NIAGARA

We left my dad’s house Friday afternoon around 12pm. It took us just a little over 7 hours to get to the border in Buffalo. The lines weren’t too bad and we were asked about everyone’s residency status (more on that later). I can’t help but to always notice the amount of bugs that are killed on these trips. Sorry about the dirty windshield picture!

After seamlessly crossing the border we headed to our Airbnb. We quickly checked in and dropped off our things. It was 8:00pm and we were hungry. Not too far from us there was a Quesada Burritos and Tacos. This vendor was one of many I noticed on that trip that sold meat alternatives. Thank you Canada for getting with the program and giving me options! Burritos in bellies and it was time to go to the falls.

We parked in a lot across the street from the falls. It converts to $14.87 USD. With my Amex I don’t pay an exchange fee either. Learn more about that here. It was easy to get to Horseshoe Falls where we planned on watching the fireworks from. There was a full moon out that night too.

We planned our day specifically for that Friday as it was the first fireworks show of the summer 2019 season. It started at 10pm sharp and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it. It normally last a few minutes but being the first of the season it was about 15 minutes long. There was music accompanying the fireworks which seemed to dance along to the rythym. Below you’ll see my dad and stepmom watching the fireworks. It was 46 degrees that night so we were all wearing hats and hoodies.

The next morning my dad and I picked up donuts and coffee for breakfast at a Tim Horton’s. They are the equivalent of Dunkin Donuts in New York and have just as many. They open early so we were out the door by 8am while everyone else finished getting ready. Once we ate and all headed out, we parked in the same lot as the night before.

We purchased bundled tickets at the Niagara Parks ticket office. Our bundle is called “The Classic” and it included the following attractions:

We walked along the water for 20 minutes to reach the Hornblower cruise. The line seemed long but almost everyone in front of us got on the next boat. Leaving us to be the first ones on when it came back. We ended up in the edge of the top deck with unobstructed views. Can you see the excitement in our faces for having scored great seats to the waterfall show?

The boat goes past the base of the American Falls as it heads to the base of Horseshoe Falls. The total travel time on the boat is about 30 minutes. I kept my phone out as long as I could. Not wanting to damage it I put it away when we were at the base of Horseshoe. You get to a point where you think the boat it going to go right into the water because it gets so close. And thank God for water proof boots and ponchos. You get soaked on this boat standing on those decks. It would not have been fun to squish around the rest of the day!

Next on the list was Niagara’s Fury. We walked 20 minutes back to where we started. The WeGo buses can also take you from one site to the next if the walking gets to be too much. Thank you to the hot dog vendor outside because that was lunch lol.

They don’t allow people to film or take pictures once inside so I’ll quickly describe this attraction. It’s a family friendly cartoon introduction to the Falls and then a 4D experience with snow, thunder, rain, etc. It’s definitely a more entertaining way to learn how the falls were formed.

Afterwards we went to Journey Behind the Falls. These tunnels are 130 years old and located 125 feet below the building. There are two windows directly behind the waterfall and the observation platform at the base of the waterfall. The sound of the water crashing down is intense. You can hear it’s power rumbling through the tunnels. It was a steady reminder that water is a force to be reckoned with.

After removing the last of the ponchos we headed to the car. It was time to switch out of our boots and into dryer footwear.

We walked over to the WeGo bus terminal and waited for the green line that would take us to White Water Walk. Remember, the bundles we purchased included access to these buses. The bus makes several stops at other listed attractions and the total ride lasted about 20 minutes.

There’s an elevator that takes you to the base of the gorge closest to the water on the Canadian side. White Water Walk is a half mile round trip walk on a boardwalk. There are plaques and viewpoints along the way to lear about the area you’re walking in. These rapids are class VI. Meaning: “runs of this classification are rarely attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are severe and rescue may be impossible.” Standing there watching the water go by you can see why it’s classified as such.

