Cheapness In Seattle (A 2019 PNW Trip Report - UPDATED 11/21)

docsoliday1

DIS Dad #834 Cubs, Dolphins fan forever
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Yvette and I are very happy together.
Does Julie know this?

I'm just waiting for the check.
So, someone told you check's in the mail?

It's pretty bad. Some of these places are definitely overestimating their value.
No doubt. I'm sorry, just because you're close to the Interstate does not mean you're worth more than just a place to stay for the night.

I had just bought them breakfast sandwiches. Sheesh.
But no muffins or banana bread or anything.

Can they be negative?
Yep, mine are deeply entrenched in the negative column. Don't believe me, just ask my kids. :)

That sounds pretty awesome!
It was really cool. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera (or if I did, it didn't take video). Would have been cool to have captured that.

I owe money at this point.
You're a dad...of course you owe money. Stating the obvious again.

I'm glad that worked out for you. I've had them as rentals several times, and just never been impressed.
Maybe because ours is a grand caravan vs. standard they probably rent. Or maybe we just got the opposite of a lemon.

It's a rental. Low-grade, all the way.
There's your problem. Those hamsters need the high quality kibble and high quality H20.

:rotfl2: Way to burst my bubble.
I'm a dad. Isn't that our job?

Of course there was bacon! A necessity at any great breakfast.
TRUTH!!

It is pretty hard to mess up. Kind of like pizza, unless your name is Chuck E. Cheese.
Or papa John's. Pizza sauce isn't supposed to be sweet and as someone allergic to peppers, throwing one in with the pizza is NOT a great thing. I've heard the pizza place on boardwalk at Disney is bad too.
 

pkondz

. . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Good catch. You were the first one to get it.
Think I have it memorized.
Maybe the check is still in the mail.
Oh! Yay!
Pretty much. Heaven forbid anything be convenient.
:sad2:
Did that once, in San Francisco on the way to Hawaii. With a pregnant wife in tow. Good times!
I've done it too many times. Especially lately.
It was awful nice not to be jostling for position at the gate.
Darn kids.
I get unlimited mileage and a second driver through Costco. So it's almost always a good deal.
Hmmm... I should check on that then. I presume I get similar with my membership...
Just time.
Worth it.
I can't believe the one guy tries to go out to get it. You couldn't pay me enough.
Either very naïve or very trusting in bridge engineering.
The swaying should have clued him in, though...
That would be a fantastic title for the sequel!
:laughing:
But now I know that you knew, even if I didn't know that you knew that I didn't know before.
Huh. Who knew?
Following our family has never led anyone astray. That I know of. Come to think of it, has anybody seen Barry lately?
He made a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
 

jedijill

Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Well, I didn't have anything better to do so here I am ready to be bored by the Captain Oblivious family adventures. :)


Jill in CO
 
  • GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2007
    It would appear that I’s smidgen late in joining on in this fiasco… er…. party
    (Yeah, that’s it… party. Right?)

    This one is going to be one of those few times where I’ve actually been to the spot you’re traveling to. Well, not all of it, but a good deal, so I’m interesting to see how y’all see the area.
    Should be a good ride (or at least an interesting one).


    Now, let’s see if I can remember how one go’s about working up one of these here TR call and response type posts…


    But perception is reality, and that’s especially true in these days of instant-reaction hot takes.
    I wish to say that this just isn’t so.



    Well, I did say: “wish”


    If you shout something for long enough, it eventually becomes truth. Hey, hang on a second.


    “I’M A BILLIONAIRE!”
    Great!
    Can I borrow a few grand?
    I’ll gladly pay you back on Tuesday


    Ok, that didn’t work,
    Details, details…
    Can I still barrow the loot?


    but the larger point remains.
    Wait!
    There’s a point?

    In a TR?



    In an Oblivious TR?!?


    Everyone is convinced that the only time you can experience decent weather in Seattle (and by extension, the Pacific Northwest) is during the summer. And because everyone is convinced of this fact, summer is Soak The Tourists Season all over the area.
    Sorry to tell ya’ but it’s not really all that much cheaper in the “off” season either.


    I have a very, very short list of things I would like to be doing at 3 a.m., and flying cross-country cramped in a Southwest jet is not one of them.
    When we flew back home after our last trip out there to see my Aunt, we foolishly used that “cheap flight” method as well and ended up on a Red-Eye that was scheduled to leave at 11:30.

    PM…

    Not to worry though, it actually didn’t leave until 12:45 so we had that going for us.

    On the up side, we were able to get all three of us on the same row of an over booked commuter flight so that’s a bit of a win. Except…

    There was an infant traveling on this flight that just couldn’t get settled for more than a minute or two. Now, I’m a parent myself, so – been there, done that - and as such I’m rather forgiving of folks trying to get from point-A to point-B with a Small in tow. But in a prime example of: “why exactly is it that I had to win that particular lottery”, this young’en was situated right behind my left ear…

    Looooooong flight.


    Plus, we remembered our kids were still out there.
    Reality comes crashing back into the picture…

    It has a nasty tendency of doing that.


