Sunday, July 8, 2018

Washington Summer Road Trip 2018

Maxwelton Beach 4th of July, Maxwelton Day Parade

The first week of July treated us right this year with a trip to Seattle and Whidbey Island, Washington. If you've been reading my blog for long enough (it's been around for seven years now, jeez!), you know that my family makes the annual trek over to Washington every year. Typically, we go for the Fourth of July, to spend the week with my family on Whidbey Island, but in the past it's been other weeks in the summer if we can't get over during that week.

This year, we took full advantage of some paid time off from work and spent eight whole days over at the Puget Sound. We visited my sister and grandma in Seattle and visited my other grandparents as well as aunt, uncle and cousins on Whidbey Island. It was such a fun trip this time around. We ate at all of our favorite spots, like Village Pizzeria and Ivars (and tried a couple new ones like the Mukilteo Cafe).

See photos and stories from our trip below.

Ebey's Landing, Washington Agates, Best places to find agates in Washington, Ebey's Landing Agates, raw agates

Ebey's Landing is always a great spot to hunt for agates. We dropped in for our walk at a different spot than where we normally go in at this time, and it was an entire rocky beach filled with agate-hunting potential. We ended up coming away with a few good finds (see below).

Whidbey Island Agates, Ebey's Landing, Washington Agates, Best places to find agates in Washington, Ebey's Landing Agates, raw agates

These were the 17 agates collected from our Ebey's Landing walk. While Ebey's Landing is typically a great place to find agates, we were a little late to the party on the day we went, so it was a little bit picked-over. But Daniel still was able to find a big one, and I cleaned up on the small game. One of mine was like a completely round marble. Agates are the coolest!

Langley, Whidbey Island Agates, Washington Agates, Best places to find agates in Washington, Langley Agates, raw agates

The above agates are from our walk on Langley Beach. After we dined on pizza (see below) and shared a couple drinks, we were walking around Langley and decided to travel down to the beach for a short walk. We were surprised--we don't know anyone who has had luck on Langley Beach... but that day we sure did!

Village Pizzeria Langley, Pesto Pizza, Best Pizza on Whidbey Island

Now, the photo above is a little slice of heaven. You've heard me mention Village Pizzeria before, but guys--seriously--if you're ever on Whidbey Island, Village Pizzeria is a MUST MUST MUST! Order a slice (or a whole pie) of their Pesto and you'll be singing Village Pizzeria praises for the rest of your life. Want fast(er) service? Sit at the bar. Just trust me.

Maxwelton Beach 4th of July, Maxwelton Day Parade

On the day of the Fourth, we had the absolute pleasure of spending the entire day with family. We stayed with my cousin Annie, and she was literally the sweetest person we could have stayed with. The four of us hosted the Fourth at the house we stayed at, and it was a huge party with about 20 family members and friends. My grandparents, above, were such a blast to spend time with on this trip. I got to listen to stories I've never heard before and had so much just being with them. Time with grandparents is so valuable these days.

For the day of the 4th, we started the afternoon off at the Maxwelton Day Parade on Whidbey Island at Maxwelton Beach, and enjoyed the festivities of the parade and games to follow. They always have games after the parade like 40m foot races, sack races, three-legged races, and an egg toss. Of the hundred or so people who participated in the egg toss this year, my sister's boyfriend and his brother won it. It was a magnificent feat! My brother and I attempted to compete in the three-legged race, but if you've seen how tall that kid is, you could imagine the disaster we were headed towards. Right when they lifted the rope so we could go, the two of us bobbled at the start and I went face-first into the dirt, with him rolling over me out of the sack. We sucked some major three-legged sack. Hey, you can't win at everything, right? But it was hilarious, and if you see what my brother is wearing below (or in the first photo), you'll see why the crowd loved it so much.

Maxwelton Beach 4th of July, Maxwelton Day Parade

The Driflot/Stone/Rowe family on the fourth. I love my family so much! After all the hanging out at the beach cabin, we finished the evening with s'mores and a beachfire as we watched the fireworks go off overhead. The firework display on Maxwelton Beach on the Fourth is a show to be reckoned with. Never have I ever seen so many fireworks that individual families light up... it's truly one of my favorite nights of the year.

We also took some much-needed time to spend with my grandma who lives in Seattle.  She is the kindest lady and always is so much fun to be around. I love hearing her stories, told in her Norwegian accent, and the ins-and-outs of her life in her retirement home. She's such a special person to me!

Best Ice Cream in Washington, Kapaw's Isekreme, Salt And Straw Ice Cream, Ivars Soft Serve

The trip recap wouldn't be complete without a tale of three ice creams. Now, this definitely wasn't all the ice cream we got (maybe it was half... honestly), but it's a recap of my favorites. On the left is Ivar's soft serve at Mukilteo Landing. Yes, they're known for their chowder and fish n' chips, but I personally can't get onto the Mukilteo Ferry without stopping at Ivar's first. The second is Kapaw's Iskreme in Coupeville on Whidbey Island. They make all of their own ice cream and the flavors are creamy, chunky, and SOOOOO tasty. On that cone, I had cookie dough, butter brickle, and wolf tracks. YUM! The third cone is a new staple in the Ballard area called Salt & Straw. Similar to Molly Moon's in Seattle, they make all their own flavors and have some funky and outlandish ones. That cone had a scoop of birthday cake and blackberries with a scoop of Beecher's cheese and peppercorn toffee on top. If you like ice cream, please please please add these three to your road-trip musts in the Seattle area!!

Leavenworth Washington, Bavarian Town

Ok enough of my ice cream obsession and back to the trip. On the way home, we drove through Leavenworth, Washington, the cute Bavarian town off Highway 2. To say that it is a step back in time is an understatement. It's authentically Bavarian, with the most delicious brats, beers (and bier gartens!), and Danish pastry creations. We had a blast traveling through there. It was super busy and we still had to drive back to Boise that night, but we sure had a fun time while we were there.

Leavenworth Washington, Leavenworth Hat Shop

Of course my brother and I had to stop into the Hat Shop in Leavenworth. The town war sehr gut, ja!

Gold Bar waterfall, Highway 2 Waterfall Washington

On the trip back to Boise, we also discovered a gorgeous bend in the river near Gold Bar. We explored the area before heading to Leavenworth. It was a great little stop and would have been perfect for a dip had we had more time.

Oh... our Seattle trips. Boy, do we love them so. I'm grateful that I have family in the area that gives me an excuse to head that way every year. Having an entire week that we could spend there this year was absolutely priceless. My favorite memories were late-night Fortnite battles (and near victories!), playing with Darwin the pup, spending some QT with my grandparents and cousin, and the best beach walks I could ask for with Daniel. I am so looking forward to our next trip. DAS GUT!!

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