We took the green line back to the parking lot and stopped at an A&W for dinner. We then drove back to the AirBnB to watch a movie. My feet had done enough walking for the day and I wanted to rest up before tomorrow’s drive.

The next morning it was Tim Horton’s coffees and pastries again. YUM! We left the airbnb and headed south. Ahh yes, I mentioned the residency status: We were informed at the border that it’s not suffice to travel with just a passport if you’re a green card holder. You have to have your resident card with you as well. Otherwise it’s a hefty fine. We didn’t have that problem because my dad made sure to bring them. But it could have really ruined an otherwise awesome trip. So if you plan on crossing the border, remember to carry all your proper identification!

And that ladies and gentlemen is how we spent a quick weekend in Niagara, Canada. It’s a shame the long drive deters so many people I know personally from visiting. If you’re willing to take the drive though, it’s worth it!

“I wish that road trips could pay my bills.”

-unknown

MONTREAL

BACKGROUND

My husband asked me what my plans were for the weekend. Having spent the previous two weekends in other states, I decided to keep my schedule clear. My expectations were Netflix, Chinese food and wine. So he brings up Rhode Island. Block Island to be exact. Not having been to the beach yet this year I figure it’s an excellent idea. Totally unaware of what it’s like to plan a trip for Block Island, we were in for a surprise. It’s NOT that easy. Too complicated for a spontaneous trip. I simply did not have the patience to figure out the ferries, fees, and hotel in such a short amount of time.

After weighing our options we set eyes on Montreal. It would be a straight 5H 45M drive if we left at midnight. It was 10:30pm and we had 1.5 hours to shower and pack. Talk about anxiety. I’m a planner. If you’ve read my other blog posts, then you also know I do extensive research. I like to use up every minute I have while I’m in a new place. And I like to pack at my leisure, but this wasn’t going to allow for that kind of preparation. Granted I had been to Montreal twice before. But those were my underage years. And traveling with your husband is very different than traveling with your parent.

All packed and showered, we hit the road. We only stopped twice to fill up the gas tank and purchase a pair of Redbulls. Once when we first left and once around 3:30am at a Sunoco. The bathrooms were clean FYI. As you can see below it was dark. And yes, that’s a nasty bug splat on the windshield.

After what felt like a very short trip (due to the very entertaining conversation) we were at the Canadian border. There were zero lines to cross the border, but we were questioned more rigorously than last month when I went to Niagara. He wanted to know where we were staying (address and all), where we were coming from, what the purpose of our trip was, and what we were going to do until businesses opened at 9am. We answered his questions and were on our way.

Sunrise was a pretty one that morning too.

DAY 1

We parked in the hotel’s parking lot at 6:00am. We both broke night and it was time to sleep. We parked the car in the shade and wrapped up in the blankets. I knocked out until about 9:30am. I 100% flat-ironed my hair in the car in the front seat. Don’t judge me! And Tony woke up around 10:30am as I was finishing.

I was so happy to have stayed at the hotel we picked. They graciously let us check in at 10:30am. Check in wasn’t until 4:00pm! And the hotel is conveniently across the street from the olympic park and the botanical garden.

Once in the room I hopped in the shower while Tony went to the barber shop for a shape-up. After we freshened up, we were both ready to find some food for lunch. 

Tony found this neat little place called Copper Branch. They serve 100% plant-based, gluten-free, all-natural, organic food. So I ordered a dish with quinoa, turmeric tofu scramble, carrots, beets, chick peas, spinach hummus, and I don’t know what else. I was stuffed and I only got the mini. The regular size bowl could easily have fed Tony and I.

After lunch we headed over to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Admission is $24 CAD per adult, which converts to $18.22 USD per adult.

We decided to go straight to the top floor and work our way down. I did not know Thierry Mugler had a temporary exhibit here. How lucky is that?!

