Day 62: Sunday, August 1st, 2021

“To connect with your soul, you must first connect with nature.” I am sure someone famous said this, but I heard it being whispered in the trees during today’s adventure…and it landed hard in my heart. Like something out of “Ferngully,” literally, and a favorite film of my Dad’s, I found a place so special today that it made my top 10 for my trip thus far. THIS is HOH Rain Forest.

Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest

Located inside the Olympic National Park in Washington state, I headed out about 8ish this morning and checked into the Ranger Station just before 9:00 a.m. The Visitors Center opens at 9, so I figured I was there at a good time. As it has been ALL summer, the National Parks are busier than ever!  Now, I maybe waited with 3 cars in front of me at 9, but when I left around 11:30, the line of cars had to be about 100. This entrance is very small, one Ranger on site, so it takes awhile for each car to pay, unless they have the Annual Pass (like I did). Its just a flash of my ID with the pass, just like Disney, and they waved me through after giving me a map.

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What I LOVE about this section of the National Park is that this is designated TO the Rain Forest and ONLY that, with some camping here and there.  One road in, one way in, goes to a dead end which IS the Visitors Center, pray you find parking, and then it’s time to explore!

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All three trails come right out of the Visitors Center parking lot area, so it’s just a matter of parking and watching the signs inside the Forest. I did both the “Hall of Mosses” (.8 miles) and the “Spruce Nature Trail”  (1.2 miles).  Completely doable with a family, kids, and the “Hall” one older folks could handle, not a lot of climbing in that one, but both have lots of tree roots to pay attention to while walking.

Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest

Have you ever been somewhere and thought “this can’t be real?” It was something out of a fairytale. I didn’t know whether to sing and skip (neither happened, I still have my cold), write a poem, film, take pics, or sit under a tree and just absorb the insane energy from this magical place. Every corner I took, I would see something more beautiful, more vibrant, and just the most insane food for my soul. I didn’t want to leave, I just wanted to stay in there all day, build a home, and become a forest fairy for the rest of my life. LOL

Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest

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Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest

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Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest
Walter reenacting Edward in Twilight when he steps into the sun to sparkle….sparkle on my dear Muppet, sparkle on.

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Both trails together took about 2 hours, and that’s with walking at a normal pace, and stopping for lots of pics and videos.  My cold was starting to kick back in (seems always better once I move in the morning and then I am exhausted again after lunch) so I headed out- immensely happy with the treasure I had just found in this place.  As I am driving down the Park, I notice my a/c wasn’t working.  Great. So now I will have to deal with that in the next town, I am in no shape right now to deal with it, and this town is small and it’s a Sunday- so barely anything is open to help me anyways. Such is life, got to move with the punches.

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Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest

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Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest

Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest

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Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest
Trees growng out of one large tree root fallen over.

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I grabbed lunch at “Hard Rain Café” at the bottom of the hill, so happy they had grilled cheese. For some reason, I thought that would be great on the throat, the hot cheese…nay, nay. The bread ripped up my throat more, sending me into a coughing tizzy that was SO embarrassing that I had to wolf down my food and get to my car as quickly as possible. You have your highs and lows of every day, this was mine today. 

Hard Rain Cafe

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So I am back at the hotel for a nap and to work on packing and cleaning my car for the next drive tomorrow. All I can say is…”Goonies Never Say Die!” See you tomorrow.

Thank you for your support!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 61: Saturday, July 31st, 2021

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”  -Stephenie Meyer  A beautiful quote to start this off today, and Kyra’s favorite.

It’s funny that when you don’t feel 100%, everything else really doesn’t seem to matter that much. I’ll get to waking up when I feel it, showering, eating, and then eventually touring…but I move at a snails pace, trying not to disturb “the force” which is my health.  My goal is to not be a walking meme this week with my smokers voice and watering eyes. So once I did get everything in place for my morning, I was off to hunt for Vampires and Wolves….let’s begin.