    In the end, we used our free club passes for 10 minutes of quiet, a cup of weak coffee, and some pound cake. I’m counting that as a win.
    It was ten minutes that you didn’t have otherwise, so yeah. That’s a win.


    We had no issues with our flight to Seattle. Although there was quite a bit of cloud cover on the approach, it was neat to see some of the highest mountain peaks jutting through the clouds.


    View attachment 444716
    Win some… loose some…

    Here’s how the view out the window should’a looked like as you were descending into SeaTac…

    446890


    We landed at Sea-Tac airport somewhere around 11:00 a.m. West Coast time. And then I left the rest of my family at the airport to fend for themselves.
    The epitome of the most excellent art of Dadding.
    Bravo!


    However, when I widened my search to include all of Seattle (not just the airport), I found a Budget location downtown that would rent me a van for $550 for the two weeks. I could even return it at the airport.
    Good trick there, I may borrow that one when we next get out that way.


    Was it worth two hours of my time to save $600? For me, the answer was yes. Because I’m cheap.
    That’s not cheap…
    That’s not even frugal…
    That’s just simply refusing to be foolish.


    Scotty volunteered to go with me.
    Beats sitting in an airport.


    As it turned out, the Seattle Light Rail system has a stop at the airport and another one that was only a 1-2 block walk to the Budget garage.
    And the walk was likely downhill, which in Seattle, is most certainly the direction one want’s to be walking if one has to.


    It was…
    Soap…
    Poising!


    …sigh…
    Sorry, couldn’t resist…



    A Dodge Caravan.
    Worse than Lifebuoy…


    If the Toyota Sienna is the Rolex of minivans, then the Dodge Caravan would be the Casio.
    A kind assessment, if I’ve ever read one.


    We picked up the rest of the family and then headed out towards Tacoma.
    Going around the horn I see.


    We stopped for a fast food lunch and ate in the van. Our drive was taking us completely around Puget Sound to the Olympic Peninsula, which included a drive across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
    And heading that direction, you didn’t have to pay the toll either.
    Excellent cheapness there my friend.


    We kept going, though, and when we finally reached Hurricane Ridge, we were glad we did. The clouds had lifted just enough to give us a nice view of the Olympic Range. It was a nice spot for six jet-lagged travelers to breathe in some fresh air and enjoy snow-capped peaks almost 8,000 feet high.

    View attachment 444719
    It is right purty up there.
    When we did that particular outing we also got what Dis folks would call: a random smattering of pixy dust. Just beyond the overlook wall behind the visitors center, a pair of fauns were hiding among the Queen Ann’s Lace right where their mom had left them and not more than thirty feet from where we were standing…

    446891

    I’m surprised that we were the first to spot the critters. They even chose that moment to get brave and move out to do a bit of grazing…

    446892

    446893

    Hard to beat good luck of that caliber.


    In the distance was the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which I encourage you to say out loud, because it’s really fun to say.
    Done.
    The confusion displayed by the other folks in the room was well worth the effort.


    Beyond that, we could make out Canada in the hazy distance. There were no signs that they were alerted to our presence, so our invasion later in the trip was still a go.
    PKONDZ likely knew you were heading out that way, so I suspect that proper authorities had been made quite aware of your presence.


    Section 3B, article (d) of the Oblivious Family Vacation Rules states that we must try never to eat at places that are readily available to us at home in Delaware, ruling out most chain restaurants. However, while the Black Bear is a chain restaurant, we don’t have any near us and had never been to one, so this was deemed not to be in violation of the rules.
    We have a similar clause buried in our rules.
    With the same exception built into it.
    (but of course, when all else fails, we’ll still settle for fast-food over starvation; we ain’t that proud)


    Coming Up Next: More ecosystems than you can shake a stick at. Or, go ahead, shake a stick at them. See if they care.
    446894
     
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    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    If you shout something for long enough, it eventually becomes truth. Hey, hang on a second.

    “I’M A BILLIONAIRE!”

    Ok, that didn’t work,
    Well don't discount it, just make sure you are very specific. If you remember from my TRs a couple years back Jenny started with the, "We live here now." Of course there was the caveat that despite living "here", they were homeless. However, within two years they did live here and now they own their own house.

    So she tried it with the whole millionaire thing (she wasn't as ambitious as you), and hit a million on her video poker game. Recently she changed it to "millionaire in my bank account."

    In the end, we used our free club passes for 10 minutes of quiet, a cup of weak coffee, and some pound cake. I’m counting that as a win.
    I see that as winning, but maybe two slices of pound cake would have been in order.

    Was it worth two hours of my time to save $600? For me, the answer was yes. Because I’m cheap.
    Heck, I would do it too! Except I am very sketchy about Budget. I had one of their commercial trucks catch fire on me and their customer service was less than stellar.

    We decided to go for it. Fortune favors the bold, and all that. Also, we didn’t have much else to do that afternoon.
    Heck, why not? You got a few hours to kill!

    By this time, we’d been awake for at least 18 hours or so and we were starting to feel it.
    Try 25 hours....that's even more fun, not that I've done that recently....:rolleyes1

    We drove back to Sequim and checked into the Holiday Inn Express there, and then walked across the parking lot to a Black Bear Diner for dinner.
    Excellent choice!

