In the Pacific Northwest (with two very lucky friends)

Mount Olympus National Park View

One would be hard pressed to find three more unlikely friends: Thirty-something Erik, manager of a Cleveland hotel and destined for greater things. Middle-aged Jill from rural Ohio, who makes her living selling fine crafts at street festivals. Then there is me, Alice -- retired, married, living in Oklahoma and hooked on gardening and the Internet. Yet friends we are and have been for years.

button Click here to see Erik

When Erik won a sales contest including free airfare to anywhere in the country, it seemed natural to him to add some frequent-flyer miles and invite Jill and me along for a dream vacation. Seattle was chosen after a three-way email discussion, and we made our plans to meet in Seattle in the middle of June 1999.
The view of the mountains from the plane as we neared Seattle was just the first taste of many exciting and inspiring experiences in the four days of touristing that followed.

A view from the plane
button Click here to see another view from the plane
View of Lake Union

I met Jill and Erik at the airport where they had rented a car, then we checked into our suite at the downtown Residence Inn. We were treated wonderfully well. Our fifth-floor balcony overlooked Lake Union and I'm sure it was the best seat in the house. The view of the harbor was spectacular by day and night.

Our first morning found us taking a ferry to British Columbia. It was obvious before we got off the boat that Victoria was a special place. Flower baskets hung from every lamppost along the waterfront and city streets. Victoria's old-world charm was hard to resist. The building here is the famous Empress Hotel.

Victoria Harbour

button Jill and Alice had High Tea at the Empress while Erik
opted for a more substantial meal in the restaurant downstairs.

The Best is Yet to Come.

Click here to go with us to the Butchart Gardens

Erik's Excellent Homepage | Butchart Gardens | Rainier National Park
Rainier Forest | Pike Place Market | Deception Pass and Whidbey Island
Dungeness Spit | Hoh Rain Forest | Rialto Beach | Hurricane Ridge

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