Wow, time sure is flying during our semi sabbatical! This summer is going way too fast. And we’ve officially left the east side of Washington state and made our way to Portland! But not without a couple of other fun Washington getaways plugged in between as well.
We started the Fourth of July weekend at Maryhill Winery, located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, about halfway between Portland and Tri-Cities. The view of the river from up on the cliff was breathtaking! And the wine and flatbreads made for a perfect summer lunch.
We also stopped by the Stonehenge WWI Memorial. The memorial is a full-scale replica of the original Stonehenge in England.1 It overlooks the Columbia River, which makes it a great place to enjoy the sunrise and sunset. There is also a with a great diagram and explanation of why it was placed as a WWI Memorial, along with its use as a seasonal sun chart.
San Juan Island, WA
We rode the ferry about an hour to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island from Anacortes, which the grandkids absolutely loved.
We spent a few days at a gorgeous lakeside resort with my Dad and his wife’s side of the family in San Juan. While the other family members got to enjoy the glampsites, we got a lodge room with our own personal fireplace and lanai overlooking the lake.
We took a kayaking tour on the west side of the San Juan, which was so fun! We saw a few harbor seals, a fried egg jellyfish, and even a bald eagle. We also ate some kelp, which surprisingly wasn’t as gross as you would think. You can also see Canada across the horizon, which was mind blowing.
After we left San Juan Island, we spent a few days in Seattle housesitting, so that we could spend more time in the city with the family. We watched a Mariners game, walked around Pike Place Market, and enjoyed lunch at The Crab Pot.
We even got to run around Lake Union with our friend who we met in PT school. Running really is a fun way to explore the city!
To break up our drive home, we stayed overnight in Leavenworth. Leavenworth is a Bavarian style village located about 2 hours east of Seattle. Before it was a Bavarian village, it actually was a logging and sawmill town. Unfortunately, the railroad was re-routed in the mid 20th century, leaving Leavenworth to fight to stay alive. So in the early 1960’s, they decided to change the town’s appearance to a Bavarian style village to attract vistors that may be passing though. And thank goodness for that, because now it is a top tourist destination in the Pacific Northwest!2
Once we left Leavenworth, we drove about 20 minutes to meet up with some of the family to go white water rafting! We were led on a 2-3 hour rafting experience down the Wenatchee River. While the temperature outside was hot and dry, the river water was quite cold. Good thing we had wetsuits! We all survived the rapids, and have great memories from this one of a kind adventure.
On our way back to Tri-Cities, we decided to spontaneously stop at this random scenic overlook in Quincy. And we are sure glad we did! This view of the Columbia River was stunning, and it made me realize how big the river is.
Benton City, WA
After a crazy busy work week back from our family vacation, we needed a little break. Since we’re still working a bit during our semi sabbatical, we figured it’s time to take another quick break and go explore again!
So we headed to Benton City, just outside of the Tri-Cities area, to a winery call Terra Blanca. This winery is located on the slopes of Red Mountain, and their outdoor terrace has a breathtaking view of Yakima Valley and their vineyard. I see why this part of Washington state is considered the “Heart of Washington Wine Country!”3
Bend, OR – Round 2!
The best part about a semi sabbatical is that we are slow traveling. This means that we can revisit cities that we enjoyed! So, on a whim, we spent a weekend in Bend, Oregon … again! This time, we brought along his parents. We walked along the Deschutes River the evening we arrived, which was Deeks’ favorite part.
The hubby and I did the Pilot Butte hike – a quick but steep climb overlooking the entire city of Bend!
Then we met up with his parents and hiked the easy nature trail to Benham Falls.
The rest of the day we walked around the Old Mill district. There were so many tubers out on the water! It was truly a sight to see, and next time we’ll make sure to rent some tubes and float down the river!
We ended up in Downtown for the evening, eating and drinking along the river at Bend Brewing. We met up with our friends that live in Bend, and it was so nice to see them again.
After almost 2 months of our semi sabbatical with the hubby’s parents, we finally are saying goodbye. We’ll miss spending time with them, but we are ready for our next adventure!
We’re heading to Portland for a week long housesitting gig! Stay tuned for next month’s post to see all the fun and new places we’ll be heading. And I’ll give you a little spoiler alert – we will be leaving the Pacific Northwest in August!
If you want to follow us on our semi sabbatical journey, check out our Instagram!
Want to travel more, or want to to learn ways to save your money? Check out some of my other blog posts:
- Tips on How To Achieve a >50% Savings Rate
- Values Based Spending – Determining Your Core Values
- 12 Tips to Save this Holiday Season
- What is a High Yield Savings Account (HYSA)?
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