Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 22

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Three weeks.  We've been on the road for three weeks.  That is a long time, friends.  And I'll tell you what... staying in a historic lodge with authentic period rooms is a lovely experience, and a rustic one.  I'll just say this - I'm quite fond of my queen size bed, lights that go beyond ambiance and actually light up a room, and an exhaust fan in the bathroom.  Especially with all these boys.  But I don't mean to complain amidst all this beauty.

This building is not the chateau, it houses the gift shop, visitors center, public restrooms, and - I think - staff housing.  The cave entrance is immediately to the right of the building.

The chateau nestles into a curve in the hill just below.  Because you enter at the turquoise awning, you tend not to realize the building is six stories high (there's a basement you can't see.)   It doesn't seem nearly as big as it actually is.

We'd hoped to find this on a postcard but no such luck, so I snapped a picture.

In the evening live piano music drifted through the lobby.

I didn't get any pictures of the dining room, but we thought this cafe was quite cozy for breakfast.

And just outside, this lovely pond - right below our room.  We left the window cracked open and listened to the waterfall all night.  (Plus, hmmm, with all those males... well, you just want to leave the window cracked.)

Love the fall colors.

And the snug and inviting look of the place.  I'd love to see it in the snow.

And it sure did feel like fall here.  At 4000' in elevation the temp was down in the 30's and we appreciated the fire!

I did not so much appreciate seeing this:

Yes, it's really a live scorpion.
I'll be going now, thanks.

And we did.  Leave, that is.  Not because of the scorpion, but we were so very ready.

Do you see what I see?  Up on the hill?  That's I-5.  Now we're really headed home.

Getting closer...

Yes!  It's Washington!

Um, I guess we're back among our own kind?
Our own kind of humor, anyway ;D

Not knowing we'd be able to tour the cave the evening we arrived, and anticipating a later departure, I had booked us a hotel in Tumwater, which - for some reason - Gunnar kept referring to as "Thumbline".  (Huh?)  But since we toured the cave the night before, and got an earlier start...

... well, we all just wanted to get HOME.

I canceled the hotel :D  But we had one more stop to make.  A pilgrimage, of sorts...

If you're a hunter, a fisher, a camper, this is your paradise.  The boys were practically having an out-of-body experience.  Mostly we just wanted to look around.  They have animals from all over the world.  Inside that 'mountain' of game animals they have live fish in a huge aquarium.  Yah.

But the happiest sight of all...

... was this one. 

East or west, home is best.

Day 22 Miles : 573          Total Miles : 5104


Felicity said...

What a beautiful place you stayed at!! I love the view out of the window when you had breakfast! I should think it would be stunning in snow..!!
It's always so good to get home.

melanie said...

I agree ~ That pic should be a postcard.

And your house looks so welcoming all lit up!

What an adventure!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh yah, I felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. It was a wonderful adventure, but there's no place like home!

Ann said...

I got SOOOOO behind on blog reading and just now caught up on everything. What an amazing trip! I can imagine I would have been really ready to get home, too, though!

leah said...

That lodge was amazing! And you got a free scorpion to boot! :-D

What a vacation - 22 days is a LONG time to be away from home - what a marvelous trip, but I can understand the nice feeling of getting home. To your own washing machine, separate bedrooms, and good ventilation, lol!

Also, thanks for the picture of the scorpion - it came in handy today. We were talking about arachnids (Matthew and I), and I mentioned scorpions. He had never seen one, so this was rather serendipitous!

The dB family said...

What and awesome trip!! I'm so glad you took us along with you! Your home is beautiful!


Kim said...

Welcome home! Thanks for bringing us along. I quite enjoyed the ride. Looks like some fun memories.