Tuesday, August 15, 2023

A weekend away

I've been dreaming of taking a completely chill, no-stress vacation since the minute Matt entered drill school. I knew how little I'd see of him during those 15 weeks and I knew we'd want some major quality time after graduation. I couldn't plan this vacation ahead of time because we didn't know what his shifts would look like, but once we had his schedule I started scoping out some options, and I landed on Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge is a small island accessible from Seattle by ferry. We've gone many times – in fact, we just went with my Mom when she was in town. But we've only ever done day trips. The ferry takes less than 30 minutes and the main little town area is full of cute shops and restaurants. Little did we know, though, that were is hiking on Bainbridge! In fact, Bainbridge is home to the Grand Forest and other nature preserves.
Flashback to the ferry ride with mom in July!
My favorite kind of hiking is the kind where you're surrounded by trees the entire time and there's no real rocking climbing involved. So, I was sold.

We booked an adorable, pet-friendly cabin on Airbnb and I spent the rest of June and July daydreaming about our upcoming getaway.
It did not disappoint!
I logged out of work a little early on Friday and we got on a late-afternoon ferry. Zoe had never been on a ferry before, and she's not always the best in the car, but she did a great job! 
The wind really got those ears flapping!
We got to the cabin around 6pm and got settled in. I wish I'd taken some pictures of the inside before we dumped our stuff, because it was beautiful – vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, and a gorgeous view out into the forest from the bed.
Morning view.
Saturday morning we slept in and took our time having breakfast. Then, we headed out to Gazzam Lake for our first hike of the day. This nature preserve has a few different trails you can follow, and we opted to follow the fork down to the beach first, picking wild blackberries along the way. 
This part of the hike was a little less than 2.5 miles round trip.
You can't tell but they're on a giant rock.
When we got back to the fork, we decided it was time for lunch. We headed back to the cabin where we had leftover Thai for lunch while Zoe caught a nap. Then, we made our way back to the preserve and hiked down to the lake.
This was a really cool little hike. It's basically downhill switchbacks the entire way, and at the end of the trail you find yourself on a stretch of pebbly beach on the lake shore. Zoe attempted to jump onto a rock in the water and ended up soaking wet. Matt set up the hammock and we chilled over the water for a little while, until the tide came in and we had to bail. The hike back up was...well, uphill switchbacks the entire way.
All in all, Saturday we hiked about 5.5 miles. We stopped for ice cream at Bainbridge's famous Mora Iced Creamery (the line was out the door, as usual, but still worth the wait), then picked up Mexican for dinner.
Zoe was completely tuckered out after her big day and a shower.
Sunday was more of the same. We had a relaxing breakfast, then played with Zoe on the Airbnb's property. They have a huge grassy yard for their dogs, and Zoe had a blast chasing Matt around. She definitely wiped out a few times. There were wild blackberries all along the yard and we (and Zoe) enjoyed our fill.
The amazing flying Zoe!
After lunch, we made our way to the Grand Forest, which was less than five minutes from our rental. This hike was absolutely gorgeous. I just can't get enough of seeing sunlight filtered through leaves.
This lake was so reflective you can't even tell where it ends and the trees begin.
At the halfway point, we paused to set up the hammock again and took a rest. By the time we finished, we were ready for...you guessed it, more ice cream and dinner.
We checked out Monday morning, but not before tiring Zoe out at the dog run again. She was absolutely calm on the ferry ride home. (This is a tangent, but this trip made me sad we don't have a yard for Zoe to run in. She really loved it and it tired her out so effectively!)
Saying goodbye to our breakfast view.
This trip was exactly what I'd been hoping for. Matt and I had a chance to totally disconnect from the daily grind and reconnect with the great outdoors...and each other. He graduated about three months ago and between getting used to his new shift schedule and balancing ongoing studying, I think we both really needed an excuse to just chill and be together, and this was it.
Not to mention, it was really cool to discover Bainbridge has more to offer than we'd thought. I'd happily go back and explore some more trails there in the future!


No comments:

Post a Comment