For Mary

Full_Bloom(z5 IL)September 19, 2006

Hi Mary! Sorry about that, but seeing that there were no posts today at the Idylls, I figured I was the problem. So I decided to post our vacation pics here for you. Ei

Good Morning Idylls!

Im sorry IÂve been such a bad Idyll, but life is pretty hectic here right now and lots of changes going on, which I canÂt get into right now, but will try to do some catching up here. We just got back from a whirlwind visit to the Northwest (was waving to T as we went by....Hi T!). You guys(sorry, you can take the gal out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the gal) have not been far from my thoughts and while in Seattle I saw this sign and well, I had to take a picture...LOL! Of course hubby thought I was nuts, but humored me anyway!

Washington is a gorgeous state! The city of Seattle has many hills and in that respect reminded me of San legs were not use to that kind of workout, but turned out it was great preparation for the hiking we would do later on our trip. Seattle is a pretty city with lots of gorgeous plantings everywhere. Here are a few pics of plantings that are all around the city in public areas (I was really impressed)!

IÂm going to copy this next year (the moss, black mondo grass and stone part)! :-) Just havenÂt figured out where IÂll put it yet and need to find someone who can grind a stone for me...LOL!

IsnÂt this lovely? Check out that *BLUE* hydrangea!

CanÂt tell the scale in this pic, but IÂm guessing those hydrangeas were about 5 feet tall. And look!....they have my favorite Dahlia; Dahlia 'Fascination'. Sniff, sniff, theirs look better than mine and they are in a public area! :-(

HereÂs a container that made me think of all the gifted Idylls:

Again, the size is deceiving...this was a *huge* container!

These fuchsias made me think of Deanne. :-)

I think they must be perennial here! Thick woody stems and at least 5 foot tall...IÂm green! Still, couldnÂt help but think how they could be made to be even lovelier under DeanneÂs skilled hands. :-)

PikeÂs Market was a blast...IÂve never seen anything quite like it:

Isles and Isles of fresh fish and seafood....

Fresh vegetables and fruits *everywhere*....I *loved* these hanging peppers...just gorgeous and bought a bunch to decorate AnitaÂs Santa Fe style kitchen! :-)

Bunches of flowers for miles and miles. They brought me to my knees! :-)

What I would give to have this kind of selection at home...and as little as $5.00 per bunch! The dahlias were unbelievable. I wasnÂt able to capture their beauty, you really need to see them in person, but the colors were amazing and the size...OMIGOSH! It seems everything grows huge in Washington. :-)

While in Seattle we took the "Underground Tour" and I enjoyed that. The history was fascinating and our tour guide very entertaining and humourous, but my pics didn't come out.

Once you are out of SeattleÂs city limits, you donÂt have to go very far to be in the thick of nature....astounding! We also were very pleased to have all bright and sunny days while on our visit. We did lots of hiking once we left Seattle and as I mentioned, the hiking up all the streets in Seattle was good preparation for all our nature hiking. We hiked 14 miles through the Ho rainforest and we didnÂt get nearly as far as we wanted, but turned around after 7 miles, as we were afraid it would get too dark when we tried to head back.

Here are some shots of the Hoh rainforest! :-) *is* pronounced just as you think and I did blush when during a conversation with a waitress, I mentioned how we had just hiked the Hoh...LOL! I didnÂt realize how that would come out! :-) Anyway, it is a temperate rainforest:

Waaaaaay back in the distance you can see me at the end of this HUGE felled tree!

Yes, *everything* seems to grow huge in Washington. HereÂs a huge Cedar Tree we saw along our drive heading to the lodge we would be staying at for the night:

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Also on the way to the lodge, we stopped at Lake Crescent:

We arrived at the lodge, which was very quaint and rustic! :-)

Not the pampering my poor legs were looking forward to, but a sweet place, with lovely views and I enjoyed stepping back in time! :-)

Do I look tired?...LOL! :-)

As pooped as I was, there was no rest for the weary and the next day we hiked Hurricane Ridge for 8 miles total:

The next day we stopped at Dungeness Wildlife Preserve.

We hiked here too, but at this point I lost tabs on how far I hiked! Wish I had a scale at home to see if I lost any weight from all this hiking...LOL! Of course, I donÂt know what I weigh anyway, so I guess it didnÂt matter! :-)

I was hoping to see some seals or Beswick SwanÂs (but I was told they are winter birds there). I think I may have spotted some eagles, but they were waaaay up and I didnÂt have my binoculars! :-( We did see some waterfowl, but unfortunately I donÂt know what kind, but not the kinds of ducks I am use to seeing. We arrived at Dungeness very early in the morning and headed to the spit. As you can see, it was still quite misty out!

