Honeymoon Happies: Woodinville, Snoqualmie, Yakima & The Gorge

The final part of our honeymoon after 5 days on Orcas brought us over to Woodinville and Snoqualmie, then taking the I-90 through the central part of the state, heading to Yakima then down to the Columbia River Gorge for our final night before getting back home.  It was quite an adventure with lots of memories, but like every road trip, also makes you happy to be home sweet home 🙂

While we came to Woodinville with the idea we’d be wine tasting, that ended up being tossed out the window after realizing there were few vineyards and mostly just tasting rooms lined up in a row with not a ton of personality – kind of like a “wine mall” IMHO. It turns out the coolest part of these couple of days was when we stopped by 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living!

While our original intent was to stop by their farmers market for some picnicking food (the Asian pears were SO good!), we’d arrived an hour early on our bikes and met Jane, the events manager who gave us an extra long tour of the building and grounds, explaining a lot of their awesome green building features. Everything from solar energy to water savings to air quality and of course food production was taken into consideration, and I loved hearing about all the kids who get to come here and learn about where their food comes from!

Walking the grounds, there were a ton of ideas on display for how we could continue to push ourselves sustainably. As we are thinking of eventually making our garage’s roof into a green roof, this example of what’s involved in making that happen was super informative!

Lots of ideas in the adjoining community garden, and I was definitely enjoying all the flowers on another mild sunny day 🙂

We then drove down to Snoqualmie Falls and hiked down to get a view of the falls. Arriving there on a weekend meant a zillion tourists to plow through which was a bit annoying, but not as many went all the way down to the final viewing spot so we got a few nice shots. Unfortunately we were dismayed to see how much litter was everywhere! At every viewing point you could look down and see coffee cups and soda cans and other trash, and at the last overlook there was a gnarly old gal chainsmoking and unfriendly. Nothing like walking through a wall of smoke on a small observation deck to see nature. I had great memories of climbing around this place when I was in my 20’s living in the Seattle area and now will probably never come back as it’s so poorly managed.  We stayed at the Salish Lodge which was supposed to be 5 star and well let’s just say it’s gone downhill…a LOT. Water damage and terrible service and a housekeeping staff that seems to think it’s fine to go through your personal toiletries. The best part of this particular leg of the trip was getting OUT of the town for breakfast at Issaquah Coffee. Felt like home 🙂

That being said I loved seeing my honey smile 🙂

And the river itself was lovely…

No matter where we go, we’re blissin’ on our life together 🙂

After finding out our (so very not) 5 star hotel in Snoqualmie served Starbucks (yikes), we skipped coffee and headed outta town and dropped into Cle Elum where Stella’s awaited us with killer coffee (including this city grrl’s nondairy options) and delicious treats (gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, anyone?). Plus there were super nice gals working there and a totally awesome cowgirl motif. One of our fave places on the road – yay! The fancy hotel restaurants could take a lesson or three from them 🙂

My husband’s literary hero Raymond Carver moved to Yakima, Washington, as a child with his family, and so as part of our trip we spent some time chasing around the areas inside and outside of town (including the gorgeous old winding highway along the river and adjacent to the I-90 that he recommended) where he grew up and spent time, based on a letter from Carver in the book Carver Country. (great photos by Bob Adelman by the way). Two of the three homes he referenced in the book are now gone, replaced by a strip mall and apartments (boo!), but we did see one, and also stopped by the 100+ year old Sports Center, where he spent time and which is still open for business (sadly it’s next to an Olive Garden).

Ha! The Teapot Dome Gas Station (no longer in service), built in 1922, was the cover shot on our atlas and we discovered it was about 8 miles off the freeway on the way from Yakima to the Gorge, outside of Zillah. So naturally we stopped by to snap a shot 🙂

Husband wanted to check out the Maryhill Museum of Art in Klickitat before we crossed over to the Oregon side of the Columbia. It was an OK museum with a great Native American exhibit and even some Rodin, but a bit bougie. The view from the parking lot however was unbeatable 🙂

Arrived at our final hotel in Hood River, Oregon, to an amazing view from our balcony. The Columbia Cliff Villas were simple yet elegant, with great service, beautiful rooms, and set as close to the water as we could possibly ask to be. We loved it!

Wanting to see one more beautiful sky, I got up early to watch the pre-sunrise on our last day of honeymoon. So blissful. Later we got a great cuppa joe at 10 Speed Coffee, then picked up 40 lbs of pears & apples at Draper Girls Country Farm (who we buy from at the Portland Farmers Market) on the Hood River Fruit Loop. Nice way to end our honeymoon and yet at the same time, we were glad to be home sweet home!


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