First I want to point out the “WHAT” of Forks, Washington. This is the town, the setting, of our story.  THE story that took pre-teens and middle age moms by storm back on October 5th, 2005, with a simple set of hands and an apple. The “Twilight” series, in case you have been living under a rock for the last 16 years, is about a clumsy, hometown girl named Bella who moves back to Forks to live with her Dad. She meets the sullen, dark, mysterious character known as Edward, who she comes to find out sparkles “like a diamond” (bonus points if you sang that in the Rihanna tone).  The lion falls in love with lamb, but nay, their love story includes a third. Nothing nasty, get your head out of the gutter, it’s just a werewolf LOL. He ALSO falls in love with Bella, and thus the ultimate teenage angst trifecta is and was born. 

The books were based from this town, which Stephenie picked because it has the most recorded rainfall in the entire U.S. (Which I was giddy about when it rained this morning, it set the tone of this town and day PERFECTLY).  This town is BASED on the book series, NOT on the movies. So when you come here, expect to see what she had in mind of the Cullen home, the High School, and Bella Italia. It’s the book come to life, as if the movie never existed. They DO co-exist here, but it’s 95% more about the books in this town. So when you come, they didn’t film ANYTHING here…they DID at Bella Italia, next door in Port Angelos, but the rest is spread out mostly in Oregon. It’s honestly a win-win if you read the series, watched the movies, but you are going to be bored to tears if you come having seen neither. LOL

I started at the Visitors Center and picked up the “Twilight” packet which gives you specific addresses for homes and locations in the books. I SO appreciated the suggestion to send out postcards from their post office to get the “Forks” stamp on them, so I did! (Check P.O. hours if there on a weekend- they were only open from 11-12 today).  Also bought Kyra merch from the Visitors Center since she can’t be here…sweatshirts were $40 each, but I am so used to Disney prices that I guess I was like “Meh, not bad” LOL. I bought myself one as well. It is CRUCIAL you stop here first or reach out to them before a trip to Forks because it’s everything you need to tour the area- I wasn’t sure where to start and they were more than helpful! 

The push pins represent the many fans who have come to Forks from across the Country.

I toured the town next, after pics of Bella’s truck from the book and the movie, and found the High School, the Cullen Home, the Gift Shop in town, the Rainforest Art Center which hosts a Twilight exhibit, and then La Push. La Push baby!  I started at 10 a.m. and was pretty busy with all of the running until 3 p.m. For a little town, you wouldn’t think you’d find that much to do, but yep, it’s all Twilight goodness.  Also had to grab more gas, they are at $4 a gallon out here, so heads up if you are coming out soon.

Forks High School Sign from the Twilight Movies

Cullen House in the Books

A couple of notes. Located at their ONLY traffic light, the Rainforest Art Center is across from a great Twilight store, and also a Pharmacy. Looking for souvenirs, stickers, pins, etc… just park in this area, behind the Pharmacy is free, and then you can hit all these locations at once.  The Rainforest Art Center let’s only a couple people in at a time to see the exhibit. It is FREE with donation, BUT, the line outside got long to get in because they let so few in at a time. IT IS WORTH IT to see it, so just keep in mind there may be a line. They are only open from 12-4, so the window is small to boot. Check the days and hours before visiting, as with everything with Covid, things change rapidly.  

La Push.  It recently JUST opened back up again, which is kind of them to do so. It is an Indian Reservation, so please keep that in mind when touring the area.  It was too cold for a beach walk today, it felt insanely cold with the wind out there, so I toured, took pics, and headed out. Go to FIRST BEACH for the best view- that is at the very end of the road inside the Reservation. They also have a Restaurant near there, and I found parking to be more plenty in this area than the 2nd or 3rd beach areas- the cars were overflowing in those sections.  I’m sure the earlier you go, the better chance you have at a spot. Free to go in and out. BRING A MARKER- several signs on the “TREATY LINE” to sign your name too! I signed for Kyra and I there, a little nod to my Pookie who couldn’t be here.

