If I had to pick a favorite part from those first few days/weeks of our marriage, I really couldn’t. Our adventures took us far and showed us beautiful things.
But up near the top of those favorite moments were the first few days. Everything so new… the realization that we were done with saying goodnight over the phone, the glances down to catch his wedding ring out of the corner of my eye, the warm summer sun and perfect Pacific Northwest stretching out as we drove with the music up; just holding hands and not saying much because we were busy just smiling too hard, just breathing for the first time in weeks.
I’m glad we didn’t take off for Hawaii right away, because those days of quietness, of peace, of US – it was so needed and so worth it. Plus, our home state holds so many gems of its own, during those days, it cemented itself in our hearts as HOME.
It started with above-the-city views, an early-morning walk, breakfast bagels, and white chocolate mochas before we headed out into the mountains.
Sometimes I forget how beautiful this state is.
Lake Roosevelt from Hwy 2 (near Orondo, WA)
If you ever make it out to Eastern Washington, you NEED to make a stop at Lisa Bee’s. Cutest little fruit stand/sandwich shop/milkshake place ever.
It was peak peach season, and the whole place smelled like fresh, warm fruit.
Their milkshakes are SO worth it. We split a peach/strawberry shake with no regrets. At all.
PS – he’s wearing a wedding ring. Isn’t the CUTE?!
After leaving the river valley, you start heading up towards mountains that seriously give Colorado and the Alps a run for their money as far as beauty goes.
We were going to be driving within a few miles of the house Mason came home to as a baby (and staying in the town he was born in!), so we had to take a detour to see it.
What did I say about those mountains?!
Once you get off the highway and turn off the main road, the pavement stops, and all we could hear was the roar of the truck engine and the crunch of dirt under the tires. This is where he lived til he was about eight – a little boy running wild through these woods with his siblings, playing cowboys, frontiersmen, soldiers… seeing this helped me understand him better, as I said to him. =)
You know you live in a rural place when you have to drive a few miles to get your mail… just saying.
This semi-dry, somewhat mild climate is where Washington grows 2.5 million tons of apples (about 70% of production across the United States).
Yes, we looked that up, and no, it was no Wikipedia.
Toward dinnertime, we reached our destination: the tiny mountain town of Leavenworth. It’s designed to look like a Bavarian town nestled in the Alps… and boy, does it ever! I think we could’ve spent a solid week exploring this charming place. Even the Starbucks looks German, ok? So. Cool. If we never make it to Germany, this will have to suffice.
Complete with castles, basically… I mean. C’mon.
The whole town is pretty small – we walked from our hotel to downtown to the river in less than half an hour. But it’s stuffed full of outdoor/nature/hippie/German charm.
And brats. Not the frozen ones from Costco – real, honest-to-goodness, spicy, homemade German sausage.
And since I couldn’t help my-curious-self, there ARE four kinds of mustard on there.
PS – He’s cute.
PS2 – He’s laughing at me for taking pictures of our dinner. He got used to it pretty fast. =)
The way the evening sun hit those ridges… *all the heart eyes*
It’s a really good thing for Mason that this book shop was closed by the time we finished dinner… otherwise we would’ve potentially been broke on the second day of our marriage.
He wouldn’t let me eat the blackberries. Bother.
If I haven’t convinced you to visit Leavenworth yet, I have to share that they have some INCREDIBLE bakeries, too. Ones that serve stuff like apple strudel and fresh-ground coffee.
Our inn had the most adorable, down-home decor and the most amazing breakfast buffet EVER.
I just love seeing that ring on his hand.
Mountain views after breakfast for DAYS.
We had to leave Leavenworth and head over towards Seattle to catch our flight the next morning, but along the way, of course, we had to make some scenic stops.
At this particular one, I was the one who yelled “pull over hereeee!” But he was the one who was first out of the truck and down to the river, leaving me in the dust. Go figure.
Me: “You look like Lewis or Clark or something.”
He struck this pose.
The (very cold) Wenatchee River just west of Leavenworth.
Apparently, me perching on a rock is pretty amusing, and now he’s got pictures to prove it.
This waterrrrrrrr though.
Almost died for this shot. And then I spent like seven minutes stuck on the other side of the guardrail on the wrong side of the road… those Canadians in RVs can haul on those corners!
But the good part is that I didn’t die and we were reunited after a longlonglong time (okay fine, maybe it was LESS than seven minutes, but still).
I’d just like to point out that there’s a county in Washington named Mason county… and he used to live there (for a year), sooooo…
On the way to SeaTac, we got sidetracked yet again – a favorite stop of my family’s (at least my Dad and me): Deception Falls.
Last time when Dad and I were there, we headed South on the trail, but this time, Mason and I headed north… NOT on the trail. Good news is he’s a Scout and we didn’t get lost in the wilderness forever.
But… the best views are off the beaten path anyway.
Plus, in places, animals/people had clearly left trails of their own.
Him: “If you had to, could you cross that bridge hand-over-hand?”
Me: “Uhmmm do I have to?”
Him: “But COULD YOU?”
Let’s just hope I never have to.
I wanted to go swimming, but he tried to tell me it was too dangerous. Whatever.
In typical, bi-polar Washington fashion, it rained as we crossed the pass, but cleared up again shortly thereafter.
This was yet another stop where he wouldn’t let me eat the blackberries growing by the side of the road (“Do you know how dirty those are?!”). Good thing I have him with me, cause I’d probably die sooner if it weren’t for him.
That blue-green water was just WAY too beautiful to pass up, so we took a short walk over the footbridge. The one that looks like it was built in the 1950s and hasn’t been much-improved upon since.
I could probably build a house to watch this view and be happy forever.
By the time we got into Bellevue, it was almost dinnertime, so we had to make a quick stop at the Cheesecake Factory. And then we had to sneak up to the top floor of the Westin to see as far as we could see. Those cheaters, though – all the windows were on the east side of the building, so we couldn’t see Lake Washington or Puget Sound… but hey, we didn’t get thrown out or put in jail, so the trespassing was totally worth it.
After spending the night in SeaTac and *barely* catching the shuttle to the airport in the morning (I mean, BARELY), we boarded our six-hour flight to our first stop on the Hawaiian Islands: Kauai.
To be continued…