    However, while the Black Bear is a chain restaurant, we don’t have any near us and had never been to one, so this was deemed not to be in violation of the rules.
    This is the same logic that I use for visiting Friendly's on the East Coast, or Steak n Shake in the Midwest.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Does Julie know this?
    Uh....yes. Absolutely.

    So, someone told you check's in the mail?
    Yep. Any day now!

    No doubt. I'm sorry, just because you're close to the Interstate does not mean you're worth more than just a place to stay for the night.
    ::yes::

    But no muffins or banana bread or anything.
    Eh, they'll live.

    Yep, mine are deeply entrenched in the negative column. Don't believe me, just ask my kids. :)
    Oh, I totally believe you.

    It was really cool. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera (or if I did, it didn't take video). Would have been cool to have captured that.
    Yeah, I bet. It sounds amazing.

    You're a dad...of course you owe money. Stating the obvious again.
    Just call me the Human ATM.

    Maybe because ours is a grand caravan vs. standard they probably rent. Or maybe we just got the opposite of a lemon.
    No idea, but like I said, I'm glad you got the good one!

    There's your problem. Those hamsters need the high quality kibble and high quality H20.
    Maybe I can give them some PB&J.

    I'm a dad. Isn't that our job?
    Yeah, pretty much.

    Or papa John's. Pizza sauce isn't supposed to be sweet and as someone allergic to peppers, throwing one in with the pizza is NOT a great thing. I've heard the pizza place on boardwalk at Disney is bad too.
    I actually don't mind Papa John's. Not that it's great by any means, but I'll eat it without complaint. My standards aren't that high when I can get a pizza for 7 bucks.

    Think I have it memorized.
    I think I'm right there with you!

    Hmmm... I should check on that then. I presume I get similar with my membership...
    I would think so. Good luck!

    Either very naïve or very trusting in bridge engineering.
    The swaying should have clued him in, though...
    I trust engineers as much as anyone, but when I see that kind of swaying? No thanks.

    Huh. Who knew?
    Are you new here?

    He made a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
    What a maroon.

    Well, I didn't have anything better to do so here I am ready to be bored by the Captain Oblivious family adventures. :)


    Jill in CO
    :welcome: Jill! Let the boredom commence!
     

    afwdwfan

    DIS Dad #460
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2010
    If you shout something for long enough, it eventually becomes truth. Hey, hang on a second.

    “I’M A BILLIONAIRE!”

    Ok, that didn’t work, but the larger point remains.
    Well you didn't say it long enough! Keep going!
    Well, it was. But in a shocking twist, it was delayed LESS than an hour.
    Dang! Not bad for O'Hare!
    Although there was quite a bit of cloud cover on the approach,
    Because everyone knows it always rains in the PNW.
    I cheerfully told the family all about the bridge collapse just before we drove over the channel. I’m sure they all appreciated the history lesson, as well as the chance to liven up a boring drive.
    Doesn't get much more "dad" than that!
    the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which I encourage you to say out loud, because it’s really fun to say.
    I don't think we're allowed to say it out loud on the Disboards…
    I especially appreciated this photo in the bathroom, providing definitive proof of what we all suspected was true.
    ::yes:: And that sign is exactly how you know you're in a restaurant that meets the approval of the Oblivious Family.
     
  • Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    It would appear that I’s smidgen late in joining on in this fiasco… er…. party
    (Yeah, that’s it… party. Right?)

    This one is going to be one of those few times where I’ve actually been to the spot you’re traveling to. Well, not all of it, but a good deal, so I’m interesting to see how y’all see the area.
    Should be a good ride (or at least an interesting one).


    Now, let’s see if I can remember how one go’s about working up one of these here TR call and response type posts…
    :welcome: Rob! I'm glad you're here. And you're not late at all--I've barely gotten started.

    wish to say that this just isn’t so.



    Well, I did say: “wish”
    I understand.

    Great!
    Can I borrow a few grand?
    I’ll gladly pay you back on Tuesday
    I don't have any hamburgers to give you though.

    Details, details…
    Can I still barrow the loot?
    I have a daughter going to college. So, no.

    Wait!
    There’s a point?

    In a TR?



    In an Oblivious TR?!?
    Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
    BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR


    Sorry to tell ya’ but it’s not really all that much cheaper in the “off” season either.
    I believe you. Just a high cost of living area.

    When we flew back home after our last trip out there to see my Aunt, we foolishly used that “cheap flight” method as well and ended up on a Red-Eye that was scheduled to leave at 11:30.

    PM…

    Not to worry though, it actually didn’t leave until 12:45 so we had that going for us.

    On the up side, we were able to get all three of us on the same row of an over booked commuter flight so that’s a bit of a win. Except…

    There was an infant traveling on this flight that just couldn’t get settled for more than a minute or two. Now, I’m a parent myself, so – been there, done that - and as such I’m rather forgiving of folks trying to get from point-A to point-B with a Small in tow. But in a prime example of: “why exactly is it that I had to win that particular lottery”, this young’en was situated right behind my left ear…

    Looooooong flight.
    Oh, man. That one would feel like it never ended.

