March was a weird month: more snow in Anacortes, and rain that would just not quit.
I got the winter blues for the first time in the nearly two years since I moved to Washington State. But I can’t be too hard on myself – I found out Seattle saw only three ‘officially sunny’ days since October! While I’ve done a pretty good job of learning to embrace the grey, it did start to get to me a little this month.
Over the past few weeks I’ve skied, snowshoed, hiked and mountain-biked. I’ve enjoyed the snow, the coast and the rainforest: Washington really is a diverse place full of opportunities for adventure.
In major life events: orcas! My efforts to see wild orcas has been well documented, so a surprise sighting on the ferry was absolutely amazing!
A weekend skiing at Crystal Mountain Resort
I finally understand the hype about ski in/ski out accommodation!
We spent a weekend at Crystal Mountain Resort, Washington’s most well known ski area. Staying at the Alpine Inn was so incredibly convenient: a total bonus when we realised the bar next door, The Snorting Elk, had a kickass beer selection.
The weather kinda gave us the middle finger, but even so we had a blast skiing and snowshoeing around the resort.
I absolutely recommend The Alpine Inn to anyone looking for ski front accommodation on a budget.
Read more about our weekend at Crystal Mountain Resort.
Olympic National Park Road Trip
Wet, wild and windy: three of the most appropriate words I can use to describe our time on the Olympic Peninsula. In a short 48 hour road trip we hit up as spots as possible in this huge national park. While we barely scratched the surface, we had a fun time exploring the west coast’s many beaches, deep ancient rainforest and snowy hikes to waterfalls.
Even if we did get caught in one hell of a hail storm while exploring Kalaloch Beach!
Cocktails in Capitol Hill
Some of our favourite Aussies were in town so we spent a Friday night introducing them to Capitol Hill. The evening began with rum cocktails at island-themed Rumba, which always makes me feel like I’m on vacation even when it’s pouring rain outside.
We made our way to Mamnoon for dinner, where the four of us ate enough middle eastern cuisine to fill ten hungry stomachs. Next up was post dinner drinks at Foreign National: this place has a powerful disco ball to bar size ratio and a super friendly staff. The night ended with cheap beer and skee ball at Comet Tavern.
Exploring Seattle’s University District
After our evening in Capitol Hill we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn in the U District. It was our first time spending the night in this neighbourhood, and given how much cheaper it was than downtown accommodation I’d totally stay here again. Especially as it’s so easy to rideshare into the city.
The next day we decided to make the most of our U District location. We shopped for produce at the farmers market, then I had the best biscuit sandwich of my life at Morsel. We also happened upon “Greek Street” which is lined with UW’s fraternity and sorority houses. Still such an odd concept for an Aussie to get her head around!
Before heading home we (of course) had time to check out Hellbent Brewing.
Mt Baker skiing
Even after our weekend at Crystal – a larger and fancier resort – Baker definitely has my heart!
Mt Baker has more snow than any other ski area in the country, and the snow is still dumping! Hopefully there’ll be plenty of spring skiing ahead.
Sunny day hikes
A Sunday full of sunshine was the best excuse to tackle one of my favourite local hikes: the Oyster Dome. This time we extended the hike with a visit to Lily Lake, which surprisingly was still under a light blanket of snow.
Sadly it may be the last time I’m able to hike these beautiful trails, as Blanchard Mountain is under threat from logging.
Spring blooms in Skagit Valley
The long awaited daffodils finally bloomed! And almost a month later than 2016 due to the cold winter we’ve had. I explored the daffodils one afternoon this week under stormy skies, and watched thousands of snow geese in the fields. It was a great excuse to check out another local brewery, Farmstrong. I’ve tried their beers previously but this was my first visit to their brewery – the seasonal Stakin’ Hay IPA is delicious. I totally recommend checking it out if you’re in the area!
And because La Conner is the best pit stop for any daffodil adventure, we treated ourselves to a delicious Italian dinner at La Terrazza.
Important travel news: laptops banned on some flights
Those keeping up with travel news may have heard that the US and UK have banned laptops from being taken onto the plane cabin on certain inbound flights. AKA you will have to put your laptop in checked luggage if flying from certain countries in the Middle East, North Africa or Turkey.
New blog posts this month
Coming up in April
This month I’ll be enjoying the last of ski season, and getting back into the warmer weather with some hiking and mountain biking (hopefully I’ll be able to build my skills in the latter!).
There’ll be adventures in Washington, plus getaways to California and Canada. Bring on April!