The first room was intense for me. I won’t ruin it if you plan on visiting by posting the photos or videos I have of the room. It’s definitely meant to be an experience. Just know that it was dark and I’m a big chicken so I hate the dark. Otherwise, the exhibit was amazing. So much talent! And obviously I knew who he was because my fave Cardi B wore one of his archived pieces to the Grammy’s. Cute video on Vogue’s page about that process here.

The rest of the museum was pleasant. We saw a couple of Monet’s and some more contemporary pieces. One that stood out to me was Speaking for the Light by James Turrell. I had seen one of his installations in Seattle in March at the Henry Art Gallery. This piece made a beam of light look tangible. Like I could go into that room and touch that green shape. Total mind fuck.

Not far from the museum you have Mont Royal. This park has plenty of hiking, running, biking space and viewpoints. Not having planned to do any of those activities we found the highest viewpoint we could drive to for vistas. Low effort+high reward = crowds. It took us quite a bit of time to reach the parking lot at Belvédère Camillien-Houde. After all it was Saturday and they had only one lane operating due to construction. When we finally got to the lot we were lucky to find parking right away.

You can see the city from the lot. But if you’re willing to do some cardio you can enjoy other vantage points without the crowds. Seemed like most people didn’t want to break a sweat that day. We climbed these stairs and veered left at the fork. And it didn’t take us more than 15 minutes to get there.

Old Montreal was next on the list. Parking was a real pain to find so we gave up after about 30 minutes of looking and parked at the lot on Clock Tower Quay Street. It cost $25 CAD and was for 24 hours. We walked south past zip lines, bars, restaurants, paddle boats, etc. There’s a little something for everyone in the port area and it’s family friendly. The cobblestone streets and shops are at the turn of every corner. Some were under construction, but nothing that derailed the experience. The nice weather also made it enjoyable. We found plenty of outdoor seating and beer gardens. My favorite being the Hoegaarden tent obviously. Below you’ll find a slideshow of a few pictures captured there.

Running on approximately 3 hours of sleep it was time to head back to the hotel. No amount of Redbull or coffee was going to keep me awake! I read somewhere that people don’t go out on the town until late anyways. I napped for a little more than an hour. I woke up just before 11pm and we were at our first bar by midnight.

We decided on the neighborhood of Hochelaga. Our first stop was Blockhaus. It was such an unassuming spot. From street level all you see is a bouncer and a doorway leading to some stairs. Once inside there was a full bar and plenty of dancing patrons. I don’t think it’s necessary to state this, but for anyone who wants to know: it’s a gay bar. And it has gender neutral bathrooms. More importantly, it has a pool table good music and drinks. That’s all we could have asked for 🙂

Our second stop for the night was Bar Davidson. This bar had slot machines and a pool table. Hip hop going back to the 90s was blaring out the doorway. We let nostalgia kick in and had ourselves a good dance off.

I know we went to a third location on this road, but honestly I can’t remember the name. All I can say is we had a blast! Good night Hochelaga!

DAY 2

After getting to bed at 3:30am neither of us cared to get up early. So we slept in until 11:00am as check out was 12:00pm. We left the car parked in the hotel lot and walked over to Olympic Park. This stadium is where the 1976 Olympic games were held and its 45 degree slanted tower is a site. The park connects to the Saputo stadium, planetarium and Biodome.

Across the street you’ll find the Botanical garden. Having been to one in California, New York and El Salvador I was excited to see what this one had to offer. My first error was underestimating how large it is. Definitely the largest one I’ve been to thus far. It has large exterior gardens and a very large greenhouse. We spent 2.5 hours walking around the grounds and didn’t even see the whole thing.

I won’t even try to pretend to be horticulturalist. I don’t recall the names of all these flowers or plants or what part of the world they’re from. But these living things exist all over the world. It’s good to think about that for a moment. How lucky are we to live in a time where you can see plants found in other countries? Or found in areas very far from home? All in one dedicated space!

This botanical garden is definitely one I would want to visit again. There’s just so much to see I’m sure I missed some gems. Also it’s not a bad way to get your steps in for the day. I walked over 10K in this garden alone lol. For those concerned about the walk, there is a trolley dedicated to the elderly and disabled.

