Monthly Archives: November 2013

Water, Wine, and Friends – Girls Weekend, Poulsbo, Washington

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View from Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort Patio

A sunny weekend, dark blue waters, drinks on the patio, and old friends – what more could a girl want?

Joanie, Brenda and I have been friends for over 20 years but because we were all busy raising families during that time, we never really thought about going away together. But now we’re there. So for our first Girls Weekend, we decided to head up to Poulsbo, Washington.

Poulsbo (pronounced Pauls-bow) was settled in 1892. In case you’re wondering what on earth kind of name that is, it’s Scandinavian. The location on the bay with the Olympic Mountains in the distance reminded the first settlers of Norway. The town has made a great effort at keeping the heritage alive in the architecture of the buildings as well as the local events, such as Lutefisk dinners, and the big one – The Viking Fest held in May each year.

We stayed at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, mainly for the location and nice rooms. It’s situated right on Puget Sound across from Seattle and the patio looking out over the water is beautiful and classy. We could walk down the beach and look for critters or rocks. We could just sit outside and enjoy a drink from the hotel bar right inside the door. It was perfect. We did go into the casino to enjoy the buffet and play some Keno.

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Kayaking in Liberty Bay

Joanie had researched activities to do and we all wanted to kayak. So the next day awoke with some fog so we were a little worried that our kayaking plans might not work out. But we headed on down to Liberty Bay to Olympic Outdoor Center and the sun started coming out. It turned out that we were going to be going out in 2-person kayaks and tour the bay looking for wildlife with a guide. Since there were three of us one of us had to share a boat. Luckily, there were three young men who were there to go out in the kayaks as well. Two of them were from California and were visiting their friend who had moved to Tacoma. Brenda joined one of them in a kayak.

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Seal Sunning on the Docks

I love that feeling you get immediately when you hit the water and start floating. It’s so freeing and relaxing. We slowly paddled out and away from the marina to start looking for wildlife. Birds were everywhere. Seals were lying around and I swear they were smiling as we floated by. “This is the life,” they must be thinking.

The water was smooth as glass, the temperature was perfect, the company was fun. We got everything out of that experience that we wanted. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and, turns out he is a local chef by night.

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After paddling around the bay for about an hour, we headed back and then went into the little downtown area of Poulsbo (also known as “Little Norway”) and its adorable little shops. Craft, antique, nautical décor and yarn shops, bakeries and restaurants were set up in the historic old buildings. Of course we were good tourists and supported the local economy by eating lunch and buying trinkets and souvenirs!

We headed back to the hotel for more drinks on the patio and another delicious dinner in the casino. Later were amused by a bachelorette party that had WAY too much to drink and provided interesting entertainment (what happens in Poulsbo stays in Poulsbo?)

On our way home the next day, we decided we had so much fun that we started making our plans for the next Girls Weekend. So if you’re looking for a place for a quick getaway, Poulsbo is the place to go. The range of activities available in the area will keep you entertained and occupied for that weekend trip, whether it’s with family or with those cherished long-time friends.

Categories: Boating/Kayaking, Outdoors, Washington | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Waters of Yellowstone

1-100_0691Ahhh, the waters of Yellowstone National Park. Pools, geysers, lakes, rivers. The blues you will see rival the deep blues of the south Pacific. Steam can make the pools look smoky, lighter blues contrast to dark blue skies. In all different parts of Yellowstone you will see some sort of water and how it is central to the beauty of the park. As it starts getting stormy here in the northwest I always start dreaming of and planning our next vacation, and next year we will be going back to Yellowstone! It really is not too early to start planning, you want to make Yellowstone vacations well in advance because they fill up quickly. So to get you in the mood for thinking about planning your Yellowstone stay, here are some of my favorite sights of the incredible water:

Norris Geyser Basin has many pools and geysers. It’s made up of Porcelain Basin, Back Basin and One Hundred Springs Plain. The hottest temperature in the park has been recorded there. They drilled down 1057 feet and the temperature was 459 degrees! This is also believed to be the oldest part of the park. There are dirt and wood boardwalks in areas of the basin so you can walk around and check it out.

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The Yellowstone River runs through the park and you can see all sorts of wildlife. You can also fish in the park but be sure to check the regulations before you do. Helpful staff at the park stores can assist you to figure out which lures are working to hook that big one.1-100_0789

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Yellowstone Lake is a great place to rent a boat and get up close. It’s large enough you have to be sure to watch the weather if you decide to go out in a boat. Calm can quickly change to stormy.

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The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a magnificent sight. Formed by years of lava flows, erosion and glacial melt have created this well-known feature.

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Beautiful pools are out in full sight for you to exclaim over their beauty at many roadside stops in the park:

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The Amazing Old Faithful

Yellowstone National Park is a vibrant, living place with so much to explore and admire. Water is the lifeblood of the park and the variety of ways it shows itself will amaze and delight you. There is simply no way to get through the park without seeing water and its impact on the park.

We hope this starts you thinking about your next trip to Yellowstone. Plan a few days, you won’t want to rush this experience!

You want to see what’s going on all the time in Yellowstone? Check out all the webcams!

http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

Categories: Boating/Kayaking, Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Parks | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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