We stayed in Shelton, Washington with my (Karen’s) friend from work in Auckland. Julie and her family were awesome hosts and we had a really neat time with them. On our first day there, Julie took us to Olympia, the capital of Washington which is less than an hour from Shelton. There we ate lunch at the Farmers’ Market and explored the beautiful State Capitol building.
Another highlight was the trip Julie had arranged for us to Seattle. Our day started with a trip to the Aussie pie shop – it was most satisfying to snack on pies and sausage rolls! We then made our way to the Space Needle, where we went to an amazing exhibit by an artist called Chihuly. He had made giant glass sculptures that were both inside and out in the garden – they were truly breath-taking.
We then walked down to Pike Market, where we snacked on piroshkys, saw the first ever Starbucks, browsed the cute shops, saw the famous pig, watched fish being thrown and had a drink before finding a tasty Thai restaurant for dinner.
We then took the monorail back to the Space Needle and went up it to watch the sunset before coming back to go through the Chihuly exhibit at night. The exhibit seemed totally different with the night lighting. We had a really fabulous day in Seattle.
On another day, we went paddleboating on the Hood Canal – it took considerably more effort than we had thought to paddle four adults around! We definitely deserved the chips we had after that.
We also really enjoyed spending time with Julie’s friends and family – going to church, meeting her friends Steve and Lucy and exploring Shelton. It was really fun catching up with Jools and hearing her awesome Kiwi accent.