Rolling into Olympia, Washington, we continued our pattern of staying with friends from my days at Smith College. Anyone who knows me even slightly knows how much I absolutely loved Smith and how much I love my friends from Smith. Apparently, the love doesn’t go one way. Our incredibly generous friends Sarah and Scott (and their lovely and energetic sons, Emerson and Elliot) invited us to stay for an extended period. They hosted us for a record eight nights. Yes, you read that right – EIGHT nights! They should be sainted.
It was so incredibly wonderful to have a bed to sleep in, a shower to use, access to laundry facilities, and to not have to worry about the weather. But more than that, Sarah and Scott are a walking party. Literally. We haven’t socialized that much since…I can’t even remember! We attended a total of four parties that week – and Sarah and Scott attended two additional parties (for a wedding) – so we were seriously not keeping up. It was such a fantastic change of pace. But, even better, I got to spend some excellent quality time with a wonderful friend who I haven’t seen in ages and her equally awesome husband. And Van had the chance to play with the big boys and all of their exciting toys. I think he was most excited by having a table to sit at that was just his size. Mental note for when we no longer live out of a tent.
Between the parties, we had the chance to check out a bunch of different places in the area. We hit up the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge and the Farmers’ Market with our friends, and when they were busy at work, we headed to Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, the Bainbridge Island Japanese-American Exclusion Memorial, the Foulweather Bluff Preserve at the northern end of the Kitsap Peninsula, and the Olympia Hands-On Children’s Museum.
We also spent a day in Seattle exploring and were lucky enough to meet up with Sarah in the afternoon so she could show us around. On our very last day in Olympia, Sarah, Scott, and the boys accompanied us Staircase in Olympic National Park. We took our second hike of the trip with friends (the first with another Smithie and her son, Rebekah and Rhyer), and had our very first campsite visitors. So fun! It reminded me just how great it is to camp with friends. Something I hope to do lots of in the future. Any takers?!?!
Note the bench we found on our hike – we joked that it was a casualty of the sequester.
Thank you Scott, Sarah, Emerson, and Elliot for an absolutely wonderful week. We miss you all already. Please come visit wherever we wind up settling down!!!