Having burned plenty of calories it was time for food! Le Blind Pig was our next and final stop in Montreal. Beers were $3 CAD and the food was good. Tony had been talking about eating poutine the whole drive up and was finally getting it. His was served with shredded chicken and peas.

With outdoor seating on a summer day I had plenty to be happy about. People watching wasn’t crazy busy but enough to be entertaining. Some passer-by’s were coming back from grocery trips while others seemed to be rolling out of bed. There were a few runners and music coming from apartments on the second floors. Some businesses were still in the process of opening up shop.

And then it was time to go home 😦

We left Montreal at 5:30pm and there were 4 other cars at the border. The crossing was smooth and we were asked one question. We stopped for food around 9:30pm and were home by 12:30am.

The drive home always seem so dreadful. The idea of having to go to work the next day after enjoying a weekend in another country just doesn’t sit right with my soul. So as I write this I’m getting up to ask my husband where we’ll be going this weekend lol.

I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.

Walt Whitman

RIALTO BEACH HIKE

HEY THERE!

Looking for the sentimental exciting (maybe boring?) stuff from our trip to the PNW?! Check out THIS post for all the feels regarding this trip.

Looking for more posts related to this trip? Click below:

For those of you strictly interested in Rialto Beach info, here you go:

GPS: 47.921225, -124.638120


TIME: 2 HOURS


LENGTH: 3 MILES

SUPER IMPORTANT!!!

  • Please make sure you check the tide charts to ensure a successful visit. We were up before sunrise to make it to Rialto by low tide. Parts of the beach are impassable if the tide is in.
  • Now… back to your regularly scheduled program 🙂

GETTING THERE

From Port Angeles my sister Diana and I drove west on the 101 for 52 miles. That was about an hour-long. Then we turned right on 110 and drove west for just under 8 miles. And then another right on Mora Rd for another 5 miles. It was super easy to find. I downloaded an offline map from google maps right to my phone as I knew I wouldn’t have service. Your cell phone provider should have maps online of where you have coverage. Total trip takes about an hour and a half if you’re not stopping for pictures at Lake Crescent.

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Sunrise behind us on our drive to Rialto Beach.

The further west we drove the colder it got. The snow and ice were more present.

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This picture is from Mora Rd.

And then, after driving through 5 miles of beautiful snow-covered trees the ocean appeared. The formations in the distance in this picture are from across the Quillayute River. They are A-Ka-Lat (James Island) and Little James Island. Great read on that HERE directly from the Quileute Nation website.

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RIALTO BEACH

When you arrive to the beach you’ll see these two signs posted, you made it to the beach! Turn right and you’ll find parking, a pit toilet (very clean!) and some signage regarding the area.

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Fence to the left leading to the reservation was closed.

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The trail map box was empty. It’s a relatively easy walk out and back so luckily it wasn’t needed.

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Snap a pic and you’ll have your guide of the area.

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“The sea makes the rules”

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We parked across from the pit toilet because we knew we were heading north on the beach. You can cross the massive driftwood right away towards the ocean and make a right once on the sand to begin. We chose to walk through the designated picnic area first and then cross the driftwood.

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My sister heading down to the beach.

We walked north approximately an hour on the beach. We thought we were the only ones there because there were no cars in the lot. Turns out there was another pair walking around too. We found two sets of small prints, seemingly from earlier in the morning amongst our fresher set.

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Raccoon maybe?

There’s also something to be said about the sand/rocks we were walking on. Since day’s first light hadn’t hit the beach yet it was very crunchy. Ice was holding the stones together and it actually helped with walking.

We reached Ellen Creek. We crossed and there are definitely parts that are deeper than they look. I’m talking entire foot and ankles deep. Really glad my sister and I planned for this and had appropriate footwear. The rest of the hike would not have been as much fun.

