidney, Canada
11am -Into Canada
Noon- To Victoria, Capital of British Columbia for walking around
2:30 - Afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel (splurge alert! straight to THE place to have Tea)
5pm - Arrive at Sooke, BC to B&B (2 nights)

8am- Beautiful Breakfast
9:30am - 11 hours of hiking and beaching-Perfect Day!

8am- Beautiful Breakfast again
10am - Late start...Look around Sooke
11am - Sooke Pothole Park
1pm - Slow drive back to Victoria
3pm - Walking around Inner Harbour, Busker festival this weekend...saw some performers warming up.
4pm - Nice Dinner
6pm - Into the cage! Check into ferry 90 minutes before take off across the border back to US
8pm - Late start for ferry crossing, beautiful ride and sunset through.
10 pm - Hotel! They were calling us to see if we were coming...30 seconds before we did.

10am-Sequim Lavender Festival, Raspberry eating, looking for lavender fields, Dungeness Spit, Lavender farms.
3pm - Bainbridge Island Ferry to Seattle, check into Seattle Univ (reminder that work was near), to hotel by airport.
7pm - Mexican Dinner in Seattle (not the best combo). Finding restaurant blocked by parade (extra 20-30 minutes to get there)
10 pm - Vacation Done

3am - Sue up to get ready to go to airport for 6am flight
6am - Tad up to pack out of room, return car, go to work by 2pm

Now for pictures...another blog report.

Posted by TadHerman 21:15 Comments (0)

Day 1 Salt Point to NYC to Seattle to Anacortes to Orcas

A long day!

View Seattle-Victoria-Vancouver Island on TadHerman's travel map.

The itinerary says it, but this was a stuffed day.

Starting in NYC.IMG_3798.jpg

We got into Seattle and took their light rail system into downtown. Renting a car (for 5 days) from downtown vs the airport saved us $120. It was easy. Spent some time at REI getting a nice windbreaker for Sue for the whale watching trip. I did the same last year. It is July, but we both have a long fleece and the windbreaker out on the water, and it was still cold!

Lots of wildlife...plain and simple. Just enjoy the pictures. Click on each picture for an enlargement and a caption.

There is this interesting optical illusion that I have now seen a number of times out here. It is called Fata Morgana. It stretches things on the horizon, making a lot of high cliff islands, and upside down floating islands.
Fata Morgana-Whatever that means!

Fata Morgana-Whatever that means!

Back to port. In all, it was a 5 hour tour.

Posted by TadHerman 19:59 Tagged whale watching Comments (0)

Salish Sea and Afternoon Tea

Off To Canada

View Seattle-Victoria-Vancouver Island on TadHerman's travel map.

We stayed about 10 minutes from ferry terminal. We were there about 45 minutes ahead. Any border crossing stuff was done in Canada. It is about a 2.5 hour tour. It is absolute beautiful ride. Let's start with a map of the trip through the islands and then some pictures.
Gulf Islands

Gulf Islands

Getting into Canada was just a wait for your 30 seconds of questioning, and then some typical questions of purpose of visit and what did you bring.
The boat comes into Sidney, then its about a 30-40 drive down the the British Columbia Capital city, Victoria. Sue is from "the most English City in New Zealand"-Christchurch. And Victoria often earns the same title in Canada. Beautiful gardens and afternoon tea. We wanted to try an afternoon tea, read about THE place to have tea...suffered sticker shock...but in the end, we thought "You Only Live Once" The current exchange rate basically gave us a 30% discount to. Glad we did it. The Empress Hotel This place seems to be on all the Top 10 lists for afternoon tea on the planet.

Once we decided to bite the bullet, we had to wait about 1.5 hours. So, we took a nice walk through one of Victoria's big parks, Beacon Hill. When we got to the water, there was a big bluff and stairs to climb down. Once there, it felt completely wild...no sense of the city at all.

The nerd in me had to go to Highway Canada 1 Mile 0 marker, since in less than a month I will be at the end of US highway 1.

Posted by TadHerman 20:49 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Sooke and Four Beaches

Wednesday afternoon through Friday Morning

Credit goes to Sue for picking the place to stay. We knew we getting to Vancouver Island on Wed. We knew we wanted to see a bit of Victoria. We knew that we wanted to drive as far west along the water as the road allowed. This turns out to be Port Renfrew.

Sue snooped around a found a place a bit outside of Victoria (45 minutes). It was a B&B in Sooke called 4-Beaches.
We can't imagine anything that would have been a better choice. Pat and Alison were great hosts. Both breakfasts were incredible. The guests were great people to meet. There was access to a beach within 100 yards. I will start with pics from the B&B&B (...and beach)

Now, "4 beaches" is named after 4 nearby beaches to the west of Sooke. Alison described their effort of access and distinct features perfectly. This advice shaped our excursion for the next day. We did trade in one of the nearer beaches for a much farther beach, but we did do 4 in the end.
French Beach- Easy 100 m access from parking lot.
Sandcut Beach- A bit of a hike (500 m) through some nice rain forest.
China Beach and Mystic Beach were accessible from same parking lot. We didn't go to China which was a quick 3 minute access, Instead to did the 2 km hike to Mystic Beach along the popular 30 mile Juan de Fuca Trail.

The weather was near perfect for light jacket or fleece. The lack of people at these beautiful spots was a nice bonus. Sandcut Beach might have been about a 1 mile expanse and for quite awhile, we were the only ones on the whole beach. Mystic was the busiest, maybe 50 people. The 30 mile trail seems to be a popular backpaking trail. It would make for an incredible 3 day journey, sleeping at some of the 6 beaches along the way. We saved our lunch for this beach.

The fourth beach was about another 1/2 drive to the end of the paved road and the start of vast miles of wilderness that is one of the things for which Vancouver Island is known. It was Botanical Beach and offered an incredible geology with tide pools in the rocks that could be explored for hours. We were fortunate to be there near low tides so as to do this exploring. Unfortunately for me, my camera battery died, so no shots unless I steal some of Sue's pics.

Posted by TadHerman 22:01 Comments (0)

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