Tomorrow I will go find Bellas home and other little things I missed today…but my cold was taking over again after expelling all of this excitement, and it was time to hit a grocery store, buy soup and crackers, and then hit the DayQuil so I could nap and it was EVERYTHING I wanted and more. One thousand times yes to my nap!!  So I am now getting this done, watching “Destination Fear” on Travel Channel and SO GIDDY they played the episode of Waverly Hills…I did that in the beginning of this trip so I was geeked to know exactly where they were during filming. I will catch y’all tomorrow!

Thank you for helping me spread kindness with your support!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 60: Friday, July 30th, 2021

Have you ever woken up from a Nyquil coma? You don’t know what time it is, day it is, are you on planet Earth, because you are pretty sure this stuff makes you float out of your body at times? By the time I got to the bathroom, everything was waking up, including my congestion, but I noticed it was much better. I took some meds, showered, made some phone calls, got out of those pjs and into real clothes, and put some lipstick on.  I figured maybe I could trick my body into thinking it’s ok to keep going with lipstick and fresh clothes….it may have worked.  I checked out around 9:30 a.m., got the heck out of that area, and headed towards Poulsbo, Washington.

What’s there you say? Well, Aaron and Mari invited me to see their beautiful, Norwegian town nestled in the Mountains, for lunch and to check on how I was doing.  VERY kind, as yesterday was the worst day of the trip. I was ready to pack it up and head home.  “Don’t make decisions in the darkest storms”- I will remember this going forward. The storm broke this morning, the sunshine was out, and I found myself meeting up with my friends, and Mari’s beautiful sister, Alex, in town and we drove downtown for lunch.

 

We ate at “The Loft” which was a beautiful restaurant on the water, and it was so lovely to talk to them and just enjoy being outside. I wore my mask before and after eating, and also in the other public places, I don’t want to get anyone else sick with this cold.  I had fish and chips, they had fish tacos, and then ice cream at “Mara” which was a split peppermint and mojito sorbet. Delicious! We then walked the town, I picked up a sticker, and said my goodbyes again so I could get to the next town.

The next stop was “Port Angeles” which if anyone knows their “Twilight” they know this is where they spend quite a bit of time. About 50 minutes from Forks, “Bella Italia” is the infamous place where Bella and Edward had their first date.  I had made reservations here months ago for Kyra and I, and although I missed her, I was pretty excited to eat at the same place. In the book, Bella orders “Mushroom Ravioli” which of COURSE I ordered! You guys, it was FREAKING AMAZING!!!  Then the people left the booth they sit in for the movie, so I asked if I could get a pic in “their booth” with Walter, and yep, got them!  Waitress was fantastic, Lynn…thanks for making me feel loved and not so lonely during my dinner. I also had scored a parking spot right in front of the Restaurant, so I was feeling pretty lucky today. I didn’t want to leave…but Forks was calling. On the way I stopped to see the GORGEOUS view at Crescent Lake!

Now, per Kyra’s request, and something I had planned on anyways, I had the soundtrack playing as I entered the town.  I was LOOKING for that sign….the “Forks” sign…and there she was, in all of her glory. I laughed as I took pics, literally no one was around to care, which I LIKE because I don’t feel rushed or stared at why I enjoy my Twilight moment.  Hotel was down the road, checked in, they had already charged me for my weekend stay THIS MORNING, yeah…they know what they have here. They be cashing in on that Twilight cow. Hopefully enough to do here tomorrow, have to check out “La Push.” Sunday I am hoping to head to Olympic National Park and explore, also with less of a cold too.  I am exhausted, I am ready for my next Nyquil coma, so I am going to finish this up and get some well deserved rest. A HUGE thank you to Mari and Aaron, her sister, and Lynn today for making me feel welcome and loved today. YOU are what makes this trip the adventure it is. See you tomorrow.