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After walking 1.5 miles, we made it to these GIGANTIC stacks. They’re so large they don’t seem so far, but it took us just about 45 mins to reach them.

The hole-in-the-wall can be seen in the following picture. Never having hiked with keeping tides in mind we chose not to add the extra half mile (RT) to the hole. We were already concerned with the tide creeping in through the stacks in the time we were there.

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On our way back towards the car we found the beach sublime! (Sorry terrible attempt at using sublimation in a joke to describe the picture below).

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We also found Ellen Creek a little deeper.

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I hope this was helpful and informative! I’ll leave some pretty nice pics we grabbed here. Feel free to send me a message or comment if you have any questions about Rialto Beach. I will do my best to answer them 🙂 When you have some time to spare and are interested in seeing what else we did in the PNW, you can read about it HERE.

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I could never stay long enough on the shore. The tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought, and the shells and pebbles and the seaweed with tiny living creatures attached to it never lost their fascination for me.

-Helen Keller

OLYMPIC PENINSULA – DAY 2

This post is TWO of four. It’s about my sister and I setting out to see the Pacific North West. Well, as much as we could in the time we had. She had school and I had work come Monday morning BUT THE LONG WEEKEND WAS OURS TO CONQUER!!! [insert fun, evil, maybe not so evil but slightly delusional from lack of sleep laugh here]

For those of you who came here in search of information for your own trip, or simply don’t care for the somewhat mundane fluffy stuff. I’m providing you with an out. Below you will find links to all the posts directly relating to the things Diana and I did in and around the city of Seattle. If upon reading this they’re not all updated, I promise I’m working diligently to get it all on here ASAP. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask 🙂

So what’s jet lag? Super determined to get through the crazy itinerary I worked so vigorously to build, I didn’t let that thought creep in to my mind. But in retrospect it would have helped explain the tired faces getting ready at 5:30am.

We snagged the free coffee and waffles at the Super 8 and took it to go. My sister ate first, and then helped me eat as I drove. Multi-tasking at its finest.

We drove for 70 miles, equaling 1.5 hours to Rialto Beach. I have an entire post of that beautiful experience HERE. Below a pic for reference of that gorgeous beach.

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When we left the beach we headed over the Quillayute River for second breakfast at the River’s Edge Restaurant. They had a breakfast special of 1 pancake, 2 eggs, and 3 bacon strips or sausage links. We both got the same deal and I decided to have coffee #2. River’s Edge had a nice view and we were so lucky to have sat near the window. We were treated to spotting two bald eagles and a pod of seals.

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After enjoying a delicious breakfast and some wonderful views at First Beach (a walk up the road from the restaurant), we were on the road again. This time towards Forks, WA.

Insert screaming Twilight Fangirl here…

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I COULD NOT be so close to Forks and NOT go. It would be a complete betrayal to who I was circa 2008. Not to mention I never fangirled anything so hard in my life since the Spice Girls. Still can’t believe I won’t be able to go to their reunion tour in England this year 😦

Anyways, Forks… It still has more Twilight references the closer you get to town. And once you’re in town you’ll see movie posters in windows alerting to twilight things sold inside. I can only imagine what it must have been like back when Twilight reached its zenith. However, it is March and for all I know it still gets busy here. Maybe not Twilight busy, but most certainly people heading into the Olympic Peninsula to be outdoors busy.

As we headed back to the car my sister spotted the Rainforest Art Center. It was a neat display of props and costumes from the movie. Things you can see in Edward’s room in Twilight and costumes from the saga. They even have the board versions of Jacob’s wolf that acted as a stand in.

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Having shopped and had my fill of Forks I happily got back in the car and headed towards our next destination: HOH rainforest.

The rainforest, part of Olympic National Park, still had snow on the ground. The trail was so green and mesmerizing. The carpet of moss on the entirety of the trails was otherworldly. I have another post, mostly pictures of the rainforest. If you’d like to see it click HERE.