    Reality comes crashing back into the picture…

    It has a nasty tendency of doing that.
    Yeah...I keep trying to keep away from it, and I never succeed.

    It was ten minutes that you didn’t have otherwise, so yeah. That’s a win.
    ::yes::

    Win some… loose some…

    Here’s how the view out the window should’a looked like as you were descending into SeaTac…

    446890
    Oh, yeah. That's the stuff. Great shot!

    The epitome of the most excellent art of Dadding.
    Bravo!
    Why thank you, sir!

    Good trick there, I may borrow that one when we next get out that way.
    It worked out well for us.

    That’s not cheap…
    That’s not even frugal…
    That’s just simply refusing to be foolish.
    I'm glad so many of you are backing me up on this.

    Beats sitting in an airport.
    Agreed.

    And the walk was likely downhill, which in Seattle, is most certainly the direction one want’s to be walking if one has to.
    At the very least, it was fairly flat. We got off at Westlake Center and walked a block or two north on 5th Ave.

    Soap…
    Poising!
    :rotfl2: +1:thumbsup2

    Worse than Lifebuoy…
    Is it, though?

    A kind assessment, if I’ve ever read one.
    You mean I should have been nastier?

    Going around the horn I see.
    Google said that was fastest. I'm sure the ferry would have been more fun.

    And heading that direction, you didn’t have to pay the toll either.
    Excellent cheapness there my friend.
    ::yes::

    It is right purty up there.
    When we did that particular outing we also got what Dis folks would call: a random smattering of pixy dust. Just beyond the overlook wall behind the visitors center, a pair of fauns were hiding among the Queen Ann’s Lace right where their mom had left them and not more than thirty feet from where we were standing…

    446891


    I’m surprised that we were the first to spot the critters. They even chose that moment to get brave and move out to do a bit of grazing…

    446892


    446893


    Hard to beat good luck of that caliber.
    Gorgeous! We found a friend of theirs along the road. Love your photos, though.

    Done.
    The confusion displayed by the other folks in the room was well worth the effort.
    :rotfl::rotfl2:

    PKONDZ likely knew you were heading out that way, so I suspect that proper authorities had been made quite aware of your presence.
    Oh, like anybody would listen to him.

    We have a similar clause buried in our rules.
    With the same exception built into it.
    (but of course, when all else fails, we’ll still settle for fast-food over starvation; we ain’t that proud)
    Agreed. Fast food also beats PB&J after 3-4 days of it.

    Point that thing somewhere else!
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Well don't discount it, just make sure you are very specific. If you remember from my TRs a couple years back Jenny started with the, "We live here now." Of course there was the caveat that despite living "here", they were homeless. However, within two years they did live here and now they own their own house.

    So she tried it with the whole millionaire thing (she wasn't as ambitious as you), and hit a million on her video poker game. Recently she changed it to "millionaire in my bank account."
    I knew there was a catch. This is what I get for not being detail-oriented.

    I see that as winning, but maybe two slices of pound cake would have been in order.
    I could be convinced with that argument.

    Heck, I would do it too! Except I am very sketchy about Budget. I had one of their commercial trucks catch fire on me and their customer service was less than stellar.
    Wow, that sounds like a story! I haven't had a problem with them.

    Heck, why not? You got a few hours to kill!
    Beat sitting in a hotel room.

    Try 25 hours....that's even more fun, not that I've done that recently....:rolleyes1
    :faint:

    Excellent choice!
    Figured you'd like that one!

    This is the same logic that I use for visiting Friendly's on the East Coast, or Steak n Shake in the Midwest.
    Totally valid. It's not like you can get that every day.

    Well you didn't say it long enough! Keep going!
    I'M A BILLIONAIRE!

    How long do I need to keep doing this?

    Dang! Not bad for O'Hare!
    I was actually pleasantly surprised.

    Because everyone knows it always rains in the PNW.
    Of course. Duh.

    Doesn't get much more "dad" than that!
    It's what we do!

    I don't think we're allowed to say it out loud on the Disboards…
    Juan de Fuca! Don't tell anyone I said that.

    ::yes:: And that sign is exactly how you know you're in a restaurant that meets the approval of the Oblivious Family.
    We go to all the classy joints.

    Yes I am! Thanks for having me!
    Great! Make sure you send your deposit money for the down payment.
     
  • GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2007
    I have a daughter going to college. So, no.
    Ehhh... She's clearly scholarship material.
    I, however, need the cash (cause I'm still payin' off the tuition I've done spent sending a young'en to college)


    Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
    BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR
    Ol' Sam knew how to write 'em, didn't he?


    Yeah...I keep trying to keep away from it, and I never succeed.
    Avoiding reality is probably the only thing all humans actually have in common.


    I'm glad so many of you are backing me up on this.
    Shouldn't be that surprising.
    We're all basically cheapskates as well.


    Is it, though?
    Well, it doe's lake that nice piquant, after-dinner flavor.
    Not a touch of mellow smoothness to be found either, so...
    Yeah.