The next day (our last full day in Washington) we stayed in Port Townsend.

Lots of charming Victorian homes. HereÂs the B&B we stayed in: last some rest for my weary bones! :-) *here's* what I'm talking about:

A view from our little porch:

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Ahhhh - here I am with a nice cup of tea having thoroughly enjoyed your tour of the North West. Thank you Ei so much for putting them up again - I know it takes a long time to load a post like that. What a fun trip and what fabulous photos you have! They are all great, but the portraits of you by the giant cedar and the two of you by Lake Crescent are particularly wonderful. And, of course you and the Idle sign should be added to the Idyll archives (if we had one).

You are both energetic hikers - 14 miles is a pretty good walk in anyones books! You both look as if you were enjoying the sights together. The weather also looks perfect - for an area know for rain and clouds you seemed to have lucked out.

Your posts are always so lively and fun and this one was a real treat!! Thank you again for taking the time to share such a great trip with us. I almost feel as though we were there. This has definitley added to my wish list of places to visit.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 4:14PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi Eileen,

THANKS! very much for setting up this thread for us! I've been pretty busy today trying to get caught up from being gone for five days. All that laundry! Ugh...

Anyway, your vacation looks like it was just fabulous. I'm sitting here with a lovely cup of coffee and enjoying these wonderful photos for the third or fourth time and am sure I'll look again to enjoy the sights. That certainly is a wonderful part of the country.

I've been to Northern California to the redwood stands there but have never had the opportunity to tour the coast in Oregon and Washington. Lucky you! It looks like you had some fantastic weather too. I've actually been to that lovely market in Seattle and it really is quite the experience when they toss the fish over your heads. What fun.

I just love that photograph of the trees in the mist in the Dungeness National Forest. It is beautiful and you've really captured the feel of the area.

Thanks again for all the lovely pics!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 4:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ei, I am so glad you moved this to a separate thread! Now we can look at it to our heart's content. It is a wonderful bunch of pics, and the narative is great. I am trying to grasp how great a time you had there. You saw so much more than I ever saw. I have never taken that kind of hike. The forest pics are awe inspiring! Is that drift wood that you are standing by in the foggy pic? If so, it sure is huge! I don't know which I love the most, the forest or the ocean. It will be an experience that you will never forget. Did you go on to Anita's from there?
I wish you would add more pics, now that it is on a separate thread. Some of it makes me pretty nostalgic.

Again, thanks for sharing all this.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 5:12PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ei - so lovely to hear from you and see what a terrific vacation. I've never been there (in fact, the farthest West I've been is to see you in Illinois!) so it is a real treat for me to see these photos. Looks like you had a fantastic time & both had fun but a lot of work too.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 9:04AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Thanks guys! Actually I enjoyed seeing these pictures again myself! :-) Seeing the pic of the bathroom at the lodge again made me laugh. Maybe you cant tell in the pic, but the toilet is up on a raised floor and the floor was slanted heavily to one side. I had to put my hand on the tub to keep myself from feeling like I was going to slide off the toliet...LOL! The pic of me at the lodge cracked me up too. I was so dog tired by the time we arrived there and I didnt want DH to take that pic of me. With the way I was feeling I could only imagine how I must look...LOL...but he insisted. I felt just like one of those bloodhounds in the cartoons. You know, the one where the dog is so tired (I think he was a deputy or something) that his partner used toothpicks to hold the bloodhounds eyes open...LOL! Thats just how I felt.

Im glad you enjoyed the pics Mary. You are right....I was just thrilled about the sunny weather...we were so lucky! I use to be quite a hiker in my younger days, but havent done any serious hiking in years. This whirlwind tour was quite a challenge for me. The main reason we hiked soooo far into the Hoh rainforest was that I was hoping to make it to the glacial meadows, which was posted as 16 miles all the way around. We hiked about 7 miles and realized how long it took and decided we better head back before it got dark. By the time we were done that day I really understood the saying "going for the burn". Oh boy were my poor legs killing me. They *did* feel like they were on fire and it felt as if I had this huge knot in the middle of the back of both my thighs. I was a little concerned because I was also having a shooting pain, which radiated from my lower inner thigh all the way up to my groin, but that disappeared by the next day...thank goodness! The only thing that kept me hiking for the next three days was realizing that I may never get back here again and I wanted to explore as much of it as I could.