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Now it was time to drive back to Port Angeles. The drive was just under two hours. We remembered the receptionist shared details of a good sunset spot. So once in Port Angeles, we went to Ediz Hook. We were in for a nice sunset. My sister couldn’t believe that was Canada on the other side of the water.

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We stopped at Anime Kat to peruse for a while until dinner time. My sister was in the mood for noodles. We drove around for a bit looking around and ended up eating Pad Thai at Jasmine Bistro. The spring rolls and pad Thai were delicious!

After a full day of activities and a full belly it was time to turn in. I have two other posts about our two days in seattle. If you’re interested in them check them out!

Thanks for reading 🙂

MARYMERE FALLS

HEY READER! Looking for the sentimental exciting (maybe boring?) stuff from our trip to the PNW?! Check out THIS post for all the feels regarding this trip.

For those of you strictly interested in Marymere Falls, here you go:

GPS: 48.056716, -123.787458

DATE: MARCH 7 2019

TIME: 1.5 HOURS

LENGTH: 1.8 MILES

GETTING THERE

We drove to the storm king ranger station. As usual I assume I don’t get service in the woods. So just in case I had my trusty google maps download the area onto my offline maps. It was only a 30 minute drive from the Super 8 (20 miles west on the 101). Very convenient!

We parked right in front of the ranger station. You can see it off to the right of this picture. You can see a tiny sliver of Lake Crescent in the background. And to the left of this picture there are some bathrooms. Parks with facilities are always a win in my book.

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MARYMERE FALLS

We walked right passed the sign and past the closed ranger station to begin our hike. There are signs for the hike and if you miss those, the ground is very worn from where everyone else walked. It’s hard to miss. Don’t forget to look up at these amazing trees while exploring this hike. They’re huge!

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After walking for some minutes you’ll come across this tunnel. It’s meant to keep hikers looking for Storm King and Marymere falls off the road. It isn’t very long or creepy in the daylight hours. Walking through there at night however is a different story.

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I wasn’t exaggerating about these trees. Can you see my sister?

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The “snow” was actually just straight up ice. It was slippery and definitely will add to your overall hike time. Walking on the edges of the dirty snow was our plan but the truth is we should just invest in some traction attachments. I’ve ended up on icy trails on more than one occasion now, including winter hikes in NY.

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And then there was the sign. Originally I had planned to conquer the Storm King Trail. It’s approximately a 2000ft. elevation gain hike and has views worth the sweat. My sister and I, having done Breakneck Ridge back home several times, would have attempted this without hesitation (my favorite hiking blog has a great post on Breakneck HERE). However, the ice added a new element we were not prepared for. I like to push my body’s limits, but I don’t like to risk injury. So we snapped a picture and kept walking toward the falls. Something tells me I’ll be back one day when the snow and ice have melted…

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After a while you’ll come across this cute sign letting you know you are on your way to see something awesome!

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You come across this first bridge. This one is made of metal and wide enough to fit 2-3 people across. We made sure to have great foot placement as it was very slippery.

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From the area of the first bridge you can see the second bridge you’ll be crossing shortly.

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The second bridge is wooden and very narrow. One person at a time narrow. Again, watching our footing we trekked across and no one slipped. Thank God!

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After crossing the wooden bridge you start ascending towards the falls loop. I have to stress how tense our legs were here. We knew we were going to have a hard time coming down because it was so slippery going up. My sister is actually placing her feet in grooves in the ice to make her way up.

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After finding the first flat-ish portion she’s turning around to check on me. We had a brief discussion about whether it was worth ascending the ice to see the falls. We luckily decided on continuing. We made that decision because there are banisters the entire way up and we could use them to stay upright.

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You’ll come across this sign pointing to the left for the one way loop. You’re almost there!!!

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As you walk on the loop, the bend doesn’t let you see the falls. But you can definitely hear them.

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There are two portions to the Marymere falls. But the top one… WOW!