    You mean I should have been nastier?
    It seems to have become the national pastime, but then again we are talking about a Dodge Caravan, so yeah, the gloves can come off.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    It's in the mail!
    Surrrre it is.

    Ehhh... She's clearly scholarship material.
    I, however, need the cash (cause I'm still payin' off the tuition I've done spent sending a young'en to college)
    We have zero scholarships so far, so I can't release any funds.

    Ol' Sam knew how to write 'em, didn't he?
    ::yes::

    Avoiding reality is probably the only thing all humans actually have in common.
    That's why we all hang out here on the boards.

    Shouldn't be that surprising.
    We're all basically cheapskates as well.
    I cannot deny this.

    Well, it doe's lake that nice piquant, after-dinner flavor.
    Not a touch of mellow smoothness to be found either, so...
    Yeah.
    Lifebuoy on the other hand...

    It seems to have become the national pastime, but then again we are talking about a Dodge Caravan, so yeah, the gloves can come off.
    So let it be written. So let it be done.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Chapter 2: The Olympic Experience

    This was one of the most unexpected pleasant surprises we could ever hope to experience on any of our vacations around the country.

    I refer, of course, not to the national park, but the fact that this particular Holiday Inn Express had apparently not gotten the corporate memo that they had sold out to Cinnabon and their crappy leftover lumps of dough. And thus, as we entered the breakfast room, we were greeted with the sight of the original, far superior cinnamon rolls just waiting for us to eat them. We greeted our long-lost travel companions with the joy of a family welcoming home a soldier from a long tour of duty. And we may or may not have taken a few extra for the road.

    IMG_2248.JPG


    We got out the door from Sequim fairly early, and with good reason—the park website had warned of road construction on US 101 at Lake Crescent that could cause up to 3-hour delays. The construction work was supposed to start at 9 a.m. and we had an hour drive to get there, so as long as we left before 8:00, we’d be good.

    We left at 7:45 a.m., and had no issues. Nowadays, your local DOT works so hard to make good information on road project available to the public in a myriad of ways that it’s virtually impossible to be caught off-guard by delays, and I know all of you appreciate that hard work just as much as I do.

    Lake Crescent looked very pretty from the road, by the way.

    DSC_2969.JPG

    We made a left turn and immediately entered an old-growth forest of immensely tall pines. The forest canopy was so thick I almost had to turn on the headlights as we drove. I’d been expecting an average drive through a forest, but this one was particularly striking.

    DSC_2972.JPG

    We went about 10-15 miles until the road dead-ended at a trailhead for Sol Duc (pronounced Sole Duck) Falls. The hike is just shy of a mile, and is a fairly gentle walk through the forest to a wooden bridge over a point where the Sol Duc River has cut a small gorge into a rock wall. It’s not a long or tall waterfall, but it certainly is a beautiful one. We were all very glad we’d made time to do this hike.

    DSC_3000.JPG

    DSC_3004.JPG

    DSC_3033.JPG

    Back to the van, and we drove another 90 minutes out towards the small town of La Push. Most of the land in Olympic National Park is contiguous, but there is also a long stretch of Washington’s coastline that is protected as park land as well. We followed directions to a parking area for “Second Beach”, the middle beach in a line of three sandy areas starting with…wait for it…First Beach and ending with Third Beach.

    The parking area led to a trailhead, the start of a 0.75-mile hike down to the beach. We carbed up for the hike by eating our PB&J sandwiches in the parking lot.

    The hike took us through more pine forest for the majority of its length, and then we started descending a series of steep switchbacks as we reached the coast line. I knew this climb back up wasn’t going to be much fun. Then, to add injury to insult, we reached the bottom of the hill only to be forced to climb over several huge logs, which appeared to have piled up as driftwood. It was almost as if they’d known we were coming and had attempted to barricade the beach, but…nah. I’m probably just imagining things.

    DSC_3054.JPG

    The Pacific Coast is probably my favorite part of Olympic, mostly because it feels so exotic to me. The most obvious and striking feature are “sea stacks”—islands that have been formed through the millennia through erosion. They’ve been battered by the ocean into all sorts of shapes and sizes—many of the larger ones still have trees growing on them. We have nothing like this on the Atlantic coast. I find them to be both beautiful and fascinating.

    IMG_2128.JPG

    DSC_3083.JPG

    Continued next post...
     
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    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Chapter 2 Continued

    The tide was out, which enabled us to walk all the way up to several of the stacks. Up close, we found it was best to stay a few feet back, as they were covered with a lot of smelly barnacles. But it was still a neat experience to be able to approach them and walk that close to them. It’s a gorgeous beach and a gorgeous coastline—a perfect spot to wander on a lazy summer day.

    DSC_3082.JPG

    DSC_3086.JPG


    I was right about the climb back up the hill—it was no fun whatsoever. But we made it, and eventually made it back to the parking lot where we all made a pit stop at the porta-john. While there, another mom and her son came up the trail and waited to use the facilities. Then her son turned to the side and barfed on the sidewalk.

