Going West: July 14 & 15 (Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, and Seattle)

The long drive to Washington has us all feeling sluggish. We’re finally out of the car, but all we want to do is rest. We did spend Thursday morning sleeping and reading, so that helped. We’re also feeling a little sad because my parents were planning to join us for a few days this weekend, but circumstances are such that they can’t travel right now. I know they’ll read this, so they should know we love them, we’ll miss them terribly, and we hope to see them as soon as we get home.

Thursday afternoon we stuck close to our home base in Poulsbo, a small town on the Kitsap Peninsula (just across the water from Seattle). Poulsbo was settled by immigrants from mostly Finland and Norway, so the downtown has a Scandinavian theme.


Exploring the little town of Poulsbo


Walking the waterfront and hanging out with the little Viking statue dude

The shops are cute, and we spent some time in a used book store. Elizabeth’s friends talked her into reading Twilight for the trip, so she needed the second part of the series. Julia is out of new reading material and has been driving us nuts re-reading Harry Potter 7 out loud. Elizabeth scored a copy of New Moon for $5, but Julia couldn’t find anything that struck her – mostly because SHE’S not tired of reading HP7, and she doesn’t mind driving us nuts all day.

We drove around Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island for a while and then got back to the camper in time for showers and dinner.


Not sure if this made us feel safer or not



Our campsite at Eagle Tree RV Park, Poulsbo


Friday morning we woke up early and drove down to the Bainbridge Island Ferry where we could take a quick 20 minute ride to Seattle. We dropped the truck at Quality Auto Service for an oil change. This accomplished a couple of things: the oil needed changing, so it wouldn’t kill any of our day to do it, and I felt safer about the bike being strapped onto the truck in the auto shop than if it sat in the ferry terminal all day. We’d have to pay for parking anyway, so it was a win-win.

The ferry is a great way to see Seattle by water. It’s free to walk on from Bainbridge Island; you only need to pay to ride back (for the three of us it was $18). Ferries leave every 20 minutes or so, so we walked right on. Twenty minutes later we were in Seattle.


The ferry does great things for your hair



Walking the deck: Bainbridge Island to Seattle


We didn’t have a map, and we had no grand plan of what we wanted to see. We’d looked at suggestions online, but the girls couldn’t agree on much. In the end, we went straight to the Pike Place Market. We saw the fish throwers, bought doughnuts, sampled everything they’d let us taste, and bought some “Oh My God” peaches and some Rainier cherries (Sosio’s Fruit – looked it up on Yelp and they seem to be the only ones selling that variety of peach?). We walked the market street, too, and shared a tamale. Basically, this was the start of us eating our way around Seattle.


Julia samples the salmon (and then finds a trash can to spit it out)





Pike Place Market (exterior)



The Starbucks flagship store


After the market we walked back to the waterfront and down to a sculpture garden. The girls were very unimpressed with the art – especially a box with a bunch of rubber hands reaching up (weird).


Waterfront park (you can see Bainbridge Island on the left)



Sculpture Garden (this one is called “Eagle”)



The freaky sculpture with the rubber hands


Then we walked uphill to the Space Needle. There are taller buildings in town, but this is the recognizable skyline point, so we went up and looked around.


Walking to the Space Needle



Checking out the view

This gave us a good sense for where we wanted to head next, which was an outdoor area where they were hosting “Bite of Chicago” and a lot of street vendors and more food.


Watching the Puget Sound DockDogs splash and fetch

(made the girls miss our big ‘ole puppies at home!)



Crashing out in the park after lunch


After a late lunch and a rest we decided to walk back toward the market area. The girls were getting tired of walking, but they’d been having fun texting their dad all day.  Mike saw the Harry Potter movie last night and continually texted them inaccurate “spoilers” that just made them more anxious to see the movie.  We walked past the theater where I had reserved tickets for the evening (Cinerama). They had a show starting in a half hour, so we exchanged our eve tickets for matinee seats (and even got a few dollars back in the deal). The theater was one of the older ones in the area with a giant screen that curved around the walls. It made the 3D effects extra cool because sometimes those dementors would sneak up on the side and you had to turn your head to see them.


Sooooooo excited about Harry!

The movie was –of course – fantastic. Neville is my favorite character from the last book, and he had me crying all the time. Watching the movie perked Julia up a lot, and we spent another couple hours wandering the shops of the waterfront, grabbing some fish and chips, and debating the motivations of Snape, the Weasleys, the Malfoys, and the Dumbledores.



Dinner at the Crab Pot (and watching a crazed seagull

torment the poor guy at the next table)



Walking through the market in the eve, we watched the fish vendors

close up for the night


I know we didn’t see close to all there is to see in Seattle, but we had a relaxing day and enjoyed it. How can you not enjoy a day that begins with market donuts and ends with fudge on the ferry ride home?

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