Update: I’ve since moved to Seattle so I’m sure there will be much more on here about this great city.

I’ve just returned home from a vacation to the Northwest and I now see what all the fuss is about. It is beautiful. We spent a total of eight days roaming around the Seattle and Portland areas enjoying the city and mountains alike.

First we hung out in Seattle for four days seeing the sites, hitting up the touristy stuff like Pike Place Market, the Space Needle (although we didn’t take the trip up), and rode an old World War II vessel now called the Duck that took us on a guided tour around town and into Lake Union.

Gas Works Park Seattle, WA

Gas Works Park from Lake Union

After our time in Seattle it was time to see some mountains. We traveled south to Mount Rainer where we hiked amongst thousand year old trees and played in the snow in July.

Mount Rainer

Mount Rainer at Reflection Lakes

The Northwest, or at least the few places we visited, and the people in it seem to have a strong bond with nature and a personal responsibility to protect her. As an example, Seattle recently implemented a citywide compost law. Every restaurant we visited were already practicing this, but this year all residents will as well. My wife and I started seriously recycling a while back which drastically cut down on the amount of trash we send out so I can only imagine the waste reduction of an entire city. It’s really exciting, encouraging, and another necessary step in the right direction. Speaking of being responsible and learning new ways to protect nature, if you haven’t watched Damnation please do so. It’s about taking out old useless damns, specifically in the Northwest.

I’m sure not everyone in the Northwest is onboard with being responsible nature-loving citizens, but I can definitely see an appreciation for nature much more so than usual. Perhaps it’s because the children are brought up this way, perhaps it’s because of certain laws, or perhaps it’s because beautiful Mount Rainier towering overhead serves as a reminder that nature is king.

Where was I? Ah right, the trip…next we headed farther south into Oregon. Oregon did not disappoint. The highlights of our trip were Powell’s Books, Mount Hood, and Cannon Beach.

Ellie at Powell's Books

Ellie browsing at Powell’s Books

Mount Hood Oregon

Mount Hood at Trillium Lake

Cannon Beach

“Goonies Never Say Die!”

Another great trip in the books! The trip was a great balance of city life combined with the serenity and awe of nature. A balance that I could get use to. Northwest, thank you for your hospitality. Until we meet again.