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I stole this one from my sister’s SnapChat 🙂

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And this one from my GoPro is actually where someone dimmed the light. It happened so quickly it was alarming. It went from perfect daylight to darkness in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t help that the sun probably went lower than the mountains around us and the trees make a very dark canopy.

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Needless to say, I have zero pictures of our descent on the ice. I needed both hands to hold on to the wooden guard rails at the speed we were going. But I found an instagram post that can give you an idea of what it was like HERE. It’s a 30 second video. We didn’t “snowboard it” like he did, but it was intense! I mean just look at how dark the trail got. And we were the ONLY TWO people on that trail.

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Haha!!! This picture makes me laugh because its lack of focus shows how fast we were walking at this point. No time for pictures. We had headlamps with us just in case, but I’m no fan of the dark. We were moving out there lol.

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By the time we reached our car at 6:45pm this is what that same sign from earlier in the afternoon looked like from the car.

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Ice and darkness were interesting to experience in what felt like the middle of no where. No other hikers around and the whole place was ours. I don’t regret skipping the Storm King trail seeing how hard the Marymere falls loop was coming down. And that was with guard rails. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like having darkness descend on us while climbing down Storm King. Can you say scary?

Don’t get me wrong, this hike was so much fun! And on our first day in the Pacific North West it definitely set the tone for the adventures to come that weekend. I have a post of all the fun things we did in the PNW HERE. Check it out 🙂

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

-Sir Edmund Hillary

OLYMPIC PENINSULA – DAY 1

This post is one of four. It’s about my sister and I setting out to see the Pacific North West. Well, as much as we could in the time we had. She had school and I had work come Monday morning BUT THE LONG WEEKEND WAS OURS TO CONQUER!!! [insert fun, evil, maybe not so evil but slightly delusional from lack of sleep laugh here]

For those of you who came here in search of information for your own trip, or simply don’t care for the somewhat mundane fluffy stuff. I’m providing you with an out. Below you will find links to all the posts directly relating to the things Diana and I did in and around the city of Seattle. If upon reading this they’re not all updated, I promise I’m working diligently to get it all on here ASAP. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask 🙂

Now, where were we? Ah, yes! How were two girls who had never been to the state of Washington going to pull off covering 20 hours worth of distance and still make it back to the airport in time? (Say that out loud with one breath!)

I planned vigorously!

We also knew it was important to sleep on the flight because we were going into road trip mode the minute we landed. So we took a selfie and assumed the position. I had window and was propped up by all the sweaters/scarves. And Diana was middle and leaned on my shoulder/back. And before we knew it we were at SEA-TAC.

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We rented a car from E-Z and I couldn’t have been happier. FYI, you have to take a shuttle from the terminals to get to the rental counters. There are signs everywhere for the bus stop to get there.

Once at the rental are, all the other companies had long lines. However, we walked right up to the counter. After signing the contracts we took the elevator down to be greeted by two lovely women. They gave us keys and had us on our way.

Side Note: I used to work in rental many years ago. When you get a vehicle that has damage but you don’t want to risk being delayed an hour, take ALL THE PICTURES. Our car had a broken license plate and marks all over the rear side. This is more of a precautionary thing I do to avoid issues upon return.

We were so excited to be on the road! First stop: Jack in the Box. My sister and I had never had it before. Wouldn’t you know it, the cook is out and they can’t prepare anything but fries and nuggets. So, reluctantly that’s what we ate. Whatever, excitement kept us going because we couldn’t believe it. We were in SEATTLE!!!

It was also sunny and the warmth of the sun felt amazing!

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That is until we got further west as we headed to Port Angeles.

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During our first hours in Washington we experienced sunshine, rain, sunshine again, and then sleet. I would say that was a pretty appropriate welcoming.

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We were staying at the Super 8 in Port Washington. Few things to note regarding our stay. They were very cost-effective, free breakfast started at 6am, and the receptionist that checked us in was extremely knowledgable about Olympic National Park and the surrounding areas. She gave us a bunch of maps and answered some important questions I had. The rooms may not be the newest, but we got a great deal and we really just needed a place to shower and sleep.

