July 09, 2015

Certain adventures strike a special cord in our hearts, and my recent trip with my mom throughout Washington State was an experience we will both cherish for the rest of our lives. Though we’re already so close, our epic adventure blew our minds and strengthened our bond even more. I could go on for days about the majestic scenery and heartfelt moments, but I especially want to share my three favorite highlights with you.

Oh, home sweet home. Seeing my very first home on Riverlea Drive in Olympia—the exact house I came home from the hospital to—was surreal. I’ve seen photos of myself and my other brother playing in the yard, dirt in my ruffled dress and sun on my cheeks. Though the neighborhood has evolved over the years, the towering evergreen trees still stand tall behind our old ranch style house. Standing in the driveway with my mom was a magical experience I will never forget.

Finding my zen. We then hit the road and drove the Olympic Peninsula Loop on the 101 along the Hood Canal, all the way up to Port Townsend. We found a darling spot to enjoy lunch overlooking the water, then headed west towards the coast and down south to Lake Quinault to spend a few nights at the Lake Quinault Lodge. The views and wildlife were spectacular, and visiting the rainforest was incredible. Our guide, Kriska, was a native and knew everything under the sun about the vegetation and wildlife. As we marveled our way through the rainforest, I soaked in the luscious, quiet environment and embraced being in such a peaceful place.

Connecting with nature. Our epic trip concluded with a visit to my cousin Frank, who took us to Mt. Rainier. In all my travels across the globe, Mt. Rainier was one of the most awe-inducing, stunning things I have ever seen. The giant volcano stands 14000 ft tall, with 200 ft. thick glaciers topping its edges and sprinkled with gorgeous wildflowers. I nearly lost my breath standing in its glory. I am constantly inspired by the vastness of nature, and found it very difficult to leave Mt. Rainier. I’m already dreaming about my next visit back. Read more about the mountain here. Where is your favorite place to disappear in nature? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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