    I feel like I should mention that this doesn’t often happen when people meet us for the first time. Anyway, the mom thought he had gotten dehydrated on the hike, as it was getting warm outside. We gave her a couple of extra water bottles we had on us—one for washing and one for re-hydrating, and wished her well. Every parent has been there.

    We drove for another couple of hours to the last stop in the park—the Hoh Rain Forest. Olympic’s ever-changing climate zones include this rain forest on the southwest side of the park—one of the largest temperate rain forests in the U.S. Due to the clouds that form over the Olympic mountain range, it gets over 127 inches of rain a year.

    There was nothing but bright sun when we arrived, of course.

    This was the hottest part of the afternoon and temperatures had reached the 90’s by this point, so I’m sorry to admit that none of us really felt like hiking through the forest at that point. And at further risk of sounding like uncultured swine, there were no waterfalls or points of interest within easy hiking distance. Just…trees. So we mostly just wandered the visitor center and then left. The rain forest was a bit of a bust for us, but your mileage may vary. I enjoyed the sights of the mountains at Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc Falls, and Second Beach much more.

    We did get Drew to finish up his Junior Ranger work and collect his badge, so that was something.

    DSC_3088.JPG

    This was a low-key tough driving day, as we had yet another 2-3 hout drive to our hotel for the evening, near Olympia. I did have one more stop planned before that, though. As most of you know, when I plan our meals, I follow the Oblivious Family Vacation Handbook. We mentioned the part about not eating at familiar places. Article III, paragraph 7(a) states that each dining location should be chosen without regard to price—only the finest, most outstanding delicacies shall be considered. We crave adventurous meals that challenge the palate, creating new combinations and taste sensations that could never be achieved anywhere else, naturally with a perfect wine pairing to match. We certainly would never pass up the chance to find a wine with a delicate nose, and notes of oak, with earthy undertones.

    (P.S. Have flavor notes like that ever been helpful? I have no idea what “oak” is supposed to tell me. I do not go around munching on bark or oak leaves. How do you know what oak tastes like? Are you sure it’s not maple? Same with “earthy”—I haven’t chewed on any dirt since an ill-advised headfirst slide into home in Little League, and I can’t say I really wanted to taste that again.)

    Anyway, Article III, paragraph 7(b) tells you to then have a good laugh, check out the price for experiences like that, and throw the idea out since your kid is only going to order mac-and-cheese anyway. The rule of thumb is simply to look for the restaurant with the giant pig out front.

    Welcome to Ranch House BBQ!

    IMG_2133.JPG

    I can never resist a good BBQ joint, and this out-of-the-way place on state route 8 had high marks on Trip Advisor, so it seemed a natural fit for me. And I love any place that decorates in a classy pig-and-license-plate theme. I keep trying to move our home decorating in that direction but it’s always vetoed by the Budget Committee. And also the Interior Decorations Committee.

    DSC_3092.JPG

    DSC_3094.JPG

    I’ve found that the more I get into smoking meats at home on my own, the more I want to try other places to see what they’re doing. Of all the attempts at new hobbies over the years, BBQ seems to be the one I’ve enjoyed the most.

    Whenever I go to a BBQ joint, I’m looking at the menu for a sampler platter. I’m always hoping I can at least try the pulled pork and beef brisket, which are my favorite bbq items. Ranch House delivered on that front, so I was very happy with my choices. I also got some fries and some beans, because they’re very good for your heart. My family was really happy I had ordered them as well, since we’d all be sleeping in one room together that night.

    IMG_2135.JPG

    Everything was good—in an upset, the pork was actually better than their brisket (but to be fair, brisket is much harder to get right). I’d give it a solid B, and would go back again if I happened to be in the area.

    Our accommodations for the evening were in a Comfort Inn just south of town on Interstate 5. The hotel was older, but…functional. It wouldn’t be winning any awards anytime soon. But all we need are clean beds and a bathroom, and this was fine on that front. Our favorite touch was the toilet phone, a convenient feature that ensured you’d never miss a minute of any important conversation. Perhaps your companion on the other end of the line can be treated to some delightful background noises as well.

    IMG_2137.JPG

    Coming Up Next: Talk about blowing your top.
     
    Last edited:

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Surrrre it is.
    Glad you understand!
    This was one of the most unexpected pleasant surprises we could ever hope to experience on any of our vacations around the country.
    Oohhh… And you've seen so many spectacular sights! This can only mean...
    I refer, of course, not to the national park, but the fact that this particular Holiday Inn Express had apparently not gotten the corporate memo that they had sold out to Cinnabon and their crappy leftover lumps of dough.
    Of course.
    We greeted our long-lost travel companions with the joy of a family welcoming home a soldier from a long tour of duty.
    I actually don't think you're kidding here.
    At all.
    And we may or may not have taken a few extra for the road.
    I should hope so!!!
    Whoa. That looks good!
    the park website had warned of road construction on US 101 at Lake Crescent that could cause up to 3-hour delays.
    Holy crap...
    work was supposed to start at 9 a.m. and we had an hour drive to get there, so as long as we left before 8:00, we’d be good.
    I was so sure this was foreboding!
    We left at 7:45 a.m., and had no issues. Nowadays, your local DOT works so hard to make good information on road project available to the public in a myriad of ways that it’s virtually impossible to be caught off-guard by delays, and I know all of you appreciate that hard work just as much as I do.
    Oh sure. Up here it's "Surprise! You're going to be late, now."
    The forest canopy was so thick I almost had to turn on the headlights as we drove.
    Whoa. That's a cool shot, btw.
    Yep. Very nice. I like it.
    What was the scale like on that? Kinda hard to tell from the photo.
    Who are these strange people with you and Julie?
    I've met your kids and they're smaller.
    Back to the van, and we drove another 90 minutes out towards the small town of La Push.
    And were met by werewolves.