Like I said, we had a lot of ground to cover and very limited time. We dumped our luggage in the hotel room, changed into hiking gear, and headed over to the Safeway supermarket to grab essentials for our two days in the peninsula.

Our first stop was Lake Crescent. There is a great pull off viewpoint you can’t miss due to its massive sign. But in case you do, here are the coordinates: 48.073554, -123.773199 It’s right before sledge hammer point and 28 minutes from the Super 8. There are a few pull off points to enjoy some decent views.

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From this point it’s another 3 minutes to the Storm King Ranger station where the trails for the Lake Crescent pier, Marymere Falls, and Storm King begin. We parked in front of the sign ready to brave the cold. The station itself was closed, but the bathrooms to the left of this sign were open.

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We hiked in mud, snow and ice to Marymere Falls. I have a post about it HERELet’s just say it was interesting to see how fast it got dark out.

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Afterwards we headed to Sergio’s Hacienda where we devoured a veggie burrito and chicken en crema dishes.

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“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.”

Margaret Mead

GRADUATION PROMISE

When my now 19-year-old sister Diana was younger, I made a promise to her. She was so saddened by my departure to College, where I dormed for four years. She would sleep in my room and wait for my return during winter and summer breaks.

So I made a promise to her that when she graduated high school that we would travel somewhere just her and I. There was no specific destination in mind or itinerary to keep. Just a promise to go, see and conquer a small corner of the world.

I’m the oldest of 5 siblings and have shared many trips with my brother, Alberto. He is the second oldest of us five. We grew up together in the same household and so we’ve been to Orlando, Lake George, El Salvador, Montreal, etc. together.

Soon after I made the same promise to Andres and Daniella, currently ages 14 and 6. So I’ll be prepping for those graduation gifts for years to come.

Please don’t mistake this action for being overly generous… I selfishly want them to see more of the world so I can share that with them, hence the Pacific North West trip I’ve always wanted to do. If I do nothing else in this world but inspire my family and friends to travel and learn as much as they can about the world, I would die a happy woman.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

– Gustav Flaubert

ABOUT SALVI NOMAD

Welcome!

I feel the need to take a moment and give full disclosure: I am by no means a professional, I just really like being outdoors. That includes hiking, rock scrambling, biking, swimming, travelling etc. And I’m lucky enough to have a husband, family and great friends who love it just as much. I follow a few blogs and use their advice/info to go exploring. I guess you could say I do more than my share of research, and even then I can get lost at times! Hike The Hudson is one of my favorites! It’s inspired my blog and I hope to one day have posts you too can feel free to use as guides. Or at the very least use as a reference to inspire your very own adventures.

A little about me, my name has recently changed to Mrs. Torres as I got married in Olivella, Spain in September 2018. I’m one of five siblings, the eldest to be exact. I have two sets of parents, two sisters, and two brothers. And I feel like a dying breed! I still print pictures and use them to scrapbook. I still use paper planners and miss days where I couldn’t be reached at all times. I know that’s why I like being outdoors. Sometimes you lose service and even lose track of time. And that is when I enjoy it the most, when I’m outside and forget everything else. My job, household duties, bills and worries don’t exist. It’s an amazing feeling and an even better stress reliever.

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It’s always weird to think about what’s important to share about yourself. Like when you’re in an interview and you’re asked to share some personal aspect. No one knows you better than you, but you know too much and have to sort through it all. I always resort to sharing about my family. They are important to me and you’ll even see them on some hikes with me.

Now that we’ve gotten that out-of-the-way, I hope you’ve landed here because you are looking to spend more time outside. In any case, I welcome you to my humble blog. I am on a mission to share my time outside with you and I hope that via the comments you share some of your adventures with me too. My ask of you is that if you find something incomplete or a link under construction, please be patient. I am working diligently to update my content as quickly as possible.

Sincerely,

Salvi Nomad

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