P.S. I MADE IT TO 60 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thornewood Castle 2021

Thank you for your kindness!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 59: Thursday, July 29th, 2021

You don’t know how strong you are until you wake up in a hotel room, and realize you have a cold and you, and you alone, are all you have to nurse it.  I am a baby when I am sick, like many of you, I love someone bringing me soup, checking on me, caring that I am ok.  This was one of my nightmares, getting a bug or THE bug, while I am on this journey, and faced with hard decisions. Right now, I am 99% positive it is a cold, and will act accordingly with a cold.  I am checking in with people so they know my temp and how I am, so I don’t feel “alone” in this completely.  God bless the person who sent me lunch to my hotel room today, you know who you are and you are an angel.

Since I didn’t head out today, I thought I would write about what I would have done differently in the past 2 months.  

*Research Hotel Areas More:  I would find one, check the price, and see what it was NEAR and not what was AROUND it. Meaning I was happy to see one of my attractions was nearby, but I didn’t see that there was a shady hotel sitting right next to it.  Safety is my number one priority, followed by health.

*Shortened Up Time Periods in Certain Areas:  North Dakota, do I need to say more? Most of the other States I feel I have gotten quite a bit done.

*Choose A Lane: Do I want this to last a year or is it more important to just hit every State and be done with it?  Now, I am sitting here with a cold writing this, wish that I could just go home and that I don’t want to do this anymore.  There are highs and lows, and I am trying to push through this low. BUT if my health declines I will have to cut this short.

*Understanding that Self-Discovery Sucks: There have been moments that I have really needed a physical person to just be here with me, and breaking through that anxiety has been harder than I thought. I know I will always be fine, but it is in the moment that I start to panic.

*I Would Like Someone Else to Drive: This is a smart ass comment, but I am telling you that it would be SO much easier if someone else drove, dragged my luggage in, etc.  Do you know what sorcery it takes for me to get pics, videos, etc. while I am driving, or pulling over for that perfect shot?  There are so many I haven’t taken because I AM driving, and I just can’t. I think I just need my own personal Sherpa.

Just some random thoughts for today, trying to get through this cold and get back to my energy on the other side. See you tomorrow.

Thank you for your support!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 58: Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

I am learning on this journey to go with the flow and leave room for space not planned…also for when I am not feeling very well, weather conditions, wildfires, oh, and yes, a Pandemic that is still happening. I am fully vaccinated and happy to help my fellow man in this simple kindness. I have heard whispers we may shut down again, and that would be the only thing that would send me home. Not much point to being on the road and doing things if nothing will be open. So, we watch, we wait, and we hope more and more make better choices in all of this. 

In the meantime, I don’t mind this area. But I HATE the traffic, I think it may actually be worse than Orlando, and I didn’t think that was possible. I almost didn’t do anything today because of my high stress levels of driving in and out of Bellevue. GPS can only do so much, but the ramps and exits around here are in multiples, so when you exit, it may be for three choices, instead of the normal one. There has been a lot of swearing in my vehicle the last 2 days, and more praying as well. I can’t relax when I’m so worried about which turn to take, and that makes driving ANYWHERE uncomfortable and unfun. So, with that being said, I DID get out to Mount Rainier National Park today, but tomorrow will be a REST day- there will be still be a blog post tomorrow, but my butt will be chilling out all day.