    I'm sad that I know that.
    We followed directions to a parking area for “Second Beach”, the middle beach in a line of three sandy areas starting with…wait for it…First Beach and ending with Third Beach.
    Weren't you just asking me if creativity was dead?
    So, obviously not!
    We carbed up for the hike by eating our PB&J sandwiches in the parking lot.
    Yusss!!!!!
    No Oblivious Family trip is complete without them.
    I knew this climb back up wasn’t going to be much fun.
    At least you don't have to carry a toddler while doing it any more.

    Or... did you?
    Then, to add injury to insult, we reached the bottom of the hill only to be forced to climb over several huge logs, which appeared to have piled up as driftwood. It was almost as if they’d known we were coming and had attempted to barricade the beach, but…nah. I’m probably just imagining things.
    Actually... I really like that photo. Pretty cool to see that much driftwood.
    Beautiful shot!!
    But it was still a neat experience to be able to approach them and walk that close to them.
    I bet! I've never done anything like that.
    Then her son turned to the side and barfed on the sidewalk.
    I'm not at all surprised.
    I feel like I should mention that this doesn’t often happen when people meet us for the first time.
    But it does happen.

    Case in point.
    Every parent has been there.
    ::yes::
    one of the largest temperate rain forests in the U.S.
    Huh!
    There was nothing but bright sun when we arrived, of course.
    Hmmm... so... were you happy or sad about that?
    And at further risk of sounding like uncultured swine, there were no waterfalls or points of interest within easy hiking distance.
    Well... I get that.

    But... nothing is going to keep you from sounding like uncultured swine.
    We did get Drew to finish up his Junior Ranger work and collect his badge, so that was something.
    :)
    Article III, paragraph 7(a) states that each dining location should be chosen without regard to price—only the finest, most outstanding delicacies shall be considered.
    Of course. Because how much could BBQ cost, anyway?
    We crave adventurous meals that challenge the palate, creating new combinations and taste sensations that could never be achieved anywhere else, naturally with a perfect wine pairing to match. We certainly would never pass up the chance to find a wine with a delicate nose, and notes of oak, with earthy undertones.
    :lmao:
    (P.S. Have flavor notes like that ever been helpful? I have no idea what “oak” is supposed to tell me. I do not go around munching on bark or oak leaves. How do you know what oak tastes like? Are you sure it’s not maple? Same with “earthy”—I haven’t chewed on any dirt since an ill-advised headfirst slide into home in Little League, and I can’t say I really wanted to taste that again.)
    I don't drink anything but sweet white wines, so don't ask me!
    But I have a feeling you might be poking the bear on this one.
    Anyway, Article III, paragraph 7(b) tells you to then have a good laugh, check out the price for experiences like that, and throw the idea out since your kid is only going to order mac-and-cheese anyway.
    ::yes::

    Reminds me of our meal at Boma.
    so many choices! DW and both DDs ate nothing but mac n cheese.
    The rule of thumb is simply to look for the restaurant with the giant pig out front.
    But of course. Why would you not?
    And there it is!
    I keep trying to move our home decorating in that direction but it’s always vetoed by the Budget Committee. And also the Interior Decorations Committee.
    :rotfl2:
    I’ve found that the more I get into smoking meats at home on my own, the more I want to try other places to see what they’re doing. Of all the attempts at new hobbies over the years, BBQ seems to be the one I’ve enjoyed the most.
    I'd like to get into that as well, but...
    I can't justify the cash outlay for a good smoker given that I'm pretty much the only one who would eat anything from it.
    One DD doesn't eat meat, the other doesn't eat much. DW doesn't eat much meat anymore either.
    I also got some fries and some beans, because they’re very good for your heart. My family was really happy I had ordered them as well, since we’d all be sleeping in one room together that night.
    :lmao:
    Everything was good—in an upset, the pork was actually better than their brisket (but to be fair, brisket is much harder to get right). I’d give it a sold B, and would go back again if I happened to be in the area.
    Good enough. :)
    . Our favorite touch was the toilet phone, a convenient feature that ensured you’d never miss a minute of any important conversation. Perhaps your companion on the other end of the line can be treated to some delightful background noises as well.
    Perfect.
     

    QueenJen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2012
    And thus, as we entered the breakfast room, we were greeted with the sight of the original, far superior cinnamon rolls just waiting for us to eat them. We greeted our long-lost travel companions with the joy of a family welcoming home a soldier from a long tour of duty. And we may or may not have taken a few extra for the road.
    replace the tree with a cinnamon roll below.