LOL Deanne, I tried to take a picture of one of the customers trying to catch a fish, but I got hit with a bit of "fish ice"...yuck, and missed the shot. It really is a fun place. Northern California is on my list Deanne! I would love to see the redwood forests and a little bit of wine country too! :-) My sister lived in San Diego for awhile so Ive been to San Fran and San Diego a few times. California is a very beautiful state too.

Thanks Cindy! Wow! I was surprised to hear that your visit to Illinois was your farthest trip west. I am sooo impressed that you would do that for the first time all by yourself and sooo tickled that you would do that for me & V, well and for all the Idylls of course...LOL! It was such a pleasure to meet really was!

Marian, looking at the pics now, it all almost seems like a dream to me. I have a hard time grasping what a wonderful time we had too. It *was* a very special trip and something I will never forget. Oh, BTW, yes that is a piece of driftwood in the Dungeness you believe the size of that?

Anyway, Marian, as promised here are some more pics...

I think I mentioned that we went on the Underground Tour? The tour guides and the history are what really make this tour. The underground itself was a little bit of a let down. Actually the underground areas really didnt look much different than the basement in the house I grew up in....LOL!

But it was cool to think that the whole city was above us. In certain sections underground were ancient skylights made of a purple glass and that was cool cause you could actually see the people walking through the city up above us:

Here is a little blurb on the history that I found for you on the internet (so it makes more sense to you):

"With tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, guides describe where the perfect land to build a new city on Puget Sound was, and how the founding fathers missed it completely. In this way, Seattle came to be built on tidal flats which were regularly inundated with sea water. Building the city on these flats meant that the ground remained forever waterlogged and the streets were a menace. Horses would sink to their stomachs, and one unlucky schoolboy drowned crossing the street when he fell into a gargantuan pothole.

Severe drainage problems in this part of the city, as well as bad plumbing, meant that early Seattle residents had to contend with what tour guides call "exploding toilet syndrome." Because the city was built so low, the incoming tide would send water and sewage back through the pipes in a reverse flush. So, along with the morning flush came the threat of a deluge of sea water exploding out of the toilet onto hapless victims. And remember, Puget Sound can be pretty cold in January! Some industrious characters tried to solve the problem by building their toilets on raised platforms ten to fifteen feet high, but these contraptions required the use of a ladder just to get to the toilet. Something clearly needed to be done. In order to remedy the city's severe drainage problems, and the unpleasant threat of exploding toilets, streets were raised a full storey. Ground level was now to be high enough that both the streets and the sewage could drain properly.

Only the streets were raised initially, however, which meant that the sidewalks remained in their original location far below the new streets. Simply crossing the street meant that one had to climb up one ladder, walk to the other side, and then climb down another ladder to the level of local businesses. This could be dangerous, and several citizens died in accidents falling from the street to the sidewalk. Unfortunately, sidewalks were also below the horses that traveled on the streets above.

So, having solved the problem of exploding toilets, Seattle residents now had to contend not just with ladders but also with horses walking around 10 feet above their heads. This wasn't a good combination, particularly on rainy days as you can imagine.

Eventually the sidewalks were covered and enclosed. Lower-level tenants survived for a while with sidewalk stairway accesses, but eventually these were all sealed, and the underground labyrinth was forgotten and left to vagrants, bootleggers, and prostitutes.

In the mid-1960s, local resident, journalist, and amateur historian Bill Speidel began to write about the passages, which still remained under Seattle's historic Pioneer Square area. Concerned about destruction not only of the tunnels, but also of the historic square, Speidel began offering tours to the public in 1965. While about 25 square blocks of Pioneer Square has hollow sidewalks, only a small part was made accessible to the public through tours. The publicity that Speidel and others brought to the area resulted in its designation four years later as a national historic district."

If you want to read more about it...heres the link:

Anyway, Pioneer Square is a lovely little section of Seattle, with gorgeous architecture and very old buildings. Lots of nice antique stores too. I understand this section of the city was pretty seedy at one time, but seemed perfectly safe to me.

I loved this glass and iron charming!