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Washington State 2021

So, Mount Rainier, wow. Let’s start with the simple. I have never been here before, brand spanking new for me. With that, I had no idea how to “enter” the Park, meaning what entrance works best.  I belong to SO many National Park sites online, trying to follow the news on many of them, but unfortunately I didn’t follow this one very closely.  I did check to see that they put a mask mandate back on today inside any Federal building at the Park. Yes, effective today, kicker is that all Visitor Centers at Mt Rainier are all closed anyways, soooo didn’t really make much sense, but there you go. I just put in the National Park in my GPS and pick the closest entrance, which to Bellevue/Seattle was the Sunrise Road. Sounded pretty, so I checked in at the Ranger Station, got the map, flashed my “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass and I was in. Yes, it reminded me of the Disney Auto Plazas…I must be missing Disney. I saw the 50th commercial yesterday, and yes, many have asked “How could you be missing it Amy?” Here’s how, I was there for the 40th and many of the other past ones. It doesn’t just happen THAT day, they run it for about a year or longer. With Covid still being a thing, I don’t know how much they will actually HAVE for it. Florida, and that County, has had a huge spike, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they dial it back for the Celebration. I will be there at the end of January for 2 weeks to enjoy the Disney magic and another rest before I go up the East Coast, so I know I will see it in due time. The “DAY” which is October 1st, the actual birthday, is cool to be a part of- but it is crowded, the special edition pins go fast which means you get to stand in a line for hours, the shirts go just as fast unless it’s like Epcot’s and they have tons left (Yall know what I am talking about) and it’s usually a speech in front of the Castle at Magic Kingdom and then everyone goes on with their day until the nighttime show- God willing they have it.  Listen, I hope it’s amazing, but it’s not enough for me to fly back for, I have my own amazing dream I am fulfilling that VERY next day after that….so no worries loves, I will be ok, Disney isn’t going anywhere.

Mount Rainier National Park 2021

Mount Rainier National Park 2021

Mount Rainier National Park 2021

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Back to Mt. Rainier…I took the Sunrise Road all the way to the top,  turnouts here and there for you to stop and take pictures and breathe in the view. The very best one is at 6100 feet at Sunrise Lookout, it’s a panoramic view that just has no words…I posted videos of it on the Business Facebook page. 300 more feet up to the point, the very top is 6400 feet with trails everywhere to enjoy. It was quite crowded, and I felt like I may be coming down with a cold, so I took it all in, got my pics, and headed back down.  There is an adorable gift shop located at the foot of the Mountain that has the National Park merch, and so happy there was because like I had mentioned, all the Visitor Centers were closed. It took about an hour and a half from Bellevue to get there, and another 30 plus minutes to drive to the top. OH I did see a little lamb walk past my car…Amy had a little lamb, it was very storybook like in this Park. Even the fields of flowers with the Mountains backdrop SCREAMED “Sound of Music.” I would have done it had I felt better…but my luck I would have just got dizzy twirling, tripped, and fell down the hill. Seriously, I am the biggest clutz in middle age. YAY for adulthood.

Mount Rainier National Park 2021

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Mount Rainier National Park 2021

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That was all and enough for today, I made it back to my hotel in one piece and happy to be tucked into bed with soup, Sprite, and snacks. I even scored “Dantes Peak” on HBO here, it was so cool to see everything from the movie that I had just walked around in the same town, and seen just days ago.  So I am going to stream more “Twilight” goodness on my laptop tonight because I am coming for you FORKS!!! I can’t wait, talk to y’all tomorrow. Oh, and I work really hard to share with everyone, so please drop a dollar or two in my Paypal to let me know you appreciate this crazy ride, the gas is insanely expensive here! Thanks everyone.

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Thornewood Castle 2021

Thanks for appreciating my hard work!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 57: Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Day 57: Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

What is it like to wake up in a Castle you ask? Incredible. Like a fairytale, I felt like royalty waking up in such a large room, looking over the courtyard. I woke up crazy early, to excited to sleep anymore. I finished the blog post for yesterday, watched the rest of “Rose Red” and then dug into the first two films of the “Twilight” Series.  Stop judging, I love them, and you can bet your bottom I will soon be in Forks, enjoying every Twilight location that I can find.  #TeamEdward

Only an hour until my next destination, it wound up being a lazy day and I am AOK with that! The drive over to Bellevue, city right next to Seattle, I was incredibly tired and not at all about their traffic. Dear 405 Interstate….I 4 and you should date…y’all are A LOT alike! I forgot how much I HATE this kind of traffic, and it just drained my patience today.