    448989

    I was right about the climb back up the hill—it was no fun whatsoever.
    I find that is the downside to hiking the coast (at least in So Cal) - you start and go downhill.....then it's all uphill on the way back.

    Our favorite touch was the toilet phone, a convenient feature that ensured you’d never miss a minute of any important conversation. Perhaps your companion on the other end of the line can be treated to some delightful background noises as well.
    I still do not understand the point of phones in the bathroom at older hotels.

    Looks like you all had a successful day.
     

    shjrc371

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 1, 2008
    Our accommodations for the evening were in a Comfort Inn just south of town on Interstate 5. The hotel was older, but…functional. It wouldn’t be winning any awards anytime soon. But all we need are clean beds and a bathroom, and this was fine on that front. Our favorite touch was the toilet phone, a convenient feature that ensured you’d never miss a minute of any important conversation. Perhaps your companion on the other end of the line can be treated to some delightful background noises as well.

    View attachment 448838

    Coming Up Next: Talk about blowing your top.
    Bahahahhahahaha! Fantastic writing! The Hunter Thompson of Disboards. It truly helps my days go better.
     

    docsoliday1

    DIS Dad #834 Cubs, Dolphins fan forever
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2008
    This was one of the most unexpected pleasant surprises we could ever hope to experience on any of our vacations around the country.
    Your claiming to be a Billionaire worked?
    Someone gave you a large sum of money?

    this particular Holiday Inn Express had apparently not gotten the corporate memo that they had sold out to Cinnabon and their crappy leftover lumps of dough
    Oh. Well, that's pretty good too.

    And we may or may not have taken a few extra for the road.
    You can neither confirm nor deny?

    We left at 7:45 a.m., and had no issues. Nowadays, your local DOT works so hard to make good information on road project available to the public in a myriad of ways that it’s virtually impossible to be caught off-guard by delays, and I know all of you appreciate that hard work just as much as I do.
    I'm sure we don't appreciate as much as you do. I think you might be a bit biased.

    Lake Crescent looked very pretty from the road, by the way.

    DSC_2969.JPG
    ::yes::

    We made a left turn and immediately entered an old-growth forest of immensely tall pines. The forest canopy was so thick I almost had to turn on the headlights as we drove. I’d been expecting an average drive through a forest, but this one was particularly striking.

    DSC_2972.JPG
    Wow, tha's pretty cool. Almost like a tunnel with no top.

    We went about 10-15 miles until the road dead-ended at a trailhead for Sol Duc (pronounced Sole Duck) Falls. The hike is just shy of a mile, and is a fairly gentle walk through the forest to a wooden bridge over a point where the Sol Duc River has cut a small gorge into a rock wall. It’s not a long or tall waterfall, but it certainly is a beautiful one. We were all very glad we’d made time to do this hike.

    DSC_3000.JPG
    Why were there no other ducks there? Did you kill them? Eat them? Scare them away with a l'orange sauce?

    When I first looked at that picture, not knowing the scale, directly above the right falls, I thought someone was standing on the log/tree and bending over. (wearing red pants and a dark shirt/jacket)

    It was almost as if they’d known we were coming and had attempted to barricade the beach, but…nah. I’m probably just imagining things.
    Probably




    Not

    The tide was out, which enabled us to walk all the way up to several of the stacks. Up close, we found it was best to stay a few feet back, as they were covered with a lot of smelly barnacles.
    Best you stayed back. They're also very sharp and can hurt if touched.

    I was right about the climb back up the hill—it was no fun whatsoever.
    At least it wasn't uphill both directions. Or was it?

    I feel like I should mention that this doesn’t often happen when people meet us for the first time.
    Yeah, we believe you.

    We did get Drew to finish up his Junior Ranger work and collect his badge, so that was something.

    DSC_3088.JPG
    Those are always cute pictures!

    The rule of thumb is simply to look for the restaurant with the giant pig out front.

    Welcome to Ranch House BBQ!

    IMG_2133.JPG
    Well duh. Giant pig = good, doesn't it?

    I can never resist a good BBQ joint, and this out-of-the-way place on state route 8 had high marks on Trip Advisor, so it seemed a natural fit for me. And I love any place that decorates in a classy pig-and-license-plate theme. I keep trying to move our home decorating in that direction but it’s always vetoed by the Budget Committee. And also the Interior Decorations Committee.
    I get the strange impression the budget committee and the interior decorations committee have the same board member(s).

    Whenever I go to a BBQ joint, I’m looking at the menu for a sampler platter. I’m always hoping I can at least try the pulled pork and beef brisket, which are my favorite bbq items. Ranch House delivered on that front, so I was very happy with my choices. I also got some fries and some beans, because they’re very good for your heart. My family was really happy I had ordered them as well, since we’d all be sleeping in one room together that night.
    I'm more of a brisket fan myself, but then again I've always liked beef more than pork.

    I'm sure they encouraged you to get a double helping of beans.

    😋
    🤤
     

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