We also went to the space needle while we were in Seattle. Here are a couple of views from inside the needle:

Heres a pic of the space needle during the day:

And at night:

Heres what I hope you were talking about Marian....We took a harbor boat across Puget Sound. We took the shorter, hour long harbor tour as we didnt have a lot of time.

Here is a view of the city of Seattle as we are leaving the dock:

Heres a view of the Space Needle from our boat:

I was amazed at how much action goes on at a harbor. Funny, I guess I never really think about all the import and export.

There were quite a few cruise ships...most of them were heading to Alaska:

This is a dry dock, where they repair ships. These cranes lift the ships onto the dock....amazing!

Check out this little bathing beauty...LOL!

Thats a seal sleeping on top of the buoy! Isnt he/she the cutest?!? I asked the tour guide how the seal got up there and she said they jump into the air and then land on the platform!!! We all got such a kick out the seal, but he/she was completely bored with us...LOL!

Lastly a couple of miscellaneous pics:

OMIGOSH this is beautiful country!

Here is Paul at the Hoh Rainforest....Will you look at those ferns? It really *is* like a lost world:

Prehistoric really! I *loved* all the gnarled old trees, coated in lichens with moss dripping of the branches...and all the ferns...

One more pic of Lake Quinault. Hubby looks a sight better than I did at this point....of course *hes* wearing sunglasses...LOL!

Here is us just beginning our trek up Hurricane Ridge:

This is a view from on top of Hurricane Ridge:

Do you see the glaciers? How cool is that? To imagine that that snow never melts....its amazing. The pic is a little fuzzy cause I had to use the zoom and Im not very good at it also, unfortunately, I do not know which mountain that is.

Crescent Lake again...

Dungeness again. I loved this place!

Well Marian, this should keep you busy for a little while! :-) Actually, I want to thank you for asking for these pictures, this was actually good therapy for me and reminds me to be grateful for all the blessings Ive been given...hope you enjoy it too! Ei

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 12:07AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhhhh! Thank you Eileen! An excellent bunch of pics. I don't think the boat trip you went on is the same as we did. Ours was on a ferry, from a ferry dock, and went across the Sound ( to what-ever is on the other side? ). Since is is a very long sound, it could have been some distance from where you were. My sister was directing our tour, and knew all these places.
But I love your pics. Docks, ships and boats are another of my loves. :-)
I don't think the Space Needle was even there when we went to Seattle. It was built for the 1962 World's Fair. I have no idea what year we went.(I think Tim was quite small.) I really would be freaked out if I went to the top of it ! If I took the time to go through my photo albums I could find pics that were taken at that time...( I think ).
I am familiar with snow-capped peaks. The mountains back of where I was born and raised used to be snow-covered all year around. But that was just snow, not glaciers, where I lived.
Thank you so much for that history of Seattle. I never knew that! It is soo interesting, and strange! The toilet thing is really a hoot ! The undergrond area that you pictured reminds me of an underground restaurant in Missouri's Silver Dollar City, only SDC's is more refined.
BTW, what fun it would be if you could come and we could go to Silver Dollar City. We would probably be so silly and loud that they would lock us up ! LOL !

Thank you so much for all of the above! You are a 'keeper'! LOL !


    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 9:39AM
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Wow Ei-you certainly have been a busy photo uploader: ) You got so many excellent shots.
I really liked the sail boat-nice elements in that one(frameable!). I can't get over how blue the sky is in many of the pics. Hey I wonder if the shoes you were wearing caused you so much pain-I'll never forget a seven mile hike I took up a 'mountain' in WA while wearing flimsy sneakers with thin soles-Oooow I hurt for days after. At least you didn't have pain the next day though.
I just keep scrolling back up to see the sights-those skyline pics are awesome. Hey, now I don't have to go to Seattle--because I've been there by virtual tour lololol.

Thanks for sharing your vacation!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 4:46PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Wow, Ei, I just had time to really sit and look at this photo tour. Now I want to go on an extended vacation to the Seattle area. How long were you there? Did you do alot of advance planning on places to stay and sights to see? I think the garden attractions alone could probably keep me busy for quite some time. Years ago I used to do alot of hiking too and 14 miles in one day is quite an accomplishment. Thanks for taking the time to post these pictures and the accompanying travelogue.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 8:03AM
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Wow Ei, what a nice vacation! So glad you were able to get away and have such a great time. I almost feel like I was there thanks to all of these wonderful pictures. What a beautiful place. Makes me want to go there too. Thanks!


    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 8:53AM
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