Blessed that my hotel tonight could check me in early, so I could take a nap and pretty much do nothing until dinner with a classmate and his wife tonight. Thank God they are picking me up, after attempting a run to Target here (something that was easy in FL) I was surprised to see that their Target was on the third floor of a shopping center.  Parking in the garage to get groceries felt so off…and I missed Downtown Disney in that moment something serious.  I had to take an elevator to get TO Target, and then it opened up right in the store…what planet am I on?  LOL  I grabbed my blueberries, spinach, Sprite, raspberries, soups and snacks for the three nights I will be in town. I always check the size of my freezer in the room, and it is the tiny one, so great for my ice tray, but nothing I can freeze from the store. I got back here in one piece, avoiding the interstate on the way, but the hills here are crazy!

Dinner is Asian this evening with Aaron Schielke and his wife, Mari.  I am super excited to chat with him, as I am pretty sure I haven’t seen him since graduation in 1992.  I am looking forward to catching up this evening.

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Aaron and Mari graciously picked me up at my Hotel for dinner so I didn’t have to navigate the roads here on my own.  We talked from the moment they picked me up until I was dropped off…plus an additional 2 teenage boys in the back. It is so cool meeting my friends kids, it seems so surreal. When I am with any of my classmates, I feel like I am back in High School, talking about life.  We reminisced and laughed out all sorts of memories, and I TRULY enjoyed getting to know Mari, definitely a new friendship blossomed this evening!  I am hoping to see them again on my way to Forks, WA, even if for a lunch or breakfast.  We had a great meal at “Wild Ginger” which was Asian Fusion, and it was DELICIOUS! We each picked a dish and then shared all three….it was so good! Aaron ordered the “Seven Flavor Beef” and I got the “Shrimp Fried Rice” and Mari chose the “Mongolian Prawns.”  Drinks were Mango Mojitos and I can’t remember what Aaron ordered. I was so excited to drink because someone else was driving and I was with safe people to do so…one of my rules while traveling alone is to never drink alone or around strangers on my own, to many creeps out there.   We ate, we laughed, it was THE best time and MUCH NEEDED for this girl’s sensitive soul.  I had a Berry Sorbet to finish off the meal with a Diet Coke, and THANK YOU to Aaron and Mari for their kindness on the meal.  OH and Walter got to meet them both, he was very excited to get a pic with them. Before we headed out we walked the Mall….and there was the Disney Store…it was so nice to see. Feels like another life now.

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

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Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

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Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Bellevue WA

It is actually when I DO spend time with others, especially from my childhood, that I feel a bit homesick coming back to an empty hotel room. But I am oh so grateful for the time they blessed me with today, and so happy that they asked to use them as an emergency if I found myself in one in this part of the Country. It is something I think and worry about now and then, car troubles or medical problems, who would be able to be at my side quickly? A kindness offered that reassured my soul that it would be ok…just in case

A long day, so happy to see an old friend and make a new one, and have a great hotel room until Friday.  Have a great night, see you tomorrow.

Thornewood Castle 2021

Thanks for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 56: Monday, July 26th, 2021

Days Inn last night proved to be a much-needed rest, although I forget how much I don’t like hauling my heavy suitcase up and down stairs. Shocked some hotels STILL don’t have elevators. Anyways, checked out nice and early and hit the road about 7:30 a.m. Two hours to my first destination, driving first among nothing buy golden fields, and then it’s like the Mountains opened up and it was SPECTACULAR!! I was in LOVE with the area!

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Angela had mentioned this charming Bavarian town, nestled in the Mountains, that I could stop and take a gander at on my way to my next sleep. The town is called “Leavenworth” and it was everything I thought it would be and more! I truly felt someone had dropped me off in Europe, and I was skipping among flowers and colored walls. Shop after shop with something for everyone, and it was COOL stuff…not that gift shop garbage in Florida. I loved how everything fit the theme, seriously it was like it’s own amusement park.