August 5, 2013
We got off to a rough start this morning, despite being down for breakfast by 7 a.m. and leaving by 8. We had to stop at Safeway for some pre-made baby food because I hadn’t (well, and still haven’t) had time to make any for him. Then we had GPS confusion and had to go back to our room to check directions online, but en route to the room, we had a minor fender-bender with a neighboring motel building. (Don’t ask.) Anyway, upon checking the directions, we found out we had to ride a ferry, and we were both pretty nervous about that! We had no idea what to expect logistically at all — “riding a ferry” was just some abstract concept referenced sometimes in books and movies. Turns out that everything about it — except the ticket price — is awesome! We were looking around wondering why everyone else was so unmoved by it, while I went right on snapping pictures! Once we figured it out, it really turned our day around. So you drive your car onto it, park, turn off the engine, and you can either stay in your vehicle or go onto the passenger deck. It was a 30-minute ride, and we were curious, so we got out! there were two levels above where we parked, and I think there was also parking below. You could be inside or outside. There was a cafeteria inside, as well as plenty of seating, tables, restrooms, visitor brochures, and plenty of space to stroll around. (Bennett particularly appreciated that last feature!) We were surprised by the speed of the boat, and in awe of the views. It was breathtaking to see surrounding homes and mountains peeking out from behind patches of fog. We just loved the whole experience. After crossing Puget Sound, it was more or less 2 hours to Olympic National Park, where we wanted to do some hiking. At the visitor center, they recommended Hurricane Ridge for an “easy” family hike. It was far from easy for me — I had a very difficult time. Aside from the physical exertion, a headache I’ve had since deplaning yesterday became fairly unbearable by the end. I made it all the way up and down the trail, but not without lots of
breaks and water! Sandwiches and trail mix were also major players in the success of my mission! Along the way, we saw quite a few mule deer. They were obviously used to people, so we were able to get a pretty close look! The same goes for one particular chipmunk we met at the top; though we weren’t supposed to, we fed him peanuts. He even ate one directly from my hand! So cool. He was adorable. I had no idea chipmunks were so small! Oh and the views were phenomenal. I couldn’t begin to describe the beauty of the surrounding mountain scenery as we hiked. Parts of it were even dizzying! It was gorgeous. Bennett did pretty well with the whole thing; Justin and I switched off wearing the baby carrier. Bennett got lots of comments from other hikers because of his irresistible cuteness! He had the best time at the top, when he got to walk around on his own, and on the way down, when Justin wore the carrier in front and let B face forward. He was cracking up most of the way down and delighting everyone! We ate a mediocre dinner just before getting back on the ferry, but the atmosphere right by the water was cool. Now I’m exhausted and happy to be clean and in bed. Good night!