The countdown for returning to Australia is officially on. As I write this, Tom and I have just under six weeks before we board our flight from Seattle, bound for home. It’s equal parts upsetting and exciting, and for the past few months I’ve been bouncing back and forwards between the two emotions like a yo-yo as the deadline looms.
April was still pretty wonderful though. The highlights of this month swung between total winter and sunny spring moments.
Here’s what went down in Expat Escapades April 2017.
An adventure weekend in Banff
Tom and I spent the Easter long weekend knee deep in epic snow adventures and the spectacular scenery of Alberta, Canada.
Over four days we hiked at Johnston Canyon and explored Lake Louise at length, with the help of ice cleats. We went on a snowmobile adventure amongst some of the most amazing vistas, and squeezed in ski days at Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort. Our day at Sunshine Village will go down as one of the best days of my life!
True to form, we also sussed out Banff’s best cafes, a brewery and a distillery. Full trip details are in the works.
Towards the end of the month I escaped to the Golden State for four days of LA sunshine with my Aussie bestie and her sweetheart.
Despite Delta’s attempts to dampen my excitement (America’s airlines are not having a great moment!) it was a pretty stellar few days.
We chilled out beachside and explored Venice’s best bars, cafes and canals. We geeked out at Universal Studios, sipping Butterbeer and riding the roller coasters until closing. I also discovered that despite being 28 I still have no chill on theme park rides. I definitely screamed louder than the kids.
One of my favourite days was spent in the Malibu area. We explored the beautiful Getty Villa, then road tripped up the coast to find the Grease beach and other scenic spots. And indulged in a well-deserved long lunch with our feet in the sand at Paradise Cove Beach Café, where we sipped mojitos and spotted whales breaching offshore.
Travel is so much better when it involves spending time with your favourite people!
Tulip Town in bloom
The famous Skagit Valley tulips bloomed a little late this year due to the chill, but were just as beautiful as ever! I checked out Roozengaarde during last year’s festival, so this year we decided to go to Tulip Town instead. We spent a beautiful morning wandering through the tulip fields and flower displays.
Sleeping on a tugboat in Seattle
April saw another fun weekend in Seattle – and we stayed in the coolest Airbnb to date – a tugboat! I think it might have kicked this Leavenworth cabin out of first place as the coolest place I’ve ever slept.
While it was hard to drag ourselves away from the lake view on the boat, we managed to do a few more ‘new’ Seattle things around the nearby neighbourhoods of Westlake and Queen Anne. Namely wandering around the lakefront, a visit to MOHAI, a delicious dinner complete with funky craft brews at Mollusk (beetroot beer!), and a fun late night visit to a duelling piano bar.
On Saturday evening we joined some friends downtown for beers at No Anchor and an early dinner at Heartwood Provisions, before heading to the Sounders game. Add in post-soccer cocktails at Zig Zag Café followed by Sunday yum-cha in the International District – it was a weekend for the tastebuds!
Mt Baker ski days
April saw our final ski day for the year at Mt Baker. And it was an absolute ripper of a day! Bluebird skies and plenty of pow, just to remind me why I fell hard for this lesser known ski area. I’m sure Mt Baker will gain more and more popularity as others discover the secret.
I will miss these ski days as I readjust to sweltering Aussie temps, that’s for sure.
Salmon fishing in the San Juan Islands
In these final few months, Tom and I have been trying to make time to do some of our ‘bucket list’ Washington activities. Top of Tom’s list was a day fishing for salmon in the San Juan Islands. So we made it happen in April!
While I’m certainly not the best fisherman, it was a beautiful day out on the water with Highliner Charters. I’ve definitely enjoyed eating fresh caught salmon for dinner since!
New additions to Anacortes
This little town keeps increasing its cool factor. In the past month or so we’ve welcomed a new cheese and wine bar Salt & Vine, and a new café-cum-second-hand-bookstore Pelican Bay Books. The rooftop bar at The Majestic reopened for the summer season, and I’ve definitely been enjoying cocktails with a view!
New blog posts this month
Coming up in May
May is going to be pretty light on travels and pretty heavy on the reality of our return to Australia: so much packing, cleaning and organising to be done.
As fun as that sounds (ha!) I’m planning to make a short trip to California and, if I can swing it, explore another national park or two along the way.