Thursday, June 2, 2016

Happy Valley: Trip to Sequim

Back in May, Justin surprised me with a little getaway to the beautiful Olympic peninsula. He reserved a room in a nice hotel for a couple of nights, we packed a few things, got gas for our faithful Outback and left for an adventure on Friday night. It is only a couple of hours from our home, but that way we could get plenty of rest and an early start the next morning.

Beautiful vistas are all around Sequim. This one is along the shores of the Strait of Juan de Fuca,
overlooking the San Juan Islands, WA (I wrote about our trip there in this post) and Vancouver Island (Canada)

We visited the peninsula many times in the past, but this time we stayed in a beautiful little town called Sequim (pronounced Skwim). Even if you've never been to Seattle, you probably heard that it rains 9 months of the year here. Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah, what else is new, right. But what you might not have heard before is that in midst of our wet climate, there is a unique sunny spot, a little valley just northeast of the Olympic Mountains. The mountains provide a so-called rain shadow. Thanks to that, Sequim receives the same amount of rain as Los Angeles (basically two extra months of sun per year, compare to the rest of our area). Nowadays, admiring the lush green pastures, it is hard to believe that only a little over a hundred years ago, before the irrigation, there were cacti growing in the valley. 

In the Summer, Sequim is famous for its Lavender Festival which we are yet to attend, but there are things to enjoy year round. For one, Dungeness Natural Wildlife Refuge with Dungeness Spit, a 5.5-mile long (almost 9 km) sand spit - the longest in the US. It was a great adventure to get to the spit as it was becoming increasingly windier, up to 40 mph! I think it would be fun to try to walk all the way down to the historic lighthouse (you can see it on one of the photos above), but we definitely weren't up to that that day, and generally speaking, not many people make it. But the lighthouse is open to the public and you can even stay there. I can only imagine the feeling of spending a night literally in the middle of nowhere - on a narrow sand spit!

Another kind of vistas - with mountain views.

From the beautiful roof garden of our hotel, just as a hotel host said to us, we could watch (and photograph) herds of Roosevelt elk, the largest of four remaining kinds of elk in North America. Better yet, we were able to watch them right from our room window. They were grazing grass just across the street. 

We got a wonderful dining recommendation (thank you, Sarah!) - Nourish, a garden-to-plate restaurant. A unique setting, fun airy atmosphere and amazing food. They grow their own vegetables and herbs, offer local wines, practice and promote sustainable living. We tried crab cakes, lamb-burger and rosemary chicken with fresh vegetables. It quickly became one of our most favorite restaurants.

Fantastic sunset, over the restaurant's garden.

On the last day of our mini-adventure, we went for a walk on a beautiful Dungeness River Bridge. It used to be a railroad bridge, first built a hundred years ago, then replaced in 1930 and abandoned. Volunteers started working on rebuilding the bridge in 1992. It collapsed under the storm in 2015, but was beautifully restored again, and reopened just this past March. Now the bridge is a part of a pedestrian/bike/horseback riding trail. Inspiring structure and natural setting - it just makes me want to create! 

I'm only sharing a few highlights of our trip with you, but I hope you can feel the peaceful and inspiring atmosphere of this place. I, as always, wanted to live there. Justin talks about keeping a journal where he would only mention the places where I want to live. It's a long list, let me tell you. :)
There is so much more to Sequim and its surroundings, and I would love to come back for another visit soon. For now, I'm leaving you with a few shots of the cozy living and flowers that were in bloom the first week of May.

First outfit:
Linen joggers, denim jacket and hat - Lane Bryant
Peplum chambray top - Old Navy

Second outfit:
Chambray jumpsuit - Old Navy
Cardigan - Torrid

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  1. this is so beautiful!!!
    what a wonderful trip! i would love to run around there! so much stunning nature and views - snowy mountains! well done - justin - to book that adventure!
    and you natasha look the part in your easy and romantic travel garb! <3
    the description of the restaurant makes me hungry instantly!!!!!
    tons of hugs! xxxxxxx

    1. Thank you, my beautiful friend! I thought you'd love to walk to the end of the longest sand pit with me. :) Maybe one day... Much love!

  2. Natalia. You are Killing me with these beautiful photos. I miss the Pacific Northwest soooooo much. And I love that you're wearing all this nice washed out denim. It's such a beautiful outdoorsy fabric. Lovely.

    1. Dear Connie, when you come over here, I would love to meet you! What are your favorite places, I wonder? Justin and I keep discovering more and more towns, parks and all sorts of little corners of the PNW. I could live almost at any spot here - it's so wonderful. How people even want to live somewhere else? :)

      I am learning to wear and to love denim. It's not in my blood - I always feel such an American girl when I wear denim. :)

  3. Oh wow!! Beautiful views. It must have been awesome trip.

    1. What I love about living here is that any directions you go - there will be so much awesomeness! :)

  4. Aww, you two are such a beautiful couple! I don't recall having seen your husband before and just love that he made an appearance here. There's something so special about getting to put a name to a face on a blog I read all the time. How wonderful that you guys were able to get away for a bit. It looks like you had some truly stunning surroundings!

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you, Jessica! And I know what you mean! And when you see a blogger (or her husband) in person, it is yet another layer of recognizing them. Like they just got out of the computer or something. Magic. :)