Deep forests + Driftwood // Day 1

It's rather incredible how day 1 of a trip can be so exhausting - and this day 1 was giving me flashbacks to a 2013 5-hr layover in Amsterdam. That feeling when your eyes are just so heavy that it actually feels like you are wearing a face mask? Maybe it's just me.

But - it really was quite the day. High-level? We started with a sunrise departure from home, a morning flight across the country, 4 hours of driving .... and then that beautiful Pacific ocean.

Flight & Car Rental

We scored a great deal on direct flights to Seattle a few months ago - so we were feeling pretty lucky that we didn't have to connect or pay millions of dollars. The flight itself was pretty uneventful if you can excuse the woman snoring next to me. Legit snoring. I had never flown Alaska Airlines before but would definitely recommend it. There were power outlets at all the seats which is pretty much the way to win me over. I also normally avoid buying food on airplanes because ... well for no good reason except maybe its overpriced and nondescript flavoring. BUT, we were getting hungry and the flight attendants were offering some egg scramble .... and it was amazing. Like, I would have gone back for seconds. Kerrianne called it the "skillet surprise" and we all cleaned our plates.

With my Hertz status, we qualified for the privilege of not talking to a single soul when we picked up the car. They also felt it was a benefit to let us pick any car we wanted - which honestly was only more trouble. I think we got in and out of three cars before pulling out of the parking lot. But, this Silver Toyota will be our home for the next four days and we need to love it.

Driving & Lake Quinault

After leaving the airport, we knew we had a longer drive on our hands. So we "quickly" grabbed lunch along the highway. With each approaching exit I would call out all the restaurants with no takers. Jake apparently feels like the people at Subway judge him for his order. He's also "over Wendy's" and would prefer McDonalds to Burger King. However, when I called out Arby's - it was a winner. Funny story? This Arby's was hella slow and out of roast beef. Like, it's that your thing? They were also out of ranch dressing. When Kerrianne ordered a salad it was the first thing they told her.

The drive to Lake Quinault area was pretty beautiful at times. All of a sudden everything is lush and covered with moss. The forests are so deep you can't see into them - and for some reason all the houses are only 1 level. We passed through a handful of towns but kept pushing to Lake Quinault.

I honestly wish I had more energy when we got here to the Lake Quinault area. It seems like the perfect way to dip your toes into the Olympic Peninsula with its lake, easy trails, giant trees, etc .... but I was really exhausted. The lake itself wasn't anything incredible but the Quinault Lodge was beautiful. It felt like we'd traveled back 50 years but perfectly restored - at least from the outside.

We drove a bit more around the area and came upon this incredible waterfall literally right next to the road. As soon as we got out it was like a rush of oxygen and you were awake again. We all just kept marveling how none of this could be captured in pictures. It was just so immense and green and beautiful.

The rest of the drive was un-eventful but filled with those same incredible deep forests and empty roads. There was also like zero cell signal so you just rather pray you don't run out of gas or get a flat tire. At a few moments, it would pour rain and then stop. Must be how this whole place gets so green :). There were a few bridges we crossed over rivers that just offered incredible  views - that were even a little more breathtaking because of the fog blocking the horizon.

Hotel and Dinner

We had picked to stay at the Kalaloch Lodge along the ocean for the night. I found it in a Sunset magazine article about long coastal drives and had been sold on the fact there were beach trails that lead to giant driftwood. When you check into the hotel they give you a handout that says "drift logs kill". So, you should be careful I guess.

It's an incredibly quiet area where they treat you like grown-ups. Obviously we are - but they let you make fires without any supervision whether its on the beach, at the fire pit or in their own lodge. After dropping our bags in the room, we set out for a pre-dinner walk. P.s. Each room comes with walking sticks and binoculars.

The beach is vast, flat ... and littered with driftwood, razor clam shells, and other treasures. Not to sound cliche, but it's perfect for everyone. I can imagine kids to dogs to adults all having an awesome time exploring. Jake and Kerrianne both seem to love the rocks and have selected a few candidates to bring home. To be clear, these aren't ordinary rocks - they do look really cool.

We got dinner at the hotel lodge - where you apparently need reservations but it was nearly empty so I'm not clear why. Jake proclaimed the fries the best of his life and loved the bbq sauce. Kerrianne had some local clams in a lemongrass broth. They had a local root beer on tap that knocked Jake's socks off. We also learned that there are sourdough pancakes at breakfast - and I'm thrilled. Jake told us that breakfast is by far his favorite meal of the day. Love learning this little things about him.

We closed out the night by opening some care packages from home. When TSA wanted to further investigate the sealed packages, we lied a bit and said we knew what was inside. Thankfully the grandfather type guy didn't see a need in opening them. So we played Uno on the bed and ate some dark chocolate from the gift shop. We are hopeful that in the next 3 days we can get Jake to do the face masks with us.


More ocean and rainforest and driving!

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