Seattle, WA

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We made the drive from Quileute Ocean Resort on the Olympic Peninsula to Trailer Inns of Bellevue which is about 10 miles from Seattle. The RV park was essentially a parking lot. Pretty ugly but extremely convenient to Seattle and the staff was very nice. We messed up our reservation and arrived a day late. Without even asking they removed the missed night from our bill. They were also very helpful when it came to cramming our 34 foot beast into the tiny site we had (to be fair, they're all pretty small so it wasn't like they gave us an innappropriate site).

 
 

After a week of parking on an asphalt lot with our neighbors less than a foot from us on one side we moved to a much prettier location called Tall Chief RV and Camping Resort in Fall City, WA about 15 miles from Seattle. This campground is part of the Thousand Trails/Encore set of campgrounds and our first stay in one since purchasing our Thousand Trails membership. It's wide open with well spaced and shaded sites, tons of tall trees, a pool, spa, and two lodges with wifi. Definitely a welcome change from the Bellevue parking lot.

 
 Dara Elish in her floating kitchen.

Dara Elish in her floating kitchen.

There's a large contingent of boat dwelling folks in Seattle. "Liveaboards", as they call them, are floating homes, house barges, floating on-water residences, and any other vessels containing a dwelling unit. So many people live this lifestyle that new laws have been passed to strictly regulate these types of dwellings. Lucky for Dara, she's been living on a boat for many years and has been grandfathered in.

 
 
 
 

There's lots of great dog-friendly hiking just outside of the city. We spent a bit of time at Tiger Mountain State park which had many trail options from easy to hard and all of which have nice tree cover so you don't have to worry about the heat in the summer.

 
 
 
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Dave also joined the Berthiaumes for the Future of Aviation tour at the Boeing factory in Everette, WA. A bit pricey at $25 pp but it was pretty cool to see 737s, 747s, and 787s being built. Seeing the Dreamlifter (a plane built specifically for carrying monstrous pre-fabricated 787 Dreamliner parts) was really cool. Enzo personally liked the 787 and is saving up for one.

 
 

Some highlights

  1. Tall Chief RV and Camping Resort: This was our first stay using our Thousand Trails membership. It's actually an Encore resort but I won't try to explain what that means. What it comes down to is that we didn't pay to stay (well not beyond our membership fee). We had heard some not so great things about Thousand Trails campgrounds so there was a bit of pre-arrival anxiety but it's really a beautiful place. It's a large campground that is nicely spread out with lots of tall trees and shade. The pool area is much nicer than most we've seen at other campgrounds and has a spa that is well taken care of. There are also two lodges that are well maintained and have solid wifi. We were definitely impressed. Hopefully we'll continue to enjoy the Thousand Trails/Encore campgrounds. The only downside so far is that there is no sewer. You can pay $60 to have someone pump out your tanks or you can use the dump station.

  2. Tiger Mountain Trails (Issaquah, WA): There are quite a few trails of varying difficulty that all branch off from High Point Way trail head/parking log. We opted for the Talus Loop and then the Nook trail. We only ran into two people on a Tuesday afternoon. Apparently these trails get very busy during the weekend. If you're up for an adventure try the West Tiger Mountain #3 trail. At the top there are amazing views and if you're lucky you'll get to watch paragliders sail off to their potential death.

  3. Tons of great dog parks (Issaquah, Carnation, Sammamish): We went to the Issaquah Highland Bark Park which was really nice but we were the only ones there. Be aware that they have breed restrictions. We also went to the Beaver Lake Dog Park which was awesome because not only did it have a great fenced area for large and small dogs but the large dog area continued into a decent sized wooded area with paths. Not only was the shade nice but Ozzy loved jumping over logs and sniffing around. Last but not least we took a nice walk (not quite a hike) around Evans Creek Preserve in Sammamish. Dogs must be on-leash but it is very dog friendly with poop bags and garbage cans all around the trails. There are also an abundance of signs with maps so you couldn't get lost if you tried. It's a nice place for a 30-60 minute stroll with or without your pup.

  4. Pike Place Market (Seattle, WA): Yes it's the place that everyone thinks of when they think of Seattle and yes our uber drive ended our ride with a sarcastic "And here you are at the Pike Place market. Enjoy your visit" but if you haven't been it's worth checking out if you're in downtown Seattle.

  5. The Black Duck Cask and Bottle (Issaquah, WA): We stumbled upon this place when staying at Tall Chief RV and Camping Resort. It's in a cute little shopping village in Issaquah and has a great beer selection and some amazing food. If you go, be sure to try the Pig Pancake (mojo pork & onion griddle cake, special sauce, fried egg). AMAZING!

  6. Road Cycling: There are a bunch of great routes in, around, and through Fall City, Carnation, Lake Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, and more. We like to use MapMyRide to find routes that locals have mapped in the areas we're in.