As we mentioned in Part 1, Mike and I spent 5 days visiting my Auntie Gwen in Washington. We flew into Seattle and then took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island, which is where she lives. We don’t get to see her often, so we had the best time getting to spend so much time with her and exploring around.
While we spent some time in Seattle (which I broke down in this post), we spent most of our time on or around Bainbridge Island. We stayed at the Quality Inn, which was only a 5-minute walk to my aunt’s place (and less than 5 minutes to a Starbucks!). When we arrived, my aunt had stocked our fridge and placed flowers around our room! She’s so thoughtful!
Graze Day at the Ports
We spent our first full day on Bainbridge actually exploring some of the ports nearby. We called this day the “graze day” because instead of eating big meals, we got a little something at each town we stopped in!
Our first stop was Port Gamble. This sweet little town is filled with local shops and restaurants. We had a bite to eat at Scratch Kitchen – great food and selection of local brews. Port Gamble was founded in 1853, a lumbering community that very much resembles the New England area – even the trees!
Our next stop was Port Ludlow, which is a small neighborhood with homes, a hotel, and restaurant that sits around a marina and golf course. We enjoyed happy hour at the hotel restaurant and walked around their beautiful grounds, which overlooked the marina nestled within a view of the mountains.
Our last stop for the day was Port Townsend. My aunt shared a lot of history about the town and significant spots – like that the movie An Officer and A Gentleman was filmed there! We sat on the beautiful deck of Sirens Pub for the last round (again, grazing day). Sirens is my aunt’s favorite spot! The view was breathtaking. As you can see, it was a little chilly. Honestly, putting on a jacket felt a little strange, considering it was nearly 100 degrees back home in Ohio!
Fay Bainbridge Park (also known as the beach)
Part of our last day was spent at this gem of a place: Fay Bainbridge Park. It’s also a campground, so people had campers & tents set up (how fun is that?) Again, our rare weather: the clouds finally broke and we were about to see Mount Rainier for the first time! What a stunner. My aunt found this rock for us and it’s now in our home reminding us of her and this amazing trip.
Hanging Around Bainbridge
While we explored the island, most of our time was spend just hanging out at the house, catching up, and we even cooked out a few times. Gwen gave us driving tours of her favorite places and even just places she frequently went to; we loved seeing her life there.
We had some great meals at a few local restaurants, including Treehouse Cafe, The Harbour Public House, and Cafe NOLA. The view from The Harbour Public House was incredible. If you squint, you can see Seattle in the background.
Refreshed and Thankful
We left not wanting to leave. It was a joy to see a new place, spend time with my Auntie Gwen who we just don’t see enough, and relaxing. Nothing felt urgent or pressing (except catching the ferries!) We experienced a culture that feels entirely different than ours in Ohio, but also we got to experience the mountains and God’s creation. We felt so welcomed and loved by my Auntie Gwen and cherished our time with her. This trip uprooted us from our normal everyday, gave our souls a big drink of water, and reminded us why we love it and choose it. We’re so thankful.
Now that we’re home, we keep mistaking clouds for mountains! While we dream of mountains in Ohio, we know that God designed this terrain just right – it is good.